Miami and the Florida Keys are Completely Different by Boat

Miami and the Florida Keys are high-energy, cosmopolitan, multi-cultural and distinctive cities with the unique chain of islands and islets extending to the southernmost point of Key West.

You will begin at the natural shelter of Miami Harbor, motor around Key Biscayne, then leave the confines of the intercoastal and head down to the warm water island chain. The Florida Keys can only be truly appreciated from the water. It’s a very different process to drive down on the International Hwy as opposed to seeing and living the Keys from the deck of a yacht.

The Keys can be seen as over-commercialized and cheesy from land. However, sailing or motoring down on a yacht is 100% unique.

The waters are clear, the temperature delightful, the snorkeling and diving frankly amazing, and there are even some very decent restaurants and old-time bars – your captain will show you where they are.


The most arresting quality about Miami is its diversity. Cruise the Intracoastal Waterway lined with elegant mansions and legendary hotels. Dock at Coconut Grove for trendy waterfront restaurants and boutique shopping. On South Beach, with its stunning oceanfront deco skyline, the party is non-stop, with miles of beautiful people on a near endless beach, and some very exclusive restaurants and clubs.

Biscayne Bay National Park is a vast marine reserve that extends to the northernmost Keys. There are reefs to snorkel, sandbars to picnic on, and Stiltsville, a group of curious shacks reached only by boat.

The Upper Keys

Running just three to six miles off shore from Key Largo and Islamorada on the Atlantic side is a barrier reef with spectacular underwater sites for all skill levels, from easy reef snorkeling to advanced wreck diving. Dive off the aft deck and plunge into a water world teeming with marine life, fascinating coral formations and several sunken ships.

The Upper Keys are a place to connect with nature at two state parks, a national park and the John Pennekamp national marine sanctuary.

The region is very family-friendly. REEF, the international marine conservation non-profit, is headquartered here. The Bird Rehabilitation Center has a nature trail through bird habitats and mangroves. There are two dolphin attractions, an aquarium, and several folk and fine art galleries.

For local encounters of the casual kind, the aging rafters of the Caribbean Club are hung with memorabilia of Bogie and Bacall, filming on location here in the movie “Key Largo”.

The Ocean Reef Club, which recently hosted President Obama and family, is an expansive private community with outstanding facilities, including a championship golf course. Many charter yachts have access to this members-only resort, which is a superb destination to include on your itinerary.

Middle Keys

Fishing, swimming, snorkeling and diving, are spectacular throughout the Keys. According to the International Game Fish Association, more saltwater world records have been established in the Florida Keys than any other angling destination on the globe. The Florida Keys Shipwreck Trail that stretches from north to south is an opportunity to experience world-renowned diving at its most intriguing.

Duck Key and Marathon Key offer exceptional reasons to go ashore. Hawks Cay Marina, on petite Duck Key, is a casual island retreat with upscale amenities. Yachtsmen, anglers and divers gather to enjoy the first class facilities and the camaraderie of fellow ocean enthusiasts. There are bars and restaurants with spectacular views and an award-winning spa on the premises.

Hawks Cay Marina –

Marathon Key has a small town ambience with an emphasis on education. Visit the Dolphin Research Center, Turtle Hospital, Bird Sanctuary or Crane Point Museum and Nature Trail. The EEA Air Museum, at the Marathon airport, has a collection that includes an Ozark D-C3 with a reserved seat that Grace Kelly once occupied. These non-profits are a unique adventure into Keys history, marine life, flora and fauna.

Little Torch Key is home to the Little Palm Island Resort. The exclusive property has been the retreat of presidents, celebrities and is a favorite honeymoon destination.

Tie up at the Sunset Dock for breathtaking views. Succumb to paradise; stretch out on the white sand beach, luxuriate with treatments at SpaTerre, refresh with a signature cocktail, and indulge in the finest cuisine served in the most romantic setting in the Florida Keys. Zagat rated The Dining Room, “Top Décor in the Keys; words cannot do justice either to the French-Pan-Latin fare.”

Little Palm Island Resort –

Lower Keys

The locals pride themselves on being unique and colorful in the Keys, and they love their individuality. Their spirit infuses the island with a spark that is contagious. The unfailing sun makes for spectacular diving, fishing, snorkeling and watersports. Launch the Jet Skis to explore islets, coves and mangrove swamps.

The town is living history where Hemingway, Audubon, Truman’s Little White House and Mel Fischer’s Atocha treasures. You can find true nightlife and dancing when sun goes down until it comes back up! Find Mallory Square, where jugglers, acrobats, magicians, fortunetellers, locals and tourists converge for the social event of the island chain.

25 miles West of Key West are the uninhabited Marquesas Keys, located where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Gulf of Mexico.

It was here that hurricane-tossed waters claimed the Atocha and others in the Spanish fleet of galleons loaded with silver, gold and emeralds. Anchor off these islands to be completely away from civilization. The remote and pristine region is protected under a marine sanctuary law and boasts an abundance of bird life, turtles, stingrays, tarpon, permit and bonefish.

Further east and a day away are the Bahamas, and south is the Caribbean which get you even further away from rushed civilization if you have more vacation time.

Let us put you on a beautiful charter yacht, motor yacht, sailing yacht or catamaran in the lovely Florida Keys. We know this area well as it’s literally in our backyard. Yes we can see the bay from our house!

Call us at 877.759.8263 or use our contact form.

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. lombastka

    Boating in the waters around these islands is like nowhere else on Earth. It is all at once glorious and dangerous, for both you and the area’s fragile ecosystems. We at seafariyachtcharters want to list your yachts on our site.

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