the Keys !
Tired of overcrowded freeways, streets and the stress of everyday living
so, the Florida Keys are the perfect escape. Basically we're a tropical
Paradise that is still in the United States where you can either do
nothing at all except enjoy our beautiful Sunsets, weather and water by
laying in the Sun or you can enjoy the incredible Fishing, Diving,
Kayaking, Swimming and Boating that we have to offer. From the last of the
seven mile bridge down to Key West, each of the Lower Keys is unique.
Pine is the largest of the Lower Keys and lies within the Key Deer and Great
White Heron National Wildlife Refuges. Only 30 miles from Key West, Big Pine
offers up a variety of things to do and see from our Key Deer to the famous
Blue Hole and it's turtles, fish and alligators, plus an adjoining nature
trail that winds through Federal refuge lands.
Pine is also home to a variety of commercial enterprises, such as marinas,
dive shops, bait and tackle shops, beauty shops, restaurants, video and
kayak rentals, two liquor stores, convenience stores, doctors, dentists and
a major chain grocery plus 10 restaurants. Shop for bargains at the Flea
Market every Saturday and Sunday, year round. The boating controlling depth
ranges from 2-1/2 ft. to 4 ft. depending on the subdivision, and the access
to either the Ocean or the back country is easy.
Key Deer Refuge
on Big Pine Key, do not miss to visit the National Key Deer refuge. These
tiny deer are not found anywhere else in the world. It is believed that
the Key deer migrated to the Keys from the mainland thousands of years
ago. The Wisconsin Glacier melted, and the sea rose dividing the land into
small islands now known as the Florida Keys and trapping the deer. The Key
deer are a subspecies of the Virginia white-tailed deer and are the
smallest of all white-tailed deer. The shoulder height of the Key deer is
between 24 - 28 inches. Does weigh 45 to 65 pounds while bucks weigh 55 to
75. At birth, the Key deer weighs only 2 to 4 pounds. They feed on native
plants and can tolerate small amounts of salt in their water. With only
250 to 300 of these tiny deer remaining, Federal law prohibits the
disturbance and feeding of the deer. Driving on Big Pine Key will almost
always provide you with a photo opportunity of the Key deer from your car.
But trying to approach, feed or touch the deer, only encourages them to
loose their natural fear of humans and become easy targets for would-be
poachers. When on Big Pine Key, respect the Key deer and their habitat.
Take a photo, it will last forever. We'd like for the Key deer to as well.
Key West - Island In The Sun
Surrounded by waters of the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, Key West is a
tiny two by five mile island, 120 miles west of the mainland. Travel to Key
West by car or bus on the Overseas Highway, boat or cruise ship by ocean, or
airplane. The Overseas Highway is a series of 43 bridges and islands built
to support the East Coast Railway, a labor of love built by Henry M. Flagler
and completed in 1912. The old tracks were converted to a highway in 1938.
West is a unique place to visit or live. If fishing, diving and sailing are
for you the waters are unbelievably clear, glistening and clean. If on the
other hand history, museums, art and architecture are your choice, Key West
is filled with rich history, beautiful old buildings and historic homes such
as Ernest Hemingway and John J. Audubon's, Harry S. Truman's Little White
House or Milton Curry s Mansion built in 1905. Tours by foot, bicycle or
open air "conch trains and trolleys" offer excellent monologues on the
history, culture and treasures of this old city incorporated in 1828.
Old town offers shops and art galleries from one end of the spectrum to the
other. The exceptional diversity in restaurants reflects the numerous
countries of origins of the residents. Bars and nightclubs from the local
Hog's Breath Saloon and Sloppy Joe's to Hard Rock Cafe. What ever your
lifestyle Key West has something of interest for you.
A Yankee outpost during the Civil War, Key West has been host to the
military since the Spanish American War. Pirating, salvaging, fishing,
canneries, sponging, cigar making have all been major occupations in Key
West. Today you can still see cigar making, a perfumery, fabric printing,
jewelry making, sandal shops and internationally known, Mel Fishers Treasure
Approximately 28,000 call Key West home and another 6,500 spend their winter
here. Many thousands visit annually.