FIVE FREE THINGS TO DO IN THE FLORIDA KEYS
The Florida Keys offers every water activity imaginable from sailing to sport fishing. But a fishing charter or snorkeling excursion will cost you. Fortunately, the Keys, a series of islands spanning over 100 miles (160 kilometers) connected by bridges and causeways, offer plenty to do at no cost, from sunset views to nature spots. Driving the toll-free Florida Keys Overseas Highway south from Florida City to Key West takes about three hours, though you'll want to stop to sightsee. But the drive alone is worth the trip: You feel as though you are floating over water as you hop from island to island, with pristine views on either side. It’s also one of the rare places where both sunset and sunrise can be seen over the water, depending on which way you turn your head. A couple of tips: Bring snorkel and flippers so you don’t have to rent. If you plan a hotel stay, find one that lets guests use kayaks for free. You can fish off the bridges, but you'll need a license unless you’re here on the state’s two Free Fishing Days, April 6 and June 8. For more visitor information, download a free Florida Keys iPhone app, or visit www.fla-keys.com .
Here are five places in the Keys with free highlights for each.
J Pat Carter