Dubbed the "island paradise" of the United States, Florida Keys is the best destination for those who love the natural beauty and diving enthusiasts.
Florida Keys is a coral archipelago in the southeastern United States. The small islands in the archipelago lie along the Florida Strait, extending over 110 miles between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Florida Keys owns a pristine beauty including outstanding destinations such as Dry Tortugas National Park, Fort Zachary Taylor Historical Park, Bahia Honda State Park... Let's go to Florida Keys now to take advantage of the exciting experiences in this beautiful wild paradise.
Dry Tortugas National Park belongs to the Dry Tortugas Islands made up of 7 islands in the Gulf of Mexico, a destination not to be missed in the journey to discover Florida Keys. Closer to Cuba than mainland America, this hundreds of square miles of marine sanctuary currently houses a famous American historic monument, the Fort Jefferson Memorial. The hexagonal fortress built in the 19th century is one of America's largest monolithic brick structures.
How to get there: To get to this isolated national park, you can either travel by ferry or rent a watercraft service from Key West. The national park is located on an extremely pristine island so bring all necessary things (food, water, clothes, ...). Besides, visitors can plan an overnight camping in the Garden Key, located in the national park, just south of Fort Jefferson. Prepare a tent in advance or you can rent directly and reserve a campsite when buying a ferry ticket to make sure there is room.
Good time to visit the place: The National Park is open year round so you can come here anytime. It takes about 5 hours by ferry from Key West to the island (from 10:15 to 15:00). You can plan your trip in April and May to witness the migration of more than 200 species of spring birds, or at the end of May and early June to see sea turtles. The weather is quite warm in winter, but it can be very windy. The sea surface is calm and the weather is cool, but a tropical storm is always likely to occur at any time.
Things to do: Take a ferry from Key West to the Garden Key and camp overnight there. Visit and explore Fort Jefferson historic fortress, make outdoor American tours on the island such as diving to see tropical corals, colorful marine life of the ocean, ... In addition, explore areas other than the Garden Key such as the Bush Key. There is a bridge connecting the two areas, you can walk there if during the opening time (Bush Key is closed around February to mid-September to protect the birds nesting).
Fun fact: When Spanish explorer Ponce de León first found the islands in 1513, he named them Las Tortugas (The Turtles) because it was a turtle kingdom. sea. Later, due to the lack of fresh water, the island was changed from "Las" to "Dry", which means "dry".
The National Key Deer Refuge on Big Pine Key is a place to protect endangered deer, especially the Key deer, a subspecies of white-tailed deer. Their size is only the same as the golden retriever, currently only found in the Lower Florida Keys. Before visiting the area, stop at the Florida Keys National Wildlife Rescue Center to get a map and learn hiking tips as well as information about experiential activities. . The center also has the FAVOR bookstore (Friends and Volunteers of Refuges: Florida Keys). Proceeds from the sale of books are used to support the protection of animals.
The sunrise and sunset are the best times to see the wildlife here. Of course deer are also considered wild animals, so touching them or feeding them is prohibited.
Fort Zachary Taylor Historical Park is named after the fortress built in 1866 and originated from the 12th President of the United States, Zachary Taylor. The park owns beautiful beaches, is considered one of the best diving places. The clear water and abundant marine life make visitors come here for a great experience. The best time to dive is in the early morning, then spend the rest of the day on a tour exploring the structure and design of the historic park. The trip will not be complete if you do not witness the spectacular sunsets in the western part of the park, the intersection between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. This is considered one of the unique sunset views of Key West.
Bahia Honda State Park owns the most beautiful beaches of Florida Keys, providing the best diving services. You will have a snorkeling experience with sea creatures like conch, coral, lobster and colorful tropical fish. However, the best experience in this park is scuba diving at Looe Key Sanctuary. The depth of the water changes for divers of all levels of experience to see the diverse primary coral reefs with 50 different species. In addition, the shallow water surrounding Bahia Honda is suitable for kayaking at sea.
Watch next: Florida Keys Overview Video