Patti Stanley, Florida Keys Real Estate Agent and Broker Associate

The Fabulous Florida Keys

The chain of 43 small islands known as the Florida Keys are made of coral and limestone which stretch south of Miami through Key West to the Dry Tortugas. The islands are divided into three areas: The Upper Keys, which include Key Largo, Plantation and Islamorada. The Middle Keys, dominated by Marathon, and the Lower Keys including Big Pine and Key West. The Overseas Highway and 42 bridges connect most of the Keys. The only living coral reef in the continental United States (and the third-longest in the world) runs its entire length just five miles off shore. Residents and visitors enjoy a year-round tropical climate that supports luscious island foliage and many distinctive plant and animal species found nowhere else in America. With the presence of tropical hardwood hammocks, reefs and coral islands the Keys are a highly biodiverse area, well preserved and protected by the National Marine Sanctuary. Because of its biodiversity, the Keys have become an ecotourism destination.

The Atlantic Ocean and Florida Bay that surround the Keys offer an abundance of opportunities to explore secluded channels, abandoned bridges, mangrove islands, shallow reefs and salt water flats, all teaming with fish and wildlife. Sailboaters, powerboats, kayaks, paddleboarders, jet skiers and wakeboarders all share these magical waters in the warm year-round tropical sun. Spectacular sunrises on the Atlantic side and dazzling sunsets on the Bay side, make the Keys truly unique.

The Florida Keys are referred to as America's Caribbean. That’s because the underwater world is renowned for awesome reefs, beautiful fish, unique aquatic plant life, spectacular shipwrecks and crystal clear turquoise waters perfect for scuba diving and snorkeling. According to the International Game Fish Association, the Florida Keys claim more saltwater world records than any other fishing destination in the world. Whether you want to tackle Tuna, Dolphin or Sailfish in the Gulf Stream, troll the reefs for Grouper and Snapper, or stalk the flats of Florida Bay (the "backcountry") for Tarpon, Permit and Bonefish, there's no place like the Keys