Ocean drive: Take a trip to the palm tree–lined islands of Florida Keys

MY husband Lewis and I turn out of Miami Airport and head straight for the Keys. This chain of beautiful islands, linked by 42 bridges, is 113 miles long and has just one main road, the palm tree–lined Overseas Highway.

Cruising under a cloudless blue sky, we pass roadside restaurants, many of which entice drivers with Key lime pie, and sandy coves where pirates once gathered.

It’s from one of the many bridges crossing expanses of emerald sea where you can best enjoy the unique Keys landscape, which perfectly marries nature with engineering. And it’s the surrounding sea, which ensures the Keys are the only place in America not to suffer from frost, with temperatures staying tropical throughout the year.

Two and a half hours later we arrive at our first stop, Marathon in the heart of the Keys. Founded as a fishing village in the 19th Century, Marathon still retains its family friendly charm. Staying at the luxurious Tranquility Bay resort, we are greeted by Grayling, one of the resort’s rescue cats (brought in as eco–friendly pest control).

With holiday homes opening directly on to the resort’s private 2.5 acre, soft white sand beach, we stretch our legs before taking a dip in the larger of the resort’s two swimming pools and the biggest in the Keys.

Boasting the only living coral reef in America, the Middle Keys offer some of the best sport fishing in the world. Testament to this, you’ll see laid back locals fishing from one of the many bridges on your travels.

Following their lead, we head out on the water with SeaSquared Charters to catch yellowtail snapper and enjoy Marathon’s fine fishing ground.

After working up an appetite and spotting a gigantic sea turtle, we head home to have our filleted fish for dinner in the resort’s Butterfly Café. Fish doesn’t come fresher, or tastier!

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