The Florida Keys are a part of the State of Florida, although they jokingly declared their independence as the Conch Republic in 1982. For people looking to explore the narrow strip of key islands that stretch out into the Caribbean ocean from Florida, the best way to sample the entire landscape is by car. One of the most beautiful highways in the world will take you across the ocean between the islands, allowing you to move freely from one end of the chain to the other, stopping where ever strikes your fancy.
Type: Part of the United States (Florida)
Region: North America/Caribbean
Official Languages: English
Population: 73,090 (2010)
Currency: US Dollar
Nature in the Florida Keys
The Florida Keys are 113 miles long and have only 137.5 miles in area, so even without looking at a map, you should have a good feel for the narrow quality of these small islands. This makes the ecosystems of the Keys a special interface between the world of the marine and terrestrial. Mangroves line most of the coast, and coral reefs turn the marine world into a colorful wonderland beneath the water. The interior of the islands are often wooded and are home to a species of deer found no where else in the world.
Our Posts on Nature in the Florida Keys
The Florida Keys are a paradise for fishers, snorkelers, and scuba divers, but what about the terrestrial lovers out there? Well, we’ve got you, friends. If you want to know how to explore the Keys from land, we’ve explore some of the best places in our Beyond the Overseas Highway.
Whether or not you have the honor of seeing one, every roadtripper visiting the Florida Keys should do their best to protect the Key Deers that call this special place home. Find out how in the Story of the Key Deers and Speeding.
Culture and History in the Florida Keys
Like much of Florida, the Keys have been home to indigenous, Native American peoples for hundreds if not thousands of years. In particular, we now believe that the Calusa and Tequesta people lived on these tiny spits of land in the warm Caribbean sea. When Europeans arrived, they used the keys for their protective fortresses up until the United States eventually acquired the islands. Forts remain a wonderful way to explore and learn more about the history of the Florida Keys. We cover these in our Forts, Forts, Forts post!
Cultures: American, formerly Calusa and Tequesta
Food: Florida Keys Cuisine Flavored by Indigenous Seafood (From the Florida Keys Tourism Website)
Guide to Visiting Respectfully
Where We Have Been
To learn more about Florida, be sure to check out our Guide to Florida!
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