What Is the String of 882 Islands Extending Southwest From the Southern Tip of Florida Known As
Florida is renowned for its stunning coastline and beautiful beaches. At the southern tip of this sunshine state lies a unique and captivating geographical feature – the string of 882 islands extending southwest. This remarkable chain of islands is known as the Florida Keys.
The Florida Keys stretch for approximately 120 miles from the southern end of the Florida peninsula, starting from just south of Miami and extending to the famous Key West. The islands are connected via the Overseas Highway, a scenic road that offers breathtaking views of the turquoise waters surrounding the archipelago.
The Florida Keys is divided into five main regions: Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon, Big Pine Key, and Key West. Each region boasts its own distinct charm, attractions, and activities, making the Florida Keys a favorite destination for tourists from all over the world.
Key Largo, the northernmost and largest island, is known for its vibrant marine life and is often referred to as the “Diving Capital of the World.” It is home to John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, the first underwater park in the United States. Visitors can explore the stunning coral reefs and encounter a wide array of colorful fish species, making it a paradise for snorkelers and scuba divers.
Moving south, Islamorada is a popular spot for fishing enthusiasts. It is often called the “Sportfishing Capital of the World” due to its abundance of game fish such as tarpon, bonefish, and sailfish. The crystal-clear waters of the surrounding Atlantic Ocean and Florida Bay provide ample opportunities for angling adventures.
Marathon, located in the middle of the Florida Keys, is known for its family-friendly atmosphere and natural beauty. Visitors can explore the tranquil beaches, visit the Turtle Hospital to learn about the conservation efforts for sea turtles, or take a boat trip to the stunning Sombrero Reef.
Big Pine Key and the Lower Keys offer a unique experience for nature lovers. The National Key Deer Refuge, located on Big Pine Key, is home to the endangered Key deer, which can only be found in the Florida Keys. Visitors can observe these small, graceful creatures in their natural habitat. The Lower Keys also offer excellent opportunities for kayaking, paddleboarding, and snorkeling in the pristine waters of the Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge.
Finally, the Florida Keys culminate in the vibrant and lively city of Key West. Known for its laid-back atmosphere and colorful history, Key West has attracted artists, writers, and adventurers for centuries. Visitors can explore the charming Old Town, visit the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, or witness the famous sunset celebration at Mallory Square.
Q: How can I reach the Florida Keys?
A: The most common way to reach the Florida Keys is by flying into Miami International Airport and then driving south along the Overseas Highway. Alternatively, you can fly directly into Key West International Airport.
Q: What is the best time to visit the Florida Keys?
A: The Florida Keys enjoy a tropical climate, with warm temperatures year-round. However, the peak tourist season is from December to April when the weather is pleasant and dry. It is advisable to book accommodations in advance during this period.
Q: Are there any eco-friendly activities available in the Florida Keys?
A: Yes, the Florida Keys offer numerous eco-friendly activities. You can explore the various nature reserves, take part in coral reef restoration programs, or engage in sustainable fishing practices. There are also eco-friendly accommodations available that prioritize environmental conservation.
Q: Can I swim with dolphins in the Florida Keys?
A: Yes, there are opportunities to swim with dolphins in the Florida Keys. Several facilities offer dolphin encounter programs where visitors can interact and swim with these intelligent marine mammals.
Q: Are there any unique culinary experiences in the Florida Keys?
A: Absolutely! The Florida Keys are famous for their fresh seafood, particularly conch dishes like conch fritters and conch chowder. Additionally, Key lime pie, a tangy and refreshing dessert, is a must-try specialty of the region.
In conclusion, the string of 882 islands extending southwest from the southern tip of Florida, known as the Florida Keys, is a truly remarkable destination. With its diverse marine life, stunning natural beauty, and vibrant culture, the Florida Keys offer something for everyone. Whether you are an avid diver, a fishing enthusiast, a nature lover, or a history buff, this archipelago is sure to captivate and leave you with unforgettable memories.