Looking to go paddleboarding in the Keys? There are several operators to rent out boards but if you're looking for a fun and personal lesson or tour with a certified instructor, choose Aquaholic Adventures and go Paddleboarding! Owned by Key Largo local, Jen, they take you on personal paddleboarding lesson and tours. We paddled through magrove tunnels, watched the sunset, and even came face to face with dolphon encounter! Aquaholics can come to you for board rentals, tours, lessons, or even exercise personal fitness training. This girl does it all and most friendly and personable guide
located next to the holiday inn is the holiday inn marina. here you can book fishing trips, glass bottom boat rides, scuba and snorkeling trips, and there is a shuttle to an off shore casino. the holiday inn key west is good place to stop because of the many things to do there.
My family and I really wanted to see the Christ of the Deep statue. If you've seen photos, you know what I mean. His arms are stretched out welcoming you to the bottom of the water and there is just a "strong at peace feeling" when you see it.
Alas, it was not meant to be for my family. We got on the boat and started heading out. When we finally reached our destination the captain/guide started describing the best places to see coral and fish. I thought it was strange that he had not mentioned the statue yet. That was the "big thing" was it not?
So when he said "does anyone have any questions?"
I asked him "where is the statue?"
He says "Can you swim pretty good? It's 7 miles that way (he points)"
I say nothing, though my face must be saying "Uhhhh what?"
He says "It's just a statue. What you want to see is the coral. The coral is what is amazing here, not some 'ol statue".
I am so speechless, as was my mother. She was really looking foward to seeing the statue too. A few of the other passengers give each other looks of surprise, but then seem not to care anymore and just begin gathering their snorkle gear. We too put on our snorkle gear, I mean, it's not like we can march away mad we were stuck on a boat for 2 hours. So we snorkled...and it was okay...I've seen wayyy better in the Dry Tortugas. Heck I live in KW I can go see coral anytime. It was the Christ of the Deep statue that I wanted to see. :(
I ended up writing an angry letter to JPK park about the situation. How they advertise and hype up the statue...they never mention that there is a chance they could take you to a different snorkle section. I used quotes from their own website. I was extremly angry with the captain who just said it was some 'ol statue that I should want to see the coral. Well captain, it's not some "dumb 'ol statue" to me. It meant something to me. And you took it from me. JPK ended up writing back and apologizing and refunding our trip. I was grateful for the refund, but I still would have rather seen the statue.
So if you are going to the park to see the statue, PLEASE mention to the ticket counter and the captain "we are going to see the statue right?" If they say no, then demand your money back. Unless you are fine with just regular snorkling, but you can experience better snorkling in Key West and Dry Tortugas.
Florida Keys Wild Bird Center is a non profit organization that relys primarily on donations for survival. They care for sick & injured wild birds. It is a great little center!! There are 30+ cages with occupants identified and their stories told in a little pamphlet you can get as you go in. At 3:30 each day they feed the pelicans on the beach & that is quite an event! The caretakers really do care & that is obvious. There is also a small gift shop where you can purchase various bird related items to help also. There is no admission fee...just a suggested donation. Highly recommend for any and all visitors to the keys!!
My family and I took a snorkeling trip aboard the Reef Roamer catamaran in Key Largo and had a wonderful time. The crew was great and taught the whole famlily a lot about the marine life in the keys. The reefs were absolutely gorgeous and up close so the kids could see the fish and coral without diving underwater. There weren't too many people on the boat and the captain let the kids drive the boat some on the way back in. They gave our boys certificates showing their new "junior captain" status and they are telling all their friends they are "captains." It's really cute. I've been on some dive boats in the past where everything very impersonal and these guys went the extra mile. I recommend them. Reef Roamer and Quicksilver Catamarans: (305) 453-0110
key largo and the florida keys offer some of the best saltwater fishing in the united states. depending on the time of the year offshore you can catch marlin, sailfish, shark, tuna, and dolphin (mahi-mahi). on the reefs you can catch snapper and grouper and baracuda. in the bays and back country you can catch tarpon, permit, bonefish, snapper, and grouper. pictured is the yellow bait house which is the best bait house in key largo.
at the dolphin cove research center you can swim with bottle nosed dolphins. bottle nosed dolphins are very intelligent marine mamals that react well with humans. dolphin cove also offers back country ecology tours in the everglades national park and back country kayaking. see their website for more info.
the john penekamp coral reef state park is one of the most visited attractions in the keys. this is the nation's first underwater state park. the key largo coral reef is the third largest in the world and the protected area of the park is over 70 nautical square miles. at the park you can book a glass bottom boat tour, snorkeling, and scuba tours. the park also rents canoes and power boats. if you bring your own boat there is a boat ramp and marina. the park also has a number of camping sites that must be booked in advance especially during the winter tourist season. the key largo coral reef is considered the best snorkeling and scuba diving spot in north america. also the reef and the mangrove islands of the park offer excellent saltwater fishing. for more information see the attached websites.
If you are traveling to Key Largo, take the time one day to go snorkeling on the beautiful reefs. I went with a company called Reef Roamer (boat was Quicksilver) and had the best time. They took us on this huge catamaran to two different reefs inside the Pennekamp park for two hours. It was so cool. We saw a huge eagle ray that we followed for awhile and then it took off. It had all these spots all over it and it was so graceful. Another person on the boat said they saw a turtle but we all saw lots of fish. Captain Jen was our tourguide and she did such a great job. It was inspiring seeing someone so passionate about the wild life and then she put up the sails on the way home. It was so relaxing...I recommend them!!!
Behind our hotel was an old boat, beside it was a sign saying:
This boat was used in the filming of 'on golden pond' with Henry Fonda, Jane Fonda and Katharine Hepburn
This is a film from 1981 telling about a retired couple Ethel (Katharine Hepburn) and Norman (Henry Fonda). When they arrive on Golden Pond at their summer residence. Short after their arrival their estranged daughter Chelsea (Jane Fonda) shows up and along with her boyfriend Bill (Coleman) with his thirteen year old son Billy.
The kid Billy (Doug McKeon) is eventually responsible for the resolution of the ongoing conflicts between father and daughter.
Well despite the fact we didn't knew the movie it was nice to see this boat..
This was the first time I did snorkeling, I loved it. If you haven't done it yet... go do it!
Key Largo is the best spot in the continental US for it. It has the world's third largest coral reef (after Australia and Belize) and it's only two hours south of Miami.
This is the company I did it with, but there are a bunch of other options: Quicksilver Catamaran.
The park itself is nothing very special. It has a camping area, some tables for pic-nic, you can rent a kayak... and what I loved the most, the glass-bottom boat.
It's a big boat with two big windows in the bottom. It takes you to the coral reef (in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary) and sails all over out there looking for the best marine life. In my case, we were lucky... we spotted tons of snappers, goupers, barracudas and plenty of colorful fishes plus a couple of turtles and even a little shark.
This is one of the best places to go snorkeling or diving in South Florida. The glass bottom boat ride is popular with families and non-swimmers and provides an alternative for viewing the coral reefs without getting in the water.
If you can swim though, I'd recommend taking at least snorkeling tour. Most head into shallow waters and are quite scenic. All gear is available for rent. For those who are SCUBA certified, dive trips are the day to go. These trips head out into much deeper waters and give you the opportunity to witness a full spectrum of marine life.
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is the claim to fame of being the first undersea park in the United States, Its also the largest in the area and f the only living coral reef in the continental United States.
Pennekamp extends off the coastline and has miles of coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangrove swamps. The coral reefs are protected areas established to preserve the dellcate coral, which takes years to develop and can be destroyed so easily.
Well you may love pelicans or you may not, if you do then you'll love the huge birds and have fun taking pictures. If you don't then you may find then a bit pesky if you are near a dock when the fishing boats come in and they clean the fish, it like a feeding frenzy of feathers. .
If you are a diver, this is the place for you. They call it the dive capital of the world, with coral reefs just of the coast and ship wrecks to explore. Plenty of bars if you just feel like hang around a knockin' back a few. Which ever you do, no one will be forcing you to do anything you don't want to. This is a place to relax and have fun!