16 Captivating Facts About the Florida Keys You Need To Know

Looking for fascinating facts about the Florida Keys? Whether you’re planning a trip, or you just want some more info, here’s the Florida Keys trivia you need to know!

The Florida Keys are a chain of islands located in the Atlantic Ocean and are one of the most popular vacation destinations in America. But what many don’t know is that these islands have a much deeper history than just being a tourist destination…

Day out in Key West

The Florida Keys is an archipelago that extends from the southern tip of Florida into the Gulf of Mexico. They’re home to many different kinds of wildlife, including dolphins, turtles and manatees. There are also plenty of other activities for travellers who want something more than just sunbathing on a beach in the Florida Keys or snorkelling in the warm waters!

But today, rather than the many great things to do in the Florida Keys, let’s look at some of the most fascinating facts about the Florida Keys instead.

16 Captivating Facts About the Florida Keys

From unique wildlife only available in the Florida Keys to unbelievable outdoor activities, let’s explore some interesting Florida Keys facts!

1. The Keys are made up of 800 islands

Jetty and Palm Trees on Florida Keys

There are 800 islands in total in the Florida Keys, spanning over 180 miles. There are several different types of houses that are available to rent or purchase on these islands today. You can still see where some of the original inhabitants lived.

Even though there are so many islands in the Florida Keys only 43 of them are actually accessible, via bridges.

2. Key West is the southernmost point in the Continental United States

southern florida keys

Key West is famous for being closer to Havana in Cuba than to Florida’s own Miami. With it only being about 90 miles to Havana, Key West was one of the most popular cities for Cubans to flee to when they were trying to avoid conscription during the Cuban revolution.

3. The Florida Keys have been home to many famous people

One of my favourite facts about the Florida Keys is that they’ve been home to numerous famous and influential people throughout the years including:

Ernest Hemingway

The Florida Keys is home to Ernest Hemingway’s house which is now a museum. He lived in Key West for about 10 years and wrote several famous novels there, including the almighty Old Man and the Sea.

READ MORE: If you want to know more on how to have a great day in Key West, click here!

Key West day

Robert Frost

The Florida Keys was also home to another famous write and poet Robert Frost. He spent time in Key West throughout his life and even purchased a house there at one point.

Harry S. Truman

Harry Truman and his wife Bess spent their winters in Key West while he was still in office. The waterfront house they lived is now a museum that is open to the public.

Jimmy Buffet

Buffet got his start in the Keys as a street performer and has recorded several albums referencing interesting things about the islands. He used to have a house in Key West on Waddell Street. He has a popular restaurant there and still stops in sometimes to play a song.

4. The Florida Keys have 20+ artificial reefs to explore

The Florida Keys are a great place for scuba divers and snorkelers alike to spend some time in the water as it’s home to 20+ artificial reefs to explore. Since the early 1980s, numerous reefs were created through the sinking of ships to provide a home to aquatic life.

In 2002, the USS Spiegal Grove, a landing dock ship that was 34 years old at the time was sunk in Key Largo to create a one-of-a-kind underwater environment for the native sea life.

One of the best activities in the Florida Keys is to go scuba diving and see it all.

5. The Florida Keys have the most sea turtle nests in the US

The Florida Keys, along with Florida itself, are home to the most sea turtle nests in the United States. One of the best Florida Keys facts is that there are 40,000 – 84,000 nests laid on these islands each year.

6. The famous Seven Mile Bridge is in the Florida Keys

florida keys facts

As I’ve said, the Florida Keys are made up of 800 islands and only 43 of them are connected via bridges. Among these bridges is the historical Seven Mile Bridge. The Seven Mile Bridge is one of the longest segmental bridges in the world. Watch the Florida Keys video below and you can see me and some friends cycling across it.

7. The Florida Reef is the third largest Barrier Reef in the world

The Florida Reef is found within The Keys. It’s the only complete living coral barrier reef in North America. It runs from Key Biscayne all the way to Dry Tortugas National Park, making it one of the largest barrier reefs in the world.

aerial view of Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida

8. There’s a tropical climate in the Florida Keys

Who wouldn’t want to experience the great weather that the Florida Keys has to offer with nearly 80 degrees almost year-round?

From June to October, the weather is scorching and humid, but it’s considerably cooler and drier in November to May. One of my favourite facts about the Florida Keys – they’re the only frost-free location in Florida.

In addition to the great year-round temperatures, the Florida Keys’ all-time record low temperature is a mere 41 degrees. Ultimately, the temperatures and climate make the Florida Keys a great place to go in the winter.

9. The Duval Crawl is a must do

Serving beer in Florida Keys

If you want to get into the Florida Keys nightlife then you must take a stroll down the famous Duval Street through the almost mile-long pub craw named the ‘Duval Crawl. Here you’ll find some great places to grab a drink, food, and even shops to pick up your favourite souvenirs too.

If you like a beer, take a trip out to the Florida Keys Brewing Company too. It’s a popular local brewery with some great flavours on tap.

10. They’re home to Christ of the Deep

facts about the florida keys

One of the most popular attractions within the Florida Keys is Christ of the Deep at the John Tennekamp Coral Reef State Park,. This bronze statue of Jesus Christ and is one of the world’s largest statues of its kind. Key Largo has a nearly 9 foot tall, 4000-pound statue submerged in about 25 feet of water at Key Largo Dry Rocks.

This is just another example of a great place to go snorkeling or diving to see this magnificent piece of art.

11. Key Deer are only native to the Florida Keys

Florida keys deer

The Florida Keys is the only place on earth that has its own species of deer that aren’t found anywhere else. The Key Deer is an endangered deer that only lives in the Florida Keys. It’s the smallest subspecies of whitetail deer.

12. Key Largo is the dive capital of the world

Key Largo is regarded as the Dive Capital of the world and is home to the John Tennekamp Coral Reef State Park, America’s first underwater preserve. There are multiple trails within the park allowing guests to experience some of the vibrant worlds of coral reefs and marine life.

Diving is one of the absolute top things to do in the Florida Keys.

13. Fishing is a BIG deal here

Islamorada is known all over the world as the Sport Fishing Capital, where both backcountry sport fishing and saltwater fly started out. There are some incredible places to fish.

14. Key West is the sailing capital of the world

Day trip in Key West

Key West is home to the Key West Race Week, an event known worldwide as the Sailing Capital of the World and some of the best sailing waters in America. There are multiple regattas held during this time including some for large boats, small boats, and multihulls.

15. Key Lime Pie is a MUST

Dessert in Florida

One of the tastiest facts about the Florida Keys is that you CANNOT leave without trying their Key Lime Pie.

In fact, while I was there I had it every day to decide on my favourite. If you want to know the best restaurants in the Florida Keys, take a look at my carefully selected list there for inspiration.

16. You can do one of the coolest road trips in the world here

miami to key west

The road trip from Miami to the southern-most spot in the Florida Keys is incredible. You can check out the Miami to Key West road trip here – I can’t recommend it enough!

Facts about the Florida Keys

The Florida Keys make for a wonderful place to experience island life in the USA, with the rich culture, delicious foods, and incredible entertainment. As the home to some of America’s most beautiful coral reefs and other marine life, they’re a true one-of-a-kind destination for diving enthusiasts and anyone looking to escape from city life for awhile.

Tips for the Florida Keys

If you want more Florida Keys blog posts to get you excited for your trip, then click that link! I had a brilliant time there, and I hope, armed with these facts, you will too. Make sure to check out my top Florida Keys travel tips to really make the most of your holiday.

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