A yacht charter in Miami and the Florida Keys combines the high-energy of a cosmopolitan, multi-cultural and distinctive metropolis with the sultry and seductive chain of islands and islets arcing a path to the extreme merrymaking, southernmost point of Key West.
Embark from the natural shelter of Miami Harbor, launch the water toys to splash about Key Biscayne, then pull up anchor and leave civilization, as you know it. The full experience of the Florida Keys can ONLY be appreciated from the water. It’s a WHOLE different thing to drive down on the International Hwy as opposed to seeing and experiencing the Keys from the deck of a yacht.
By land, the Keys can be seen as over-commercialized and even cheesy. I assure you that sailing or motoring down on a yacht is DIFFERENT.
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.
Stiltsville – www.nps.gov/bisc/historyculture/stiltsville.htm
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.
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 – www.hawkscay.com/marina_boats
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 – www.littlepalmisland.com
In Key West, the locals pride themselves on being colorful; it seems nobody comes here intending to work in a cubicle. Their spirit infuses the island with a joie de vivre like no place else on earth. 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 thick with history, Hemingway, Audubon, Truman’s Little White House and Mel Fischer’s Atocha treasures. The nightlife is infamous. As the sun goes down the fever goes up. Begin on the west end at Mallory Square, where jugglers, acrobats, magicians, fortunetellers, locals and tourists converge for sunset worship. The party is just getting underway.
West of Key West, about 25 miles, the uninhabited Marquesas Keys are positioned 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.
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 in our back-yard. Call us at 305.223.3488 or use the contact form.