Looking for paradise in your own backyard? The Florida Keys are about as an exotic and a remote beach getaway as you can get within the US mainland. Just an easy drive south of Miami off a 110-mile stretch of highway, you will discover an alluring collection of islands so close to the city yet a world away from the city lifestyle.

With all of the options available, we found these locations to be your best chance of a genuine tropical island experience with all of the amenities and services you could want. 

1 — Sunset Key Cottages

aerial view of cottage right on the beach of an island in the Florida Keys
Photo: Courtesy of Sunset Key Cottages

An exclusive 27-acre tropical island resort, Sunset Key Cottages represents tranquil island life living with luxurious comforts. With only other guests and residences on the small island, it is a true getaway from the mainland that evokes elegance and intimacy.

Highlights—private accommodations, oceanfront dining, spa, sports and water activities, pool, special events & weddings

For more information see: sunsetkeycottages.com

2 — Little Palm Island Resort & Spa

thatch hut-style private accommodation with palm trees lounge chairs and fire pit in front of a pool
Photo: Courtesy of Little Palm Island Resort & Spa

Inspired by the British West Indies, Little Palm Island Resort & Spa offers private bungalows with an old world aesthetic combined with a modern design. This Balinese-type setting is located on a small private island with tropical flora and dotted with crushed seashell paths. Even though the resort has been recently restored you will not see phones or TVs in the bungalows in order to provide a truly private and luxurious escape with exotic charm.

Highlights—indoor/outdoor spa, beachfront dining, private accommodations, beach and water activities, marina docking slips, luxury boutique shop, group events & weddings

For more information see: littlepalmisland.com

3 — Amara Cay Resort, Islamorada

lounge chair deck overlooking the beach with palm trees and hammocks
Photo: Courtesy of Amara Cay Resort

Located in the sport fishing capital of the world, Amara Cay is part of the Islamorada Resorts Collection. The local legend is that this resort is home to the original tiki bar classic, the Rum Runner, and it is perfectly believable given the beauty of this tropical island oasis. With hammocks on the white sand beaches and the ocean breeze drifting past, this is an ideal spot to reconnect and unwind.

Highlights—private beach, pool, fitness center, for a reasonable daily resort fee, unlimited use of beach chairs and pool towels, shuttle van within four-mile radius and access to bicycles, kayaks, other sport equipment, and other sister properties, restaurant, boutique shop

For more information see: amaracayresort.com

4 — Bungalows Key Largo

aerial view of a tropical island resort on the oceanfront with pool and dotted with light blue umbrellas providing shade to lounge chairs
Photo: Courtesy of Bungalows Key Largo

An adults-only all-inclusive resort on the ocean shoreline near the Gulf Stream, Bungalows Key Largo offers luxurious accommodations for an unforgettable island getaway. Designed for a laid-back vacation, all of the amenities and services will leave you re-charged and wanting to stay a little while longer.

Highlights—what’s included: 24-hour guest services, welcome drinks, all meals, alcoholic beverages, selected wines, kayaks, paddle boards, snorkel gear, group yoga classes, fitness tiki, recreational amenities, in-town transportation within a 5-mile radius, valet parking, on-site concierge, cruiser bikes, daily housekeeping, turndown service / access to: spa, pool, gift shop, floating tiki boats, sailboat excursions & charters, diving, fishing, other water activities 

For more information see: bungalowskeylargo.com

5 — Moorings Village Private Cottages

cottage porch deck with lounge chairs overlooking a green lawn, flowers, palm trees, and the ocean
Photo: Courtesy of Moorings Village Private Cottages

The Mooring Village allows guests to experience the original elements of The Florida Keys lifestyle in which years of both nature and man have erased over time. A spacious beachfront resort, these private cottages sit on a former coconut plantation in Islamorada and is surrounded by tropical vegetation, plants, and palm trees. Whether it is a stroll through the lush gardens or stepping into the ocean right outside your door, this special setting will leave you coming back for more. 

Highlights—private cottages, production studio space, pool, tennis court, fitness room, bikes, water sport equipment, Mayu Beach Boutique shop, offshore fishing, water sports, eco-tours

For more information see: themooringsvillage.com

Searching beyond The Florida Keys?

Click here for more information on the best destinations and top locations in Florida, the US, and The Americas.

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