Florida Keys for Families a to z guide
BOATS - CANOES - RENTALS - SAILING - TOURS AND SCENIC RIDES,
BOATS - CANOES
Prices subject to change - check with vendor to confirm prices
Long Key State Recreational Area - MM 67.5
Children will enjoy paddling and marvel at the tidal lagoon on the Long Key Lakes Canoeing Trail which takes about an hour to journey. A self-guided tour brochure describing the mangroves, ecology and wading and marine life to be seen along the way is available. For more see Beaches and Parks Section.
Paddle Explore at John Pennekamp State Park- MM 102.5
Explore the Park's mangrove wilderness by canoe or kayak
( $10/single/hr. - $15/double/hr.) along the 2 1/2 miles of marked trails. Park entrance fee $4 for car and 50 cent per passenger.
Florida Keys Kayaks and Canoe Tours and Rentals - Scarlet Ibis Tours , 305-872-9314, EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com,
Canoe / Kayak rentals and Self-Guided Tours include rental, paddles, vests, line. half day - $35 / full - $50 , $5 extra per-person for Map and Bird ID Card, weekly special - $225, double kayak rentals half day - $45 / full - $60,
Guided Standard Tours: $45 per person / 3-4 hours
Sea-worthy, "semi-v" style canoes offer extra room and high and dry feeling. Kayaks are Ocean Paddle
Florida Bay Outfitters - Key Largo - MM 104
One of the largest kayak and canoe operations in Florida, near John Pennekamp Park, Florida Bay Outfitters offers guided and self-guided tours throughout all areas of the Keys, Prices range from $39 per person to $600 plus. Half day tours and over nighters, trips to the Everglades, John Pennekamp, Great White Heron Refuge, Lignumvitae Key and Indian Key, 305-451-3018, http://kayakfloridakeys.com/
Sugarloaf Marina - canoe and kayak rentals and tours, Sugarloaf Key , 305-745-3135
Big Pine Kayak - canoe and kayak rentals and tours, Big Pine Key, http://keys-kayak-canoe-tours.com , 305-872-8950
BOATS - RENTALS
Locations and descriptions of boat rental vendors are listed. Emphasis is given to places which rent pontoon boats which are comfortable, and safer making them excellent for families provided one keeps close to shore.
Keyboats.com - 305-664-2203 - delivery to all Keys' areas - weekly, multiple, and daily from Key Largo to Key West. - Rates vary - $100 for a 11 foot johnboat upward to $400 daily fopr 30 foot Sea Ray Weekender, call for prices, Bass Boats, flats skiffs, center consoles, open bow, deck boatt, all sorts of boats available.
Water Sports at Hawk's Cay - MM 61 - Duck Key
Take Mom and the kids touring the canals of Duck Key and finish up with fishing by renting a pontoon deck boats for children for $125 for the half day ( 305-743-0145 or 305-743-7000 or 305- 743-9000 ext. 3681)
Duck Key Marina - MM 61 - Duck Key - 305-289-0161 rents boats from $160 (posted 3/2005) for a half day.
Tavernier Creek Boat Rental - 90800 Overseas Highway, Tavernier , 305-852-3894, pontoon boat rentals, fishing boats 18 to 22 feet , also waverunners, fishing rod rentals plus tackle sales
Aaron's Marina Boat Rentals - MM 4.5, Stock Island, 305-296-0075, pontoon deck boats and center console fishing boats
Estes Watersports and Marina - MM 83.9, Whale Harbor Channel, Islamorada, 305-664-4745, 305-664-9059, pontoon boats, centerconsole and flats boats 14 to 22 feet, also waverunners for rent
Robbies - MM 77.5, Islamorada, 305-664-9814, pontoon boat rentals, back country skiffs, kayaks, fishing gear, fish feeding site
Pier 66 - MM 68.2, Long Key, 305-664-9393, pontoon boats, wave runners, power boats, kayaks, jet skis, LOW RATES
Huckleberry Adventure - MM 80.5, Islamorada, at Lindack's La Siesta Resort, 305-664-1010, pontoon boats, also waverunner eco-snorkel tours, boat rentals, sunset cruises
Jeff's Boat Rentals - 12650 Overseas Highway #1, MM54, Marathon, Fl 33050, phone: 1-305-743-0394, toll free:1-888-FLA-KEYS
email: firstname.lastname@example.org - http://www.jeffsboatrentals.com
Ray's Boat Rentals - MM 59 - Grassy key 1-305-743-6767 or 1-305-481-2462 - Ray Vaughn - email: email@example.com http://www.raysrentalboats.com (rentals 3 days to a week)
Flats boat, Parker, Aquasports 22 feet - 175 hp , Carolina Skiffs 19 feet - 115 hp, Sea Crafts 23 feet - 200 hp and Pontoon boats 20 feet - 70 hp for rent
Prices range from a low of $145 for the smallest for the day to $1045 for some of the larger boats for the week.
Coconut Palma's Boat Rentals - MM 60 - Grassy Key , Boat rentals at $ 95 for half day, $120 full for 19 foot and 90 Hp. , 22 foot - 120 HP $120 half or $170 full day, also 3 and 7 day rentals. 305-743-0052
John Pennekamp State Park - MM 102.5 - 305-451-6325, Boat Rental Concession at John Pennekamp State Park . Concession will rent boats by the hour ($27.50 for an 18 foot fisherman up to $50/ hr for 28 foot fisherman), half and full day rates available.
BOATS - SAILING - Sailboat Rentals and Charters
(See also Sunset Cruises)
Florida Keys Sailing - Sombrero Resort and Marina by Publix Supermarket, 13 Sombrero Blvd. Marathon , 305-289-9519, 743-8105, half and full day sailtrips, sunset cruises, rentals, bareboned and captained charters plus US Sailing Certified Sailing School.
January 2, 3, and 4 of 2002 - Three day learn to sail program provided by Florida Keys Sailing for ages 13 - 19, free, classroom lessons and water instruction, register with Bruce Palmenberg, 305-289-9519
Key West Sailing - Key West , URL: www.saildoubledecker.com , Sailing charters leaving from convenient downtown location. Day trips and sunsets available aboard the 38 foot cruising sloop, Double Decker. Contact Name: Bob Decker, 305-731-7232
Florida Keys Bareboat Charter Company "Sail and Power" - Marathon, 305-743-0090
email: firstname.lastname@example.org - http://www.floridakeysbareboatchartercompany.com
Tropical Sailboats - Several locations in Key West, 1414 Van Phister Street, 305-294-2696, Higgs Beach 305-296-0423, Smathers Beach 305-296-4185 - Hobie Cat and Sunfish Rentals, sales and parts
All Aqua-Adventure - MM 48, Faro Blanco Resort, Marathon, 305-743-6628
In addition to sailboat rentals, All Aqua-Adventure rents waverunners, kayaks, sport fisherman type boats, hydrobikes, and runs sunset cruises and Island Tours.
Sunset Watersports - Key West, 305-296-2554, sunfish sailing, also parasailing, waverunner rentals, kayak rentals, waterskiing - http://www.sunsetwatersports.com
Island Style Watersports - MM 104, 10411 Overseas Highway, Bayside, Key Largo - 305-453-4359, Hobie cat rentals, also sail charters, parasailing, boat rentals, wave runner tour
Mike's Sailing Charters - 35 Sombrero Blvd ., Marathon, 305-743-3017
The Sloop Pagan Key - 27 foot ,4 foot draft Catalina rental, 4268 Gulf View Avenue, Marathon, 305-743-0090, barebone charter, new rigging and newly powered
Treasure Harbor Marine - behind treasure Village, MM 86.5, Plantation Key, 305-852-2458, sail boats, bareboat or captained for rent, also powerboats
Danger Charters - Hilton Marina, Key West, 305-296-3272, sailing aboard 60 foot schooner, also kayak rentals, back country tours - http://www.dangercharters.com
Southernmost Sailing - 5950 Maloney Avenue, Oceanside marina, Key West, 305-293-1883, monohull sail boats or catamarans, bareboat or chartered for rent -
Morning Star Sailing Charters - MM 100, Marina Del Mar Resort & Marina, Key Largo - 305-451-7057. Small group private sailboat charter, Fee: half day $55 per person; full day $110 per person.
Florida Keys Sailing School - 85944 Overseas Highway, 305-664-8718
Florida Keys Sailing Charter Club - http://www.floridasailing.com , 800-468-4440
BOATS - TOURS AND SCENIC RIDES
There are all sorts of boat tours available for families in the Florida Keys. Some focus on viewing the reef and marine life through glass bottomed boats, whiles others emphasize thrills and action over environmental learning . Still others advertise themselves as eco-island adventure tours, and try to combine fun and adventure along with learning. The tours listed below are appropriate for children.
Strike Zone Charters - MM 29.5 - Big Pine -
This tour combines a number of activities and is great for children because it provides a variety of activities. Strike Zone uses a large catamaran with glass bottom to take patrons touring the back country . Visitors experience the Keys history, see an assortment of aquatic birds and marine life, fish a bit, snorkel over a coral reef, and enjoy Strike Zones fish coo k-out on a private island. $45 pp. for 5 and 1/2 hour tour. 800-654-9560 or 305-872-9863
Wet Willy's Wild Island Tours - Oceanside MM 54 - Marathon
See the Keys on a guided WaveRunner tour. Tour lasts 2.5 hours and is described as an "adrenaline rush". Twenty-six mile tour includes slalom course, back country islands, mangrove islands, marine life, wave jumping and going under bridges. Reserve ahead of time. 305-743-9822 Also offers boat rentals, glass bottom boat tours, charters, diving, and snorkel, water skiing, and windsurfing.
Hawks Cay Resort and Water Sports - MM 61 - Duck Key
. . . 1. SNORKEL CENTER - The Snorkel Center on Duck Key is the island headquarters for Snorkeling, Sailing, Sunset cruises and glass bottom boat tours. Located at the Hawk's Cay marina docks, the Snorkel Center is less than a two minute walk from resort rooms at the Hawk's Cay Inn and villas at Hawk's Cay Village and about a fifteen minute drive from Islamorada or Marathon. Snorkel Trip in the early afternoon 305-743-9000
. . . 2. Snorkel Center Glass Bottom Sightseeing Trips to see the reef in the AM. $15 per person for narrated tour
. . . 3. Catamaran Sail Cruise aboard the Horizon- Sunset Cruises on 40' catamaran - $30 per person includes sail, sunset, refreshments, and champagne 305-743-7000. Ext. 3555 - for mom, dad and the kids.
. . . 4. Island Adventure Eco-Tour - Thursday, Friday and Saturday several times a day. Discover the natural mysteries of the Florida Keys, hands on opportunity to learn about bird and aquatic wildlife, visit mangrove islands and learn local history . Need appropriate clothing and shoes for getting in the water 305-743-7000.
Easy Adventures Boat Tours - MM 81.6 bayside at World Wide Sportsman - Islamorada, 305-451-8393
Easy Adventures offers private snorkeling charters for families and groups up to 6 per boat. Snorkeling sites are shallow...sometimes only 2 feet, ideal for beginners. Cheeca Rocks is a nearshore patch reef with 7 foot tall coral formations in 10-12 foot depth, the tops of the corals in many places only 3 foot deep. Alligator Lighthouse sits atop an offshore bank-barrier reef with 3 foot depth in the shallowest portion. Advanced snorkelers can try their luck at catching a lobster. Lessons and equipment are provided free. We also offer guided tours to the ruins at Indian Key, home of pirates and ship wreckers. Kids can enjoy our "critter gettin" program and learn about weird and interesting sea animals. Spend a half day or full day exploring remote shallow bays, narrow creeks, and crystal aquamarine waters occasionally discovering dolphin, sea turtles, and manatees. For more information click on Easy Adventures Boat Tours at http://www.keysboats.com
Captain Victoria Rose Impallomeni - Key West - 305-294-9731, wilderness guide specializing in children, snorkeling, island hopping, bird watching - http://www.captvictoria.com
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park - MM 102.5 - Key Largo
The concessioners of this state park offer glass bottom catamaran boat tours aboard the Spirit of Pennekamp for the youngster that wants to stay dry. The trip lasts 2 1/2 hours and costs $10 for kids under 12 years of age. Adults and over 12 are charged $18. Entrance fee to the Park $4 for car and 50 cents per passenger. 305-451-1621.
Also available twice a day is a sail cruise of John Pennycamp's waters on the 38 foot catamaran, Sea Dancer.
Caribbean Watersports - MM 97, Westin Key Largo Resort, Key Largo, 305-852-4707 and Cheeca Lodge, MM 82, Islamorada , - Small group environmental tours of Everglades sailing Florida Bay. Call 305-664-9598 for reservations. Tour is of two duration
Everglades Safari Tours - MM 102 Bayside, Dolphin Cove, Key Largo, 305-853-5161, 888-224-6044 . Two pontoon boat tours each day of mangrove islands and bird rookeries of Everglades National Park.
Holiday Inn Glass Bottom Boat - MM 100 - Key Largo
Enclosed boat "Key Largo Princess" with large viewing salon and narrated tours, 280 square feet of glass bottomed viewing area for seeing the reef, fish varieties, coral plumes, and sea fans. Panoramic view from sun deck. Visits the coral reef of John Pennykamp Underwater State Park, three times daily. Cruises two hours in length. 305-451-4655
Glass Bottom Boat Tour with Hooka Diving - Captain Donna Browning - MM 54 - Grassy Key
This tour offers children three different ways to see the marine environment. Kids can choose their own comfort level of fun and excitement. They can stay dry and see it all through the glass of the boat. They can snorkel and see it from the surface, or they can try "Hooka Diving" which requires no scuba certification, but enables youngsters to duck under the surface and see the reef and fish really close up. Hooka diving is a lot less expensive than scuba diving and is a great way for kids and beginners to experience the thrill of diving. 305-289-9933 or cell phone 305-393-9919, http://www.seethereef.com
Discovery Glass Bottom Boats Tours - Key West - 251 Margaret St. - Lands End Marina 305-293-0099, 800-262-0099 - $25 plus tax for adults, $30 plus tax sunset, children under 12 - $16 plus tax, under 3 are free. NOTE: On the first trip of the day all kids under 7 up to two per adult are free.
The Discovery offers 3 tours daily to the living coral reef, including a champagne sunset tour. The Discovery's unique underwater viewing room provides a panoramic view of the coral and sealife at the reef. Complete with air-conditioning, this tour provides some interesting Key West history, and wonderful perspective of the coral.
Ski Key West - 305-296-2210 - Jet Ski tour around the island of Key west, 26 miles starting at the Galleon Marina at 617 Front Street. - small groups and guides, lasts about 1 1/2 hour, call for rates
African Queen - MM100, Key Largo (Docked at canal next to the Holiday Inn.) 305-451-4655.
The African Queen from the 1951 movie of the same name starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn can be seen for free outside the Key Largo Holiday Inn. A short trip down the access canal to the Ocean and back cost $15 per person.
Appledore Charter Windjammer (October through May) - 201 William Street, Key West, 305-296-9992 , Appledore offers snorkel trips to the reef. Trip on this 85 foot schooner includes snorkel equipment, lunch, snack and beverage.Reservations a Must.
A to Z INDEX OF CATEGORIES
SAILING - LESSONS, SAILBOAT RENTALS, SUPPLIES, EQUIPMENT
SANDALS AND SHOES
SCHOOLS - REGISTRATION, IMMUNIZATION (public),
SNORKELING AND SNUBA,
SUNSET CELEBRATIONS AND CRUISES
YOUTH GROUPS, ORGANIZATIONS, AND CENTERS (see also CAMPS),
ZOOS (see ANIMALS )
BY FLORIDA KEYS BEST
Florida Keys Best
386 East Seaview Drive
Marathon, Florida 33050