The Keys offer some of the world's finest diving; dive or snorkel with tavernier's conch republic divers (mm 90.8, 305-852-1655, www.conchrepublicdivers.com). Learn about the history of the Keys at Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park (mm 85.5, 305-664-2540, www.floridastateparks.org/windleykey/). Take a nature tour with Islamorada's Bay & Reef Company; Captain Xavier Figueredo will lead you on customized excursion trips (mm 82, 305-393-0994, www.bayandreef.com). Visit with magnificent tarpon at Robbie's (mm 77.5, 305-664-9814, www.robbies.com). Rent canoes and paddle quiet mangroves at Long Key State Park (mm 67.5, 305-664-4815, www.floridastateparks.org). Search for Key deer on Big Pine Key (mm 33). In Key West, visit undersea treasure hunter Mel Fisher's Maritime Museum (305-294-2633, www.melfisher.org) or experience the weirdness and the sunset at Mallory Square (it's at the end of the road).
Following your stomach
One happy advantage of a road trip through the Keys: with one mainroad (granted, there are a few exceptions), it's difficult to get lost. Follow your taste buds and the handy roadside mile markers to any one of the following establishments.
Snapper's Waterfront Saloon and Raw Bar, Key Largo
Try the mouthwatering yellowtail.
mm 94.5, (305) 852-5956,
Joe & Celia's Cafe Las Brisas, Tavernier Creek Marina
Joe cooks, Celia serves. Some of the best cuban/american food you'll find.
mm 90.8, (305) 853-0042
Lorelei Restaurant & Cabana Bar, Islamorada
Great sunset happy hours. In season, lobster is the way to go.
mm 82, (305) 664-4656,
No Name Pub, Big Pine Key
Try the grilled cuban sandwich.
North Watson Boulevard (1.5 miles north of route 1 — if you get lost, just ask).
Porky’s Bayside Barbecue, Marathon
Mouthwatering pork barbecue — but don’t neglect the fresh seafood.
mm 47.5, (305) 289-2065
Baby’s Coffee, Key West
Most magnificent cup of coffee you’ll ever have.
mm 15, (800) 523-2326,
Seven Fish Restaurant, Key West
The crab cakes will bowl you over.
632 olivia st.
Kelly’s Caribbean Bar/Grill & Brewery, Key West
Great seafood, microbrewed beer.
301 whitehead st.,
Turtle Kraal’s Restaurant & Bar, Key West
Fresh seafood, heaping portions.
231 margaret st.