logo
g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Career
Computers
Education
Family
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
Money
News & Politics
Relationships
Religion & Spirituality
Sports
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

dailyclick
Bored? Games!
Nutrition
Postcards
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

new
Creativity
Family Travel
Southwest USA
Irish Culture
Home Finance
Comedy Movies
Romance Novels


dailyclick
All times in EST

Full Schedule
g
g Island Travel Site

BellaOnline's Island Travel Editor

g

Florida Keys - An Ecotourism Spring Break


Back in my college days I thought the whole “spring break in Florida” thing was pretty exciting. Now? Well, I prefer to stay as far away as possible from those drunken crowds. But that doesn’t mean I have to completely avoid Florida in the spring. I’d probably not go in March when college crowds are at their height, but early February is actually a good time to visit the Florida Keys. It’s one of the best months weather-wise and the Keys are such a nice getaway from the dreary winter weather elsewhere!

Head southwest about 15 miles from Miami, jump on Highway 1 and you’ll find yourself leaving the mainland U.S. and heading into the tropical haven of the Florida Keys. The “Overseas Highway” stretches from Key Largo in the north 113 miles down to Key West, touching numerous beautiful keys along the way. Now the scenery on this highway may be beautiful, but don’t let it distract you – it unfortunately has a very high rate of accidents, probably due to too many tourists rubber-necking their way along. Instead take it slow and take advantage of any opportunity to pull off the highway. The views are just as spectacular from the keys, and you’re on vacation so don’t be in a rush to get anywhere!

And if, like me, you’re interested in avoiding rollicking crowds, there are numerous ways to enjoy the bounties of nature in the Keys. Eco-tourism is the way to go.

Buy at Art.com
Bahia Honda Key, the Keys, Florida
Buy From Art.com
In Key Largo, kayak or canoe your way through the tributaries of Dusenberry Creek under the mangrove tree canopy and keep your eyes peeled for manatees. Or try sea kayaking in Florida Bay and you might spot sea turtles or giant tarpon. North Key Largo hosts the Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge, but it is unfortunately closed to the public. But from Key Largo you can also take a quick one hour drive to enjoy an air-boat trip into the Everglades, and you just may spot a croc or two over there. And bird lovers might want to check out the Wild Bird Center where they rescue and rehabilitate numerous species of birds.

Islamorada also offers some interesting canoeing and kayaking options. You can paddle your way through shallow grass flats in search of dolphins, manatees, sharks and rays. Then head to Lignumvitae Key Botanical State Park, accessible only by boat, where you can take a ranger-guided hike through the unusual botanical environment of a “tropical hardwood hammock”.

Vaca Key is known for having some of the best snorkeling in the Florida Keys. Only a couple miles offshore are numerous shallow-water coral patches, where you can spend hours trying to name all of the different fish you see. Bird lovers can take a short hike through Crane Point Hammock where they might spot white crowned pigeons, ibis or herons.

As you continue further south along the Overseas Highway into the Lower Keys you might want to stop at Bahia Honda State Park with its award-winning beaches, or visit the nearby Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary. Looe Key is reputed to have some of the best scuba diving opportunities in the Florida Keys, especially around the H.M.S. Looe which sank in 1744 and the extensive coral reef formations throughout the sanctuary. Big Pine Key is home to the National Key Deer Refuge where you can see the rare key deer – a diminutive version of the white tail deer.

And if you really want to get away from it all, you can kayak your way through the Florida Keys “backcountry” – areas not easily accessible to boat traffic and therefore unspoiled and filled with life. You might spot great white herons or even a bald eagle or watch dolphins playing in the shallows while you kayak your way over colorful sponge flats. It doesn’t get much more relaxing!

Just remember – if you’re in the Florida Keys to enjoy nature, then you may want to stay north of Key West. Although it’s beautiful, it is also the most populated island in the Keys and attracts the largest number of rowdy spring breakers. Find the quieter spots along the way and you too can enjoy “spring break in Florida”!




Note: no promotional consideration was provided or paid for this article.
Add Florida+Keys+%2D+An+Ecotourism+Spring+Break to Twitter Add Florida+Keys+%2D+An+Ecotourism+Spring+Break to Facebook Add Florida+Keys+%2D+An+Ecotourism+Spring+Break to MySpace Add Florida+Keys+%2D+An+Ecotourism+Spring+Break to Del.icio.us Digg Florida+Keys+%2D+An+Ecotourism+Spring+Break Add Florida+Keys+%2D+An+Ecotourism+Spring+Break to Yahoo My Web Add Florida+Keys+%2D+An+Ecotourism+Spring+Break to Google Bookmarks Add Florida+Keys+%2D+An+Ecotourism+Spring+Break to Stumbleupon Add Florida+Keys+%2D+An+Ecotourism+Spring+Break to Reddit




RSS | Related Articles | Editor's Picks Articles | Top Ten Articles | Previous Features | Site Map


For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Island Travel Newsletter


Past Issues


print
Printer Friendly
bookmark
Bookmark
tell friend
Tell a Friend
forum
Forum
email
Email Editor


Content copyright © 2014 by Laura Hartney. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Laura Hartney. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Laura Hartney for details.

g


g features
List of Islands of the North Aegean

Islands in the Aegean Sea

Philippine Islands - Southeast Asian Tropics

Archives | Site Map

forum
Forum
email
Contact

Past Issues
memberscenter


vote
Poetry
Daily
Weekly
Monthly
Less than Monthly



BellaOnline on Facebook
g


| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2014 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.


BellaOnline Editor