If you’re looking for a family-friendly vacation this Summer, the Florida Keys have a lot to offer!  Grab your servicemember and load up the kids, because this is a fabulous opportunity to take a great American road trip to the Southernmost point in the continental United States. The Florida Keys are full of history, reasonably priced hotels and fun new activities for adults and kids. You’ll feel like your lounging in the Caribbean, but you don’t even have to leave the country! Your journey to the Keys will begin on U.S. 1, also known as the highway that goes to sea. This road has some amazing views of the clear blue water below, and will lead you from Key Largo all the way to Key West.

Key Largo

Be sure to keep those swim suits handy, because Key Largo is a popular destination for families looking to swim with dolphins.  Book your swim early, because this hot spot books up quickly during the Summer months. If your family enjoys Scuba diving or snorkeling, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is a must-visit. Equipment is available for rental once you arrive, and don’t forget to bring a waterproof camera! Sunken ships like the USCG Duane, USCG Bibb, Caymen Salvage Master Dive Site and the Benwood are artificial reefs and popular Scuba diving destinations you’re sure to enjoy.

Islamorada

If you’re looking for a unique handmade souvenir to take home, The Rain Barrel Artisan Village has some amazing shopping options; from ceramics and sculptures to stained glass and jewelry, this is where you’ll find the perfect treasure.  Explore the coves and relax in the sun at Anne’s Beach.  Afterward, take a trip to Theater of the Sea where your elementary and middle school-aged kiddos can learn about the animals throughout the Florida Keys.

Marathon

Channel your inner James Bond if you’re willing to splurge on a jetpack rental. Otherwise, pretend this is a deserted island, lay out and soak up some sun at Sombrero Beach.

Big Pine Key

This island has one of the most surreal views of the 100 year old railroad, looming overhead (check out the video above to see what we mean).  Explore the natural habitats of the Keys by yourself or on a guided tour at Big Pine Kayak Adventures.  If your family enjoys fishing and boat rides, check out Flatz Addicted. Professional guides will take groups out for a 4 hour fishing trip where you can learn some new tips and have a blast in the sunshine.

Key West

The most famous island in the Florida Keys still pays homage to its most famous resident at the Annual Hemingway Days Festival. If you won’t be around the island during the festival, be sure not to miss the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum to see where one of America’s most prized writers lived and wrote his iconic stories. Spend some time exploring the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, and then create your own outdoor adventure at the Dry Tortugas National Park. The park includes the 7 Dry Tortugas Islands and Fort Jefferson.