Proposed Florida Sailing Itinerary:
Day 1: Relax, take a swim or go snorkeling
Leave Miami sailing south and cross Biscayne Bay using the Inner Coastal Waterway; head for the Feather Bank channel. You will anchor at Elliot Key, part of the National Park system; relax here and take a swim, go snorkeling or explore the Park. If you love to you will want to be in the Sands Cut for an incoming tide.
Day 2: Follow the Inner Coastal Waterways
Proceed south, continuing along the Inner Coastal Waterway route through the Cutter Bank channel to Pumpkin Key. At this point, you will cross over to the ocean side of the Keys chain through Angelfish Creek. Go south on Hawk Channel to Marina del Mar on Key Largo or anchor on the lee side of Rodriguez Key. Relax and enjoy the ocean air and cool breeze.
Day 3: Fine dining at Key Largo
There is a lot to do in Key Largo; from relaxing with beautiful views, diving, snorkeling in the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, swimming or hanging out in the two pools in the Marina. Key Largo has a good collection of fine dining choices so make sure you take advantage of the local restaurants.
Day 4: Anchor or tie up at Islamorada Marina
Head South on Hawk Channel to Snake Creek, and cross back over to Florida Bay on the inside of the Keys chain. Follow the Waterway markers northeast and then southeast to Cowpens Bay where you can either anchor or tie up at Islamorada Municipal Marina. There is a great new swimming pool at this marina and the flats' fishing is superb on Florida Bay. You can reserve some time on a fishing charter for a few hours here as well. Fishing is best in the early morning so plan accordingly.
Day 5: Everyone is on island time here
Tear yourself away from Islamorada and head back to Snake Creek, under the bridge and through to the Hawk Channel side and go south to the Channel Five bridge. Actually you can go down on the inside as well and you wind up at the same place. Anchor in Long Key Bight or proceed further south to Duck Key where you can pull into Hawks Key resort and Marina. Here you are a hop-skip and a jump away from Marathon, in the Middle Keys. There is fine dining, three good marine stores and several shipyards. These islands are small and a look to the right and left presents you with the ocean. Everyone is on island time here, so prepare to really relax and move slowly.
Day 6: We suggest you take the scenic route
We suggest you take the scenic route and go back on the inside channel to reach Pumpkin Key or even Elliott Key. You will be able to make it in one well-traveled day. You can overnight in either place. If you don't quite make it, anchor anywhere nice along the way but remember you must anchor outside of the channel.
Day 7: Spend the night at No Name Harbor
Take your time getting back across Biscayne Bay. Check out Stiltsville where Miami residents still play on long weekends, and ogle Nixon's Key Biscayne residence, spend the night at No Name Harbor and roll back into Miami the following day. Miami is such a fantastic town with so much to do, you might want to spend some time roving the streets and catching the nightlife. Try Latin dancing till dawn. The food is a creative blend of Latin and American influences.
Miami, Ft Lauderdale, St Petersburg and Key West are all in relative proximity to each other. Florida and the keys makes for a close tropical destination for United States residents and a sort after vacation spot for international travelers.