Follow the Shipwreck Trail and Dive Through World History

The Florida Keys are home to a variety of popular tourist attractions, including everything from beaches to bars. Lesser known to those visiting, the Florida Keys also house a number of shipwrecks, preserved underwater for years. Scattered along the coral reefs and buried in the sandy shallows a few miles off shore, a trail of nine shipwrecks make up Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary’s Shipwreck Trail.

Explore the rich history of some of the most famous shipwrecks in Florida.

The San Pedro

Found off the coast of Indian Key, find The San Pedro below the surface. This ship was a part of the 1733 Spanish treasure fleet and was caught by a hurricane in the Straits of Florida. The damage was too much and the ship sank 18 feet into the water one mile south of Indian Key.

The Bentwood

On a voyage from Tampa, Florida to Norfolk, Virginia, the Bentwood sank between the French Reef and Dixie Shoals in 1942. The Bentwood was 360 feet long and sank after colliding with another ship. It is among the most popular shipwreck dives in the Keys.

The Thunderbolt

A military ship used during World War II, the Thunderbolt was intentionally sunk in 1986 as part of a project with the Florida Keys Artificial Reef Association. The Thunderbolt now offers divers a breathtaking experience, as it lies fully intact and upright, 120 feet below the surface. Divers can find the ship about four miles south of Marathon, Florida and Key Colony Beach.

Go on your own diving adventure during your stay with us in Islamorada. Get in touch with our team plan your visit and for tips on getting to the Shipwreck Trail.

Five Unusual Sculptures You Must Visit in the Florida Keys

Diverse and eclectic, the Florida Keys offer visitors a range of unique sightseeing opportunities. Explore the local art and cultural scene and discover an array of indoor and outdoor sculptures. From a larger-than-life replica of marine life to a haunted doll, light up your social feeds with images of these Florida Keys art classics.

Christ of the Abyss

Plunge into the mesmerizing depths off the coast of Key Largo and uncover a haunting underwater sculpture. Found just below the surface, the statue – Christ of the Abyss – is a 4,000-pound, 8.6-foot bronze statue of Christ installed at the Key Largo Dry Rocks in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

巫迪文 / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Betsy Lobster

Made from fiberglass, Betsy is a 30 X 40 ft. biologically correct model of a Florida Spiny Lobster. She was created in 1980 by sculptor Richard Blaze to celebrate the species, which is native to the Florida Keys. Betsy is among South Florida’s most popular roadside attractions.

JOHN SMITH / FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

Florida Keys Sculpture Trail

A collection of innovative and inspired works of art, the Florida Keys Sculpture Trail features one-of-a-kind pieces flown in from the Art Students League of New York. Our favorite additions to the trail include Everything Between by Sarah Thompson Moore. This experimental sculpture is made of carbon and stainless steel and resembles both a cage and a shelter. Avis Gloria & Nature Eterna by Sheila Berger is another standout from the trail. This giant bird made of forged stainless-steel stands on a pedestal in Key West.

Robert the Doll

Sometimes referred to as “the world’s most terrifying doll,” the figure – which is believed to be haunted – is part of the collection of the Martello Gallery Key West Art and Historical Museum. It was the inspiration behind the popular horror film “Child’s Play” and continues to fright and delight visitors from around the globe.

Cayobo / Flickr Creative Commons