Where to stay in Florida Keys, FL

  • Post last modified:September 11, 2021
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The Florida Keys is famous for its warm year-round weather, blue waters and relaxed ambience. It’s a tropical paradise that’s like no other place. But where to stay in Florida Keys for the best experience?

Key West is the option that offers most things to do. Other great places to stay in Florida Keys are from north to south Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon and the Lower Keys.

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Where to stay in Florida Keys, FL

Key Largo, FL – Easily accessible Florida Keys accommodation

You certainly don’t have to go far from the mainland to find nice places to stay in Florida Keys. Key Largo is the first island in the archipelago that you get to when you go from the mainland to Florida Keys.

It’s only 67 miles (108 km) from Miami to Key Largo that is known as the gateway to Florida Keys. If you come by car from the mainland there is no other option for where to stay in the Florida Keys area that is easier to reach. Located at the start of the stunning Overseas Highway it’s also a convenient first stop if you plan to go deeper into the Keys.

Key Largo is much like the rest of Florida Keys a great place for activities in and on the water. In particular John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is a highlight in the northern area of Florida Keys. It’s an undersea park that shows you how very rich the Florida Keys marine life is.

As indicated by its name Key Largo is at 33 miles (53 km) the largest Florida Keys segment. And in the area you have plenty of Florida Keys hotels and restaurants to choose from.

In short, the easy access from Miami and its stunning environment makes Key Largo a great option for where to stay in Florida Keys. Key Largo is not deep into the island chain but the area offers great water activities and all the Florida Keys accommodation that you need for a perfect stay in the tropical paradise.

  • Stay in Key Largo for: A Florida Keys stay with great access from the mainland.

Recommended Florida Keys hotels in Key Largo

Playa Largo Resort & Spa – A top luxury Florida Keys oceanfront resort in Key Largo

At Playa Largo Resort & Spa you have all you need for a great time in Florida Keys, and a little more. The bayfront property offers great facilities including a fantastic pool and beach area. It’s a true pleasure to spend time in such a beautiful setting by the ocean. Playa Largo Resort & Spa is a grand example of that you don’t need to go far south to find some of the best Florida Keys resorts.

Sunset Cove Beach Resort – Less exclusive beachfront Key Largo lodging

Sunset Cove Beach Resort is a great option for where to stay in Key Largo if you look for something less exclusive but still beachfront. At Sunset Cove you are met by a retro look and a tranquil Florida Keys atmosphere. And its pretty location on the beach just adds to the laid-back tropical vibe. It’s not fancy Florida Keys lodging but it’s certainly a great place to unwind without breaking the bank.

The Overseas Highway, Florida.

Islamorada, FL – Florida Keys lodging halfway between Miami and Key West

South of Key Largo you find another appealing option for where to stay in Florida Keys, Islamorada. In Islamorada you’re about halfway between Miami and Key West.

The location of Islamorada is very appreciated by Florida Keys visitors. It’s deep enough into the Keys to feel away from the mainland. Still it’s also close enough to be easy to reach by car if you come from the Miami area. So in that way the Florida Keys hotels in Islamorada offer the best of two worlds.

In Islamorada water activities are in abundance. One of the very best things to do in Islamorada is to pay a visit to Indian Key Historic State Park. As there is no road to the small Indian Key it’s only accessible by boat. A popular and beautiful way to get there is to paddle over.

Just like Key Largo the Islamorada area also delivers all you need when it comes to Florida Keys lodging and dining. In the area you have all the places you need for an unforgettable time in the Florida Keys.

To sum up, Islamorada is one of the best areas to stay in Florida Keys if you look for something both secluded and convenient. Islamorada is fairly deep into the stunning Florida Keys and offers a relaxing island atmosphere. Yet the option for where to stay in Florida Keys is also easy to reach from the mainland.

  • Stay in Islamorada for: Convenient Florida Keys places to stay further south.

Recommended Florida Keys hotels in Islamorada

Islander Resort – A picturesque Florida Keys oceanfront resort in Islamorada

The Islander Resort is one of the most popular resorts in Islamorada and the Florida Keys. The location directly on the beach is both beautiful and convenient. And the landscaping at the oceanfront Islander Resort is nothing less than phenomenal. The option for where to stay in Florida Keys really is a slice of paradise.

Sands of Islamorada – More simple Florida Keys lodging in Islamorada

Sands of Islamorada offers comfortable Florida Keys lodging by the water. It’s a more simple place to stay but the location is great for exploring Florida Keys. And the comfortable rooms at Sands of Islamorada are all you need for the time you’re not out exploring the tropical island chain.

Blue boat, palm tree, white sand and blue water
Islamorada, FL.

Marathon, FL – Hotels in Florida Keys’ laid-back heart

Marathon is an option for where to stay in Florida Keys that’s located halfway to Key West from the start of the Overseas Highway. Therefore Marathon also is known as the heart of Florida Keys.

In the heart of Florida Keys you find an island oasis that promotes the traditional laid-back Florida Keys lifestyle. Marathon is far away from the hectic and complicated mainland life. The relaxed atmosphere has made Marathon known as one of the best places to stay in Florida Keys for families and other travelers who want a peaceful time.

A great place for relaxation in Marathon is certainly its most famous beach. Sombrero Beach in Marathon is one of the best beaches in the entire island chain. Its sandy shoreline, calm waters and palm trees make it a great place for lazy days in the heart of the Florida Keys.

Turtles love the warm Florida Keys waters just as much as you do. A great educational experience when you visit Marathon is to go to Florida Keys Turtle Hospital. There you get to learn about turtles and the hospital’s efforts to save them.

Marathon certainly offers what you need when it comes to Florida Keys accommodation and dining options. The Florida Keys oceanfront hotels in Marathon are stunning and provide the quality time you crave for.

In conclusion, Marathon is one of the best areas to stay in Florida Keys for an authentic and laid-back experience. In Marathon you get a true Florida Keys getaway in the heart of the island chain. The option for where to stay in Florida Keys ticks every box for a relaxing holiday.

  • Stay in Marathon for: A laid-back stay in the heart of Florida Keys.

Recommended Florida Keys hotels in Marathon

Isla Bella Beach Resort & Spa – Exclusive Florida Keys oceanfront living

Isla Bella in Marathon is one of the best Florida Keys spa hotels. The breathtaking Florida Keys oceanfront resort feels secluded and away from it all. Yet its convenient location near the Seven Mile Bridge also makes it one of the Marathon hotels near Bahia Honda Beach in the Lower Keys. So the resort is an exceptional base for exploring both Marathon and the more southern parts of Florida Keys.

Courtyard by Marriott Marathon Florida Keys – An excellent Florida Keys Marriott

At Marriott in Marathon you stay with great comfort in the heart of Florida Keys. And its pool right by the Gulf of Mexico offers stunning views during every hour of the day. The comfort, scenery and central location makes it one of the very best places to stay in Florida Keys.

Houses and palm trees at sunset of Miami to Key West drive
Marathon in Florida Keys’ heart, FL.

Lower Keys, FL – More quiet places to stay in Florida Keys

After Marathon but before Key West the Lower Keys area is another great option for where to stay in Florida Keys. The area comes after the famous Seven Mile Bridge that separates Marathon from the Lower Keys.

If you pick the Lower Keys for where to stay in Florida Keys you get a soothing atmosphere around the clock. The peaceful ambience in the Lower Keys area makes it a very popular place to stay in Florida Keys for visitors who look for something quiet and off the beaten path.

You also find one of the top beaches in the Florida Keys in the area. Bahia Honda Beach is a picturesque beach with clear water and a long shoreline to explore. It’s tough to pick a winner between Sombrero Beach in Marathon and Bahia Honda Beach in the Lower Keys.

The Lower Keys is an area with a smaller selection of Florida Keys hotels. But you still find some charming Florida Keys places to stay in the quiet area far away from the buzz.

You certainly also find some good restaurants and even a few cool bars in the Lower Key area. But the Lower Keys area is the wrong place for that big night out. The best places to stay in Florida Keys if you want liveliness are located slightly further south in Key West.

To sum up, Lower Keys is the best place to stay in Florida Keys if you want a peaceful escape without any distractions. If you pick the quiet Lower Keys it’s mostly just you, the sun and the waves.

  • Stay in Lower Keys for: Florida Keys hotels in a quiet area off the beaten path.

Recommended Florida Keys hotels in Lower Keys

Parmer’s Resort – Bahia Honda lodging near the famous beach in Lower Keys

At Parmer’s Resort you stay on Little Torch Key that comes right after Big Pine Key. The beachfront Florida Keys resort sits less than 10 miles (16 km) from the famous Bahia Honda Beach. Parmer’s Resort is one of the very few Lower Keys places to stay near Bahia Honda and a place that visitors return to year after year.

Boats on calm water in Florida Keys
Life on water in Florida Keys, FL.

Key West, FL – The best place to stay in Florida Keys for entertainment

Key West is the last island that the breathtaking Overseas Highway takes you to. No other option for where to stay in Florida Keys is located as far south as the quirky Key West.

From Key West it’s 165 miles (266 km) to Miami by car. Cuba is in fact closer as it’s not more than 95 miles (153 km) from Key West to Cuba.

In Key West you find many of the most famous attractions in Florida Keys. Old Town in Key West is packed with fun Key West things to do including Hemingway’s Home, Key West Lighthouse and the Butterfly Garden. Duval and Whitehead are the two main streets where you find many of the island’s highlights.

The southernmost island also offers a wide range of Florida Keys hotels. In Key West you find both luxury lodging and Florida Keys accommodation for the less picky visitor.

Options for where to stay in Key West are Old Town and New Town, or you can base yourself an island away on Stock Island. But when you stay at Florida Keys hotels in Old Town you have walking distance to most of the many restaurants, watering holes and things to do on the island. So Old Town in Key West is the best place to stay in Florida Keys if you want to keep your car parked during your stay.

But with the convenient and popular location comes steeper Florida Keys hotel rates. So for Florida Keys on a budget you should look into other areas further away from the famous attractions in Old Town.

Also have in mind that the Florida Keys places to stay on the island tend to book up early in advance. So make sure that you book as early as possible especially if you plan to stay in Old Town of Key West.

All in all, Key West is the best place to stay in Florida Keys for entertainment. No other option for where to stay in Florida Keys offers the same great amount of things to do. And in Key West you find all the Florida Keys hotels, restaurants and bars you need to have the best of times in the Florida Keys.

  • Stay in Key West for: The best entertainment and quirky Key West ambience.
Sign on FLorida Keys beach warning that no lifeguard is on duty
Fort Zachary Taylor Beach in Key West, FL.

Recommended Florida Keys hotels in Key West

Almond Tree Inn – Excellent Florida Keys accommodation in Old Town

At Almond Tree Inn you have all you need for a peaceful stay in the heart of Key West. The Florida Keys accommodation is located near Duval street in the center of the action. Still Almond Tree Inn is very neat and quiet and has all you need for a relaxing stay. It’s not a place for Florida Keys on a budget but the attractive inn is also something extra.

Douglas House – Another great Florida Keys lodging option in Old Town

Douglas Hoise is another great Florida Keys inn. From the place to stay near Duval Street in Old Town you have walking distance to many of the famous things to do on the island. Douglas House is in particular rated as a great option for where to stay in Florida Keys for couples.

Barbary Beach House – Stay in New Town on the beach

At Barbary Beach House you get a combination of Key West and the beach. The Florida Keys accommodation is located in New Town just steps from Smather’s Beach. And from Barbary Beach House it’s not longer than 1.6 miles (2.6 km) to Southernmost Point in Old Town.

View over Old Town in Key West
The beautiful Old Town area in Key West.

Search for a hotel in Florida Keys, FL

Use the booking tool below to find the perfect accommodation for your stay in Florida Keys. Browse the map for options in various areas, or click on the search button to get all Florida Keys hotels listed.

Booking.com

Where to stay in Florida Keys FAQ

Here you find the answers to some frequently asked questions about where to stay in Florida Keys, FL.

Where is the best area to stay in the Florida Keys?

Key West is the best area to stay in the Florida Keys if you want liveliness and land based attractions nearby. Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon and the Upper Keys also offer the beauty of Florida Keys but are much quieter and more water focused. The best way to see Florida Keys is to spend some time in Key West and also at least a couple of nights in the middle or upper parts of the island chain. 

Is it better to stay in Key Largo or Islamorada?

You find an abundance of water activities in both Key Largo and Islamorada. Key Largo is the first area when you come from the mainland and Islamorada the second. Both offer beautiful places to stay but good or bad Islamorada feels and is further away from the mainland.

Which Florida Keys area is best for families?

The Florida Keys is in general a very family friendly destination. Therefore you find great places to stay in Florida Keys for families all over the tropical island chain.

How many days do you need in the Florida Keys?

The Florida Keys is a great place both for a weekend getaway and a longer vacation. A long weekend gives you time to see some of the highlights in Florida Keys. But add time for the lazy days and water activities that are important parts of the relaxing and appreciated Florida Keys culture.

Are the Florida Keys worth visiting?

The Florida Keys is the perfect place to visit if you think endless summer, a laid-back vibe and stunning water activities sound like a good time. Add to that the interesting places to visit and the quirkiness that Key West is famous for. The Florida Keys is a unique place that isn’t like the rest of Florida or the US.

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