Having Fun for Yourself in in the Florida Keys!
Pet Friendly Florida Keys!
Getting Out there and into it in the Florida Keys!
1) John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
The first undersea park in the U.S., John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park encompasses approximately 70 nautical square miles. This is at the north end of the Keys in Key Largo! The coral reefs and their associated marine life are... life changing! Many enjoy the view of the reef from a glass-bottom boat tour, but visitors can get a closer look by scuba diving or snorkeling. This is a must!
Canoeing and kayaking through the park's waters are popular activities; fishing is permitted in designated areas. Visitors can enjoy walking on short trails, picnicking, or swimming at the beach. The Visitor Center has a 30,000-gallon saltwater aquarium and nature videos are shown in its theater. http://pennekamppark.com/
2. Dolphin Research Center
This is one of my favorite places in the Keys. Research is going on all around you in small pools filled with marine mammals of all kinds. You can pay to actually get into the water with dolphins, or feed them,... but your really only need to gain admittance to wander around and watch happy dolphins, seals, manatees up close. http://www.dolphins.org/ - map
3. Sunset at a Pet Friendly Restaurant
Well, this is for both of you! Snook's is right on the beach on the bay side in Key Largo. There's a ledge where you can sit right on the water to enjoy the sunset. Surrounded by tiki torches, every seat has a sunset view. They offer local catch! And they are pet friendly-They welcome dogs at their outdoor dining area and at the bar. There is ample area to walk your dog as well. Often, bartenders will bring their dogs to work and you will see the owner walking her two pugs. Come by boat or car. map
4. Rent a Small Boat and...
Swim in the mangroves or get a good sea map and don't go too far offshore, but find your own place to snorkel! The mangroves are all around on the bay side of the keys, and are filled with baby fishes. It looks spooky, but it is fun and safe. We go off of Islamorada and it isn't far. But all the Keys have snorkeling spots and the local boat rental places will tell you where to go. Here's one: Robbie's, in Islamorada...http://www.robbies.com/
5. Rent a Small Boat (part 2) and...
Throw your anchor on a sandbank and party and drink beer! This is a time-honored tradition in the keys and it is hilarious. Every time you go over a bridge in the Keys you will see these sandbanks, caused by dredging so boats can go under the bridge. The water above the sand banks is about 2 inches, so people throw their little anchors a yard or two off. You can swim in with your dog. Paddle about and enjoy the warm water... you will still see little fishes and crabs and your dog will have a ball.
6. Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehab Center
The Florida Keys Wild Bird Center’s mission is to rescue, rehabilitate, and release native and migratory wild birds that have been harmed or displaced, to provide or locate a humane shelter for those birds that cannot be released, and to educate the public toward the importance of coexistence with all wild bird species. http://fkwbc.org/ - map
7. Rent a Kayak (or a Jetski)
And get out on the water! yes, your dog can get in the Kayak! Notice I keep trying to get you out on the water... it is so beautiful- the colors of blue so amazing, that I keep trying to find ways to get you out into that warm salty water. Our example: Key Largo Kayak Rental- they have mangrove groves in their purvue, which are fun to kayak thru. Their are rental agencies on all the keys.
8. See the Deer on Big Pine Key
The National Key Deer Refuge headquarters is located on Big Pine Key which is 100-miles south of Miami and 30-miles north of Key West on Highway US-1. So... a bit further down into the Keys, but not all the way to Key West. This is a huge preserve, but it isn't hard to see the deer.
9. Watch for a Manatee on the Docks
Watch for manatees around the docks. They come looking for fresh water, as the salinity in the Florida Bay has risen and they crave fresh water. This one was trying to catch a drink from the hose we were using to wash the boat. Don't water them on purpose or try to attract them- we need them to distrust man and stay wild. They have no defense, and even tho they are huge they are less scary than a kitten. You can see lobster peeking out from under docks too... but remember, only in season!
10. Hire a Captain and Go Fishing!
Dying to catch some dolphin (the mahi mahi type) and cook them up for your dinner? You can pretty much rely on success if you hire a local captain. We use Bud 'n Mary's Marina in Islamorada, but there are captains for hire at other marinas all over the keys. We went out for half a day and caught enough for several dinners' worth of dolphin and still gave 3/4 of it away. Local captains make all the difference. You have to go pretty far out, so wait for a calm day if you have a delicate sea-stomach. Most restaurants will cook up your dolphin for you.
11. Theatre of the Sea
Theater of the Sea provides a marine mammal adventure where you can swim with dolphins, sea lions, and stingrays in their natural salt water lagoons through our interactive swim programs. The lagoons, and lush, tropical gardens at are home to Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, California sea lions, sea turtles, tropical and game fish, sharks, stingrays, alligators, marine invertebrates, colorful parrots, and birds-of-prey. They also offer marine performances, glass-bottom boat tours and a beach. http://www.theaterofthesea.com/ - map
12. Key West!
-No visit to the Florida Keys is complete without a stop on Key West. Did you read "The Old Man and the Sea" ? here is Hemingway's home...or visit the infamous Duval Street, -hotspot of partying and famous drinking establishments like Sloppy Joe's at the corner of Greene and Duval. Be forewarned: it gets pretty raucous at night!
13. The Dry Tortugas
Located 70 miles west of the tropical paradise of Key West, Dry Tortugas National Park is made up of a cluster of small islands, coral reefs, and one impressive fortress. While it’s certainly not advised to make an impulsive trip to Dry Tortugas, with a little planning you and your family can make a trip to one of America’s most unique and legendary national parks.
Travel with your Pet to the Florida Keys!
Pet Friendly Florida Keys!
We want to help you bring your cat or dog on vacation to the Florida Keys!We have had tons of fun bringing our Cocker Spaniel "Duke" to the Florida Keys. That is him to the left. He love the water, loves going out on the boat, and absolutely loves fishing!
We stay at a pet friendly hotel, so haven't really even had to go to the dog parks. All the Keys are parks! and the ocean around them are parks!
Because the florida keys are so large, we made maps for every category - restaurants, pet care, vets, hotels, by owner rentals and parks. PLEASE take a look at the fun page! Now that is something we know about in the Keys! If you are serious fishermen and are going way out, maybe pet day care would be the best. Or if you want to go to a really amazing restaurant indoors. But most restaurants are pet friendly in outside seating, or close their eyes to pets under the table outside.... just fyi. here's what you need to know:
|Pet Friendly Hotels in the Florida Keys!||See our selection!|
527 Caribbean Drive, Key Largo, FL
|Marina Del Mar Resort- Key Largo
Dogs and cats accepted with no weight limit and a $25 pet fee, max. 3 pets per room. The marina is attached to the hotel, so bring your boat!
and more pet friendly hotels in the Florida Keys!
|Pet Friendly By Owner Rentals in the Florida Keys!||See our selection!|
|Home in 5-star Venture Out Gated Community on Cudjoe Key
Rental includes free use of 2 kayaks, 80' community pool and jacuzzi, salt water swimming area, marina with fuel and boat ramps, fish cleaning stations, and tennis courts. Sleeps 6, rented nightly, weekly, and monthly.
and more pet friendly by owner rentals in the Florida Keys!
|Pet Friendly Dog Parks and Beaches in the Florida Keys!||See our selection!|
Key Deer Blvd and South St, Big Pine Key, FL 33043
|Big Pine Bark Park
Free- Separate big and small dog areas, pools for dogs to cool off in. Lots of toys and water bowls everywhere, decent sized.
Hours: Sunrise- Sunset Map
|Pet Friendly Restaurants in the Florida Keys!||See our selection!|
522 Carribean Blvd
Key Largo, FL
|Sharkey's Pub & Galley Restaurant|
With a family friendly atmosphere & affordable prices. Enjoy local seafood featuring a nice selection of fresh fish prepared several ways. Try crabmeat stuffed with creamy lobster sauce, a local favorite! Seasonal specials include Stone Crab and Lobster dishes. Hours: 7:00 am - 2:00 am
Check out Pet Friendly Florida Keys for more info!