The Florida Keys actually don't run North to South! Instead, they meander southwest along a single roadway called US1 also known as The Overseas Highway..
The gulf side of the Florida Keys is actually the Florida Bay and is connected to Gulf of Mexico. This is sometimes called the “back country“. The Atlantic side is really the Straits of Florida with Cuba being the next land mass before entering the Atlantic Ocean. Just past the Florida Keys Reef is the Gulf Stream. This is an area of spectacular sports fishing as well as scuba diving. The Florida Keys run from Biscayne Bay all the way to the Dry Tortugas which is about 180 miles. From Key Largo to Key West, US 1 is actually 106 miles with Mile Marker Zero, the end of the road, being located in Key West.
This famous Florida Keys two lane road was originally built by Henry Flagler in the 1930’s and replaced his Florida East Coast Extension railroad lines which was destroyed by a hurricane in 1935. It is also the location of the famed seven mile bridge which spans Marathon Key to Big Pine Key.
All drinking water flows into the Florida Keys within a single 36-inch diameter pipe. And all electricity travels down an overhead power line from Homestead, Florida located on the mainland. Kind of like a giant garden hose and extension cord.
“Keys” comes from the Spanish word cayos, meaning little islands. The word "key is also associated with tiny islands elswhere in Florida such as Cedar Key Florida, Siesta Key Florida,Key Biscayne Florida and others. The Florida Keys are indeed little as well as fragile. Some people incorrectly refer to this caribbean island chain as Florida Key, but really it's made up of thousands of small, individual islands. Many endangered species are located within the Florida Keys as well as an abundance of migratory birds.
The Florida Keys diving is amazing from Key Largo To Key West as is the sports fishing, and both are main stay attractions for both tourists and vacation travelers alike.
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Welcome to the Florida Keys and Key West! America's drive to Island Destination and Home to the only coral reef in the Continental United States