Where to Stay Florida Keys: Top Picks for Every Traveler


Stay Alfred

The Florida Keys, a chain of tropical islands stretching over 120 miles, offers picture-perfect vacations with turquoise blue waters, vibrant coral reefs, and pristine white sand beaches. From vibrant Key West to tranquil Key Largo, there’s a perfect spot for everyone’s taste. To make the most of your visit, it’s essential to find the ideal place to stay. In this article, we will discuss some of the best options in terms of accommodation in this paradise-like destination.

Each island in the Florida Keys boasts its own unique charm and attractions. For example, the bustling Key West is rich in history and culture, boasting various museums, historic landmarks, and a lively nightlife. On the other hand, Islamorada is a haven for fishing enthusiasts and water sports lovers. To help you decide where to stay, we’ll take you through different options across the key islands, catering to different budgets, preferences, and interests.

As you plan your Florida Keys getaway, be prepared to indulge in various exciting activities such as snorkeling, kayaking, and beachcombing. You may even find yourself swimming with dolphins, exploring historic shipwrecks, or simply watching the sunset on a breathtaking beach. Stay tuned for our recommendations on accommodations that will perfectly complement your Florida Keys adventure.

Popular Florida Keys Regions

The Florida Keys is a beautiful chain of islands that offer a variety of activities and accommodations for visitors. This section will help guide you through some of the popular regions in Florida Keys to help you make the most of your trip.

Key Largo

Key Largo, known as the “Diving Capital of the World,” is the northernmost island in the Florida Keys. It is home to the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, which is the first underwater park in the United States. Key Largo is an excellent destination for those who enjoy snorkeling, scuba diving, and fishing. A highly recommended place to stay in Key Largo is the Bungalows Key Largo, an all-inclusive beach resort.

Fun Fact

Key Largo was named after the Spanish word “Cayo Largo,” which means “long key.”

Things to do

  • Snorkeling and diving at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
  • Visiting the Key Largo Undersea Park and the African Queen
  • Fishing and kayaking in local waters


Islamorada, known as the “Sportfishing Capital of the World,” offers a mix of relaxation and adventure. This island has numerous opportunities for fishing, diving, and beach going. If you’re looking for luxury accommodations, consider staying at the Cheeca Lodge & Spa which sits on 27 acres of oceanfront land.

Interesting Story

Legend has it that during Prohibition, alcohol was smuggled into the United States through Islamorada.

Things to do

  • Sportfishing and boating
  • Visiting Theater of the Sea
  • Exploring the Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park


Marathon is a family-friendly destination that offers pristine beaches, calm crystal clear waters, and a relaxing atmosphere. It is a great place for snorkeling, swimming with dolphins, and soaking up the sun. Consider staying at Tranquility Bay Beachfront resort for a serene experience.

Fun Fact

Marathon was once the location of a turtle processing plant.

Things to do

  • Visiting The Turtle Hospital
  • Exploring the Dolphin Research Center
  • Lounging at Sombrero Beach

Lower Keys

The Lower Keys offer a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of busier destinations. Home to the National Key Deer Refuge, this region provides ample opportunities to observe wildlife in their natural habitat.

Fun Fact

The Lower Keys are home to one of the world’s largest populations of the endangered Key Deer.

Things to do

  • Wildlife watching at the National Key Deer Refuge
  • Snorkeling and diving at Looe Key Reef
  • Exploring Bahia Honda State Park

Key West

Key West is known for its vibrant nightlife, historic sites, and water-based activities. It is the southernmost point in the continental United States, just 90 miles from Cuba. Check out the Hyatt Residence Club for beach and lifestyle while enjoying your stay in Key West.

Interesting Story

Ernest Hemingway lived and wrote many of his famous works in Key West for over a decade.

Things to do

  • Visiting the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum
  • Exploring the Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory
  • Watching the sunset celebration at Mallory Square

Accommodation Types

The Florida Keys offer various accommodation options to suit every need and budget. In this section, we will discuss four popular types: Hotels and Resorts, Vacation Rentals, Bed and Breakfasts, and Campgrounds and RV Parks.

Hotels and Resorts

A great option for travelers seeking comfort and convenience are the numerous hotels and resorts located throughout the Florida Keys. These accommodations typically offer amenities such as swimming pools, restaurants, and on-site activities. Notable properties to consider include the Cheeca Lodge & Spa Islamorada, located on 27 acres of lush oceanfront land, and the Bungalows Key Largo, perfect for adults seeking a luxurious getaway.

Vacation Rentals

For those looking for a more independent and flexible stay, vacation rentals are an ideal choice. Vacation rentals can range from cozy cottages to luxurious villas, often providing a home-like feel and added privacy. Popular areas for vacation rentals include:

  • Key West
  • Key Largo
  • Marathon
  • Islamorada

To find the perfect vacation rental, browse through listings on popular platforms such as Airbnb and VRBO.

Bed and Breakfasts

Bed and breakfasts are a charming option for visitors seeking a more intimate lodging experience. Typically set in historic homes or converted inns, bed and breakfasts offer cozy accommodations and personalized service. You can enjoy delicious breakfasts every morning and the chance to mingle with fellow travelers. Look for bed and breakfasts in the heart of Key West or quiet corners of Islamorada and Marathon.

Campgrounds and RV Parks

For the more adventurous and budget-conscious travelers, campgrounds and RV parks are the way to go. Camping in the Florida Keys provides an opportunity to experience the area’s natural beauty up close, from sunrises over the ocean to starry nights. Campgrounds in the Keys cater to tents and RVs, with amenities such as restrooms, showers, and picnic areas. The popular state parks, such as Bahia Honda and John Pennekamp, offer camping facilities and recreational opportunities.

Fun Fact: The Florida Keys are home to numerous bird species, both resident and migratory, attracting birdwatching enthusiasts from all over the world.

Things to do: While staying in the Florida Keys, don’t miss out on snorkeling or diving at the famous coral reefs, exploring the unique ecosystems of the Everglades National Park, and indulging in the vibrant nightlife of Key West.

Budget Considerations

When planning your trip to the Florida Keys, it’s essential to consider your budget for accommodations. In this section, we’ll explore some affordable options and luxury stays to help you make the best choice for your stay.

Affordable Options

Visiting the Florida Keys doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are some budget-friendly accommodations to consider:

  • Pines and Palms Resort: Located near Key Largo, this resort offers in-unit kitchens, an ocean-facing saltwater pool, tiki-themed bar, and private beach.
  • The Broken Shaker: A popular Miami hostel with shared rooms starting under $30 per night, offering a more wallet-friendly option for travelers.
  • Selina Miami: Situated in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood, this hotel offers rooms starting at $75 per night.

When looking for budget accommodations, it’s important to plan in advance, as last-minute deals are less common in the Florida Keys. Expect to spend more than $180 per night for a hotel or B&B in Key West.

Luxury Stays

If you prefer a luxurious experience, the Florida Keys offer several high-end options:

  • Florida Keys Resorts: These resorts rival all-inclusive options found in Mexico and the Caribbean, providing lavish accommodations for discerning travelers.
  • Boutique Hotels: Nestled in historic neighborhoods, these small, upscale hotels offer more personalized service and amenities.

Remember, whether you’re seeking budget-friendly or luxury accommodations, booking early will give you the best options for your Florida Keys adventure.

Fun Fact or Interesting Story

Although not specifically related to accommodations, did you know the Florida Keys are home to the world’s third-largest coral barrier reef? This makes the area a popular destination for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts from all over the globe.

Things to do

Finally, don’t forget to explore the various activities the Florida Keys have to offer, such as water sports, beach adventures, and exploring wildlife refuges. The unique natural beauty and rich history of the area will surely make your trip memorable.

Family-Friendly Stays

When planning a family vacation to the Florida Keys, you’ll want to find accommodations that cater to the entire family. Luckily, the Keys have an abundance of family-friendly resorts and hotels that cater to children and parents alike.

One option that has garnered high ratings from families is the Isla Bella Beach Resort. This beachfront property offers spacious suites and plenty of recreational activities to keep the whole family entertained.

Another popular choice is Hawks Cay Resort located on Duck Key. Known for its luxurious villas that can accommodate up to eight people, this resort also offers a fully-equipped kitchen, making it a convenient choice for families.

For those looking for a mid-range option, consider The Islander Resort. This family-friendly hotel offers island-themed rooms and various activities, like fishing and snorkeling, ensuring that you and your family have a memorable experience.

Some family-friendly activities to explore in the Florida Keys include:

  • Visiting The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum
  • Discovering vibrant marine life at Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory
  • Exploring the picturesque Mallory Square
  • Enjoying water sports and snorkeling in Key Largo and Marathon

Fun Fact

Did you know that the Florida Keys boast the third-largest living coral barrier reef system in the world? Make sure to take your family snorkeling or scuba diving to witness the diverse marine ecosystem that thrives in the clear waters.

No matter which family-friendly resort or hotel you choose in the Florida Keys, rest assured that there are plenty of exciting activities and attractions to keep every family member entertained throughout your stay. Happy vacationing!

Romantic Getaways

The Florida Keys are a perfect destination for couples seeking a romantic escape. With crystal-clear waters, lush tropical scenery, and a relaxed atmosphere, the Keys offer numerous options for creating unforgettable memories with your significant other.

One of the dreamy options to consider is Island Bay Resort, which offers great views and is highly rated by travelers. Its picturesque waterfront bungalows provide the ideal settings to watch sunrises or sunsets together, making it an excellent choice for a romantic getaway.

Baker’s Cay Resort Key Largo is another excellent choice for couples looking to experience the tranquility of crystal-clear waters surrounded by natural foliage. Tucked away on a lush 15-acre peninsula, it offers an idyllic, intimate setting that will make your stay memorable.

For a luxurious and immersive experience, consider staying at Cheeca Lodge & Spa in Islamorada, which is positioned on 27 acres of lush gardens and 1000 feet of private waterfront. With a 9-hole par 3 golf course, on-site spa, and 525-foot fishing pier, couples can spend quality time together while indulging in a variety of activities.

Fun Fact or Interesting Story

Did you know the Florida Keys are home to the Underwater Music Festival? This yearly event brings musicians and divers together, performing music underwater with watertight instruments while dressed as mermaids and other marine creatures. It’s a unique and quirky way to immerse yourself in the region’s vibrant culture.

Things to do

Apart from romantic walks on the beach and enjoying sunsets, couples can engage in various activities to make their getaway memorable, such as:

No matter your preferences, the Florida Keys offer a little something for everyone, making it the perfect location for your romantic getaway.

Pet-Friendly Accommodations

Visiting the Florida Keys with your furry friend? There are plenty of pet-friendly accommodations to choose from. Ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay for both you and your pet at these popular options.

One great choice is the La Siesta Resort & Marina located in Islamorada. They allow up to two pets per room, weighing no more than 55 lbs each, for a non-refundable fee of $50 plus tax per stay.

For more variety, Booking.com offers a range of pet-friendly hotels and homes in different locations across the Florida Keys:

  • Key Largo: 14 pet-friendly hotels
  • Marathon: 33 pet-friendly hotels
  • Big Pine Key: 3 pet-friendly hotels
  • Cudjoe Key: 5 pet-friendly hotels
  • Stock Island: 5 pet-friendly hotels
  • Tavernier: 4 pet-friendly hotels
  • Key Colony Beach: 8 pet-friendly homes
  • Layton: 3 pet-friendly hotels

If you’re looking for a luxury pet-friendly option, The Gardens Hotel in Key West is worth considering. They welcome dogs, providing pet-approved amenities like food and water bowls. Prices start from $227 per night.

For a more budget-friendly option, check out the Tropical Cottages available for rent from $115 per night.

Fun Fact

Did you know that the Florida Keys are home to the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory? This unique attraction features a variety of butterflies, birds, and plants, providing a delightful experience for nature lovers.

Things to do

Apart from relaxing at your pet-friendly accommodation, there are many activities you and your pet can enjoy together in the Florida Keys. Take a stroll on the scenic beaches, explore the numerous waterfront parks, or try some water sports like kayaking or paddleboarding. Don’t forget to sample the local seafood at one of the many pet-friendly restaurants!

Activities and Attractions Nearby

When visiting the Florida Keys, you’ll have a plethora of activities and attractions to choose from. Whether you’re into water sports, exploring historical landmarks, or simply relaxing on the beach, there’s something for everyone.

One of the top attractions in the area is the Theater of the Sea, a unique marine park that combines entertainment with a charming, family-owned atmosphere. Here, you can watch sea lion shows, hold a parrot, and even enjoy a bottomless boat ride.

For nature lovers, the Florida Keys offer numerous state parks, snorkeling spots, and wildlife areas to discover. Some popular activities include:

  • Fishing charters
  • Sunset cruises
  • Whale watching
  • Glass-bottom boat tours
  • Stand-up paddleboarding

If you’re interested in water sports and guided tours, the Keys offer plenty of options:

  • Kayaking tours
  • Jet ski rentals
  • Scuba diving
  • Eco tours
  • Historical and cultural tours

Here’s a fun fact for you: The Florida Keys are home to the third largest barrier reef in the world, making it an incredible destination for snorkelers and divers alike.

In addition to all the fantastic outdoor activities, the Keys have several points of interest and landmarks to explore, like the Ernest Hemingway House, the Key West Lighthouse, and the Southernmost Point in the United States.

So, during your stay in the Florida Keys, make sure to take advantage of the wide array of activities and attractions nearby to make the most of your visit. Happy exploring!

Travel Tips

The Florida Keys is an amazing destination to explore, whether it’s your first visit or you’re a seasoned traveler. To help you make the most of your trip, here are some travel tips that you should keep in mind:

  • Choose the right neighborhood: The Florida Keys consist of several areas that cater to different types of travelers. If it’s your first time visiting, consider staying in Key Largo. For those on a budget, Islamorada is a great option. Families will love Marathon, and if you’re looking for nightlife, head to Key West.
  • Plan for cell dead spots: While traveling through the Keys, be prepared for spotty cell coverage in certain areas. It’s a good idea to have a physical map or download offline maps for navigation, just in case (source).
  • Pack for the weather: The Florida Keys typically have warm and sunny weather, but it’s essential to pack accordingly for occasional rain showers or cooler evenings. Bring sunscreen, a hat, and light, breathable clothing.

Fun Fact or Interesting Story: The Seven Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys is one of the longest bridges in the world, connecting Knight’s Key to Little Duck Key. It’s an engineering marvel and a must-see attraction during your visit!

Things to do: There’s no shortage of activities to enjoy in the Florida Keys. Some must-visit attractions include John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Sombrero Beach, and Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park. Don’t forget to take a stroll through the historic Old Town and visit The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West.

stay alfred Icon