The Florida keys are surrounded by ocean, and that means that any visitor to these beautiful islands simply must get in that water to have truly seen the Keys. And, no matter what your interests or skill levels, there are water-based adventures for you. Here's a guide to seven of the best ways to have fun in the waves in the Keys.

Diving. Scuba diving is the ultimate Keys watersport, and you can get certified while you're on vacation if you aren't already. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is the premiere site for divers, partially due to the immense "Christ of the Abyss" statue that's submerged in its waters. Take a boat out to the unique coral reefs or stick closer to shore near Cannon Beach for a perfect place to start. 

Snorkeling. If you're not a diver and aren't going to become one on this vacation, get into the water by snorkeling instead. Snorkeling trips are cheap and abundant all over the island chain, or you can go on your own with some fins and a mask. Be sure to snorkel safely by researching local reef locations and making sure to never snorkel alone. 

Snuba. A compromise between the fun of deep diving and the ease of snorkeling, "snuba" can be perfect for the more serious -- but inexperienced -- ocean vacationer. Snuba uses a mask and breather in the same way that scuba divers do, but the tank is replaced by air lines that run to a floating air source. Because you don't have to learn how to use the air tanks, you can snuba with much less instruction and no certification. 

Glass-Bottom Boats. If you're not able to get directly into the water, you can still mimic a lot of the feeling by sailing on a glass-bottom boat. While sitting comfortably on a boat as a group, you can view the underwater world through a section of the boat's hull that's been replaced by glass. Since many of the reefs around the Keys are conveniently shallow, you can get a lot out of a glass-bottom boat ride. 

Fishing. The reefs around the island chain and the open ocean beyond it mean a variety of fishing opportunities for any angler. From sailfish runs in the deeper oceans in winter to tarpon and bonefish in the flats during the summer, you'll find great fishing seasons any time of year and any place in the Keys. Check with your hotel for discounts and packages they can arrange with local fishing guides for an even better catch... and a great story for the future. 

Sunset Cruise. Uninterrupted views of the ocean lead to some of the most breathtaking sunsets you can find. And while some areas are famous for sunset viewing -- such as Key West's Mallory Square -- what could be better than watching the sun go down from the deck of a boat floating on the water? Find a cruise that fits your personality, from private and semi-private to family cruises and ones with live music. 

Sailing. In an area that's known for its boating history, you can learn how to sail from the best. For a truly immersive vacation experience, sign up for a week-long sailing school course (privately or with others) and learn to navigate a sailboat for yourself. Most sailing schools incorporate other water activities like kayaking, snorkeling, and swimming as well.

Whatever your interests are when it comes to water sports, the Florida Keys can fulfill them. And so you have no reason not to jump in and learn to relax with Mother Nature in this tropical paradise. For more information, talk to a professional like Lodge of Whispering Pines.