Best Parks In The Keys
When driving to Key West, make sure to keep your eyes open for some of the majestic natural attractions along the way. To help guide your trip, we added to our Florida Road Trip series with this post on the best parks in the Florida Keys. (Pro tip: Many of these parks are home to hammocks—but not the swaying-in-the-air bed kind. In the southeast US, hammocks are also stands of trees.)
Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge
The Crocodile Lake National Refuge is located in Key Largo. Part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, it’s home to many beautiful species of animals, including crocodiles and wild butterflies.
Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge. 107050 County Rd. Key Largo, FL
Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park
Officially titled The Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park, this outdoor getaway is also located in Key Largo, and is a great spot to take the family. Here, you can hike shady trails and explore tons of species of plants and animals.
Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park.County Rd. 905 & Mile Marker 106. Key Largo, FL
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary offers visitors access to a number of underwater sights in the form of outlooks and exhibits. Explore corals, plants, shipwrecks, ocean animals, and more.
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. 95230 Overseas Highway. Key Largo, FL
Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park
Henry Flagler of Standard Oil fame founded a quarry in Islamorada in the early 1900s. Today, it’s a state park, home to a number of hiking trails and historic fossil reefs, which offer a glimpse into history available in few other places around the world.
Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park. 84900 Overseas Highway. Islamorada, FL
Lignumvitae Key Botanical State Park
This is a gorgeous, near-300 acre botanical state park in the Florida Keys that’s well worth visiting on your road trip down to Key West Located in the serene town of Islamorada, this tiny key island can be reached by a private boat, or tour boat, and the park’s tropical hammock setting is pure majesty.
Lignumvitae Key Botanical State Park. 77200 Overseas Hwy. Islamorada, FL
Indian Key Historic State Park
Located right along U.S. 1, Indian Key Historic State Park is another gorgeous island state park of Florida that’s well worth dropping by on your drive down south. Formerly the home to a small community in the 19th century, the island is now an uninhabited park with unique ruins and nature.
Indian Key Historic State Park. Overseas Hwy. Islamorada FL
Long Key State Park
For something with a bit more size, and a bit more diversity, you may want to make your Florida Keys road trip stop off at Long Key State Park. The Monroe County park is nearly 1,000 acres and features nature trails and tropical beaches.
Long Key State Park. 67400 Overseas Hwy. Layton, FL
Curry Hammock State Park
Curry Hammock State Park is a popular road trip destination set around halfway between Key Largo and Key West. The preserved, uninhabited piece of land features brilliant beaches, mangrove swamps, rockland hammocks, seagrass beds, and kayak and paddleboard excursion opportunities.
Curry Hammock State Park. 56200 Overseas Hwy. Marathon, FL
Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge
The Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge is an important and breathtaking member of the United States Wildlife Refuge System. The backcountry destination is located just north of Key West and is home to a number of endangered wildlife species, including its eponymous bird.
Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge. Cudjoe Key, FL
Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park
This state park is one of the most popular outdoor destinations on our island of Key West. Located right on the water, Fort Taylor is both an outdoor park and a National Historic Landmark with a well-preserved Civil War-era fort.
Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park. 601 Howard England Way. Key West, FL