Next Stop: Family Fun in the Florida Keys!

It’s not always easy to find the perfect vacation destination once you’ve got a family. Parents just want to relax and snooze by the pool while the kiddos generally want to Go! Go! Go!

Guess what? Problem solved. Head to the Florida Keys. No matter what the ages of your children, there’s something for everyone in this tropical paradise.

Florida Keys - Aerial View

Florida Keys – Aerial View

It’s easy to keep kids occupied in the Florida Keys and once they’re exhausted from a full day of adventure and activity, Mom and Dad can kick back with a sunset cocktail and maybe even get to sleep in! Below are a few of our favorite Florida Keys attractions.

It doesn’t matter where you go in life…as long as you go to the beach.

Fun in the sun abounds at a variety of sandy, palm-lined beaches. Kick your beach tour off at Key Colony Beach in the middle Florida Keys where you won’t be far from all the major attractions of the Florida Keys – you can even make a day trip to Key West with ease, but we promise, you’ll have plenty to do within a few miles of KCB!

In nearby Marathon you’ll have access to Sombrero Beach, which features smooth white sand. Offshore are some great snorkeling spots – Coffins Patch Sombrero Lighthouse – both areas are easily accessible by a short boat ride. Treat your family to the top snorkeling spot in all of the Keys and see live sponges and hard and soft corals and a myriad of tropical fish.

Paddling kayaks in Curry Hammock State Park, Florida Keys

Paddling kayaks in Curry Hammock State Park, Florida Keys

Another popular beach activity is renting kayaks to explore off-shore islands. Weave in and out of mangrove forests and be on the lookout for marine birds and other wildlife. Two-person kayaks are on hand for younger kids to paddle along with Mom or Dad. Ring up Big Pine Fish Camp to find out when they’re running the next full moon paddle!

A day spent fishing is a day well spent.

Family friendly party fishing boats are a great way to take your family out on a fishing adventure of a lifetime, without breaking the bank. From the deck of a party boat you’ll have a blast hauling in a wide variety of tasty fish for your dinner. You may cook it yourself back at your vacation rental or take it to a local chef – most area restaurants are happy to cook your catch.

If you’re worried about sea sickness but still want to have some fun with the fishies, head to Robbie’s Rent-a-Boat. Kids love tossing handfuls of herring to the prehistoric tarpon that gather around Robbie’s pier. For just $2 a bucket, you won’t find more fun for your buck anywhere else in the Keys!

Tarpon feeding at Robbie's

Tarpon feeding at Robbie’s

Take the kids to meet creatures from the deep.

Have fun and learn about conservation and sea life at the same time!

Two of the most popular attractions for families with young children are the Dolphin Research Center on Grassy Key and the Turtle Hospital in Marathon.

At the Dolphin Research Center your family will have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to slide into your swimsuits and climb into the water with nature’s most majestic animal, the dolphin. At the Turtle Hospital they’ll meet “BubbleButt” and learn about the challenges facing Florida’s sea turtles.

Prepare for me to board ye ship!

Marathon’s Crane Point Hammock and Museum is a big time favorite with pirate lovers. Why? Well, their interactive pirate ship, Los Niños de los Cayos, may have something to do with it.

The exhibit provides authentic pirate costumes to help kids go back in time and imagine they’re part of the Keys’ 1600’s era swashbuckling history. Parents will love the interactive nature trails and the historic Adderly House, the oldest home in the Florida Keys outside of Key West.

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