At the southernmost edge of Florida lies the Florida Keys, a series of islands connected by highways extending over the ocean. The Keys extend Florida an additional 120 miles, and the longest bridge is the Seven Mile Bridge that runs about 35,716 feet long. Along the Florida Keys are 800 different keys with some uninhabited, others dedicated to nature reserves, and the remaining with thriving beach communities. Book a stay at an unforgettable vacation rental in the Florida Keys today. Here are the most scenic areas in the Florida Keys to check out.

1. North Key Largo

john pennekamp park
Source: Flickr/Reinhard Link

Key Largo is actually the longest of the keys at a length of 30 miles. Escape the crowds with a vacation rental in North Key Largo that lies close to a couple of state parks, including Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park and Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge. Enjoy hiking, biking, fishing and bird watching in these parks or spend an afternoon on the ocean with a rental boat from one of the local outfitters.

2. Key Largo

hammock botanical park
Source: Flickr/Jim Bowen

In Key Largo, Highway 1 leaves the keys and returns to the mainland of Florida making it a popular destination for people who only want a day trip to the keys. Vacation rentals in Key Largo vary depending on location from a cottage to a house boat. Spend your days hiking in the Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park that extends almost the entire length of the key. This park is home to more than 80 protected plant and animals.

3. Tavernier

tavernier
Source: Flickr/Predi

While the town of Tavernier sees some of the tourist crowd, it still offers a low-key trip when compared to some of the larger communities in the keys. Walk or bike around the local area taking in the natural beauty or shopping at the unique boutiques in the downtown area. To see some rare wild birds stop by the Laura Quinn Wild Bird Sanctuary. Spend days on the beach soaking up the sun, snorkeling, and kayaking.

4. Islamorada

islamorada
Source: Flickr/liddybits

Islamorada has a lot of cool attractions to offer your family. It’s referred to as the “Village of Islands,” since the town lies on several keys, including Tea Table Key, Lower Matecumbe Key, Upper Matecumbe Key, Windley Key and Plantation Key. Take the kids to the Theater of the Sea for a day of excitement as trainers coax dolphins and sea lions through a series of cool tricks. A popular dinner spot is Lorelei Restaurant & Cabana Bar that offers great food with amazing views and live music most evenings.

5. Layton

layton
Source: Flickr/Mark Tegethoff

Located on Long Key, Layton is a great small town with a post office, boat rental company, and a resort. Select one of the cozy vacation rentals in the area, including condos and cottages. It’s a great place to rent a boat and head out for a day of fishing, snorkeling and scuba diving if you’re certified. Long Key State Recreational Area provides your family with the chance for some hiking and bird watching or walks along the beach area.

6. Duck Key

little duck key
Source: Flickr/Kimon Berlin

On Duck Key, you can feel the stress of your everyday life just melt away. While away the days, biking around the key or out on the water viewing this small key from a new perspective. Enjoy fishing, snorkeling, canoeing, and scuba diving in the warm waters of the key. To completely relax, book a spa treatment for yourself at the Hawks Cay Resort.

7. Marathon

town of marathon
Source: Flickr/Miguel Discart

Meandering along knight’s Key, Boot Key, Key Vaca, Fat Deer Key, Long Point Key, Crawl Key and Grassy Key, the town of Marathon bustles with activity compared to some of the smaller locations. At the Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters, you and your kids can get a good look and interact with stingrays and sharks. A walk around the Pigeon Key Historic District with its 11 historic building gives you a glimpse into Marathon’s rich history.

8. Big Pine Key

beach
Source: Flickr/Big Pine Key Fishing Lodge

Find the peace and quiet your family dreams about on Big Pine Key. Half of this key is a dedicated state park, Coupon Bight Aquatic Preserve, where you and your family can spend a day hiking, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, snorkeling and bird watching. On the side of the key with vacation rentals, stroll along the quiet streets in the evening or rent bikes to explore the area.

9. Cudjoe Key

pelican roosting
Source: Flickr/Mangrove Mike

Driving in a southwest direction along Highway A1A and along the Overseas Interstate, you and your family see stunning views of the ocean and keys before arriving on Cudjoe Key. Once in town, stop by Morita’s Cuban Cafe for a snack or order some mouthwatering Cuban sandwiches to take on a picnic when you rent a boat from Cudjoe Gardens Marina for a day on the water, fishing, snorkeling, swimming and scuba diving.

10. Sugarloaf Key

sugarloaf key
Source: Flickr/Florida Keys–Public Libraries

Indulge in fishing, swimming, and canoeing on Sugarloaf Key with its various water tributaries, inland water, ponds, and creeks. If you’re looking for a thrill, then take off with Skydive Key West for the chance to skydive in the keys. To find the best places to go fishing, contact either Sun Dance Charters or Braham Fear Charters for a day out on the water that your family will never forget.

11. Key West

key west
Source: Flickr/Penny Higgins

Easily the best known of the Florida Keys, Key West sits at the end of the chain of the Florida’s Keys. This town was once home to Ernest Hemingway whose home you can visit, and Harry S. Truman kept a “Little White House” in the area. Find a vacation rental in the center of the town or look for something on the outskirts for a little peace and quiet. Visit Duval Street in the evening for fresh seafood, live music, and an active bar scene.