Water, Water, Everywhere: HotelPlanner Says Embrace The ‘Blue Mind’ In The Florida Keys!

Water is soothing. It also calls out to be explored and offers much fun and adventure! We’ve all felt its magic. Marine Biologist Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, calls it “Blue Mind.” Blue Mind describes neurological changes in the brain from being near, in, on, or under the water. His bestselling book Exploring Blue Mind highlights the health & wellness benefits including increased calmness, clarity, creativity, confidence, and connection.

The moment you arrive in the Florida Keys you’ll be on “island time” with endless options to cultivate your Blue Mind. Plan your stay with the activities and vibe you have in mind. From the laid-back Upper and Middle Keys to the vibrant festival atmosphere of Key West, HotelPlanner has attractive deals on the right luxury hotel, resort, villa, or condo with private beaches, and access to boat slips, docks, and marinas to more than satisfy your needs!

Here are just a few of our favorite ways to get your Blue Mind on in the Florida Keys:

Kayak Through Mangrove

Key Largo, Islamorada, Pine Key, and Key West are favored spots for paddling through the calm, shallow waters of this unique and very important ecosystem. Highly recommended are the Mangrove Tunnels in Key Largo. Weaving through the shady canopy of this serene environment, snapper, tarpon, and other tropical fish, along with sponges, sea stars, crabs, jellyfish and more can be seen in the clear waters. Tropical birds like egrets and herons wading, nesting, and calling out add to the majestic environment. Turtles and manatees are quite often seen. Take a guided tour and learn along the way. Family-friendly, all-skill levels, easy-going, and if you’ve never kayaked before, with a few quick basics of equipment and safety you will be ready to go! Check HotelPlanner.com to see if the four-star Baker’s Cay Resort is perfect for you!

Snorkel Sombrero Reef

Visitors come from all over to snorkel at the third largest coral reef in the world, Sombrero Reef. Located offshore from Vaca Key in Marathon, is the Sombrero Key Light, the largest of six reef lighthouses in the keys, constructed in 1858. Located within the protected Sanctuary Preservation Area, the shallow waters surrounding the lighthouse are perfect for the novice to more experienced snorkelers. With water depths of 2–30 feet, it is considered one of the top reefs to snorkel in all of the Keys. Snorkeling tours are readily available. This is a habitat for schools of tropical fish, lobster, crabs, starfish, sponges, seahorses, turtles, and more. This is one underwater experience to include on your list!

Dive the Shipwreck Trail

Dive through history and explore the Shipwreck Trail, a string of nine shipwrecks each with a unique story. The trail runs from Key Largo to Key West. Preserved by the Keys National Marine Sanctuary, wrecks date from the early 1700s to modern-day ships sunk to become artificial reefs to encourage marine life diversity. The trail includes easier shallow dives and deeper dives with an underwater guide at each wreck site with all the information you need for a successful and safe dive. Much can be observed near the water’s surface and so many sites are snorkeler friendly. Skilled divers can go over 100 feet deep. Snorkeling and diving adventure tours are available throughout the Keys. Inhale freely and exhale with ease as you watch colorful fish dart in and around the coral reefs and sandy ravines.

Sportfish at Islamorada Hump

Referred to as the Sportfishing Capital of the World, Islamorada is located between Key Largo and Marathon. Boat captains, fishing guides, private charters — they’re all here! The Islamorada Hump is located fifteen miles offshore, offering year-round and seasonal fishing. The Hump is an area of land underwater taller than the ocean floor that pushes fish, and often large gamefish, closer to the surface. Always an assortment of fish, some species are more plentiful at different times of the year. Here’s a shortlist: Mahi are generally considered very good year-round fish but from April through September they are more plentiful along with wahoo, sailfish, kingfish, tarpon, and blackfish tuna. From October through March, look for more grouper and king mackerel. Ask around or ask your captain which restaurants will cook your catch of the day! Islamorada’s Lazy Days Restaurant on the water would love to! HotelPlanner offers great discounts on highly rated places to stay such as the four-star Cheeca Lodge and Spa.

Importantly, Sunset in the Florida Keys is a tradition that brings everyone near, in, or on the water, particularly in Key West’s Mallory Square. Or salute the sun from your hotel’s private beach, go on a sunset sail, or cruise to a sandbar for drinks and hors d’oeuvres. There are any number of ways to find your Blue Mind and/or watch the sun as it appears to slip into the sea, the blazing orange, yellow, and purple hues spreading across the sky and painting the clouds.

Written in partnership with HotelPlanner