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Come to the Keys !

 

 

Tired of overcrowded freeways, streets and the stress of everyday living in Suburbia?

If 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.

 

Big Pine Key  

Big 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.

Big 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.

 

National Key Deer Refuge

While 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.

Key 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 Salvors Museum.

Approximately 28,000 call Key West home and another 6,500 spend their winter here. Many thousands visit annually.