Are you on the hunt for the best things to do in the Lower Keys? Don’t go anywhere! We have compiled a list of the must-do’s for when you visit this small section of the Florida Keys to take advantage of all the fun they offer!
Whether you’re looking for all the best state parks and cool hiking trails to enjoy as much nature as possible, or the best beaches in the Florida Keys to get a fantastic tan, or the hidden snorkelling gems there is something for everyone to love while in the Lower Keys!
So sit back and relax while we help you create your perfect list of fun things to do in the Lower Keys!
Before you plan your trip, make sure to check out The Best Times To Visit The Keys where we break down each month and talk all things weather!
What Is Considered the Lower Keys
The Lower Keys is a region that is connected from the West end of Seven Mile Bridge at Sunshine Key mile marker (mm)40 and ends at Stock Island MM 5! It’s compiled of a bunch of campgrounds, RV parks, B&B’s and vacation homes and is filled with some gorgeous landscapes, beaches and oceanfronts!
The Keys consists of Summerland Key, Big Torch Key, Little Torch Key, Cudjoe Key, Sugarloaf Key, Big Coppitt Key, Big Pine Key, and Stock Island! It is filled with amazing locations and tons of adventures for you to have! Because the Florida Keys are such a unique travel destination, we have compiled a great road-trip itinerary for the Florida Keys to give you ideas for your own! Here are some of our suggestions of the best things to do in the Lower Keys!
Best Things To Do In The Lower Keys
Bahia Honda State Park
Bahia Honda State Park is one of the biggest State Parks in the Lower Keys and you definitely should make some time for it!
Whether you’re going for the traditional route of sun, tan, and water; there are plenty of things to do at Bahia Honda State Park you cannot miss! They feature boat tours of the Looe Key National Marine Security, different varieties of camping grounds, hiking spots, kayak rentals, and scuba diving!
Bahia Honda State Park is home to some of the greatest snorkeling spots in the area! Snorkeling in Bahia Honda State Park is the best thing to do in the Lower Keys! Marvel at the corals, fish, conch and lobsters that inhabit the area! If you don’t have your own equipment, don’t be afraid to rent some as the Bahia Honda State Park shack has plenty of rental equipment to make the most of your time at this option for Lower keys attractions!
This is definitely one of the things to do in the Lower Keys with kids! You can run around with your kids and enjoy splashing each other in the water! You can even sit in the water and enjoy watching for Dolphins, sea turtles, and birds!
Don’t forget to check out their stargazing program! It is definitely one of the best Lower Keys activities you should not skip! They have two programs that run during the week, one on Friday headed by volunteer State Troopers and another on Saturday by the Florida Keys Astronomy Club! Go in and look through their telescopes and learn all about the mass expanse of the sky!
National Key Deer Wildlife Refuge
The National Key Deer Wildlife Refuge is another fantastic option for things to do in the Lower Keys! Located in the Blue Pine Key, this nature and wildlife area is home to the endangered key deer!
This is the only place where key deer are still found and as they are an endangered species they are watched and protected by a group of individuals to ensure they are getting the nutrients and everything they need to keep going strong! This is definitely one of the things to do in the Lower Keys with kids because who doesn’t love seeing deer and other wildlife!
They have some amazing staff that can help you with all the best spots to see deer or even sharks and fish in the ponds! They ask that you please do not feed the deer either from your vehicles or by hand to help protect their natural instinct to find food!
Veterans Memorial Park
Veterans Memorial Park is another great option for the best activities in the Lower Keys!
This beach is located in Little Torch Key at the south end of the Seven Mile Bridge, it’s definitely one of the best places to visit in the Lower Keys with kids as it is a shallow beach! It’s a perfect spot for kids to play in the water at a safe level! It’s also pet-friendly, has plenty of parking, and picnic tables, and has plenty of birds!
This definitely a haven to visit so don’t miss out on this gorgeous beach in Little Torch Key!
Charter or Rent a Boat
Chartering or renting a boat for an afternoon is definitely one of the best things to do in the Lower Keys for adults!
There are plenty of great rental companies that range in their objective! From looking for someone to take you on an adventure through the best parts of the keys, to renting water sports motorized boats or for needing a vessel to have an amazing afternoon in the water, there are plenty of companies who are able to help you achieve all of your goals!
There are companies like Poseidon Boat Rentals, who do full or half-day rentals and charter courses for the best views of the ocean, based out of Summerland Keys! And there’s Barco Adventures, also out of Summerland Keys, who gives guided or private tours on a Craigcat after a short lesson, or if you’re by yourself a tour guide will go with you! Or there is Wahoo Watersports, out of Little Torch Key, who lets you explore backcountry and sandbars with their Jet Ski rentals and tours, kayaks, paddleboard rentals, and their eco-tours!
There’s definitely something to do, which makes this one of the best Lower Keys activities!
Grimal Grove is a great option for the best things to do in the Lower Keys!
It’s a locally owned orchard that aims to promote further the worldwide culture of rare tropical fruit! It was founded in 1955 and has been open ever since! There are orchards and galleries that offer daily tours, workshops, activities, classes, and private events with the exception of their varying public events that happen twice a year!
This orchard is a promotor of eco-friendly and low-impact agriculturalist programs that are essential to the ecological state of the Lower Keys! They keep their impact as low as possible to promote healthy gardens and neighborhoods!
Visit the Blue Hole
The Blue Hole is technically a part of the National Key Deer Wildlife Refuge as they are close to each other but it’s definitely one of the best things to do in the Lower Keys with kids as it is home to alligators, fish, and other wildlife!
This watering hole was formerly a limestone quarry where fresh water is layered over salt water! There is no swimming, fishing, or disturbing the water as it is wildlife preservation and to disrupt the water would disrupt the wildlife!
This is also a great location for birdwatching while going for a nice hike, even if the alligators are not around there is plenty to be seen!
Florida Keys Cafe
Florida Keys Cafe is a great spot to start your day while working through our list of the best things to do in the Lower Keys!
It is a small American diner cafe that is vegetarian-friendly and has plenty of food to keep you going through the day! They offer breakfast, brunch, and lunch! Their diner features classic proportions and their food is super delicious! The chef is amazing, and you can tell they love their work!
This is your traditional Ma and Pa cafe with great biscuits and fantastic Grits! Don’t forget to eat here!
Big Pine Key Flea Market
Big Pine Key Flea Market is home to their famous fish fry and is definitely one of the best free things to do in the Lower Keys!
There’s no fee for admission but there are plenty of steals to be had at stands with handmade local crafts and vintage jewels! They are open every year from October 9th to May 31st and every weekend from 8 am to 2 pm! They have a wide array of food, crafts, and household goods that you definitely should make time to visit and explore! There are vendors who sell anything and everything from soaps, handmade crafts, boating and fishing supplies, and local art!
Definitely don’t skip this option for the best things to do in the Lower Keys!
Rent Kayaks from Bahia Honda
Another great option for the best things to do in the Lower Keys is to rent kayaks from Bahia Honda and explore the ocean!
Renting kayaks is one of the relaxing and inexpensive ways to explore the beautiful waters around the Bahia Honda State Park! They offer safe and, most importantly, stable sit-on-top kayaks at their concession shack! Don’t miss out on the beautiful surroundings featured at the Bahia Honda State Park!
They offer rentals by the hour or per half days depending on what you need. And if you’re a brave solo traveler, no worries, they offer both single and double rentals! There’s definitely adventure to be had at Bahia Honda and renting kayaks should always be on your list of the best things to do in the Lower Keys!
Galley Grill is another great option for the best things to do in the Lower Keys especially if you want to fill your stomach with amazing food!
Galley Grill is an American diner with dishes ranging from 13 to 20 dollars and is located in Summerland Key! They have vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options!
Their meals are all prepared fresh to order and to perfection1 They have an amazing seafood omelet that patrons rave over. The servers are friendly and their food is fantastic so you know that this is one of the best Lower Key activities because it involves food!
Where To Stay In The Lower Keys
The Perry Hotel Key West
The Perry Hotel Key West is a great option for places to stay in the Lower Keys!
This is a luxury accommodation featuring a waterfront pool and two dockside sea-to-trade restaurants! The rooms include private balconies, artisanal bath products, and a flat-screen TV!
The hotel has marina access to water activities and complimentary shuttle service! It’s under 2km from Bernstein Park, Heritage Park, Cozumel Park, Clark Maxwell Environmental Habitat, and the Alvin Fraser III Memorial Park!
It has an 8.7 out of 10 rating and has rooms available for as low as 467 dollars a night!
Check rates: booking.com
Looe Key Reef Resort and Dive Center
Looe Key Reef Resort and Dive Center is another option for places to stay in the Lower Keys!
Looe Key Reef Resort is a full-service dive center, complete with an outdoor pool, Tiki Bar and restaurant! They are open for dinner and serves fresh local seafood and burgers with live entertainment!
Their rooms include coffee-making facilities, cable TV, and traditionally decorated rooms, and a seating area! They are just 10km away from Big Pine Key Park, Coupon Bight Aquatic Preserve, National Key Deer Wildlife Refuge, and Spanish Harbour Wayside Park!
Check rates: booking.com
Sugarloaf Lodge is the last of our options for places to stay in the Lower Keys!
It features an outdoor pool, tennis court, waterfront Tiki Bar, and Sugarloaf Pizza! There is a marina on site which you would have access to with kayak rentals and boat charters!
Rooms include a fridge, cable TV, bathrooms with towels, free toiletries, a patio, a balcony and a garden! It’s less than 20km from Clark Maxwell Environmental Habitat, Bernstein Park, and National Key Dear Wildlife Refuge! It has a rating of 7.9 out of 10 on booking.com and has rooms available for as low as 173 dollars a night!
Check rates: booking.com
While you’re adventuring around the Lower Keys there’s always something for everyone! But if Hotels aren’t your style, that’s okay, there are plenty of Airbnb’s and camping spots in the Florida Keys that are amazing! Whether you’re seeking the best cup of coffee, a great place for a morning of shopping for vintage gems, or the best State park to explore, the Lower Keys are flush with adventures to be had! So when thinking of what to do in the Lower Keys, definitely consider all the amazing options above!
Now that you’ve seen some fantastic options for the best things to do in the Lower Keys and where to stay when you’re in the area, what will you do first?