Things to do in the Florida Keys — Road Trip

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Video Summary

Things to do in the Florida Keys -Roadtrip

┬áThis “How To Do Florida” segment is presented by VISIT FLORIDA. – Today on the show, we head south on the overseas highway, as we take you on the ultimate road trip. ‘Cause we’re showing you how to do the Florida Keys. We’ll travel southwest on US 1, stopping in Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon, Big Pine Key, and finally Key West. First up, we’re headed to Key Largo. Get up close and personal with some amazing marine life at the world famous John Pennekamp State Park, America’s first designated underwater sea preserve.

Snorkeling and scuba tours, along with glass bottom boats give visitors a chance to view this spectacular submerged sanctuary. All told, there’s an entire underwater world that awaits exploration in the Florida Keys. You know, the number one attraction here in the Florida Keys, are its reefs. In fact, no other reef system in the world has more visitors, viewers, and watchers than the Florida Keys reef system, and scientists in the Florida Keys are working to maintain coral reefs for future generations, an innovative program to nurture, and plant farm-raised coral, has been developed by Key Largo’s core restoration foundation, giving hope to reefs around the world.

The Coral Restoration Foundation invites volunteers with dive experience to plant coral onto struggling reefs. This groundbreaking program was developed right here in our Florida Keys. Welcome to Islamorada. Chartering a boat with an experienced captain is one of the best ways to ensure an unforgettable fishing experience. And if you love fishing, well, welcome to heaven. Islamorada and the Upper Keys is considered the sport fishing capital of the world. When you’re in Islamorada, a must see is the History of Diving Museum. Dive equipment through the ages has been beautifully preserved and displayed to help tell the story of man’s quest to conquer the ocean’s deep. One of my favorite things about the History of Diving Museum, the helium bar. (laughing) Oh, man. Well, we’ve arrived in Marathon, a 16 mile group of absolutely spectacular islands here in the Florida Keys. The Keys are a great place to learn to become certified for scuba diving. But if you’re not certified, there’s another way to explore the under sea world.

Take the simplicity of snorkeling, and combine it with the experience of breathing underwater, and you’ve got snuba. Instead of having tanks of air strapped to your back, swimmers get their air through long hoses connected to tanks on a pontoon raft at the surface. This is way beyond snorkeling, it’s basically scuba diving on a leash. I’m loving this snuba thing. (sighs) Take it in. The wide open spaces of Big Pine Key, and the Lower Keys. Looking around it’s clear why they call this the natural Keys.

You won’t find crowds here, or in any of the Lower Keys, just pristine back country, filled with beautiful wildlife like great white herons, and the tiny Key deer. The tranquil waters of the Lower Florida Keys is an excellent locale for exploring nature by kayak. The quiet, shallow backwater of the flats and mangrove forest is largely untraveled, unspoiled, and teeming with fascinating plant and animal life. While kayaking you’ll see one of the world’s most diverse marine life eco systems. The Lower Florida Keys are also known for beautiful, laid-back beaches, where the snorkeling is amazing.

In fact, Sandspur Beach at Bahia Honda State Park near Big Pine Key has repeatedly been voted one of America’s best beaches. Whoo! Well we are on the world famous Duval street, which means one thing, we’re in Key West. And believe me, this place is a carnival, sights, and sounds. If you’re looking for a getaway that’s exotic and unique, then look no more, Key West is full of character, and characters. Take a stroll down the world famous Duval Street, you’ll find restaurants, bars, and art galleries. This is a city where chickens roam, and poets run free, and at dusk, everyone gathers for the sunset celebration. Mostly known for fishing, water sports, and it’s gorgeous historic sites. Key West is also known for it’s spectacular wreck diving. While some wreck’s fail to bad weather, or poor navigation, others were sunken purposely to create artificial reefs. For the past 30 years, Florida has developed one of the largest artificial reef programs in the world. Some of them lie along the Florida Keys Shipwreck Heritage Trail, stretching from Key Largo all the way to Key West. Divers in the Keys can find everything from 18th century Spanish shipwreck sites to the wrecks of modern military ships.

In the Florida Keys, artists and artisans are as plentiful as palm trees and key lime pie. The Key’s colorful heritage of art and culture has attracted writers, artists, and musicians and performers from all over the world. Acrylic on coconut, only in the Florida Keys. Old Key West is kept alive through a large collection of museums, including the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum which showcases one of the greatest sunken treasures ever discovered, the famous shipwreck of the Atocha. (crowd cheering) The ruby red high-heeled shoe that drops at midnight on New Years Eve from Bourbon Street Pub on Duval Street kicks off a year of non-stop celebrations. (crowd cheering) From seafood festivals to street parties, to music festivals and art shows, the ongoing festivals capture the bohemian spirit that define the Florida Keys.

This was an unforgettable journey, but really, we’ve only scratched the surface of all the amazing adventures awaiting to be discovered right here in the Florida Keys. – [Narrator] This “How To Do Florida” segment was presented by VISIT FLORIDA.

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Key Largo to Key West: Best of the Florida Keys

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Key Largo to Key West:

Video Summary:

Today we begin in Key Largo, and also make our way all the way down to Key West, as we share with you some of our finest memories. But first up, we take you on an undersea petting zoo experience, and go to Key Largo. You’re going to love it. One of the greatest dives in the place is Captain Slate’s Creature Feature. He and his pets that were underwater have entertained divers for over 30 years. Through the years, Captain Slate has formed a name for himself by his extreme, and some would say eccentric, process of feeding these creatures.

What an experience to be close to these spectacular fish. The key event of the creature feature could be seeing Captain Slate feed Psycho the barracuda. I do need to to stress as Captain Slate continues to be feeding in this place for more than 30 years to not try this on your own, and has developed a rapport with one of these creatures. The dive lasts about thirty minutes at 40 feet down. Therefore it’s a fantastic experience for beginning divers. Investigating marine life underwater, unquestionably among the most awesome ways to do Florida. Hey, next up it is back casting, with a bit of stripping, as we show you how to do fly fishing and line management. Our day would start early, with a 45-minute boat ride into the Everglades National Park.

[Larry] Good job, guy. Observe your line, keep it away from your own feet. And it’s the best fish, a snook, delightful. Writer Isaac Walton called fly fishing the contemplative man’s recreation. Well, Isaac was right, because I spent most of the day considering what the heck I was doing. This where you set your hand right here, Larry? A sport in all my life has never so humbled me. It was clearly one of the very intense and enjoyable fishing experiences I Have ever had.

As we show you the way to do lobstering to tickle a number of the most tasty bugs on this particular planet. Lobstering in the Florida Keys is a longstanding Florida convention. It’s as if Spanish gold is sprinkled all throughout the Keys every year. And the treasure hunt is on. Islamorada is one of the premier places to hunt lobster. It is lots of persistence and also fun, safe, and having a little luck, you’ll be feasting on among God’s best gifts to man, the Florida spiny lobster. The water is warm and wonderful. And more to the point, accessible to snorklers. And also you is able to see where they get their name, they are full of– – [Guide] Whoa. – They’re full of spines, and they are slick. Lobstering definitely gets into your blood.

Wish to test another spot? We are trying to find lobster, so we have got to keep looking. Whew! I found myself getting excited about bringing my family down here to have lobstering in the Florida Keys, which is really a unique Florida encounter. I’d encourage you to come down here and give it a go. And now, we’re taking the international highway to its final stop. That is right, the southernmost city, Key West, as we show you the way to do wreck diving in America.

This retired US Air Force missile tracking ship was deliberately sunk off the coast of Key West in May of 2009. With her final mission complete, the USS Vandenburg is now the second-largest artificial reef in the world. The superstructure is only 45 feet below the top, which makes it a simple, accessible dive, since this boat is really massive. Wreck diving does not compare to any other diving experience I’ve ever had. Descending into the depths, seeing the remains of a once-great military boat resting in peace, was mystical and exciting. The life that appeared from all was inspiring, mesmerizing, and unforgettable. The locals call the islands which make up the Florida Keys the Conch Republic. That is because, despite the fact that the Florida Keys is technically a part of Florida, it simply looks and feel like a whole other area down here. It is an absolute Mecca for water sports fishing, and also a cool, laid back lifestyle like in the Sunshine State. Experiencing the Florida Keys is certainly one of my personal favorite approaches to do Florida.

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As found on Youtube