With quartz sandy beaches and sparkling waters, it’s no surprise that the Florida Keys is home to many scenic parks. If you’re planning a visit and want to know where to get your fix of the great outdoors, check out our round-up of the most beautiful in town.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
You don’t have to drive too far to reach the John Pennekamp Park, as it’s perched just along Key Largo. The country’s first underwater park has a variety of activities for visitors to try like kayaking, canoeing, hiking and of course, snorkeling. Visitors can opt for a scuba diving or snorkeling tour of the sea, which is home to colorful coral reefs and the bronze statue of Christ of the Abyss. Rentals for bikes, kayaks and canoes are available on site, as are designated picnic areas and barbecue grills. Swimming is possible at Canon Beach where visitors can even find remnants of a Spanish shipwreck 100 feet (30 metres) off shore.
Bahia Honda State Park
A peaceful getaway from the hustle and bustle from the city, Bahia Honda Park offers miles of white sandy beaches dotted with lazy palm trees and clear blue waters. Go for a stroll along the shore, or venture in the open waters by kayak. There’s plenty of bird-watching and marine life to spot like the bottle-nosed dolphin. The park is accessible via boat or via the Old Bahia Honda Bridge.
Dry Tortugas National Park
About 70 miles (113 km) west of Key West, the cluster of tiny islands that form the Dry Tortugas park is only accessible by boat or seaplane. Though less than 1% of the park is dry ground, there is enough earth to pitch a tent and enjoy the campgrounds. Swimming is a popular activity as is snorkeling and scuba diving. The park’s crystal-clear waters are teeming with coral and shipwrecks worth exploring.
Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park
Explore this Civil War-era fort from the 1800s for a unique insight into the area’s history. The historic fort was built to guard the harbor of Key West during the Civil War, Spanish American War, World War I and World War II, as well as the Cuban Missile Crisis. Guided tours of the fort and the collection of seacoast guns are available daily. The park features two hiking trails – the Tropical Hammock Trail and the Fort View nature trail – with views of the fort from the outside. In addition, visitors may also fish, swim, kayak and picnic in the park.
Indian Key Historic Park
Just off Islamorada, the Indian Key Historic Park is a tiny island with ruins. The 11-acre island was inhabited in the 1800s by Jacob Housman who purchased the land to salvage shipwrecks. The island is completely desolated aside from the stone foundations that still remain since then, making it an interesting spot to discover while on a trip to the Keys.
San Pedro Underwater Archaeological Preserve State Park
This spot is just a swim off Indian Key for those wishing to explore the waters of this undersea park. Snorkelers and scuba divers can explore the underwater treasures of the park to discover the 287-ton Dutch built ship called the San Pedro, which sank in a hurricane in 1733. The underwater site also has replicas of cannons, an anchor and an information plaque, and beautiful marine life to explore.
Key West Marine Park
The 40-acre park on the south side of Key West is another popular spot for snorkeling and fishing. Visitors can access the park by boat, and dock at the marina, but foot and car traffic can arrive through South Beach, Dog Beach and Higgs Beach. There are also designated snorkeling areas marked by buoys where swimmers and snorkelers can swim down under to see snapper, crabs and other marine life living in the soft and hard coral and seagrasses.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.