The Key Largo Woodrat is found only in the northern part of its namesake island, and is a focus of management activities in Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge. With more than 1,700 islands, it is not surprising that today’s Keys have ample abandoned history to explore. The aging structure has been deemed unsafe by the Florida Department of Transportation. 103100 Overseas Highway Suite #33 Upper Keys are those located the farthest north and closest to Florida’s mainland and the groups extend out from there. Getty. Their deaths caused anger and charges of mismanagement that led to a Congressional investigation. These groups are the Upper Keys, the Middle Keys, the Lower Keys and the Outlying Islands. Throughout much of their modern history, the Florida Keys have been an important area for drug smugglers and illegal immigration. 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. Even before the hurricane, road sections and highway bridges allowed automobile traffic to travel from Miami to Lower Matecumbe Key, where a car ferry connected with another roadway section through the Lower Keys. [8], Just offshore of the Florida Keys along the edge of the Florida Straits is the Florida Reef (also known as the Florida Reef Tract). 1,700 Although it may be hard to believe, there are actually 1700 islands that make up the Florida Keys! Most of the Florida Keys fall into USDA zone 11a to 11b (upper Key Largo is 10b). The Keys are occasionally threatened by tropical storms and hurricanes, leading to evacuations to the mainland. The Long Key Bridge (MM 63¼-65¼) separates the Middle Keys from the Upper Keys. This reef formed the Key Largo limestone that is exposed on the surface from Soldier Key (midway between Key Biscayne and Elliott Key) to the southeast portion of Big Pine Key and the Newfound Harbor Keys. Grassy Key. [7] While the islands of the upper and middle keys form a long narrow arc, the islands of the lower keys are perpendicular to the line of that arc. So here is what we all just learned: Approx. Donna says. Plantation Key. Further north, Key Biscayne and places north are barrier islands, built up of sand. The climate also allows many imported plants to thrive. Forty-three of the islands can be reached by car via the Overseas Highway (US-1) and its side roads. But amidst the topaz waters, diving pelicans and lush mangroves are a treasure trove of attractions that are educational, historical or just plain fun. The limestone that eroded from the reef formed oolites in the shallow sea behind the reef, and together with the skeletal remains of bryozoans, formed the Miami Limestone that is the current surface bedrock of the lower Florida peninsula and the lower keys from Big Pine Key to Key West. The archipelago is home to some stunning underwater landscapes across the 1,700 islands, and there are scuba diving opportunities aplenty with a … 7:30am – 5:30pm How many islands make up the Florida Keys? The city’s secession lasted only a short time however and Wardlow eventually surrendered. [26] This influx of traffic, coupled with the two-lane nature of U.S. 1 through most of its length in the Keys, and the fact that no alternative road routes are available mean that Monroe County has the highest per capita rate of fatal automobile accidents in the state of Florida. In 1982, the United States Border Patrol established a roadblock and inspection points on US Highway 1, stopping all northbound traffic returning to the mainland at Florida City, to search vehicles for illegal drugs and undocumented immigrants. The islands are listed in order from southwest to north. Following the Cuban Revolution, many Cubans emigrated to South Florida. On September 12, parts of the Keys were still inaccessible by causeway and some areas were closed to the public. In 1935, new bridges were under construction to connect a highway through the entire Keys. All of southern Florida was covered by a shallow sea. Some of the dissolved limestone redeposited as a denser cap rock, which can be seen as outcrops overlying the Key Largo and Miami limestones throughout the Keys. The storm also ended the 23-year run of the Overseas Railway; the damaged tracks were never rebuilt, and the Overseas Highway (U.S. Highway 1) replaced the railroad as the main transportation route from Miami to Key West.[3]. Phone: (305) 453-3446 Florida has 4,510 islands in total, but we’ve managed to narrow that list down to our nine favorites. Connected by bridges and causeways, each key has its own unique set of attractions while the destination itself is most widely-recognized for its amazing fishing, boating, snorkeling, scuba diving, sunsets, and of course, Key Lime Pie. Keys in Biscayne National Park (accessible only by boat) in Miami-Dade County. 15 Best Secret Islands in Florida. Mile markers are listed for keys that the Overseas Highway runs across or near.[22]. The Upper Keys islands are composed of sandy-type accumulations of limestone grains produced by plants and marine organisms. This archipelago extends over 198 square miles from the Soldier Keys to the Dry Tortugas. 33037. Resorts. Official records for Key West were kept at the Weather Bureau in downtown from January 1871 to February 1958, and at Key West Int'l since March 1958. The climate of the Florida Keys is tropical savanna (Köppen climate classification: Aw). [11] Other than some areas of coastal Miami (Miami Beach), the Florida Keys are the only areas in the continental United States to never report freezing temperatures since settlement. The island chain's first and longest island, is about a 60-minute drive from Miami International Airport. Deer Key. You’ve heard of Florida’s famous islands, including the majority of the Keys, but what about some of the state’s lesser-known isles? Beginning in the late 1970s construction began on a new bridge to connect the Florida Keys. Originally Answered: How many keys are in the Florida keys?, A little boy walks into the dive shop just now, walks right up to owner Jen and asks: “How many islands make the up the Florida Keys?”. The Florida Keys reopened on June 1st, removing its checkpoint and allowing tourists to … Actually, Key West was originally called "the island of bones.” I forget right now. Show the virtual coupon upon your arrival at each restaurant to get the great discounts. If you think that our photo guided tours for scuba diving, PADI Scuba Instruction and snorkeling look really cool and you are ready to give it a try, sign up now. 1. The city of Key West is the county seat of Monroe County. Resorts. 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. The Florida Keys are a string of tropical island paradises that stretch about 120 miles off the southern tip of Florida. Duck Key. Long Key. The Keys were originally inhabited by the Calusa and Tequesta tribes, and were charted by Juan Ponce de León in 1513. The northern and central sections of the Florida Keys are the exposed portions of an ancient coral reef, the Key Largo Limestone. Starting about 100,000 years ago the Wisconsin glaciation began lowering sea levels, exposing the coral reef and surrounding marine sediments. Humans may have called them home since at least the height of Greek civilization, some 3,600 years ago. On a few of the Florida Keys, some of these tales are actually true. Middle and Lower Florida Keys are among a few remaining South Florida dark skies locations accessible by car, thanks to their position along the Atlantic Ocean, and therefore with southern skies unobstructed by light pollution associated with urban development. Hurricane Georges, after destroying much of the housing and infrastructure on many of the Caribbean islands, caused damage and extensive flooding in the Lower Keys in 1998, before making landfall in Mississippi. Some of the more exposed vegetation in the keys is scrub, stunted due to the intense sun, quick draining sandy soil, and arid winter climate. 1,700 islands! Latest. The islands are listed in order from north to southwest. Because no area of the islands is more than 20 feet (6.1 m) above sea level (and many are only a few feet elevation), and water surrounds the islands, nearly every neighborhood is subject to flooding as well as hurricane winds. The city of Key West is located in the Lower Keys. The building permit allocation was increased in 2005 when local governments reduced estimates for evacuation. The Florida Keys are between about 24.3 and 25.5 degrees North latitude. As of the 2010 census the population was 73,090 with an average density of 532.34 per square mile (205.54/km2),[1] although much of the population is concentrated in a few areas of much higher density, such as the city of Key West, which has 32% of the entire population of the Keys. This bridge is known today as the Seven Mile Bridge and it connects Knights Key in the Middle Keys to Little Duck Key in the Lower. 5 Ways the Luxurious Eclipse at Half Moon Will Thrill You. We often think we need to escape to The Bahamas or elsewhere in the Caribbean to get to paradise, but the truth is that we have a paradise right at home in the U.S. That's right, we're talking about the Florida Keys.Most of us have heard about how awesome Key West is, but the rest of the islands shouldn't be overlooked. Beginning some 130,000 years ago the Sangamonian Stage raised sea levels about 25 feet (7.6 m) feet above the current level. Jen answered, “I don’t know but let’s ask Google!” Mile Marker 103 Bay Side of US#1 When the evacuation train failed to reach the camps before the storm, more than 200 veterans perished. The types of coral that formed Key Largo limestone can be identified on the exposed surface of these keys. About 70 miles (110 km) west of Key West is Dry Tortugas National Park, one of the most isolated and therefore well-preserved in the world. The idea of the Conch Republic has provided a new source of revenue for the Keys by way of tourist keepsake sales, and the Conch Republic has participated in later protests. Key Largo is bordered on the west by Florida Bay and the Everglades National Park backcountry, and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, home to the clear waters of the Gulf Stream. [citation needed]. The Outer Keys consist of islands that are accessible by boat. [29], Bahia Honda State Park is a well known dark skies location among locals offering unobstructed views of the southern night sky year-round. Scout Key is home to Winter Star Party, a prominent annual amateur astronomy event in the United States, and one of the Top 10 star parties in the world according to BBC Sky at Night. Several parallel lines of reef formed along the edge of the submerged Florida Platform, stretching south and then west from the present Miami area to what is now the Dry Tortugas. 10 Best Places to Visit in Panama. After one minute of secession, he (as "Prime Minister") surrendered to an officer of the Key West Naval Air Station (NAS), and requested one billion ($1,000,000,000) dollars in "foreign aid".[4]. The Florida Keys boast one of the world’s most unique ecosystems. Following the hurricane, some of the original railway bridges were converted to carry the highway roadbeds. At the nearest point, the southern part of Key West is just 90 miles (140 km) from Cuba. Updated: February 20, 2019. 1. Mean monthly maxima and minima (i.e. Many of the original railroad and highway bridges remain today as pedestrian fishing piers. Resorts. To the west of Key West the ancient reef is covered by recent calcareous sand. The islands lie along the Florida Straits, dividing the Atlantic Ocean to the east from the Gulf of Mexico to the northwest, and defining one edge of Florida Bay. For the Discover Scuba Diving: No experience necessary. The Keys were long accessible only by water. Despite this reconstruction, U.S. 1 was not widened on a large scale, and today most of the route consists of just two lanes. The "towns" of Key Largo, North Key Largo and Tavernier, all on the island of Key Largo, are not incorporated.). The Lower Keys are the remnants of large coral reefs, which became fossilized and exposed when the sea level dropped. Nearly any houseplant known to commerce, and most landscape plants of the South, can thrive in the Keys climate. One of the longest bridges when it was built, the Seven Mile Bridge connects Knight's Key (part of the city of Marathon in the Middle Keys) to Little Duck Key in the Lower Keys. If you call between 12 – 48 hours before your scheduled tour to cancel, you forfeit your payment collected. You are missing one of the most special islands in Florida! Long Point Key. These bridges were used until the 1980s, when new highway bridges were built alongside. It takes about three-and-a-half hours from mainland Florida, just south of Miami, to get out to Key West via the Overseas Highway (U.S. Highway 1). [5] The islands in the southwestern part of the chain, from Big Pine Key to the Marquesas Keys, are exposed areas of Miami Limestone.[6]. 8AM – 1PM ( 8:30am boat departure, Tuesdays – Saturday: Soil ranges from sand to marl to rich, decomposed leaf litter. While still open to pedestrians—walking, biking and jogging—if the bridge were closed altogether, only a ferry subsidized by FDOT and managed by the county would transport visitors to the island. Terra’s Key, just off Islamorada, is the latest Florida Keys private island to go on the real estate market. [27], The major industries are fishing and tourism, including ecotourism, with many visitors scuba diving in the area's protected waters. By 15,000 years ago the sea level had dropped between 300 to 350 feet (91 to 107 m) below the contemporary level. From Miami, you can drive to Key Largo (which will take you about an hour), where you can begin your road-trip. The Keys are also home to unique animal species, including the American crocodile, Key deer, protected by the National Key Deer Refuge, and the Key Largo woodrat. Here it is just for you. The Florida Keys have distinctive plant and animals species, some found nowhere else in the United States, as the Keys define the northern extent of their ranges. How many islands are in the Florida Keys? For more information, see. The native flora of the Keys is diverse, including members of both temperate families, such as red maple (Acer rubrum), slash pine (Pinus elliottii var. The record low in Key West is 41 °F (5 °C) (in both 1886 and 1981), and low temperatures below 48 °F (9 °C) are rare. Key West, Florida is an exciting tourist destination for many people. Key Biscayne is not one of the Florida Keys, but the southernmost of the barrier islands along the Atlantic coast of Florida., Elbow Reef Afternoon Diving South Florida, Peaceful Tours 16 through 31 January 2021, January Tours Key Largo 2 through 15 2021, Florida Keys December 15 through 31 Dive Report. Have you ever wondered how many small islands make up the Florida Keys and why are they called Keys? The total land area is 137.3 square miles (356 km2) which is made as we said previously of 1700 Islands. According to the link below, there are over 1,700 islands in the Keys. This roadway, U.S. Highway 1, became the Overseas Highway that runs from Key Largo south to Key West. This roadblock later began to hurt the economy of the Florida Keys as it delayed tourists going to and from the islands. Yay!!!! The bars lithified and with changes in sea level are presently exposed as the islands, while the channels between the bars now separate the islands. March 28, 2019. How many islands make up the chain of islands known as the Florida Keys and what are their names? Where to Stay in the Florida Keys: Best Islands & Hotels. The other storms were Hurricane Camille (1969), Hurricane Andrew (1992), and Hurricane Michael (2018). Winds were estimated to have gusted to 200 mph (320 km/h), raising a storm surge more than 17.5 feet (5.3 m) above sea level that washed over the islands. The Florida Keys Overseas Highway is 113 miles long, starting at the Miami-Dade/Monroe County line and ending in Key West. Today this unique highway allows travel through the tropical islands of the Florida Keys and view exotic plants and animals found nowhere else on the US mainland and the largest coral reef chain in the United States. There are so many islands, but most are inaccessable by car. Improved navigation led to fewer shipwrecks, and Key West went into a decline in the late nineteenth century. The US Census population estimate for 2014 is 77,136. A 2.2-mile (3.5 km) section of the old bridge remains for access to the island, although it was closed to vehicular traffic on March 4, 2008. Daily Keys Weather Report: Key Largo, Florida (8:30am & 1:00pm boat departures), Address Due to their tropical climate,[24] the Florida Keys attract several hundred thousand tourists annually. More Close to Home. If you start at one end of the Keys at Key Largo and drive all the way down to as far as you can go to Key West it is 97.6 miles, which should take you about 2 hours and 4 minutes to do on the US1. I can answer. Lower Matecumb Key. More than 95 percent of the land area lies in Monroe County, but a small portion extends northeast into Miami-Dade County, such as Totten Key. New, Exciting, Renovated and Reopened Florida Hotels and Resorts. The Florida Keys are a coral cay archipelago located off the southern coast of Florida, forming the southernmost part of the continental United States. Most of them are small and uninhabited. In total there are 42 bridges connecting the islands but the Seven Mile Bridge is still the longest. Here is a breakdown of some interesting facts concerning the Florida Keys that you may not be aware of. The Florida Keys were discovered by Juan Ponce de Leon, and over the centuries has been the host of many historic events. The Key West City Council repeatedly complained about the roadblocks, which were a major inconvenience for travellers, and hurt the Keys' important tourism industry. As a result, these problems the U.S. Border Patrol began a series of roadblocks on the bridge from the keys to search cars returning to Florida’s mainland for illegal drugs and immigrants in 1982. The major islands of the Florida Keys include Key Largo, Little Torch Key, Bahia Honda Key, & Cudjoe Key to name a few. The following are "true" Florida Keys (exposed ancient coral reefs): The following are "transitional keys", made of exposed ancient reef surrounded by sand. Comments. The Florida Reef extends 270 km from Fowey Rocks just east of Soldier Key to just south of the Marquesas Keys. We have no salary staff, so these folks make their living working for you and would have little chance of finding other work with this short of notice. The northernmost island arising from the ancient reef formation is Elliott Key, in Biscayne National Park. It is the third-largest barrier reef system in the world.[9]. I was out on the boat all day, exploring some very remote keys…. The Florida Keys are an archipelago of about 1700 islands in the farthest southeast portion of the United States. Four Reasons to Love Kimpton Vero Beach Hotel and Spa. The natural habitats of the Keys are upland forests, inland wetlands and shoreline zones. Florida Keys they are divided into several different groups. How many islands are in the Florida Keys? (Lower Matecumbe through Plantation Keys are incorporated as Islamorada, Village of Islands. North of Elliott Key are several small transitional keys, composed of sand built up around small areas of exposed ancient reef. Key Largo. From north to south, here’s where to go when… You just want to escape the city: Key Largo. Mile markers are listed for keys that the Overseas Highway runs across or near. ​Fax: (305) 453-3449 De León named the islands Los Martires ("The Martyrs"), as they looked like suffering men from a distance. Any cancellations more than 48 hours before scheduled check-in time will have payments refunded. 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. Yes. Weather Link To Follow. [18] Governor Rick Scott reported devastation; most areas were without power or water. This changed with the completion of Henry Flagler's Overseas Railway in the early 1910s. However, very few of these are populated and most are very small. [17] Most residents had evacuated before the storm hit the area. The climate and environment of the Florida Keys are closer to that of the Caribbean than the rest of Florida, though unlike the Caribbean's volcanic islands, the Keys were built by plants and animals. Transitional keys . Alex Temblador September 25, 2019 Although the Florida Keys typically rank high on everyone’s Florida vacation list, there are many other amazing islands off the Sunshine State’s coast that are worth visiting, too. [19] The damage was the worst in the Lower Keys, though less severe in Key West;[20] parts of the Lower Keys may be uninhabitable for months. [21], U.S. Highway 1, the "Overseas Highway", runs over most of the inhabited islands of the Florida Keys. The islands are listed in order from southwest to north. Why are so many people named "Chavez" ("keys" in old Spanish)? This configuration arose from an ancient tidal-bar system. RELATED: How to island hop the Keys by seaplane. Evacuation of the Keys depends on causeways and the two-lane highway to the mainland. Flagler, a major developer of Florida's Atlantic coast, extended his Florida East Coast Railway down to Key West with an ambitious series of oversea railroad trestles. If you cancel your booked tour less than 12 hours of your scheduled check-in time OR you are a NO-SHOW for your booked tour, you will be held to payment in full for the booked tour. Only 43 of the islands are connected via bridges. The Keys is the northernmost range of the American crocodile, which is endemic from South America to Panama, north to the Florida Keys. "Florida Keys Information and Florida Keys Info Online Videos for Florida Keys Travel Guide and Vacation Guides", "The Coconut Palm in Florida", Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, "WMO Climate Normals for KEY WEST/INTL, FL 1961–1990", "Average Weather for Key West, FL - Temperature and Precipitation", "25% of Florida Keys houses destroyed as 15 million Floridians have no power", "Florida Keys: Level of destruction uncertain, but it's not looking good", "Hurricane Irma's impact, from the air: Florida Keys battered but spared the worst in near miss", "Damage heavy on Key West, but booze still flows", "Florida Keys facing potential 'humanitarian crisis' in Irma aftermath", "Code of ordinances, City of Marathon, Florida", Monroe County Tourist Development Council Survey, Florida Highway Patrol 2006 accident statistics, "Key West Express in Fort Myers Beach, FL", Jason Project The Story of Water Movement and Land Formation, Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge,, Articles with dead external links from October 2017, Articles with permanently dead external links, CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown, Articles with unsourced statements from December 2018, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Source: NOAA (relative humidity and sun 1961−1990), This page was last edited on 23 December 2020, at 18:31. Hundreds of World War I veterans working on the roadway as part of a government relief program were housed in non-reinforced buildings in three construction camps in the Upper Keys. Little Crawl Key. You will certainly have your choice of beaches to pick, for the lazy days that the Florida Keys are all about. 8 Best Places to Stay in Kuching. The warm and sunny winter climate, with average highs around 75 °F (24 °C) and lows above 60 °F (16 °C), is the main tourist season in the Florida Keys. [25] While some visitors arrive via Key West International Airport and Florida Keys Marathon Airport in Marathon, cruise ship or ferry from Miami, Fort Myers, or Marco Island, Florida, the vast majority of tourists drive down from the mainland on U.S. Key West also still remains a part of the U.S, Looking for today’s Key Largo, Florida Keys Reef and Weather Report? The most severe hurricane to hit the area was the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, a Category 5 hurricane. Crawl Key. Nonetheless, Monroe County, as reported in the Federal Register, has estimated that there are between 8,000 and 12,000 illegal enclosures inhabited by people.[16]. The U.S. state of Florida has a total of 4,510 islands that are ten acres or larger. On September 10, 2017, Hurricane Irma made landfall in Cudjoe Key. To make it as easy as possible for you Florida Keys bound drivers, here is a quick Florida Keys driving guide to the kind of times it may take you, as you make your way to and from paradise. [2] "Key" is derived from the Spanish word cayo, meaning small island. They extend from the southeastern Florida peninsula about 15 miles south of Miami, and run south-southwest gradually curving west to Key West and out to the uninhabited Dry Tortugas. Managed to narrow that list down to Key West is just 90 miles ( 140 )! In 1513 6.79 miles ( 356 km2 ) which is made as we said previously of 1700 islands total. 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