Explore the Bahamas and Florida Keys
So close and yet so far……
If you live in North America or need some rest and recreation while visiting, the Bahamas and Florida Keys are close by and they are great places stock up on adventure and work on your tan. With balmy temperatures year around and a multitude of islands off the beaten track, there are lots of places to explore. Both the Bahamas and Florida Keys offer amazing diving, snorkeling and fishing and you can even add some golf to the list of activities.
The Bahamas are only a 50 minutes flight from Florida and can easily be reached from other big cities on the continent. When the United States declared independence in 1776 many people royal to the British Empire fled to the northern Bahamas and the islands still bare a keen resemblance to New England. The small wooden houses are painted in gay colors and tall light houses in white and red are still leading sailors to safety. This archipelago consists of more than 3000 islands and cays so there are enough places to discover to last a life time.
To the north you will find the Abacos which are pretty flat and have endless white beaches, but even though they have been popular for many years they are not crowded. There are several hotels and resorts, but you can also let your captain take you to deserted bays where you will not meet anybody else. Are you planning a family vacation, a golf trip with friends or a romantic get-away, this area offers everything you need.
Moving further south you will come to the Exumas which are more rugged and offers a string of uninhabited islands and funny attractions. At Staniel Key the attraction is an amazing under-water cave where some scenes in a James Bond movie were filmed in 1965 and at the nearby Major Cay you can encounter swimming pigs! Yes, no kidding!
The Exumas were also a popular hide-out for drug smugglers 40 years ago and at Norman Cay there is even a plane which was forced down into the shallow water! The water in the Bahamas is crystal clear and the area has unrivaled snorkeling and diving, so if that is your passion don’t hesitate!
The Florida Keys are another great place to explore by boat. Even thought there is a highway all the way to Key West there are many places which can only be explored by boat. Fort Lauderdale is home to a huge fleet of mega yacht, but there are also sailboats and catamarans which will suit a smaller budget.
No matter your choice of boat this is a great place to start and head south. Don’t forget to stop at the Biscayne National Park south of Miami. This was the hot-spot for wealthy Miamians at the beginning of the 20th century and there are some beautiful mansions on shore and lots of fish and even manatees and old ship wrecks under-water.
Heading south there are many options. Stop in Key Largo for some excellent diving or proceed to Islamorada if you are more into fishing. Stop for a day in Marathon which is a small community spread over several keys and which still reflects the traditional life style.
Go all the way to Key West and enjoy this wonderful little town with historical buildings and interesting boutiques on Duval Street. An absolute “must” is to join the sunset party which is held every night at Mallory Square with food, drinks and lots of entertainment. No wonder Hemingway choose to make his home in Key West for several years……….