The Florida Keys (islands) archipelago in Florida in southern USA consist of about 4500 islands which border the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico.
The Florida Keys are actually the exposed parts of a huge, at least 130 000 year old, coral barrier reef which is still forming. The Keys’ fragile ecosystem, which comprises the largest subtropical wilderness in the USA known as the Everglades National Park, extends from the mainland to Key West.
The Henry Flagler Overseas Railway, completed in the early 1910s, originally connected Florida with Key West by means of a series of over-the -sea railroad bridges. However, the railroad bridges were converted to motor car roadways.(U.S.1, or Overseas Highway.), following their destruction by the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935. Today’s Florida Keys Overseas Highway section is a 127-mile (204 km) drive, however, public buses also connect all the islands. Car hire from Miami or Fort Myers in the north, or from Key West International Airport in the south is highly recommended in order to make the most of the Florida Keys.
The two main weather patterns are humid and hot (June-October) and drier/cooler (November-May).
Plant and animal species abound and unique animals include the (protected) Key deer and the American crocodile. The seas around the islands form the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
Try hopping on the very scenic ferry from Fort Myers to Key West.
Eco-tourism is big here, with sea kayaking, snorkelling and scuba diving in colourful fish-rich protected waters offering unique experiences. You will also enjoy the easy going and unusually laid-back atmosphere and lifestyle.
Posted : Monday, August 22nd, 2011 at 11:00
As well as writing about travel, Karen Bryan offers tips on saving money, frugal living and how to live well on less, on her site Help Me To Save