The Lower Florida Keys is officially between Mile Marker 40 which is the south end of the 7 Mile bridge – and Mile Marker Zero in the City of Key West.
Watch our video below for a peek at the myriad of activities we offer here in The Florida Keys.
Unless visitors have Key West plans, or other reservations south of the bridge, it can be a daunting drive from the mainland. The communities of The Lower Keys (from north to south) are Big Pine Key, Little Torch Key, Middle Torch Key, Ramrod Key, Summerland Key, Cudjoe Key, Sugarloaf Key, Saddle Bunch Keys, Big Coppitt Key, East Rockland Key, Boca Chica (home to the Naval Air Station), Stock Island, and the Monroe county seat – Key West.
The monument to the Southernmost Point in the United States is at the intersection of Whitehead Street and South Street in Key West.
The July 1, 2016 U.S. Census bureau estimates there are 26,990 residents in Key West, and another 12,353 residents spread from Stock Island to Big Pine Key. Nearly 40,000 residents the last 47 miles of U.S. 1 versus nearly 15,000 from MM 100 at the beginning of Key Largo.
The beaches of note in the lower keys are located at Bahia Honda State Park, Calusa Beach, Sandspur Beach on Big Pine Key, Sugarloaf Beach on Sugarloaf Key and Dog Beach, Higgs Beach, Rest Beach, Simonton Street Beach, Smathers Beach, South Beach, and Ft. Zachary Taylor in Key West.
Parks along the way to Key West include Veterans Memorial Park on Little Duck Key, Bahia Honda State Park, The National Key Deer Refuge, Blue Hole, Blue Heron Park, Watson Field, Big Pine Key Community Park all on Big Pine Key. Wilhelmina Harvey Park, and Big Coppitt Park on Big Coppitt Key, the Bat Tower on Sugarloaf Key, Bay Point Park on Saddlebunch Key, and Bernstein Park on Stock Island.
The serious history buffs seeking details of the early days of life in the Lower Keys should search for the works of John Viele, a member of the Historical Preservation Society. He wrote several books and many newspaper articles. Prior to the railroad arriving in Key West in 1912 the Lower Keys were only available by boat. Even in the early days of travel by auto, a ferryboat was required to bring your auto to the lower keys.
The Great Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 destroyed the railroad for a 40 mile stretch, which lead to US1 Highway.
Key West has many Historical offerings. From Truman’s “Little Whitehouse”, to Hemingway’s Home, to Museum’s of Spanish treasure, the variety is as endless as your interests!
Diving in Key West is a destination all on it’s own. There are resort dive courses that allow you to dive with a one day training. Snorkeling is available via multiple boating opportunities. There are beginner snorkel/dive charters all the way to advanced diving on wrecks like the Vandenberg, which rests at 140 feet.
One of the best ways to see Key West and hone in on your interests is to hop aboard the Conch Tour Train! A tram that tours Key West, experienced conductors offer the highlights of the city. You may get on and off at various locations, as your interest is piqued!
Key West is an artist colony with sculptors, painters, photographers, and more… If you can’t find a unique and interesting souvenir you aren’t looking!
Night life in Key West is also historic! Every corner boasts a bar, every bar has live music… Whether it’s a Buffett cover band or original offerings, music in Key West is the reason for ALL seasons!