Headed to the Florida Keys? Here’s What You Should Put on the Agenda

There’s nothing quite like a Florida Keys vacation – but we didn’t have to tell you that, right? Chances are you’ve heard of the magnificent beaches, beautiful blue water, and the multitude of activities from snorkeling to dining. With so many opportunities for fun when staying at a Florida Keys vacation rental, it can be hard to know what to plan for – so, we’ve compiled a list of everything you should put on your agenda when traveling to the Florida Keys in September. 

  • Florida Keys Heroes Tribute Weekend at Hawks Cay Resort (Marathon – September 3-5): Honor military, fire rescue, police, and medical personnel with the annual Heros Salute Labor Day Weekend. The event includes a family fun night, virtual 5k run/walk, live music, food, and contests.
  • Swim for Alligator Lighthouse (Islamorada – September 11): When staying at one of our South Florida Vacation Rentals, grab your friends and family and team up for a relay! You’ll have seven hours to complete an eight-mile round trip course, starting in-water and finishing shoreside on the beach. 
  • 37th Annual Underwater Music Festival (Big Pine Key – September 18): Divers and snorkelers alike can enjoy an ocean celebration encouraging environmentally responsible diving and the preservation of coral reefs. You might even catch mermaids and other costumed characters. The event will be staged at Looe Key Reef, part of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, located six miles south of Big Pine Key.
  • Take Stock in Children Backcountry Challenge (Key Largo – September 24 – 26):  Enjoy catch and release fishing around the clock with a catch and release tournament! Catch redfish, snook, and trout. The event is a charity event with dinner and an awards banquet. 

The History of Surfing in Florida

When you hear the word “surfing,” you probably picture the beaches of places like Southern California. Chances are Florida is one of the last places you think about when dreaming of a surfer’s paradise, but Florida is no novice to surfing. Every year, thousands of Floridians ride the waves of the Atlantic ocean, some even near South Florida Vacation Rentals!

Surfing wasn’t popular in the United States until the 1950s, when lightweight surfboards were commercially produced. After that, surfing catapulted into mainstream pop culture with the depiction of a cool, laid-back, and carefree surfer lifestyle. In the 1970s, surfing became recognized as a competitive sport. 

With sport came sponsorships, leading to endorsements and commercialization of surfing in the Sunshine State. Some notable surfers to come from Florida are Kelly Slater of Cocoa Beach, Frieda Zamba of Flagler Beach, Lisa Anderson of Ormond Beach, and Corey and Shea Lopez of Indian Rock Beach, all of whom won international surfing championships.

With the rise of so many champions, surf shops began to pop up all over Florida, along with the famous Ron Jon Surf Shop. Even small beach towns began to invest in surf shops. 

The Atlantic Ocean is ideal for consistent surf and longer swells than those found in Gulf waters, making Miami Beach vacation rentals a good place to scope out the waves. Most Florida beaches are good for surfing because of their geographic features. The waves typically present in Florida produce swells from local weather systems, along with the cold fronts and wind-producing weather, which make Florida a great place overall to surf!

3 Mistakes to Avoid When Visiting Miami

If you’re planning on visiting Miami, chances are you have an itinerary jam-packed with beach days, nights out on Miami’s nightlife scene, and time well spent at some of the best restaurants in the nation. Many people are ready for the fun when booking a Miami vacation rental, but there are a few things you should avoid so that your vacation goes smoothly (because who wants to be stressed on their time off?)

Don’t take a cheaper flight into Fort Lauderdale. You might be saving a few dollars, but time is something you will be wasting. The Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International airport is located just 30 minutes from Downtown Miami. That’s pretty standard for airport distance from most downtown locations, but after considering the traffic and expensive taxi or Uber rides, you will likely end up spending the same amount of money you saved avoiding the Miami International Airport and double the time spent. 

Everyone wants to see the beaches in Miami, but don’t miss the many other things to do, like seeing the city’s art. Miami has plenty of museums and parks that feature the architectural, artistic, and cultural history of the 20th century. 

While you’re staying at a South Florida vacation rental, you’re going to want to eat. There are a million options across Miami, but make sure you make time for some of the Latin, Haitian, and Caribbean food. Miami is quite diverse, with chefs who bring the flavors of their home country to life through their dishes at restaurants that are likely within walking distance to you. You’ll be hard-pressed to find food quite like it anywhere else in the country. 

August Events in the Florida Keys

Even as the summer is winding down into its last month, that doesn’t mean the fun is over in the Florida Keys. In fact, that’s one of the perks of South Florida – our year-round good weather! When you book your stay in a South Florida vacation rental, be sure to check out these local events. 

In Key West from August 12 to August 15, enjoy the seafood at the 25th Annual Key West Lobsterfest. Every year, the festival celebrates the start of the Florida Keys lobster season that starts on August 6. The lineup includes a traditional lobster boil and a street fair with plenty of seafood options prepared in various ways. Enjoy lobster the Florida way – prepare in butter with seasoned stuffing or in a cool summer salad!

In Islamorada, you can see the History of Diving Museum Exhibit: Diving in Pop Culture until the end of 2021! The museum has displays of diving in literature, film and television, games, music, advertisements, and more and analyzes its connection throughout those works. Staff at the museum has collected and researched the ways diving plays a part in pop culture for nearly 100 years. If you want to experience the rich history of the Keys, you don’t want to miss this exhibit. 

On August 25, the Fee-Free Day at Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Parks will commemorate the park’s 105th birthday. All entrance fees are waived. The park is one of the must-sees when staying anywhere in South Florida and is worth making the trip from Florida Keys vacation rentals.

2 Places to Visit in South Florida This Summer

South Florida is one of the most sought-after vacation spots in the country. Paradise-like beaches and a variety of food, along with art galleries, national parks, and architecture that is so abundant, you just can’t fit it all into one week of vacation! There are so many places you could visit this summer, but two places in particular we think are the gems of South Florida, and should be on your radar.

Coconut Grove, located south of Downtown Miami, is one of the best neighborhoods in Miami. Hotel Arya, one of our South Florida vacation rentals, sits right in the center and includes deluxe rooms, studios, and 1-3 bedroom units. Enjoy a view of Biscayne Bay and the Miami Skyline (something you can only find in Coconut Grove!)

Love art? Hotel Arya comes with many original works from well-respected artists like Frank Stella, Robert Rauschenberg, Jan Dibbets, Lynne Golub Gelfman, Carl Palazzolo, and many more. Coconut Grove has three of Miami’s most popular beachside parks, with some of the best views in town. Hotel Arya is just minutes away from art galleries, shopping, famous restaurants and bars, movie theaters, and anything else on the travel itinerary for Miami!

We couldn’t make a list without bringing up the Florida Keys – Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon, and Key West are all worth mentioning. Check out Florida Keys vacation rentals! If you are looking for a classic Florida vacation, these are the places to go. Adventure seekers will love the keys for its variety of water activities (scuba diving, kayaking, charter boat fishing, snorkeling, and diving to the infamous Florida Keys shipwreck).

The Florida keys also have a number of art galleries and museums and unique shopping experiences that you can only find in the Keys. Enjoy the best seafood around – the Keys have fresh catches everywhere you go! 

Understanding Tide Conditions in South Florida

The water is beautiful here in South Florida and is home to many fun activities that drive tourism. However, before you go out for a swim or boating trip, you’ll want to understand the way the water behaves. Pay close attention to the wave, tide, and current conditions when swimming during your South Florida vacation rental stay.

Waves are made by the wind blowing on the ocean surface, and they travel at all different directions and speeds. They can come from far out or be formed near the surface. If the water is choppy on a particular day and there is a lot of wind, you may want to avoid venturing too far out into the water. Never venture out if there is a storm on the horizon. 

Tides are the rises and falls of water levels on the coast. They are formed by an imbalance in the solar system between gravitational forces and centrifugal forces. Essentially, this means that the moon and sun control them and how the earth moves through space. There are two high tides, then two low tides, every 24 hours and every 50 minutes. During high tide, the water gets closer to the shore, making it deeper. When it is low, the opposite happens. 

Also, be aware of rip currents and rip tides. They often get confused for one another but are quite different. Riptides are fast, dangerous, and typically found in smaller coastal spaces like bays and can form when a falling tide flows through an inlet. A rip current is a strong narrow channel of water that moves away from the shore and can appear on any beach with breaking waves. 

Swimming is a must when staying at a Miami vacation rental, just make sure you check out the water conditions before heading to the water. You can check out the water forecast through the National Weather Service. 

Snorkeling in South Florida

Snorkeling is one of South Florida’s most popular summertime activities. It allows you views of the reefs and ocean wildlife you just can’t get anywhere else. Plus, it’s family-friendly, and people of all ages can have a blast while staying in South Florida vacation rentals

Florida has the longest barrier reef system in the entire world and a 360-mile coral reef that stretches from the Florida Keys to Florida’s east coast in St. Lucie, known as the Florida Reef Tract. It’s even bigger than the great barrier reef in Australia! All of this makes it an unforgettable experience you need to have when vacationing in South Florida. 

Though fun and adventurous, snorkeling can be hazardous if not done correctly. Make sure everyone participating can swim and is familiar with the water or has an instructor close by before diving into the water. Never go out in the rain! Florida is no stranger to hurricanes and other tropical, inclement weather, so check the forecast before heading out. There will be plenty of warnings if a hurricane is on its way, but even a slight rain shower, coupled with wind, can make snorkeling a bit more dangerous. 

Another thing to consider is checking out the water conditions before you swim. Oceans are vast and beautiful, full of unique marine life but also unique tidal patterns. Make sure wave patterns, currents, and water temperatures are suitable for swimming and snorkeling. 

Once you’ve considered all of this, you are ready to head out! Of course, if you’re snorkeling with an instructor near Miami vacation rentals, they will be able to help you determine the proper conditions to snorkel in, but it never hurts to be knowledgeable. 

When snorkeling in South Florida, you’ll be able to see numerous types of fish, turtles, sharks, crabs, lobsters, and so much more!

4 Fun Outdoor Activities to do in South Florida This Summer

While Florida beaches are some of the most unmatched in the country, there are a world of other fun activities to do and sights to see throughout Miami and the Florida keys. Rich in history, culture, and cuisine, and amazing outdoor spectacles, South Florida offers a little bit of fun for everyone. You can be sure your next family trip to Florida while staying at a South Florida vacation rental will be met with smiles when you check out these outdoor activities this summer!

  1. Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park: You can swim, play, and boat in the beautiful Atlantic waters off the coast of Bill Baggs Beach, which is ranked in the top ten beaches in the United States. You can also take a trip on their guided lighthouse tour and connected lighthouse keeper cottage. 
  2. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park: This beautiful state park is actually in the ocean, stretching for a total of three miles. Take a ride on a glass-bottom boat for a peek into the reefs filled with fascinating wildlife. You can also canoe, kayak, paddleboard, snorkel, and scuba dive to take a closer look at the fish!
  3. Jungle Island: When you stay at a Miami vacation rental be sure to check out this interactive zoological experience. You’ll be able to get up close to several wildlife species, along with the chance to play with lemurs and sloths!
  4. Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park: Sitting on a former site for condo development, this massive state park was rescued to preserve the beautiful wildlife and abundant West Indian tropical hardwood hammock population. There are over 80 species of wildlife and plenty of opportunities for self-guided hikes. Ranger-guided tours are available by appointment. 

These places are perfect for those who adore the outdoors. Most places are open to the public year-round, with guided tours available by booking and appointments only. Fill your vacation days with beach lounging and hiking through Florida’s scenery for some great memories!

Property Owners Through SoFLA

Did you know that for over ten years, the SoFLA team has offered property management, sales, and marketing services to vacation rental property owners? Since 2011, SoFLA Vacations has worked with owners in the Miami and Florida Keys area for high-quality property management services. Owners Andrew Korge and Rebeca Orozco understand just how important it is to maintain a South Florida vacation rental. Our team ensures your property is up to the same standards as a luxury hotel, all the while providing services for you as a property owner and your guests that surpass standard.


Listing a property with us means you’ll see a number of benefits. Our sales and marketing services include marketing on major channels such as Expedia, Booking.com. Airbnb, Homeaway, and VRBO. You’ll get deliverables on strategic online marketing programs like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and many other search engines. We’ll stay in contact with your guests through social media and email marketing, and our team will analyze competitors quite often to ensure you get the best pricing and benefits.


Along with our marketing services, you’ll also get:


  • Maintenance of property standards to ensure they are as high as a luxury hotel

  • Collect guest payments and damage deposits

  • Coordination and inspection of unit cleanings following a stay

  • Scheduling regular and emergency maintenance

  • Preparing yearly tax income forms for owner taxes

  • No limit on owner usage of property

  • Management of renovations with no upfront cost


…and so much more! Let SoFLA Vacations help you manage your Florida Keys vacation rental – visit us online to request a free custom revenue forecast for your property.

Vibrant Life in Key Largo

Key Largo is Florida’s largest key with a population of 9,952 residents. It’s continually one of the most popular destinations not only in Florida but in the United States. Founded around 1870 with just 60 people, the 30 miles key is just one of 800 of the most beautiful key locations Florida has to offer. Key is a derivative of the Spanish word “cayo,” meaning small island, and largo comes from the Spanish word for long. So it literally translates as long key!

Key Largo has been home to some notable people over the years, such as Ernest Hemingway, Shel Silverstein, Henry S. Truman, Tennessee Williams, Calvin Klein, Shane Spencer, Jimmy Buffet, and John Dewey.

South Florida vacation rentals in Key Largo are a 60-minute drive from Miami international airport. They are incredibly accessible due to the miles of the Overseas Highway and 42 bridges across the keys region.

Some of the most popular activities in Key Largo are snorkeling, scuba diving, sport fishing, eco-tours, visiting the Everglades (Key Largo is in the backcountry of the Everglades National Park), and of course, relaxing at the beach! For the really adventurous, check out Jules Undersea Lodge at the bottom of the Emerald Lagoon, an underwater hotel that sits 30 feet deep where guests have to scuba dive to get to their room!

For even more outdoor fun, there are plenty of on-shore nature sites like trails, a bird rehabilitation center, and John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, which is the first underwater preserve in the country.

For more information on our Key Largo vacation rentals property or Miami vacation rentals, please visit us online.