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Top 10 "Been There, Done That"

Destination(s): Florida Keys

What is worse: missing something on vacation, or having friends and family point it out to you when you get home, secure and happy - "Why didn't you see this?" "Did you go do that?" "What do you mean you didn't stop there?" Fear not. With this list of must-sees, you can't miss a trick. read more about Top 10 "Been There, Done That"

Southernmost Point in the Nation

Southernmost Point in the Nation

  • Corner of Whitehead & South Streets
  • Key West, 33040
Mallory Square

Mallory Square

  • 300 Duval St
  • (at Front St)
  • tel:+1 305 296 4557
  • Visit website
  • Key West, 33040
Conch Tour Train

Conch Tour Train

  • One Key Lime Square
  • tel:+1 305 294 5161 / +1 800 868 7482
  • Visit website
  • Key West, 33040

Historic Tours of America operates both Key West's Conch Tour Train and Old Town Trolley, though the Conch Tour Train is a historic, 51-year-old legacy of Henry Flagler's engineering miracle. After all, he built the Railroad to the Sea. It's a hugely popular tour with over 15 million passengers delighted they got onboard. If you want to revisit the days of hand-rolled cigars made in Mallory Square, learn about Mel Fisher's lifelong search for sunken treasure or simply want to sit in shaded comfort and let someone else do the driving (a skilled engineer, in this case!), hop on. You won't be disappointed. Operates 9am – 4:30pm daily. read more about Conch Tour Train

Bahia Honda State Park

Bahia Honda State Park

  • Mile Marker 37.5
  • Big Pine Key
  • tel:+1 305 872 2353
  • Visit website
  • Key West, 33043

In 2008, the New York Times listed this as one of the top '31 Places To Go This Summer' and it will not disappoint. In 1992, the beach there was named among America's Top 10 Beaches, by Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, a.k.a. Dr. Beach. Bahia Honda is a days-off dream. With 492 acres, Bahia Honda boasts three sandy beaches -- some of the best in the Florida Keys, which are rare. This one is rivaled only by Marathon's Sombrero Beach. Shallow-water snorkeling and fishing from the beach, plus an abundance of wading and shore birds, kayaking and great views of the Old Bahia Honda Bridge complement the Sand and Sea Nature Center. read more about Bahia Honda State Park

Seven-Mile Bridge

Seven-Mile Bridge

  • Mile Marker 47 to Mile Marker 40
  • tel:+1 800 352 5397
  • Marathon, 33050
Turtle Hospital

Turtle Hospital

Educational tours of the facility are offered to introduce visitors to the resident sea turtles and to the hospital's curative programs for loggerhead, green, hawksbill and Kemp's ridley turtles. Moretti credits Dr. Doug Mader, the hospital's current staff veterinarian, for bringing the facility to its present level. In addition to turtle rehabilitation and public education, the Turtle Hospital's goals include conducting and assisting with research that aids sea turtles in conjunction with state universities, and working toward environmental legislation that makes beaches and water safer and cleaner for sea turtles. read more about Turtle Hospital

Dolphin Research Center

Dolphin Research Center

  • 58901 Overseas Highway
  • tel:+1 305 289 1121 / +1 305 289 0002
  • Visit website
  • Grassy Key, 33050

The Dolphin Research Center, mile marker (MM) 59 bayside on Grassy Key, specializes in behavioral research and maintains liaisons with university research programs and independent scientists around the world. Founded in 1984 as a not-for-profit teaching and research facility, the center and its staff have received numerous conservation awards for the rescue and rehabilitation of sick and injured marine mammals. With human attention and kindness, the animals return to good health and provide fun-filled programs that educate visitors about dolphins, sea lions and the environment. Dolphin Encounter is the center's swim program, or visitors can try DolphinSplash, a wade-in program that offers the opportunity to get waist deep in the water with the dolphins. Hands-On Training, Meet the Dolphin and Paint With A Dolphin offer a wide range of interactions. The Dolphin Research Center is open daily, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with continuous dolphin and sea lion sessions. read more about Dolphin Research Center

Robbie's Marina

Robbie's Marina

  • 77-5 Overseas Highway
  • tel:+1 305 664 9814
  • Visit website
  • Islamorada, 33036
Theater of the Sea

Theater of the Sea

  • 84721 Overseas Highway
  • tel:+1 305 664 2431
  • Visit website
  • Islamorada, 33036

Theatre of the Sea, located at 84721 Overseas Highway (MM 84.5) in Islamorada, offers a sit-down parrot show that is surprisingly entertaining and hilarious to watch parrots playing with shapes, ringing bells, playing poker and taking part in guessing games. This is an educational and entertaining marine-animal park and shows are up-close and personal, and is the second oldest park of its kind in the world; the animals live there in natural saltwater lagoons, such as Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, California sea lions, sea turtles, tropical and game fish, sharks, stingrays, crocodiles, alligators, marine invertebrates and birds of prey. While some of the animals were collected and others were born at Theatre of the Sea, many cannot be released because of prolonged contact with humans and/or injuries sustained in the wild. This is hugely important during hurricane season when the animals need to be moved or secured. The care and maintenance of the animals is supported by patrons' donations. Theater of the Sea is open 365 days a year, with tickets available from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. This is the place that pleases everyone in the family! read more about Theater of the Sea

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

  • Mile Marker 102.5
  • Overseas Highway
  • tel:+1 305 451 6300
  • Visit website
  • Key Largo, 33037

Kudos to the late "Miami Herald" editor John Pennekamp for helping to create the first undersea park in the United States. Key Largo's John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, established by the state legislature in 1961 to protect the miracle of America's only living coral reef, allows access to abundant underwater wildlife, large brain, staghorn and elkhorn coral formations and a four-foot barracuda who likes to be photographed. Only a 90-minute drive from Miami, Pennekamp is incorporated in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, a 2,800 square nautical mile span of coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangrove swamp on both sides of the Keys island chain, Florida Bay, the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. One of the park's most popular dive sites is the nine-foot bronze statue of Jesus Christ that rests in 20 feet of water. The statue is a replica of the "Christ of the Abyss" statue in the Mediterranean Sea and was donated to the Underwater Society of America in 1961 by industrialist Egidi Cressi. Underwater enthusiasts can take a reef adventure on a glass bottom boat, snorkeling or scuba diving. If you're not into the underwater scene, John Pennekamp offers two manmade beaches, canoe, kayak and boat rentals and nature trails, as well as 47 campsites, all with electrical hookups and water. read more about John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park