Leaving the megacity of Miami, this one-day road trip provides a stunning outing for a few friends and an opportunity to explore the Florida Keys with all its rich diversity of activities. Florida is known as a good place to vacation, and with its reliably warm weather, it's not hard to see why.
But there's more to the Sunshine State than beaches, palm trees, and theme parks - although it has those too if that's what you're looking for. Hop in an RV and explore more of this unique part of the US.
A quick sixty five mile hop will bring you to the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park which was established in 1963. Located in Key Largo, the first of the Florida Keys, this marine park is situated on the third-largest coral barrier in the world. Here the water is warm and clear and provides a near-perfect place for snorkeling.
The trails that lead to the beach will wind you through tropical vegetation where you will be sure to see shorebirds and upon reaching the beach you have options as to how you would like to view the marine life. Glass bottomed boats will suit those who don’t fancy getting wet, while snorkeling or diving options are plentiful for the more adventurous.
You may be a little famished after your morning adventure and this next visit, which is just fifteen minutes away, is bound to alleviate that problem. Blond Giraffe Key Lime Pie Factory started in 1999 as a restaurant.
The Key Lime pie was such a success that they were almost obliged to specialize in making pies to keep up with the demand. They have won many awards for their heavenly meringue peaks sitting atop a tangy-sweet filling, and all this presented in a buttery pie crust.
If a whole pie seems intimidating, then try just a slice dipped in chocolate and served on a stick.
Another six-mile ride will bring you to Rain Barrel Village which has been around for forty years. Here you will be able to stroll through a tropical garden surrounded by artists in quirky and unique little shops. Often the artists will be on-site and you can watch them work or ask questions about the various techniques. With more than five hundred artists represented including glass blowers, painters and ceramists there is something to appeal to every taste.
This is a great place to enjoy an outdoor lunch and one dish you really ought to consider is the Maine lobster roll, accompanied by one of the local smoothies or a cold beer. Another option on the drinks front is the signature pina colada.
Another hour and a half along your route will bring you to the turtle hospital. This working animal hospital specializes in rescuing injured sea turtles and rehabilitating them so that they can be released back to the wild.
For visitors, there is a ninety-minute guided tour which gives an in-depth explanation to the organization's work and when you have finished, you get to feed some of the local residents.
The final leg of your day trip will take an hour, and you will be driving over the Seven Mile Bridge. This is sure to give you the feeling that you are driving in the sea, and you will finish in Key West. Once there head to Mallory Square where you can watch the pastel-colored sun sink into the Gulf of Mexico. You will be joined by locals and a variety of street performers for the perfect ending to a short but adventure-packed road trip.