fantasy fest, gps tour florida keys, driving in the florida keys, drive to key west, gps guide to the florida keys, interesting locations in the florida keys, unique attractions in the florida keys, restaurant guide florida keys, hotels in the florida keys, swimming with the dolphins, ernest hemingway, fantasy fest, lobster season, 7 mile bridge, john pennekamp state park, bahia honda state park, southern most point, snorkeling in the florida keys, diving in the florida keys, guide to key lime pie, sloppy joes key west
Drive the entire 100 mile Overseas Highway in the Florida Keys and don't miss anything! From hotels,restaurants, unique shops and attractions, this guide will take you everywhere.
See the Keys the way it used to look in this 2000 acre jungle; a precious, rare, continuous stand of subtropical West Indian Hardwood Hammock. (less) See the Keys the way it used to look in this 2000 acre jungle; a precious, rare, con...(more)
Address: Monroe County Road 905
103.8 - Key Largo Mariott Bay Beach Resort
This resort features 153 rooms, beautiful sunset views, restaurant and tiki bar on-site, kids club, dive shop and spa all in one convenient place. www.marriottkeylargo.com (less) This resort features 153 rooms, beautiful sunset views, restaurant and tiki bar on-si...(more)
Address: 103800 Overseas Hwy. Key Largo
103 - Jules Undersea Lodge
Just to enter this underwater Lodge, one must actually scuba dive 21 feet beneath the surface of the sea. Visitors can dive in for a peek or lunch (for a fee) or spend the night. Rates from $375/night. (less) Just to enter this underwater Lodge, one must actually scuba dive 21 feet beneath the...(more)
Address: 51 Shoreline Drive, Key Largo
John Pennekamp State Park
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is America's first Undersea Park, and encompasses over 70 square miles of mangrove shoreline, grass flats, and coral reef. Open daily: 8:00 a.m. - sunset. Car entrance fee: $3.50 p.p, $0.50 for each additional person. Pedestrians, bicyclists: $1.50 p.p. Divers and snorkelers can see the 25ft bronze statue of Christ underwater. Families can take a trip on the glass bottom boat and enjoy the marine life from above. 305-451-6300. www.pennekamppark.com/ (less) John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is America's first Undersea Park, and encompasse...(more)
Address: 102.5 Overseas Highway, Key Largo
Dolphin Cove is a marine education and dolphin swim facility located in sunny Key Largo, Florida. Visit them in the Florida Keys and swim with dolphins in the natural lagoon open to the Florida Bay.
The dolphin swims are available to the public throughout the year and are a great addition to your Florida vacation. Choose between Structured Swims or Natural Swims. In a structured swim swimmers will take turns entering the water and interacting hands-on with the dolphins. All interaction is guided by a dolphin trainer, and one on one contact is guaranteed. During a natural swim swimmers will be able to observe the dolphins around them, but not to reach out and touch them. Any contact that occurs must be initiated by the dolphins. In-water time is 30 minutes. Snorkel gear is provided. Prices start at $125.00.
In addition to the Dolphin swims, enjoy Florida Everglades Tours and Flamingo Express private charters.
Toll Free: 1-877-365-2683 (less) Dolphin Cove is a marine education and dolphin swim facility located in sunny Key Lar...(more)
Address: 101900 Overseas Highway, Key Largo
100.2 - Key Largo Conch House
Claims to have "the best seafood and coffee" in Key Largo. Featured on the Food Network. Bring your laptop, they have WiFi with purchase. (less) Claims to have "the best seafood and coffee" in Key Largo. Featured on the Food Netwo...(more)
Address: 100200 Overseas Hwy. Key Largo
100 - Dolphin's Plus
An absolute unique experience while in the Keys. Swim with Dolphins. Facility offers several packages of swim options. Reservations required. (less) An absolute unique experience while in the Keys. Swim with Dolphins. Facility offers ...(more)
Address: 31 Corrine Place, Key Largo
99.7 - Key Largo Resort Complex
Choose from 3 different hotels: Holiday Inn Key Largo Resort & Marina, Ramada Key Largo Resort & Marina, or the Marina del Mar Key Largo Resort & Marina. 3 resorts surround a lively marina where dive and snorkel boats are available for trips. (less) Choose from 3 different hotels: Holiday Inn Key Largo Resort & Marina, Ramada Key Lar...(more)
Address: 99701 Overseas Highway, Key Largo
99.7 - African Queen
Stop by to see the "African Queen" boat of movie fame. (less) Stop by to see the "African Queen" boat of movie fame.
Address: 99701 Overseas Highway, Key Largo
Jacobs Aquatice Center
Key Largo Community Park and Jacobs Aquatice Center is located behind the Waldorf Plaza - oceanside. A 14-acre park features tennis courts, handball courts, basketball courts, a roller hockey rink, 1/2 mile jogging trail, and a rollerblading track as well as a 3-pool complex. 305-453-7946. (less) Key Largo Community Park and Jacobs Aquatice Center is located behind the Waldorf Pla...(more)
97 - Key Largo Grande Resort & Beach Club
This resort offers a quick getaway to a relaxing island experience. 200 spacious, contemporary newly renovated guestrooms and suites - each with private balcony views of a tropical hardwood forest or the Florida bay. (less) This resort offers a quick getaway to a relaxing island experience. 200 spacious, con...(more)
Address: 97000 S. Overseas Hwy. Key Largo
93 - Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center
As you approach MM 93, look for wooden signs signalling the approaching Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center. Primarily centered on providing emergency care for injured birds, visitors can get close to the birds. Self guided tours avaliable. (less) As you approach MM 93, look for wooden signs signalling the approaching Florida Keys ...(more)
Address: 93600 Overseas Highway, Key Largo
92.5 - Island Bay Resort
Drive a little further south from Key Largo and stay here where the sunsets are breathtaking. (less) Drive a little further south from Key Largo and stay here where the sunsets are breat...(more)
Address: 92500 Overseas Hwy . Tavernier
Coconut Palm Inn
This just sounds like a place youre going to find tiki huts... (less) This just sounds like a place youre going to find tiki huts...
Address: 198 Harborview Drive, Key Largo
81.5 - Worldwide Sportsman
Check it out! Two stories of everything you need to enjoy the great outdoors! Get ready to spend a few fun-filled hours here, and there is no admission charge! World Wide Sportsman is so much more than a tackle store. It's a grand resort of all things fishing, fish, and boating. It's got a cafe, a restaurant, a marina, rockers on the porch overlooking the bay, a glass elevator, a giant fish tank, and a replica of Ernest Hemingway's boat Pilar, complete with typewriter. You can go inside. Oh yeah, take a break and have lunch at the Islamorada Fish Company while you're there. Enjoy the live music. Open 364 days. Hours: Sun - Thu: 9:00 AM - 8:30 PM, Fri - Sat: 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM (less) Check it out! Two stories of everything you need to enjoy the great outdoors! Get rea...(more)
Address: 81576 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada
84.7 - Theatre of the Sea
Keep your eye open for the entrance with shrubs trimmed into shapes of dolphins. Swim with the Dolphins or Stingrays. Also offers dive and snorkel trips to get closer to the Dolphins. (less) Keep your eye open for the entrance with shrubs trimmed into shapes of dolphins. Swim...(more)
Address: 84721 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada
81 - Cheeca Lodge
This resort has it all: tennis, golf, restaurants, a fishing pier. President Bush sr. stays here sometimes. At least pop in for a peek, it's worth it. (less) This resort has it all: tennis, golf, restaurants, a fishing pier. President Bush sr....(more)
Address: 81801 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada
77 - Feed the Tarpon!
There's a small nondescript shop so typical in the Florida Keys which is used primarily as a bait and tackle place, along with boat rentals and snorkel trips. But the main attraction is feeding the tarpon. For a couple of bucks, you can get a bucket of fish and feed the school of tarpon that linger in the water waiting for a free meal. If you ever wanted to get up close and personal with a tarpon without having to get in the water, this is the place to do it. (less) There's a small nondescript shop so typical in the Florida Keys which is used primari...(more)
Address: 77500 Overseas Highway, Islamorada
49 - Smorgasboat Harbor Tours & Sunset Cruises
See the scenery or visit local nightspots on this quiet electric boat. Take a 1.5 hour Harbor tour, Eco tour or Sunset tour. Bar hop on the water taxi or BYOB. $20/pp or $100 for 6p. Kids under 12 free. (less) See the scenery or visit local nightspots on this quiet electric boat. Take a 1.5 hou...(more)
Address: 800 35th St. Ocean, Marathon
Pigeon Key National Historic District
At MM 47 you'll find Pigeon Key Foundation & Marine Science Center. Here, Henry Flagler saw the potential for the Keys and opened the islands of the Florida Keys to the world. What was once called Flagler's Folly has become Flagler's Legend. Please come inside and see where history, marine science, architecture and education come together on one small 5-acre island!
In 1904, Henry Flagler announced he would build a railroad from Miami to Key West. Critics scoffed. Engineers were aghast. His business partners wondered if the old gentleman was quite sane. A determined Flagler would be the driving force to accomplish the Key West extension, and Florida's remote tropical island paradise would never be the same.
Henry Morrison Flagler was born in Hopewell, NY in 1830. His humble upbringing would be in stark contrast to his later life as one of the wealthiest men in turn of the century America. In 1867 Flagler had the good fortune to become a partner with John D. Rockefeller. Out of their business relationship grew the monopoly known as the Standard Oil Company. By the time he was 50 years old, Flagler had amassed a huge fortune.
Florida had interested Flagler since the winter of 1876-77 when he and his sickly wife had traveled here for her health. Flagler was intrigued by the possibilities of real estate and tourism development for his fellow wealthy friends and business associates, trying to escape the harsh elements of the winter. Flagler remarried in 1883 after his first wife died, and again, Florida was on his mind. Flagler was impressed by the charm of the old city, but dismayed at the lack of amenities in first class hotels, and the rudimentary railroad facilities in the state. In 1888, Flagler opened the posh Ponce de Leon hotel. Needing a suitable railroad to get his guests there, he acquired the St. Augustine & Halifax Railroad. Soon the railroad was renamed the Florida East Coast Railroad, and Flagler's grand development scheme for the Gold Coast of Florida was put into action. Each year the railroad was extended further south until in 1896, it had reached Miami.
Still Flagler was not finished. Whatever the motivation for the Key West extension, commerce, (especially Cuba), tourism, real estate, or other, Flagler was determined that it would be built. For several years, surveys and planning had been in the works. Two years alone were spent trying to determine a feasible route through the Everglades south of Miami. In 1904 Flagler employed a young engineer named J. C. Meredith. Meredith was an expert in the relatively new construction methods and material of reinforced concrete. While consulting with his general manager, Joseph Parrott, Flagler asked if the railroad could be built. Assured that it was possible, Flagler replied, "Very well then. Go to Key West". From that point on, construction started in earnest. The race to build a railroad across the Keys was on, hopping from one island to the next. Devising ingenious methods of building across the Everglades, Flagler's engineers were soon bridging the narrow gaps across the shallow waters of the upper and middle Keys, building causeways and viaducts of reinforced concrete.
Starting in 1908, work commenced on a major hurdle known as the Seven Mile Bridge. From Marathon to Little Duck Key, 546 concrete piers would be needed to bridge the gap, the longest stretch of open water on the route. Pigeon Key is located about midway across the Seven Mile Bridge, and this tiny coral island would serve as a base camp for the construction. As many as 400 workers would be housed on the island during the construction, which went on for almost four years. Working conditions were atrocious, and many men were lost during the 1906 hurricane, which struck Long Key. Mosquitoes were a major problem in the mangrove swamps of the Keys. All fresh water had to be transported in from the mainland, even water to be used for mixing the concrete. Old photos show tank trains of large cypress wood casks loaded on flatcars being sent out as construction edged further west. Costs mounted, but Henry Flagler, now in his late 70's did not waver. At last the magnificent engineering feat was completed. On January 22, 1912 Flagler's private car, Rambler, left Miami with the old tycoon and other dignitaries in tow. The Overseas Railroad was a reality! Less than two years later, Henry Flagler died at his palatial home in Palm Beach, Florida.
The railroad offered a magnificent way to arrive in Key West. The several miles of open water vistas were impressive. It was billed as the "Railroad that goes to Sea". But the Key West extension never was a financial success, and in 1935 the railroad did battle one last time with Mother Nature. The September 2nd hurricane sounded the death bell for the line. Damage was extensive in the Islamorada area. Wind speeds of 200 mph and a 17-foot tidal wave destroyed miles of track and washed out several of the long fills. Although it could have been repaired for relatively few dollars, 1935 was deep in the Depression, and the FEC's managers decided to abandon the route. Flagler's Folly as it was called during early years of construction, had seen its day.
Today Pigeon Key and a few of the original structures used as the base camp and later for bridge maintenance survives as a museum, dedicated to the builders of the Key West Extension of the Florida East Coast. Maps, historic photos, models and a wonderful picture postcard collection of the Key West Extension can be found in the island's museum. It is reached by an intact section of the original bridge off of Knights Key, which now serves as a biking, hiking and fishing pier. Most of the original Seven Mile Bridge is still in existence. The abandoned railroad right of way was converted to form the base for the Overseas Highway to Key West. Later, a new highway bridge across the Seven Mile gap was built adjacent to the old railroad bridge. So, please come to the Keys and take a trolley car from the Pigeon Key Visitor's Center to the historic Island, and step back in time to the way it used to be! (less) At MM 47 you'll find Pigeon Key Foundation & Marine Science Center. Here, Henry Flagl...(more)
Lobster Monster Corp.
Stone Crab Claws & Florida Lobster from the Florida Keys. They catch 'em, prepare 'em, flash freeze 'em and ship 'em to you! www. lobstermonster.com (less) Stone Crab Claws & Florida Lobster from the Florida Keys. They catch 'em, prepare 'e...(more)
Address: 201 20th St, Ocean, Lot #8
28.5 - Parrotdise Waterfront Bar & Grille
The best Waterfront View & Dining from Marathon to Key West. Serving lunch and dinner. Open Daily 11am-10pm - Closed Tuesday. Happy Hour daily 3pm-6pm. (less) The best Waterfront View & Dining from Marathon to Key West. Serving lunch and dinner...(more)
Address: 28183 Barry Ave., Little Torch Key
The Key West Winery
This winery does not use grapes for their wines. Instead it's citrus and other varieties of fruit. Free wine tasting. (less) This winery does not use grapes for their wines. Instead it's citrus and other variet...(more)
Address: 103 Simonton St., Key West
Sloppy Joe's Bar
Live music and libations. (less) Live music and libations.
Address: 201 Duval Street ,Key West
Westin Resort & Marina
Hotel, restaurant, shopping all overlooking the Key West Harbor. (less) Hotel, restaurant, shopping all overlooking the Key West Harbor.
Address: 243 Front St., Key West
Conch Republic Seafood
For your Keys souvernirs. (less) For your Keys souvernirs.