South Florida, like all the best places, has a darker side. This often manifests itself in popular culture. Best selling author Carl Hiaasen lives in the Keys and includes them in many of his hilarious but hard-hitting novels. We asked Carl for a quote about the Keys and this was his reply:
“The Florida Keys are almost too irresistible for their own good. Everyone who kayaks through a mangrove creek or snorkels on a coral reef comes away filled with awe — but also a profound appreciation for the fragility of this besieged ecosystem”.
The Keys, warts and all, can also be seen in the great series Bloodline on Netflix. This follows the lives of a dysfunctional family who run a hotel on Islamorada. See the trailer here.
Travel book. There’s one travel guide to the Keys that really stands out. The Florida Keys by Joy Williams is much more than just a guide book. It tells the story of the Keys, its history and its characters and is as readable as a good novel.
A bit of planning never goes amiss
Mallory Square in Key West. Scene of the famous, daily, not to be missed, sunset celebration.
There’s always something going on somewhere in the Keys, and it’s a good idea to check the Keys events calendar before you book or if you’re looking for something to entertain you while you’re there.
Fantasy Fest – if you’re a party animal, then the annual Fantasy Fest parade is for you. This ten-day super fun carnival attracts huge crowds to Key West to party and watch the humorous floats, including one carrying the annually elected Conch King and Queen. Probably best to avoid if you’re after a quiet relaxing break.
Peace and quiet also make poor bedfellows with the annual powerboat racing championship, which takes place in November.
For runners, there’s the annual Seven Mile Bridge Run. For non-runners, the bridge closure and attendant chaos are easier to handle if they aren’t a surprise.