Imagine the lightning-like stripe down the side of a yellowtail snapper or the marbled, almost serpentine pattern on a black grouper. The waters off the Florida Keys teem with such visually stunning marine life, and the crews of Gulfstream Fishing, Inc. know how to catch them. The Gulfstream IV, a 58-foot party boat that’s inspected twice a year by the US Coast Guard, motors approximately 60 passengers swiftly out to deep-sea fishing spots thanks to twin Detroit 8v92 turbo engines. Once anchored, the ship’s amenities—which range from men’s and women’s restrooms to a galley serving snacks—keep anglers comfortable between casts.
In addition to daily party outings, Gulfstream’s crews charter small-group trips that include evening shark fishing, offshore and inshore outings for trophies such as sailfish and tarpon, and trips onto coastal flats for catches such as bonefish and barracuda. They also organize private fishing charters to celebrate special occasions, such as a bachelor party or buying your first boat. An FAQ page answers many questions before guests head out.
Amidst the sparkling waters of the Florida Keys, Key Largo Fisheries has furnished kitchens and kebabs with fresh seafood fetched from local fishermen and exotic locales since 1972. Succulent shellfish including lobster ($10.99/lb.), stone crab ($12.99–$29.99/lb.), and shrimp ($9.99–$15.99/lb.) newly plucked from nearby waters unbutton their hard-shell exteriors to reveal butter-ready meat. Grouper ($15.99/lb.), yellowtail snapper ($12.99/lb.), and other finned fare make enticing grilled or fried main dishes, and an array of premade items including crab cakes ($7.99 for two) and smoked fish dip ($15.99/qt.) supplies gatherings with quick, convenient eats. To sate seafood cravings or cede to mermaids begging for scraps, the Take Away Cafe populates its menu with a range of oceanic ambrosia.
Paired up with a Professional Association of Diving Instructors Divemaster, adventure-hungry divers and snorkelers board the Looe Key Reef Resort and Dive Center’s 45-foot catamaran boat to explore the sandy bottom abundant with sea creatures. Consisting of coral fingers and sand channels, the Looe Key Reef spans 5 square miles and carries a protected status thanks to its partially endangered sea dwellers. After a brief 5-mile boat ride, patrons can dive or snorkel up to 30 feet into the depths to witness angelfish, turtles, parrotfish, and nonbiting sharks go about their daily lives performing mundane chores and routine errands. Clear, 80-degree waters provide a comforting, almost-otherworldly experience as swimmers glide past ocean flora and extraterrestrial interlopers. Click here to check out pictures from past expeditions.
Florida Keys Kiteboarding promotes board-based enjoyment of the sparkling ocean tides around the island of Marathon through kiteboarding and standup paddleboarding (SUP) lessons and rentals. Before strapping into a parachute, novice kiteboarders can start out with a beginner lesson or work on fundamentals with a trainer kite to help build muscle memory. SUP presents ocean-goers with a more easygoing activity, allowing them to paddle their boards across the placid ocean surface at their own pace. The team also runs SUP yoga classes, during which participants move into yoga poses while balancing atop their floating boards.
Aside from living deliverables, Marco Island Florist also sends nonbreathing day brighteners in the form of rainbow latex balloons ($29.95), air-freshening Poo Pourri spray ($14.95 for 4 oz.), and brownie dozens ($34.95), perfect for neighboring Partridge families. Groupon holders can opt to pick out a gift in-store or use today’s deal for easy online ordering, where the charitably minded can use the growing together pull-down menu to contribute 2% of their order to an organization of their choice.
To take in national parks, sightseers must usually backpack, hike, or drive on endless two-lane roads. It's not every day you can glide over the park in a luxurious yacht, but that's exactly what the Key Largo Princess does. Aboard the 70-foot glass-bottom yacht, sightseers gaze down upon the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, the only underwater state park in the United States and the only park to get Smokey the Bear's unconditional safety approval. Along the way, the yacht sails over the cerulean swells of the Atlantic, offering panoramic views of the Florida Keys. When they're not oohing and aahing over bright tropical fish and an abundance of living coral, passengers can feel the breeze on the deck or relax in the air-conditioned indoor salon with a snack from the sandwich bar.