Everyone’s heard of the Florida Keys. Located just off the coast of Florida, it’s a coral cay archipelago that includes around 1,700 islands boasting some of the world’s best beaches. With that many islands, you can be sure that you’ll find one that suits your budget and travel style.

Whether you’re looking for a laid back island feel, somewhere to drink cocktails near the ocean, or just a place to go swimming, snorkelling or diving, you’ll find it in these islands.

With so many places to choose from, it can be difficult to find the absolute best places to stay in the Florida Keys. That’s why we’ve created this guide, to help you find islands that suit your wants and needs, and are close to places where you can really make the most of your Florida Keys vacation.

Follow your nose.

Where to Stay in The Florida Keys

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our top recommendations for places to stay in the Florida Keys.

It’s no wonder this paradise region of the sunshine state is a must-visit for most travellers in the USA given the combination of awesome beaches, incredible restaurants and fascinating culture.

Best Airbnb in The Florida Keys: Lovely apartment close to the beach

Lovely apartment close to the beach

Whether you’re staying in the Florida Keys for one night or a longer stay, this duplex will suit all your needs. It has a great deck where you can sit out and enjoy the views as well as a stunning outdoor pool. With open-plan living and a full kitchen, you’ll enjoy your time in this beach style apartment and have all the amenities for a comfortable stay.

Best Hostel in The Florida Keys: Seashell International Hostel

Seashell International Hostel, Florida Keys

Bright, colourful, and inviting – this hostel in the Florida Keys has everything you need for a comfortable, budget-friendly stay. The hostel offers lots of island charm as well as great facilities, including a kitchen area, laundry facilities, and a great location. You’ll be within walking distance of the beach and popular shopping districts.

Best Hotel in The Florida Keys: Gilbert’s Resort

Gilberts Resort, Florida Keys

Easily accessible from Miami, this hotel in the Florida Keys has its own marina and boat dock. There’s a Tiki bar and restaurant on-site, as well as lots of facilities for outdoor activities. The hotel also has a swimming pool and a private beach area for you to enjoy.

Florida Keys Neighbourhood Guide

Key Largo, Florida Keys 1

Key Largo

Key Largo is the northern gateway to the Florida Keys, and the best choice when you’re trying to decide where to stay in the Florida Keys for your first time.

Islamorada, Florida Keys 1


If you like adventure and are trying to decide where to stay in the Florida Keys on a budget at the same time, then Islamorada might be the answer you’re looking for.

Marathon, Florida Keys 1


Marathon is hands down the best choice when you’re deciding where to stay in the Florida Keys for families. It’s a collection of small islands that are jam-packed with activities designed to keep the kids occupied.

Key West, Florida Keys 1

Key West

You’ve probably heard of Key West, most people have. This island is at the southernmost tip of the Keys and was built on the back of cigar-making and the money taken from shipwrecks.

There are over 1,700 islands in the archipelago that makes up the Florida Keys, each of them unique and with its own attractions. This may make it a little hard for you to find the best Florida Keys accommodation for your vacation, but you just need to know which island best suits your travel style.

Key Largo is the best area for travellers heading to the Florida Keys for the first time. Easily accessible from the mainland and with a great mix of amenities and adventure activities including scuba diving, there’s something to suit everyone and it’s home to some of the best hotels in Florida Keys.

Islamorada: The second place to look at is Islamorada, a group of six islands that offers a more local, down to earth feel. This is our top pick for those travelling on a budget, so if you like fishing and other activities that don’t cost a lot of money, this is where you’ll find them.

Marathon is a collection of tiny islands that offers lots of family-friendly activities, suitable for even the smallest members of your family. If you want to keep them occupied for a few days, this is the best place to base your vacation.

Key West is the best place to stay in the Florida Keys for nightlife. This is probably one of the most popular islands, and for good reason – it’s full of everything from beautiful beaches to popular bars and fancy hotels with multiple swimming pools!

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Florida Keys’ 4 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

There are lots of great neighbourhoods in the Florida Keys, but here are some of the best for travellers in the area.

1. Key Largo – Where to Stay in the Florida Keys for First Time

Key Largo is the northern gateway to the Florida Keys and the best choice when you’re trying to decide where to stay in the Florida Keys for your first time. It’s easily accessible from Miami Airport by plane and offers a huge range of activities, beaches, and attractions for every type of traveller. It’s even a great spot in Florida to go camping too.

On this island, you’ll find everything from spots to swim, kayak and enjoy pretty much any other type of water sport, to lots of restaurants and convenient amenities. Key Largo is also home to some of the best hotels in the Florida Keys. If you’re looking for swimming pools, tennis courts, private balconies, a hot tub and a fitness center all within close range of a sandy beach, then this is the one!

So if you’re ready for the perfect beach holiday, get packing and head to the Florida Keys.

Key Largo, Florida Keys 1
Key Largo has everything you could want from a Florida Keys vacation

Best Airbnb in Key Largo: Waterfront Sunsets cottage

Waterfront Sunsets cottage

This airy cottage is a great option if you’re trying to decide where to stay in the Florida Keys on a budget. Suitable for 2 guests, it has a private bathroom and a kitchen. As a bonus, it’s within walking distance of local bars and shops as well as being set right on the harbour.

Best Luxury Airbnb in Key Largo: Elegant Waterfront Home

Elegant Waterfront Home, Florida Keys

Located in one of Florida Keys’ best neighbourhoods, this home will satisfy all of your needs for luxury. With 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, it’s a gated property that’s ideal for up to 12 guests and sits just steps from the ocean.

Best Hotel in Key Largo: Hampton Inn

Hampton Inn, Florida Keys

Whether you’re visiting the Florida Keys with kids or with a group of friends, this hotel is a good choice. You’ll get a choice of room sizes to suit every travel group, as well as complimentary breakfasts to start your day. The hotel also has a swimming pool, private balconies, fitness center, private beach and boat dock.

Things to See and Do in Key Largo:

ttd in key largo
  • Go parasailing with Keys Adventures Watersports
  • Get out on the water and learn about the plight of the ocean creatures at the Key Largo National Marine Sanctuary
  • Have a meal at local spots like Shipwrecks Bar and Grill, The Buzzard’s Roost, or Hubo’s Café
  • Take the African Queen Cruise along the canals, and follow in the footsteps of Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart.
  • Go diving or swimming over the SS Benwood, a steam cargo ship from the early twentieth century.
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2. Islamorada – Where to Stay in The Florida Keys on a Budget

If you like adventure and are trying to decide where to stay in the Florida Keys on a budget at the same time, then staying in Islamorada is your best bet.

This chain of 6 islands is known more for sport fishing and outdoor activities than posh hotels and restaurants. So, if you’re looking to pay more local prices and spend your time outdoors for free, you’ll have plenty of chances to do it here.

Islamorada, Florida Keys 1

Best Airbnb in Islamorada: Entire Apartment

Entire Apartment, Florida Keys

This is one of the coolest AirBnBs in the Florida Keys for swimming and other water activities. The apartment has 2 bedrooms and is suitable for up to 4 guests, and has a private beach as well as ocean views from every room. All that for a very budget-friendly price that beats most hotels in Florida Keys.

Best Luxury Airbnb in Islamorada: Beachfront Cottage

Beachfront Cottage, Florida Keys

This luxury offering has 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, suitable for up to 5 guests. It’s also in the best neighbourhood in the Florida Keys if you want to be close to the beach and the town. Situated in a gated community, this Airbnb has a private infinity pool. In addition, you’ll enjoy your own private beach and dock during your stay. It’s also considered to be one of the best Airbnbs in all of Florida.

Best Hotel in Islamorada: La Siesta Resort & Marina

La Siesta Resort and Marina, Florida Keys

If you want ocean views at a reasonable price, then this is one of the best places to stay in the Florida Keys. It’s just off the highway for easy access and offers complimentary breakfasts by the outdoor pool. There’s also a bar and restaurant where you can have a late-night drink and bite to eat.

Things to See and Do in Islamorada:

Islamorada, Florida Keys 2
Islamorada is popular for ocean sports.
  • Enjoy a meal at Meze Morada, Calypso’s, or Bayside Gourmet
  • Go swimming or enjoy the sporting facilities at the Village of Islands Founders Park.
  • Take a boat tour to get to know the area from the ocean
  • Have a picnic or BBQ at the Library Beach Park
  • Explore the unique History of the Diving Museum
  • Grab your best hiking boots and make your way through Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park

3. Marathon – Best Neighbourhood in The Florida Keys for Families

Marathon is hands down the best choice when you’re deciding where to stay in the Florida Keys for families. It’s a collection of small islands that are jam-packed with activities designed to keep the kids entertained. The islands are connected by a bridge for easy access to wherever you want to explore on your Florida road trip.

Marathon also has a lot to offer for adults visiting the area. This includes amazing beaches and attractions that will teach you about the islands and all the marine life around them as well as some of the most family-friendly hotels in Florida Keys.

Marathon, Florida Keys 1
Marathon is super family-friendly.

Best Airbnb in Marathon: Colourful Florida home with pool

Colourful Florida home with pool

Great for couples, families or small groups, this home is located in the best neighbourhood to stay in the Florida Keys if you want to live like a local. It’s modern and clean and has its own pool as well as lots of local restaurants close by.

Best Luxury Airbnb in Marathon: Harbourside house with pool

Harbourside house with pool

This is one of the coolest places to stay in the Florida Keys if you like views, as it offers floor to ceiling views in every room. It has 3 bedrooms, and the owner provides a variety of equipment for water activities for you to use during your stay. You’ll also have access to the Cabana Club, so enjoy the pool and dockside location.

Best Hotel in Marathon: Coconut Cay Resort

Coconut Cay Resort, Florida Keys

This hotel is budget-friendly and comfortable, a worthy addition to any Florida Keys neighbourhood guide. A short drive from the beach, it has a sun terrace and outdoor pool, so you can enjoy those warm summer days as well as a delicious complimentary breakfast every morning.

Things to See and to Do in Marathon:

Marathon, Florida Keys 2
  • Have a delicious seafood meal at Stout’s Restaurant, The Island Fish Company, or Irie Island Eats
  • Relax on the white sand at the Coco Plum Beach
  • Take a tour of the Turtle Hospital
  • Take a canoeing or kayaking tour
  • Have a picnic and take in the views at Sunset Park
  • Let the kids explore the past at the Marathon Air Museum
  • Go camping, fishing or hiking at the Curry Hammock State Park
  • Head to Sombrero Beach for a spot of rest and relaxation
  • Visit the nearby Bahia Honda State Park Duck Key
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4. Key West – Best Area to Stay in The Florida Keys for Nightlife

You’ve probably heard of Key West, most people have. This island is at the southernmost point of the Keys and was built on the back of cigar-making, as well as money taken from shipwrecks. As a result of this history, the island is filled with beautiful mansions and cottages in white and pastel colours, but it’s still a laidback and relaxing area to visit.

The city is welcoming to everyone, offering everything from expensive restaurants to hidden dive bars. This is what makes staying in Key West ideal when you’re deciding where to go in the Florida Keys for nightlife. It’s also home to the Key West international airport so it’s a convenient spot.

Key West, Florida Keys 1

Best Airbnb in Key West: Historic Caroline St Apartment

Historic Caroline St Apartment, Florida Keys

Just one block back from the boardwalk with its amazing restaurants and shops, this one-bedroom apartment is in one of the most convenient areas of the Florida Keys. It includes shared access, a deck and a heated swimming pool as well as great amenities and beach access including water sports.

Best Hostel in Key West: Not Your Average Hotel

Not Your Average Hotel,Florida Keys

This hostel in the Florida Keys offers the perfect combination of comfort and budget-friendly facilities. It has 3 swimming pools and 2 hot tubs and is within walking distance of local attractions like the botanical gardens and Audubon House. The rooms come in a variety of sizes to suit any travel group to rival any of the hotels in Florida Keys.

Best Hotel in Key West: Caribbean House

Caribbean House, Florida Keys

This boutique hotel in the Florida Keys is adult-only and pet friendly. It’s within walking distance of several popular shopping areas and local attractions as well as some of the island’s best restaurants. The Key West resort offers both on-site parking as well as a bar. In addition, it has comfortable rooms with a variety of amenities a 10 min walk from a sandy beach.

Things to See and Do in Key West:

Key West, Florida Keys 2
Key West is a very welcoming area of the Florida Keys
  • Take in the beauty at the Audubon House & Tropical Gardens
  • Take a tour through the Key West Lighthouse
  • Explore the area’s wartime history at the USCGC Ingham Maritime Museum
  • Enjoy some live music at the Key West Amphitheater
  • See a show at the Waterfront Playhouse
  • Try the local food at A&B Lobster House, Two Friends Patio, and Sunset Pier
  • Raise a glass at Sloppy Joe’s Bar, Lagerheads Beach Bar & Watersports, or the Hog’s Breath Saloon
  • Spend time on Higgs Beach Smathers Beach until you decide which you like best
  • Relax on the beach or enjoy some water sports at the Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park
  • Visit the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum to learn about the island’s most famous resident
  • Call by the most southernmost point on mainland USA

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Final Thoughts on the Best Places to Stay in the Florida Keys

Whether you’re trying to find the best places in the Florida Keys to stay for a family holiday, on a Florida road trip with friends or a solo adventure, there’s so much to choose from.

Whether you end up in a luxury resort or choose to go camping instead, the Florida Keys offer so much in terms of great food, amazing natural experiences, a relaxed island atmosphere and stunning beaches with lots of chances to enjoy the water.

Sunset? Don’t mind if I do.

Do you own an awesome hostel, hotel or apartment? Want to be featured in our list? Email [email protected] to find out how.

Thanks for reading – that was fun! 😀

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