We are pleased to present a new Solo Travel Destination Post from Grace, a member of the Solo Travel Society on Facebook. Grace lives in Canada, and submitted the following report about the Florida Keys. Do you have a solo travel destination that you would like to recommend? Submit your description here, along with a few photos, and share it with fellow travelers!
Solo travel rating: 1 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult. Please see chart below)
Languages spoken: English, Spanish
Reasons to Visit the Florida Keys
Do you really need a reason other than warm salt water and hot sun? The Florida Keys are a set of islands joined by a causeway that trickles off the edge of Florida and into the Gulf of Mexico. The islands are covered in mangrove forests and filled to the brim with restaurants boasting fresher fish than the rest and their own unique interpretation of key lime pie.
On the busiest isle, Key West, there thrives a bizarre combination of shipwreck-hunter history, overt American tourism, and Burning Man-esque free thought which all seems to coexist peacefully. While it is most pleasant as a solo traveler to avoid the great masses of people that converge upon Duval Street every night, the occasional evening of dancing with members of the US Coast Guard at Irish Kevin's or eating the best fish tacos on the planet at Amigos Tortilla Bar seems to be good for the soul.
Ultimately, the best part of these islands is the environment that inspired so many artists and writers from Ernest Hemingway to Wallace Stevens to even Judy Blume (who still staffs the cash as a volunteer at the local bookstore, Books & Books). Spending time snorkeling and swimming, fishing and sailing seems imperative to a visit to the keys. The salt air fills your lungs and clings to your skin in an almost transformative manner. Every time I visit the area, I feel this undeniable urge to lay traps for crabs or fish the sea and feast on the food I catch with my own hands and earn in a way that is “true and good” (as I imagine Hemingway would say).
The sea and the mangroves are wild and beautiful and are not to be missed. The most tranquil moment you can have is on a quiet kayak tour through a mangrove forest with Big Pine Kayak Adventures. Here you can spot herons and tree crabs crawling along the roots of these mystical salt-trees and escape the busy nature of the shore. They hold paddle board yoga classes in the mangroves and I can hardly imagine anything more peaceful.
The Florida Keys are what you make of them but if you spend time in the sea, you are bound to love your time there!