Top Honeymoon Destinations: The Florida Keys

Posted by Jeffra on Jan 04, 2012

Guest Post By: Brandon, co-founder of Traveler’s Joy

Like a chain of pearls, the Florida Keys stretch 150 miles southwest from extreme southern Florida, separating the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean. Comprised of more than 400 islands, the Keys have attracted visitors for many decades, most notably writers, artists, fishermen, and free-spirited folks searching for perennial sunshine and peaceful waters.

Honeymooners are also taking notice of this beautiful and diverse region. With numerous outdoor activities (distinguished by a vibrant underwater ecosystem), a variety of resort offerings, and exciting sights and attractions, all in a tropical setting, newlyweds can experience the honeymoon of their dreams without ever leaving the country.

From Carnivals to Craft Beer in Key West

With its party atmosphere, laid-back vibe, and seemingly endless attractions, Key West is often the feature destination for newlyweds when visiting the Keys.

First, get your shopping fix along Duval and Greene Streets before making your way north towards Mallory Square. The popular waterfront area is one of the city’s main focal points and a top spot for people watching. Be sure to go a few hours before sunset (however, beware when cruise ships are in port) and take in the carnival-like atmosphere, complete with street performers, live music, local crafts, and fresh food.

Foodies should next head to Blue Heaven for a slice of key lime pie, a Key West staple. While “Parrotheads” may find themselves wandering over to Margaritaville, couples must certainly visit The Porch, a favorite among locals and visitors for its craft beer selection and welcoming atmosphere.

{The Porch, Key West FL – Photo Source: The Porch}

Drop your bags at Casa Marina Resort (starting at $189/night) located directly on the beach in the southern section of town. It’s a sleek and sophisticated property with a swimmable beach and within easy walking distance to the city’s best shopping and restaurants.

From Diving to Deep-Sea Fishing and Everything in Between

Whether deep-sea fishing, snorkeling, or kayaking is in the cards for your honeymoon, the Keys offer some of the best warm-weather outdoor experiences in the country.

Key Largo is the self-proclaimed “Dive Capital of the World” and home to John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, a true underwater playground for divers and snorkelers. All the while, just 60 miles to the south on the Overseas Highway, Bahia Honda State Park is renowned for its stunning beaches and spectacular sunsets. Kayaking is a favorite activity here as visitors can explore the area’s turquoise waters and hidden coves at their own pace.

{Bahia Honda State Park, Florida Keys – Photo Source: Bahia Honda State Park}

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for an unforgettable sunset cruise or deep-sea fishing trip, head to Garrison Bight Marina in Key West. Family-owned and operated, Almost There Charters provides nearly a dozen different fishing experiences, including a 10-hour excursion that will hopefully have you reeling in mahi-mahi and barracuda.

From Hemingway to Camping Under the Stars

As the southernmost point in the continental U.S. and longtime location of several key military facilities, the Key West region features a surprising amount of historic sites and museums. Whether you’re a history buff or not, a visit to the area wouldn’t be complete without a tour of the region’s most notable spots.

First begin in Old Town by checking out historic Key West Cemetery before making your way to the Audubon House & Tropical Gardens, the first restoration project ever in the city. The 19th-century site is a perfect example of Key West architecture and home to orchids and a 1840s-style nursery. Meanwhile, the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum is a must-visit attraction for any visitor to Key West. Highlighted by dozens of meandering cats and meticulous grounds, guided tours are extremely informative and open 365 days a year.

{Dry Tortugas National Park, Photo Source:}

Don’t miss out on an excursion to Dry Tortugas National Park, a small group of islands located just 70 miles west of Key West. After arriving via seaplane or ferry, you’ll be able to explore the area’s amazing coral formations, get up close to diverse marine life, and wander around historic structures while learning about the area’s pirate past. Take a tour of impressive Fort Jefferson, a giant military fortress constructed during the mid-1800s. Consider spending the night tenting out under the stars on the island, truly an unforgettable experience.

Brandon | co-founder of Traveler’s Joy

Brandon often found himself purchasing generic wedding gifts for friends and family who shared his passion for travel and preferred a once in a lifetime honeymoon experience. In 2004 he co-founded Traveler’s Joy honeymoon registry to help couples take the honeymoon of their dreams. After having his own honeymoon in northern Wisconsin and Zanzibar, he and his colleagues live vicariously through the couples that use Traveler’s Joy to have an unbelievable honeymoon. When Brandon isn’t researching new honeymoon spots, cycling, gardening, or working, you’ll likely find him on the back porch with family and friends cooking BBQ or playing with his daughter. Brandon spends his time in Wilmington, Delaware and Durham, North Carolina.