Key West, Florida. Photo by Paul Heney.
The Florida Keys are a great destination for travelers looking to enjoy Caribbean-blue waters, beautiful beaches and time away from social media and technology without a passport this summer.
With ample outdoor experiences to enjoy and plenty of different accommodation styles to help a traveler “unplug” after a long few months working remotely or for those just wanting a screen cleanse, the Florida Keys are a great option.
The Keys are also a great destination for nature lovers and responsible travelers. Travelers can participate in voluntourism initiatives such as spending an afternoon caring for rehabilitated birds at the Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center, maintaining nature trails for the Florida Keys Wildlife Society or other memorable experiences.
The destination’s tourism website now includes a whole section on sustainable travel experiences, with recommendations for everything from transportation to accommodations and more. Florida’s Green Lodging program currently identifies eleven certified ‘Green Lodges’ or accommodations on Key West alone.
Ernest Hemingway’s home at 907 Whitehead St in Key West. (Photo by Laurence Norah courtesy of Florida Keys News Bureau)
Between visiting the Keys’ two national wildlife refuges and doing other fun outdoor experiences, they should also take some time to visit the region’s literary gems, like the historic house of Ernest Hemingway and the Tennessee Williams Museum, which are both sure to inspire. Who knows? With all the distractions of technology, you might find yourself penning the next greatest novel during your trip.
Travelers should spend some time detoxing from their screens in the easiest way possible: scuba diving and snorkeling.
The Florida Keys offer some incredible opportunities for snorkeling and diving in Florida. Off of Key Largo, travelers can immerse themselves in the underwater world of Spiegel Grove, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Spiegel Grove, once a Navy Landing Ship Dock, was sunk twenty years ago to create an artificial reef to provide shelter for marine life.
It’s the third-largest ship to be intentionally sunk to form an artificial reef and today lies sixty feet underwater. It’s recommended that only experienced divers should dive this wreck, though the Keys offer those without diving certifications ample opportunities for snorkeling, too.
The country’s first undersea park is Key Largo’s John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, where snorkelers can find the 9-foot tall “Christ of the Deep” sculpture. Other great shallow snorkeling areas include Davis Reef, Alligator Reef, French Reef and Sombrero Reef, which can be found across the islands.
The Florida Keys offers plenty of different accommodation types, ranging from resorts to vacation rentals to beachside campsites, offering a great variety of types for any type of traveler, including campers.
PHOTO: Pool views at Ocean Key Resort & Spa. (photo via Noble House Hotels & Resorts, Ltd.)
For those who’d like to unplug without sacrificing any modern conveniences or who’d like a more traditional luxury resort experience, Ocean Key Resort & Spa in Key West is currently offering an “Incommunicado in the Keys” package, available now through September 30, 2022.
Beginning at $5,250 for a three-night minimum stay, the package includes Boutique Suite accommodations with ocean views, daily waterfront breakfasts for two, daily signature cocktails on the Sunset Pier, one free dinner at Hot Tin Roof, a Mojito welcome amenity and charcuterie board upon arrival and a “LET GO” beach bag amenity kit.