Watching the sun set on the beautiful, serene waters surrounding Key West, one would definitely want to get as close to the scene as possible. Key West offers visitors the option of getting on to a boat to take in spectacular views.
You can take a ride to the tropical reefs offshore, you can be part of a group abroad a sports fishing charter sailing into the Straits of Florida or the Gulf of Mexico. The other choices open to you are daytime or sunset cruises aboard a catamaran or tall ship. Nature lovers will be thrilled by a nature tour of the backcountry flats, or an excursion to Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas. There are several options of boat rides to choose from. There is a private charter however, if you want company you can join a small group or sign on with a large group.
The Florida Keys is a National Marine Sanctuary, hence strict rules regarding usage apply. Unless you know the waters very well, it is not advisable to go alone on a boating trip. You will be liable for fines if found engaged in any action deemed as causing harm to the delicate environmental balance. Generally all boats keep to the deep tidal channels and move along at recommended speeds. This is essential to ensure that in case the boat hits a flat, it should be able to back off easily. Backing off becomes a difficult affair if your boat has run aground. Boats in places where they are not supposed to be attract fines.
Brown, brown, run aground; yellow, yellow will ground a fellow; green, green, go between; blue, blue, come on through! – is a chant that locals use. The color coding tells them how to deal with a particular area in the water.
If you are inclined towards action, you can join a charter group that offers trips for snorkeling, scuba diving, jet skiing parasailing and kayaking tours. If you would rather lie back and relax you have the options of dolphin watching and taking a trip in a glass bottom boat. Overnight trips to the Marquesas Keys or the Dry Tortugas hold the promise of spectacular views. Some resorts offer the opportunity of water adventures. You get to drive your own speed boat, explore Mangrove Islands, and to do some swimming and snorkeling.