The Florida Keys consist of more than 1700 islands (some of which are very small), 43 of which are linked together by the Overseas Highway. The Keys stretch about 200 miles between Biscayne Bay and the Dry Tortugas, ending about 90 miles from Cuba.
|Shanbin Zhao via Wikimedia Commons|
The Keys are divided into three groups:
- The Upper Keys: The Keys begin at Biscayne National Park. The park itself is 95% water and a boat is necessary to experience much of what the park has to offer. The Upper Keys include Key Largo and are noted for their diving and sport fishing.
- The Middle Keys: The Middle Keys include the city of Marathon. Sport fishing here focuses on deep sea species. There are also parks and small nature centers here.
- The Lower Keys: There is a change in atmosphere once you cross the Seven Mile Bridge at Marathon and enter the Lower Keys. There are no fast food restaurants and few businesses at all in most of this area, as much of the land has been set aside in parks and nature reserves. Bahia Honda State Park and Recreation Area is noted for its white sand beach.
|Marc Averette via Wikimedia Commons|
|Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary|
For an even more away-from-it-all experience, the Dry Tortugas National Park features historic Fort Jackson and great snorkeling.
A Few Planning Resources
The Florida Keys-Key West.com
The Florida Keys & Key West
Road Trip: Florida Keys – National Geographic
The Travel Dream List