John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
102601 Overseas Hwy., Key Largo
The tropical waters of Key West are home to some of the most protected living coral reefs in the country. There are tons of outfits offering kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, and even glass-bottom boat tours, but we like the in-house folks at John Pennekamp, which is a massive underwater park (statues, sculptures, and the like) that justifies the drive. They’re also nicely attuned to visitors’ wishes and skill levels.
58000 Card Sound Rd., Key Largo
Seafood is understandably abundant here, and there’s really no better place for conch fritters than Alabama Jack’s in Key Largo. But you should come here just as much for the ambiance as the food as it’s a bit of a haul from Key West. It looks like a standard roadside dive (there are dedicated motorcycle parking spots out front) except that it sits on a floating barge with insane views of the creek and neighboring mangroves. Come on a weekend for live music and dancing.