Throughout much of their modern history, the Florida Keys have been a convenient area for drug smugglers and illegal immigration. There are reports of anywhere from 3,500 – 10,000 undeveloped lots in the Florida Keys. Marathon is famous for the Seven Mile Bridge (actually 6.79 miles long), one of the longest segmental bridges in the world. 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 … By the early 1900s, however, Key West's prosperity began to decline as better navigational techniques reduced area shipwrecks. There are 6,858 male residents living in Florida Keys and 6,359 female residents. We had our first taste of the Florida Keys that night, with a seafood dinner in The Stoned Crab. Other forms of tourism and fishing are the major industries of the islands. 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. The climate of the Florida Keys is tropical, as is the southern part of the state of Florida. Amanda Briney, M.A., is a professional geographer. Juan Ponce de León, who arrived in Florida in about 1513, was one of the first Europeans to find and explore the islands. 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. However, very few of these are populated, and most are very small. 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 . 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. Most of them are small and uninhabited. The Florida Keys are experiencing a rise in COVID-19 cases as the island chain heads into tourist season that will have snowbirds returning. Change your password and update your account information. The 2-by-4-mile island features the southernmost point in the continental United States. 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. Many of the keys fall within the boundaries of three national parks. Artificial Reefs. The Florida Keys are a series of islands extending from the southeastern tip of Florida. There are more than 700 islands throughout the Florida Keys. Many dream of quitting their jobs to move to the Florida Keys. This activity was dependent on the frequent shipwrecks in the area. A highway, called the Overseas Highway, later replaced the railway as the main form of transportation in the area. Reason all defers to weather. 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. The city of Key West is located in the Lower Keys. Only 43 of the islands are connected via bridges. 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. 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. 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 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. 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. In 1822, the Keys (along with the rest of Florida) became an official part of the United States. After spending a few great days in the northern Keys … This archipelago extends over 198 square miles from the Soldier Keys to the Dry Tortugas. The Outer Keys consist of islands that are accessible only by boat. Only 43 of the islands are connected via bridges. #661 of 1015 Outdoor Activities in Florida Keys. Jeff Kesling Jr., the 36-year-old owner of the only meadery in the Florida Keys, was one of those dreamers. 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. 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. Dry Tortugas National Park, which includes historic Fort Jefferson (begun 1846), encompasses all the westernmost keys. 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. The Florida Keys Overseas Highway is 113 miles long, starting at the Miami-Dade/Monroe County line and ending in Key West. 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. Blacktip Shark. That’s thousands of lots that have been purchased, but not yet built upon. 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. Learn More. The city's secession lasted only a short time however, and Wardlow eventually surrendered. Every day in the Florida Keys is going to be pretty epic but I think this day is the highlight of the itinerary. Evacuation orders are regularly put into place due to flood threats. Because there are so many islands within the Florida Keys, they are often divided into several different groups. 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. Take a seaplane excursion to the Dry Tortugas National Park/Fort Jefferson with Key West Seaplane Adventures.. Approximately 1,700 islands make up the Florida Keys. The islands have low elevations; the flooding from the storm surges that usually accompany hurricanes can, therefore, easily damage large areas of the Keys. What makes the Seven Mile Bridge so fascinating? 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 … 8 reviews. According to the link below, there are over 1,700 islands in the Keys. He studied and lived in many places (including a few places in Peru), and settled on the Florida Keys for its incredible lushness. Key Colony Beach Recreation. The waters around the islands are home to the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. All opinions are my own, thanks so much for supporting companies that make this blog possible. 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. However, the Upper Keys reported minimal hurricane damage just as it did in Hurricane Andrew. Although if you are a film buff, then you may like to pay a visit to the original African Queen boat, which old … There are an estimated 1,000 shipwrecks off the Florida Keys. The hurricane killed over 500 people, and the Overseas Railway (constructed in the 1910s to connect the islands) was damaged and service stopped. 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. • 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. 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