Gearing up for your summer getaway in Florida? Instead of taking the kids to Disney, why not go beyond theme parks and head off to the Florida Keys? Go on a road trip and enjoy the scenic view that starts from the Florida Keys Scenic Overseas Highway. This perfect family vacation destination is a great pick not only for its beaches and water sport activities but also for its rich history and kid-friendly attractions. There are a myriad of fun activities to choose from while on vacation in this coral cay archipelago.
Here are five reasons your kids will have a memorable Florida Keys summer vacation:
They can enjoy awesome kayaking adventures.
Get to explore the clear shallow water of the islands of the Florida Keys while paddling on rented kayaks. This relaxing adventure is a great family activity to enjoy and witness one of the world’s most diverse marine life ecosystems, including flora and fauna. You can rent from the myriad of companied that offer kayak rentals hourly, daily or weekly. A guided kayak tour gives you the chance to learn about different water creatures you can encounter such as stingrays, blacks sea urchins and sharks while on a two-hour kayaking tour.
You can take a tour from Bahia Honda State Park while paddling near the Seven Mile Bridges as the kayak guide points out the undersea marvels and fills you in on the colorful history of one of the longest bridges ever built. Other tours will guide you through tropical mangrove forests.
Get even closer to the Underwater World – Snorkel Adventures.
There’s lots you can see in the crystal waters below your kayak, but not go a notch below and explore the majestic underwater scenes these islands have to offer? Take advantage of snorkeling on a half day eco tour of the coral reef. Take the kids for a boat ride and head to the pristine waters to discover interesting sea life. You don’t have to be a SCUBA diver to swim with colorful tropical fish along the coral reef.
If you’re staying on the Middle Florida Keys in one of the Key Colony Beach rentals, you’ll have lots of choices of snorkeling destinations. The local KCB dive shop, A Deep Blue Dive Center, offers daily trips, as do dive shops in Marathon. The family, especially the kids will enjoy the experience, starting from the ride on the “Turtle”, a 34-ft. passenger vessel or the “Squirt”, which can accommodate six snorkelers. If a catamaran is what you prefer, there is also the “Tortuga”. What’s great about booking with them is you have a trip tailor-made only for you, along with the friendly staff who will gladly help you with your gear. A road trip to the Florida Keys will not be complete without snorkeling and diving adventures for the bunch!
Visit the Turtle Hospital.
Another Middle Keys destination that is always a hit with the kids is the Turtle Hospital in Marathon. This is a non-profit organization which rescues, rehabs and releases turtles back to the sea. Here, the kids will not only have a great time seeing the turtles but will also be learning a lot about these amazing creatures. Members of the staff do a great job helping and treating injured sea turtles. Kids and adults alike will have an enriching experience and get to meet rescued turtles.
Don’t pass up signing for the 90-minute educational program to maximize your visit. Not only do you get to enjoy, you also get to help a good cause. It always a good idea to arrange for a reservation a day prior to going there since they can be very busy.
Spend a day in Crane Point Museum and Hammock.
Make your kids’ fantasies come true by taking them to one of the neatest stops of your vacation. Also located in Marathon, this is a museum and a historical site where you can learn about the true beauty of the Florida Keys. Walk back in time as you visit the natural history museum which houses interpretative displays of local wildlife, marine and dioramas of artifacts. You can also walk the trails to see interesting plants and flower. The site is a vast area with protected lands showcasing rich history.
Inside the museum is a 600 year-old dugout canoe, what remains of pirate ships. The kids can also enjoy some time being pirates while aboard the replica of the 17th century galleon Los Ninos de los Cayos and reliving the past dressed up as pirates. The site is a huge property of protected natural lands filled with rich history, wildlife, and beauty.
Teach the Kids to Fish – Florida Keys Style.
Angling is a great activity you share with your kids. It’s best to introduce them to this lifelong sport at an early age. And where better to start than here in the Florida Keys? There are many styles of saltwater fishing available in the Middle Keys but for beginners, an offshore fishing experience is the perfect choice. Take your kids to an exhilarating reef fishing experience aboard a party fishing boat. This is both economical and will not take much time since you can go on half a day tour. In Marathon, you can check out fishing charter boats like Manitou pontoon boats , Marathon Lady and Sea Dog Charters. Aim to keep them busy and excited by letting them catch a lot of fish – chances are you will bring home dinner – and if you don’t feel like cooking, most local restaurants are happy to prepare your catch. Don’t forget to bring some chips and sodas to enjoy under the heat of the sun. More importantly, bring sun screen – or try a night trip and see what you catch!! Getting your kids hooked on angling at an early age can be a great activity for family bonding and you can give it a try now while vacationing in the Keys.
The best part of every kid’s life is growing up. As parents, you can make it memorable and happy by spending time together on road trips and outdoor fun. Get more information on attractions and activities in our local attractions guide