The Florida Keys are filled with amazing State Parks and also one of our all time favorite National Parks. We promise you will not want to miss out on seeing any of these amazing places!
John Pennenkamp is known for it’s snorkeling right off of the beach. You literally get on your gear and swim out about 20 yards and start snorkeling. The only problem can be if the water is choppy it isn’t clear and you can’t see as much as you would like.
From here you can also take a snorkeling tour out on the water or a glass bottom boat tour. Where you really can see through the glass bottom and see beautiful fish and maybe even a shark or sting ray! Plus the boat ride out is beautiful.
They also have kayak and paddle board rentals at the state park. You walk over, rent your kayak or paddle board, then put it in the water and head on out! It is really a beautiful and calm area to be out on the water.
This is probably the favorite state park of most people that visit the Keys. The beaches are beautiful (and the Keys are not known for their beaches – since the reef surrounding the keys stops the beaches from having nice soft sand) and there are some short hikes you can take in the park.
Our favorite area was the small less crowded stretch of beach where you can walk and look out over the crystal clear water or watch a beautiful sunset. You an also venture out on the old bridge for some amazing views.
They have a small nature center, store, and snack bar. Along with kayak rentals.
Fort Zachary is located in Key West and offers a nice beach along with a fort that you can explore. The beach area provides a snack bar with lots of trees for a nice shady retreat from the sun.
You can explore the fort at your own pace and read the signs throughout to learn about the history of the fort and climb to the top of the fort to look out over the ocean. It is really cool to be here and to imagine what it was like for the soldiers that use to live here.
You can bring a picnic dinner and catch the sunset on the grassy area to the right of the beach. You will see a variety of sunset cruises and sailboats and will be able to get some amazing pictures of a sunset over the ocean with a sailboat floating by.
You take the Yankee Freedom II ferry to get out to the island. And you can either stay for the afternoon or you can book a campsite and stay for up to 14 days. Please note there is not electric or water at the campsites.
When you are there for the day you eat lunch on the boat and then head out to explore the fort and the surrounding island. It is such an amazing feeling to be out on an island where you can see water on both sides. The beaches provide 100’s of colorful conch shells and beautiful birds to watch.
Dry Tortugas is definitely one for your Florida bucket list!
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