Underwater Music Festival
Explore part of the continental United States’ only living coral barrier reef Saturday, July 7, off the Florida Keys -- while rocking to a unique sub-sea concert dedicated to reef protection. It’s the annual Lower Keys Underwater Music Festival, and it’s unlike any other dive or snorkel experience on the planet. The “Only in the Keys” adventure takes place each year at Looe Key Reef, an area of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary about 6 miles south of Big Pine Key. Broadcast underwater by a Keys radio station, the music enhances the underwater experience for divers discovering the Keys’ fantastic realm of tropical fish, coral formations and other marine life. Some participants wear costumes, portraying everything from mermaids to rock stars, and a few even pretend to play underwater instruments sculpted by a Florida Keys artist. It’s all designed to encourage preservation of the Keys’ rich coral reef ecosystem.
Places to stay
Dry Tortugas - Remote Island Camping in the Keys
Few visitors to Key West take the ferry 70 miles to the Dry Tortugas National Park. Even fewer camp under the stars next to historic Fort Jefferson. Those who do are rewarded with world-class snorkeling, kayaking, wildlife watching and an island almost all to themselves.
Experience the Florida Keys in 60 Seconds.
Enjoy this beautiful drone flight over The Keys.
Better Than You Found It
We should leave the world better than we found it. Explore how we do that in The Keys.
Adventures in the Keys
Throughout the Florida Keys, visitors can discover captivating adventures that can’t be enjoyed anywhere except in the subtropical island chain — like “meeting” tiny indigenous Key deer, exploring the world’s first underwater park, or savoring the spectacle at Key West’s nightly Sunset Celebration. They can even attend a musical festival beneath the sea!
Things To Do
You can mingle with flamingos in Key West. Nature lovers can find out during a once-a-day "Flamingle" experience at the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory ! "Flamingle" is an hour-long encounter, where human participants sit in a white gazebo overlooking the pond and lushly planted conservatory. The 6-year-old male and female breeding pair, Rhett and Scarlett, walk free and interact as they choose.
Cable and Adventure Park
Located at MM 59.3 on Grassy Key is a watersports cable park where adrenaline enthusiasts and curious newcomers can safely and cost-effectively participate in wake-boarding, wake-skating, water skiing and kite-boarding — as well as discover hidden gems of green and sustainable gardens, foodstuffs, artwork and more. The facility is billed as the USA’s first cable park to offer full kite-boarding instruction. The cable system is an overhead towing device used to pull riders across the 7-acre lake. The park offers full equipment rentals as well as instructional and private coaching.
Things To Do
Want to hunt the skittish gray ghost of the flats, the bonefish? Come to the Keys. Feel like battling a reel-emptying blue marlin? Come to the Keys. Want to sit in a beach chair, sipping a cold cocktail while watching your bobber dance in the current? Come to the Keys. The tropical weather, nearby Gulf Stream and 120-mile-long arc of islands that make up the Florida Keys create one of the world’s best fishing environments. Off the Keys’ “outer” curve lies the Atlantic Ocean. Warm and shallow near shore, the ocean reaches depths of more than 600 feet just 11 miles offshore in the Upper Keys. Near Key West, 600-foot depths are just over five miles from shore. Travel another 12 to 15 miles south, and depths begin to approach 2,000 feet. Keys deep-sea fishing — ideally with a first-class local charter captain — means targeting some of the world’s greatest sportfish: sailfish, swordfish and marlin.
Ernest Hemingway fans celebrate the late author’s literary accomplishments and colorful Key West lifestyle each July. The annual Hemingway Days festivities salute the legacy of the Nobel Prize winner who lived and wrote on the island for most of the 1930s. Events include the famed Hemingway® Look-Alike Contest, prose and poetry readings, the tongue-in-cheek “Running of the Bulls,” symposium presentations and a film evening, a look-alike “party” on Hemingway’s July 21 birthday, running and paddleboarding challenges, a lively street fair and a high-stakes three-day marlin tournament recalling his passion for Florida Keys angling.
Things To Do
Meet “patients” at a pioneering sea turtle hospital. Encounter rescued sea turtles during a behind-the-scenes tour of the planet’s first licensed veterinary hospital specializing in these fascinating creatures. A dedicated team at Marathon’s Turtle Hospital rescues, rehabilitates and nurtures sick and injured turtles and, whenever possible, releases them back into the ocean. Since it opened over 30 years ago, the hospital has treated and rehabilitated nearly 2,000 injured sea turtles and assisted scores of hatchlings gone astray after leaving their nests. Occasionally it’s possible to witness a turtle release — a truly heartwarming experience.
Things To Do
Yoga enthusiasts can appreciate the oldest practice of self-development as it was originally intended, in glorious sunshine and on tranquil waters. Paddleboard yoga classes combine mind and body relaxation, with healthful exercise and an eco-friendly adventure. Classes are tailored to individual needs and are suitable for beginners through practitioners of advanced yoga.