How to Spend 6 Days in Paradise in The Florida Keys

The Florida Keys are known for tropical waters, incredible coral reefs, key lime pie, and sunny weather! This slice of USA paradise is a bucket-list destination and is a trip that we’ll remember forever. The Florida Keys are comprised of multiple different islands, or Keys, and are found at the most Southern part of the continental United States. Get ready for good weather, snorkelling, water sports, great food and more in The Keys!

We spent 6-days in The Florida Keys between Key Largo and Key West exploring some of the best things to do, see, and explore on the islands. Now we’re here to share our epic adventure itinerary to help you plan your own trip and discover how to spend 6 epic days in The Florida Keys!

How to get to the Florida Keys

One of the best parts of our trip was the direct flight with Air Canada from Vancouver to Miami! I know that not everyone who reads this itinerary will be flying from Vancouver, but starting your trip in Miami is a very convenient way to travel and you’ll likely find a direct flight to this major city. From Miami, you will drive for 1 hour 20 minutes on Highway 1 to reach The Keys. 

Do you need a car in the Florida Keys?

From Miami International Airport you will need to rent a car or arrange for a shuttle to drive you 1 hour and 20 minutes to the Keys. I highly recommend renting your own vehicle to get around and explore. The drive down highway 1 has plenty of incredible views and stops along the way.

Key West is very easy to get around without a rental car and hiring a taxi or Uber will only take you 10-15 minutes to get around Key West. Another option we saw was renting a cart in Key West! You can find cart rentals, bike rentals and scooter rentals all over Key West if you need!

How many days do you need in the Florida Keys?

Since the Florida Keys are such a large area, you can expect to spend 5-7 days or extend your trip to 10-14 days and still have plenty of things to do! Our itinerary is 6-days in the Florida Keys and although we were able to do a lot of exploring, we still have so much we’d love to see and will definitely come back someday. 

Where to stay in the Florida Keys

The Florida Keys are comprised of multiple different islands, or “keys” and you’ll have plenty of options on where to stay based on your trip expectations. The two areas that we stayed in were Key Largo and Key West, and we loved both of these areas for different reasons! 

We stayed at Baker’s Cay Resort in Key Largo and this luxury resort was the perfect stay to start our trip! Baker’s Cay is located conveniently off of highway 1 and features beaches, pools, on-site restaurants/bars and water-sport rentals included in your stay. Key Largo was a fantastic area and the water, snorkelling and reefs were the most beautiful we’ve ever seen. 

We also stayed in Key West at The Perry Hotel and this location was conveniently located at the entrance of Key West! Only a quick 5-10 minute drive will take you to the centre of Key West and to the waterfront. The Perry Hotel is situated beside Stock Island Marina and with 2 pools, an on-site restaurant/bar and incredible sunset views we really enjoyed our stay here. 

When is the best time to visit the Florida Keys?

One of the best things about visiting Florida is the year-round sunshine and good weather! Whether you’re planning your visit in the Winter or Summer, you’ll enjoy beautiful weather in the Florida Keys.  

Our visit was in the middle of summer and even though August is the hottest month of the year, we really enjoyed it! We spent plenty of time outside on the water and outdoors, and if you don’t like the heat (think 30/100 degrees C/F) there are plenty of great options to keep cool in the Florida Keys! 

October to November is known to be hurricane season in Florida and if you’re going to experience rain on your trip to the Florida Keys it would be during this time. These months can bring unpredictable weather so I’d recommend packing a rain jacket and a sweater just in case!

Best things to do on a 6-day Florida Keys itinerary

Our 5-day Florida Keys itinerary includes some of the best views, best beaches, best restaurants, and best tours/activities to get you out on the water in The Keys. We split our time between Key Largo and Key West, with stops along Highway 1 throughout the other Keys. If you’re looking for the best way to spend your time in the Florida Keys, keep reading!

Day One: Arrive in Miami + drive to Key Largo

On Day One, we took a direct flight with Air Canada from Vancouver to Miami. Our flight was 6 hours and went by quickly! We picked up our rental car at the airport and drove down Highway 1 (one of the most scenic highways in the USA) and arrived in Key Largo just in time for sunset.

We checked into our hotel at Bakers Cay Resort in Key Largo, and every night the resort hands out a free glass of champagne to toast as the sun goes down over the ocean. We enjoyed dinner at the on-site restaurant called Calusa, a cuban-styled menu with fresh catch seafood before settling in for the night.

Day Two: Explore Key Largo & Tiki Cruise

We started Day Two with an early breakfast on-site at the resort before heading for our first snorkel tour with Islander Girl Tours! Key Largo is known to have some of the most beautiful and pristine coral reefs in the USA and we loved exploring underwater.

We spent some time exploring the resort at Bakers Cay and cooling off in one of their two pools. You can rent water sports equipment such as paddle boards and kayaks on their beach! We headed to Key Largo Fisheries Backyard Cafe for lunch and enjoyed some fantastic fish tacos – shrimp and Mahi Mahi.

After lunch, we booked a Tiki Fun Cruise with Cruising’ Tiki Key Largo! We spent an hour and a half on the water, stopped for a swim, enjoyed some drinks and snacks, and the group before us even saw a dolphin. This cruise was so much fun! For dinner, we went to The Fish House for their lobster pasta and catch of the day!

Day Three: Drive Highway 1 to Key West

We checked out of our hotel this morning after enjoying sunrise on the beach and started driving towards Key West on Highway 1. We stopped in Marathon to check out the Marathon Turtle Hospital for a tour to learn more about their mission to rescue, rehabilitate and release the endangered sea turtles in need.

We had lunch at the Sunset Grille with views right next to the 7 mile bridge. Driving across the 7 mile bridge has one of the best views of the ocean in The Keys! You can walk partially across the old bridge to take in the views. Make sure to stop at Bahia Honda State Park on the South side of the bridge for one of the nicest beaches in The Keys!

We made it to Key West and checked into our room at The Perry Hotel. For the rest of the night, we enjoyed the hotel facilities and spent time next to the pool on property. We made dinner reservations at the on-site restaurant called Matt’s Stock Island and ordered fresh oysters and seafood dinner before heading to bed for the night.

Day Four: Explore Key West & Sunset Cruise

Day Four was an early wake up, and we headed straight to Cuban Coffee Queen for the best cuban coffee and fantastic breakfast sandwich on cuban flatbread. We had booked the Double Dip Snorkel Tour with Fury Key West to see the incredible reefs, fish and bright blue waters of Key West!

We had some free time in the afternoon to explore Key West, so we started with lunch at Kermit’s Cafe and enjoyed a chocolate dipped key lime pie on a stick! We walked to the Key West Butterfly Conservatory for a self-guided tour and continued to climb to the top of the Key West Lighthouse for views of Key West from above.

We ended the night with the Wind & Wine Sunset Cruise with Danger Charters and witnessed the most beautiful Florida Keys sunset over the ocean. This tour provided us with wine tastings and appetizers while we sailed until the sun went down. After sunset, we had dinner at Half Shell Raw Bar for their delicious, fresh stuffed crab.

Day Five: Downtown Key West

Our final full day in Key West consisted of exploring downtown, eating good food, and finding local hidden gems.

When it was time for lunch, we wanted to check out Conch Republic Seafood Company! We walked by many times and were intrigued by how busy it was and their boat parked in the marina catching fresh seafood daily. The catch of the day was Mahi Mahi and we had the best sandwich! We went for a tour of Key West’s First Legal Rum Distillery and had the best Pina colada from chef Paul Menta.

We had asked locals for a dinner recommendation and were told to check out El Siboney Restaurant for authentic Cuban food that is a local favourite. We had empanadas, shredded beef with plantains and yellow rice, and soft cuban bread! For our last sunset in The Keys we went to Fort Zachary Taylor State Park to watch the sun go down one last time.

Day Six: Drive Highway 1 back to Miami

It was time to check out and drive Highway 1 back to Miami, and we started with breakfast at Blue Heaven. This spot is known for their dreamy homemade banana bread and lobster for breakfast! We said goodbye to Key West and enjoyed the ocean views from the highway.

Before we left the Keys, we stopped in Islamorada to have lunch at the Hungry Tarpon Restaurant for our last fish tacos and to feed to tarpon at Robbie’s of Islamorada. Robbie’s is a must, and this one of a kind experience with the large tarpon fish will be something you’ll never forget! The hungry fish bite, but their teeth won’t hurt!

We enjoyed our final views of The Florida Keys on Highway 1 and headed back to Miami International Airport for our direct flight back to Vancouver. We experienced an incredible sunset from the sky and reminisced on our memories made in The Florida Keys!

Final Thoughts on the Florida Keys

The Florida Keys might just be the most beautiful part of Florida in my opinion, and this tropical vacation destination in the USA is popular for a reason! There is so much to do and see in The Florida Keys and it’s important to respect the island. This includes respecting the locals, leaving The Keys better than you found it, and protecting the precious coral reefs with reef-friendly sunscreen.

This blog is in paid partnership with The Florida Keys Tourism and you can find more information on The Florida Keys Visitor Website. Also, make sure to check out our USA blog posts for more USA Inso. This is a bucket-list trip in the USA that I think everyone should explore and I hope we’ve inspired your travels to The Keys!

Comments (1)

  • Sandy

    August 16, 2023 at 12:07 am

    Very informative post filled with tons of great suggestions!

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