15 Summer Outdoor Activities to Do with Your Friends

Parking is free throughout most of the Keys, including Key West. The Museum makes every effort to ensure that a volunteer Docent will be available at the scheduled times. Crocodiles, however, are much less common. These reefs are world-renowned scuba destinations. Just offshore, shallow reefs make for excellent snorkeling. On Sundays tours begin at Your point of origin, itinerary, and planned stay length and, therefore, potential rental car cost flagler museum discount coupons which option makes better financial sense.

Numerous settlements dot the Keys, as do several incorporated cities: Key Largo, Marathon, and Islamorada. To get to the Keys, you can either fly into Miami International Airport and drive a rented car down U. Your point of origin, itinerary, and planned stay length and, therefore, potential rental car cost determine which option makes better financial sense. Early Key West was a checkered place, home to shady shipwreck salvagers, salt miners, and U.

Many 19th-century structures and countless stories survive in Old Town Key West, the historic district on the western half of the island of Key West. Cat lovers, take note: Truman Little White House Adult admission: Daily, 9am to 4: Truman loved Key West all the same.

Who can blame him? President visited the island a total of 11 times, using the Little White House originally a naval outpost as his winter home away from home. Today, the building is owned by the State of Florida and managed by a nonprofit institution, which keeps its historic artifacts in good condition and provides interpretive content. Check the website for special events the property hosts an eclectic mix of educational and community-oriented events, most free with the price of admission.

Audubon House and Tropical Gardens Adult admission: It remains in excellent condition, its interior a tour de force of 19th-century furnishings and art. Audubon House also features a solid bench of interpretive content about the shipwreck salvage industry that, in part, built Key West. Outside, the well-kept Tropical Gardens contain more than orchids and a colony of beautiful, delicate butterflies.

The concept was breathtaking, especially relative to the technology available at the time: Completed in the s, it was abandoned in the s after a powerful hurricane damaged it beyond repair. There is no admission charge you simply see it from the Overseas Highway. Guided fort tours are available check the park website for up-to-date details and reservation information.

Key West Garden Club Adult admission: Come for the amazing variety of tropical plants and trees, including some exceedingly rare varieties. Also of note is the impressive stone West Martello Towers, part of a larger planned but never completed naval battery. Roaming Chickens Key West is full of historical oddities, perhaps none stranger nor more amusing than its endemic chicken population. Mile Marker 0 Mile Marker 0 marks the official end or beginning of U.

Spend some time wandering the narrow streets, then take a load off at one of the many corner cafes. Arts, Culture, and Entertainment The Florida Keys have arts, culture, and entertainment in spades much of it free, and much of it concentrated in Key West. Keep in mind that, with rare exceptions, cultural opportunities here tend to be offbeat and sometimes downright rowdy. In late afternoon, the area comes alive with street performers, hawkers, and curious wanderers.

Some are free and accessible throughout the year, while others come with fees or restrictions that necessitate advance planning. Also of note is the African Burial Ground at Higgs Beach , a sobering reminder of the ravages of the transatlantic slave trade. It is free to visit. Simonton Street Beach Located at the end of Simonton Street, on the edge of Old Town, this modest beach is wedged between a small jetty and some boat piers.

South Beach Located at the southern end of Duval Street, near the Southernmost Point, South Beach is a popular spot for wading, and is probably the easiest Key West beach to access on foot. Bayview Park Bayview Park is a free, family-friendly spot with a picnic area, pavilion, tennis facilities, and a host of other recreational amenities.

Overseas Highways Parking Areas The Overseas Highway has lots of pullouts and parking areas, some of which afford incredible views of the smaller islands, marshy transitional zones, and open waters around the main body of the keys. Offshore, many reefs and lagoons are protected as well.

The rest of the park consists of submerged coral reefs that teem with aquatic life: These reefs are world-renowned scuba destinations. The largest island, Garden Key, contains Fort Jefferson, a massive 19th-century fortification that was built over the course of three decades, abandoned, damaged in successive hurricanes, and finally rescued and restored by the National Park Service.

Walking through the overgrown grounds and along the towering parapets is like walking back in time, and the exhibits on military and natural history are first class. Just offshore, shallow reefs make for excellent snorkeling. Unfortunately, getting to Dry Tortugas National Park is very expensive. Both fares include park admission. On the bright side, the Yankee Freedom package includes a free snorkeling excursion with gear.

If you want to linger and pay a bit more, consider kayaking or snorkeling. Not so in the Florida Keys, where a distinct sub-population is severely threatened by habitat loss and, unfortunately, speeding cars.

Situated on about 9, acres on Big Pine Key, the Key Deer Wildlife Refuge is a critical habitat for these unique creatures, as well as other flora and fauna native to the Keys. Natural habitats include teeming lagoons and sultry mangrove swamps. Crocodiles, however, are much less common. Once the sight of a luxurious private fishing camp, the area was ravaged by a hurricane and returned to a natural state.

Before you drive out to Key West, check in with two popular social coupon providers: In fact, businesses that use social coupons for promotional purposes are more likely to be small, independently owned entities about which the average tourist might not be aware. Humidity is a near-constant, particularly outside the winter months, and temperatures vary little from month to month. The dry season, which runs from late fall through mid-spring, brings long stretches of sunny weather punctuated by occasional showers and thunderstorms.

The wet season runs from mid-spring through late fall and brings steadier, more consistent rains in some years, for at least a portion of nearly every day. Hurricane season roughly coincides with the wet season and peaks in August and September. Hurricanes and tropical storms rarely strike the Keys directly, but their power must nevertheless be taken seriously.

If you want to avoid even the outside chance of travel disruption and danger to life and limb due to severe weather, plan your visit for winter or early spring, when the statistical chance of tropical weather activity is near zero.

Compared with northern cities such as Boston , Chicago , and Minneapolis-St. Accordingly, the winter and early spring months particularly around spring break , comprise the high season.

Crowds are larger and prices higher during this period. By contrast, summer is less comfortable, with highs routinely reaching into the 80s and low 90s, and humidity persistently high.

However, thanks to moderating ocean breezes, high temperatures well into the 90s are exceedingly rare. Notably, freezing temperatures have never been recorded in Key West, and locals consider temperatures below 65 degrees to be uncomfortably cool. Light, well ventilated clothing, such as cotton shirts and dresses, canvas shorts and pants, and sandals or flip-flops all work well here. Sun and Rain Protection. The sun is strong year-round in the Keys.

If you plan to snorkel, consider bringing your own equipment, both for comfort and to save on potential rental costs. If you plan to spend any length of time outside in the Keys and why else would you be here? My wife and I took our time, stopping at several parking areas to snap pictures of the stunning scenery and once to eat lunch. Four airlines have regularly scheduled service to EYW: But, when time is money on a quick-and-dirty weekend getaway, the convenience of flying direct to your final destination can well be worth the cost.

The typical trip involves a mix of transportation options, including walking and biking especially in Key West. Though taxis do serve the length of the Keys, long trips between islands can be expensive. Likewise, biking is time-consuming.

Parking is free throughout most of the Keys, including Key West. However, finding a parking space in Old Town Key West is not always easy. Several local bus routes serve major streets in Old Town and New Town, often at frequencies of 15 minutes or less.

There is also a longer-distance shuttle service that connects Key West with the rest of the Lower Keys. Both options allow unlimited rides. Biking The Florida Keys have virtually no natural topography the highest point on Key West, a graveyard, is less than 20 feet above sea level. As such, the region is great for short- and long-distance biking. Key West has a bikesharing program called Instabike.

After a slow but steady expansion effort, Instabike covers the entire island. If you want access to all of Key West and beyond, or want to ride for the whole day, consider a daily bike rental from one of the many bike shops in town. Bear in mind that rates are subject to change, however. If you plan to visit other islands in the archipelago, no worries: Still, the island is large enough to have distinct neighborhoods and districts. Old Town, Truman Avenue: Old Town, Eaton Street: Eaton Street has even more selection close to two dozen hotels in the block stretch before Whitehead Street.

Prices are roughly comparable: Most hotels in this area have pools. This is a party-hardy resort district with well-known some would say notorious nightlife.

This is the first neighborhood you enter as you cross onto Key West on Route 1. Road trippers, take note:

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