Blacktip sharks have distinctive black markings on the tips of their fins making them … Additionally, there is still a large coral reef offshore of the Florida Keys in the Florida Straits. This nine-foot-tall, 4,000 pound replica of a similar statue, located in the waters off the coast of Italy, is submerged in 25 feet of water at Key Largo Dry Rocks. For one thing, it’s one of the longest segmental bridges in the world and the centerpiece of the Florida Keys Overseas Highway that winds throughout the entire island chain. Miami Airport to Key Largo and the Upper Keys is approximately 60 miles.. Miami Airport to the island of Islamorada 80 miles.. Miami Airport to Marathon 115 Miles. Although if you are a film buff, then you may like to pay a visit to the original African Queen boat, which old … Many of the keys fall within the boundaries of three national parks. The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 blasted into Islamorada late at night on Sept. 2. He studied and lived in many places (including a few places in Peru), and settled on the Florida Keys for its incredible lushness. Learn More. Quick Facts About the Florida Keys & Key West A 125-mile-long chain of islands that begins just south of Miami, the Florida Keys are connected by the Overseas Highway’s 42 bridges — one almost seven miles long — over the Atlantic Ocean, Florida Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Stay up to date on recent news, articles, and more by subscribing to e-mail alerts for one or more of our news topics. There are more than 700 islands throughout the Florida Keys. This roadblock later began to hurt the economy of the Florida Keys as it delayed tourists going to and from the islands. With many Tourists visiting other parts of Florida choosing to also visit the Florida Keys as well as Florida Residents choosing to drive to the Florida Keys, it is an extremely popular tourist destination with approximately 80 percent of visitors entering on U.S. 1. In areas such as the Florida Keys, reefs are closely connected to the economy, attracting … The Keys contain the Florida Reef; the only living coral barrier in … https://www.thoughtco.com/geography-of-the-florida-keys-1435726 The Outer Keys consist of islands that are accessible only by boat. quicklist: 1 title: Key Largo text: Key Largo is the northernmost of the Florida Keys connected by U.S. Highway 1, and is located just 18 miles south of … This archipelago extends over 198 square miles from the Soldier Keys to the Dry Tortugas. These groups are the Upper Keys, the Middle Keys, the Lower Keys, and the Outlying Islands. Many of these wrecks have tales to tell. This reef is called the Florida Reef, and it is the third-largest barrier reef in the world. One of the main allures of the Florida Keys centres around fishing and boating (which stands to reason). But amidst the topaz waters, diving pelicans and lush mangroves are a treasure trove of attractions … The Florida Keys are experiencing a rise in COVID-19 cases as the island chain heads into tourist season that will have snowbirds returning. S hipwrecks lie scattered along the treacherous coral reefs and buried in the sandy shallows a few miles off the Florida Keys. In 1935 the Florida Keys were struck by one of the worst hurricanes ever to hit the United States. Every day in the Florida Keys is going to be pretty epic but I think this day is the highlight of the itinerary. One of the most popular things to do in the Keys is to travel around the different islands due to a large overseas highway that connects the Keys. Most of them are small and uninhabited. Forty-three of the islands can be reached by car via the Overseas Highway (US-1) and its side roads. In their early days, Key West and the Florida Keys were a major part of the area's wrecking industry—an "industry" that took or "salvaged" valuables from shipwrecks. After spending a few great days in the northern Keys … Key Largo is regarded as the Dive Capital of the World and is home to John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, America’s first underwater preserve. After a short drive, we arrived at our first property of the trip, the Amara Cay Resort.Recognized by the Conde Nast Traveler 2017 Reader's Choice Awards as a top resort in the Florida Keys, the Amara Cay property is absolutely stunning and certainly takes curating a beautiful and relaxing guest experience to heart. Most of the islands making up the Florida Keys are within the Florida Straits, a body of water located between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. The city's secession lasted only a short time however, and Wardlow eventually surrendered. In total there are 42 bridges connecting the islands; the Seven Mile Bridge is the longest. Only 43 of the islands are connected via bridges. The only thing that many people will know about the Florida Keys island of Key Largo is the film with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, it has so much more to offer. Some of the islands have been exposed for so long that sand has built up around them, creating barrier islands, while other smaller islands remain as coral atolls. The Florida Keys Overseas Highway is 113 miles long, starting at the Miami-Dade/Monroe County line and ending in Key West. Located in the tropical southeastern United States, the Florida Keys are a top destination for visitors of all ages—and the drive from Miami to Key West is one of America’s most iconic road trips. • The Florida Keys and Key West tourism sector was significantly challenged in 2017 and 2018 as Hurricane Irma, which made landfall in the Keys on September 10th, 2017, destroyed infrastructure, shuttered businesses, and damaged visitor perceptions. There are reports of anywhere from 3,500 – 10,000 undeveloped lots in the Florida Keys. The Upper Keys are those located the farthest north and closest to Florida's mainland, and the groups extend out from there. The hurricane killed over 500 people, and the Overseas Railway (constructed in the 1910s to connect the islands) was damaged and service stopped. What makes the Seven Mile Bridge so fascinating? The Florida Keys are a highly biodiverse area because of the presence of coral reefs as well as undeveloped forested areas. Artificial Reefs. To delve deepest into Keys history, Brad Bertelli, the curator of the Florida Keys History & Discovery Center told me, travelers have to leave the road at Islamorada, and become waterborne. Key West remains a part of the U.S. Today the total land area of the Florida Keys is 137.3 square miles (356 square kilometers), and in total there are over 1700 islands in the archipelago. There are 6,858 male residents living in Florida Keys and 6,359 female residents. The 2-by-4-mile island features the southernmost point in the continental United States. Lonely Planet - People come to Florida for many reasons – warm weather, good vibes, and ecosystems like no other chief among them. Pin my How to Spend 5 Days in the Florida Keys Post for Later: Thank you Kona Kai Resort for hosting us in Key Largo and thank you The Florida Keys for organizing some meals, excursions and our accommodations in Key West! Drive to Key West with Stops Along the Way. Other forms of tourism and fishing are the major industries of the islands. A 125-mile-long chain of islands that begins just south of Miami, the Florida Keys are connected by the Overseas Highway’s 42 bridges — one almost seven miles long — over the Atlantic Ocean, Florida Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. However, very few of these are populated, and most are very small. This activity was dependent on the frequent shipwrecks in the area. She holds a Certificate of Advanced Study in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) from California State University. Because there are so many islands within the Florida Keys, they are often divided into several different groups. Snorkeler Katherine Wieland examines the "Christ of the Deep" statue in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary off Key Largo, Fla. There are an estimated 1,000 shipwrecks off the Florida Keys. The most populated city in the Florida Keys is Key West; many other areas are sparsely populated. Reason all defers to weather. Box 421063 Summerland Key, FL 33042 Many dream of quitting their jobs to move to the Florida Keys. While its quirky, … Change your password and update your account information. Biscayne National Park, a short distance south of Miami Beach, includes several of the northernmost keys, and most of the keys in Florida Bay are within Everglades National Park. Captain Steve and 1st Mate Mitch: On the Water. Marathon is famous for the Seven Mile Bridge (actually 6.79 miles long), one of the longest segmental bridges in the world. 1947 – Only one of the two Florida hurricanes of 1947 struck the Keys and it was in the Dry Tortugas’ area on October 11. The total number of households is 5,483 with 2 people per household on average.The median age of the current population is 53 with 6,026 people being married and 5,743 being single. They begin about 15 miles (24 kilometers) south of Miami and extend out toward the southwest and then west toward the Gulf of Mexico and the uninhabited Dry Tortugas islands. The waters around the islands are home to the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Dry Tortugas National Park is located about 70 miles (110 kilometers) from Key West and, since those islands are uninhabited, they are some of the most well preserved and protected areas in the world. Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. A sprawling 13-acre estate in the Florida Keys hit the market for $24.5 million. The Dry Tortugas National Park is almost 70 miles off the coast of Key West and a seaplane is the best way to get there for those incredible views. If you qualify, please. Being on the left side of a hurricane was a definite advantage. Despite these challenges, visitor volume fell only -0.3% in 2017 and rebounded by 1.5% in 2018 According to the link below, there are over 1,700 islands in the Keys. Today the total land area of the Florida Keys is 137.3 square miles (356 square kilometers), and in total there are over 1700 islands in the archipelago. If you are inclined to think the Sunshine State is … The species has come back from near-extinction to a thriving population. Key Colony Beach Recreation. Green mile markers along the Florida Keys Overseas Highway, descending in order from mile marker 113 at the Miami-Dade/Monroe County line to marker 0 in Key West, often are used as Keys address locators. The first inhabitants of the Florida Keys were Indigenous peoples: the Calusa and Tequesta. Florida Keys is an area in Monroe County,Florida with a population of 13,217. ThoughtCo uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience and for our, National Parks in Florida: Beaches, Mangrove Swamps, Sea Turtles, 1900 Galveston Hurricane: History, Damage, Impact, 10 Facts About the Geography of Baja California, Biography of Robert Cavelier de la Salle, French Explorer, Hurricanes: Overview, Growth, and Development, 8 of the Most Devastating Hurricanes in the United States, Geography of the Territories of the United States, Global Warming: The 9 Most Vulnerable Cities, M.A., Geography, California State University - East Bay, B.A., English and Geography, California State University - Sacramento. The Florida Keys Shipwreck Trail is a line of nine historic underwater shipwrecks and artificial reefs extending from Key Largo to Key West and maintained by the sanctuary. That’s thousands of lots that have been purchased, but not yet built upon. Key West. At the mid-point of the Florida Keys, Marathon includes Boot, Knights, Hog, Vaca, Stirrup, Crawl and Little Crawl keys, East and West Sister's Island, Deer and Fat Deer keys, Long Pine and Grassy keys. However, very few of these are populated, and most are very small. Over time, Key West began to grow into Florida's largest town due to its proximity to Cuba and the Bahamas and a trade route to New Orleans. Key West has been home to such literary greats as Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams, who wrote some of their best-known works while living on the island. Jeff Kesling Jr., the 36-year-old owner of the only meadery in the Florida Keys, was one of those dreamers. The Richmond blimp base in south Dade lost 25 blimps. Because of the resultant economic struggles, the mayor of Key West, Dennis Wardlow, declared the city as independent and renamed it the Conch Republic on April 23, 1982. Another major motivation, for some at least: the desire to be in a place without rules. Islamorada is known as the Sport Fishing Capital of the World, where backcountry sport fishing and saltwater fly-fishing were pioneered. I collected my bag from the tiny luggage belt in the single room arrivals hall and headed to our home for the next three nights, Ibis Bay Resort, a collection of coral stone beachside bungalows on the shores of a serene bay, lined with mangroves. Request specific information regarding new stories, press kits, photographs and other information. 8 reviews. Kach had been delayed by the winter snow storm in Philadelphia and New York, so I arrived in Key West alone at around 8 o’clock at night. As a result, the U.S. Border Patrol began a series of roadblocks on the bridge from the Keys to the mainland to search cars returning to Florida's mainland in 1982. Miami Airport to Big Pine 130 Miles. Dry Tortugas National Park, which includes historic Fort Jefferson (begun 1846), encompasses all the westernmost keys. Florida Bay, triangular-shaped shallow body of water between the Gulf of Mexico and Biscayne Bay at the southern end of Florida, U.S.The bay, which covers about 850 square miles (2,200 square km), is partially sheltered from the Atlantic Ocean on the south and east by the Florida Keys.The average depth is about 4 to 5 feet (1.2 to 1.5 metres), and the area is scattered with small islands. There are an estimated 1,000 shipwrecks off the Florida Keys. The coastal waters of the entire island chain, including its shallow-water flats, mangrove islets and coral reefs, have been designated the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, which protects the continental United States’ only living barrier coral reef. Today the total land area of the Florida Keys is 137.3 square miles (356 sq km) and in total there are over 1700 islands in the archipelago. #661 of 1015 Outdoor Activities in Florida Keys. The Florida Keys main wedding season is from November – May. Only 43 of the islands are connected via bridges. And lastly, the route that many people take is by flying into Miami Airport and then driving down to Key West...so how long does it take? Evacuation orders are regularly put into place due to flood threats. A road trip through the Florida Keys is its own reward: a 113-mile journey across islands with some of the most jaw-droppingly gorgeous scenery you’ll ever lay eyes on. Throughout much of their modern history, the Florida Keys have been a convenient area for drug smugglers and illegal immigration. The climate of the Florida Keys is tropical, as is the southern part of the state of Florida. Because of the islands' location between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, they are very prone to hurricanes. Coral Barrier Reef. To get to Key West, you have to drive the entire length of the Florida Keys Overseas Highway, 113 miles, passing through a myriad of other islands - Key … Juan Ponce de León, who arrived in Florida in about 1513, was one of the first Europeans to find and explore the islands. Key West, the southernmost populated island in the Florida Keys, is about a 159-mile drive from Miami International Airport but lies only 90 miles north of Cuba. Photo by Stephen Frink/Florida Keys News Bureau, This area is reserved for members of the news media. All opinions are my own, thanks so much for supporting companies that make this blog possible. Geologically, the Florida Keys are made up of the main exposed parts of coral reefs. Driving Distances From Miami Airport. Approximately 1,700 islands make up the Florida Keys. Take a seaplane excursion to the Dry Tortugas National Park/Fort Jefferson with Key West Seaplane Adventures.. Reefs provide habitat for a wide variety of marine life. On September 2, 1935, hurricane winds of over 200 miles per hour (320 kilometers/hour) hit the islands and a storm surge of over 17.5 feet (5.3 meters) quickly flooded them. The city of Key West is located in the Lower Keys. Because of its biodiversity, ecotourism is becoming a large part of the Florida Keys economy. In 1822, the Keys (along with the rest of Florida) became an official part of the United States. The Native people soundly defeated his attempts to colonize the region for Spain. The Florida Keys are a series of islands extending from the southeastern tip of Florida. Blacktip Shark. By the early 1900s, however, Key West's prosperity began to decline as better navigational techniques reduced area shipwrecks. During those months are some of the most comfortable months due to weather but can generally carry a higher price and higher room rate for your guests . However, the Upper Keys reported minimal hurricane damage just as it did in Hurricane Andrew. Big Pine Key in the Lower Florida Keys is the center of a national refuge for miniature Key deer. The Tavernier property, at 94100 Overseas Highway, would set a record in the Keys … We had our first taste of the Florida Keys that night, with a seafood dinner in The Stoned Crab. Let’s start with Key West, the southernmost point in the continental U.S. The Overseas Highway is a 113-mile (181.9 km) highway carrying U.S. Route 1 (US 1) through the Florida Keys to Key West.Large parts of it were built on the former right-of-way of the Overseas Railroad, the Key West Extension of the Florida East Coast Railway.Completed in 1912, the Overseas Railroad was heavily damaged and partially destroyed in the 1935 Labor Day hurricane. Amanda Briney, M.A., is a professional geographer. Action Keys Realty of The FL Keys, Inc. 800-874-1323 305-745-1323 P.O. A highway, called the Overseas Highway, later replaced the railway as the main form of transportation in the area. 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