Around Florida Keys



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There are many things to do along the Florida Keys. The various Key islands flank the 126 mile highway, from Key Largo to Key West, which is the southernmost point in the USA. Whether you are keen on water sports, such as fishing or snorkeling or just want to soak up the sun on an endless sandy beach, then you will not be disappointed!

Driving the Seven Mile Bridge

On Sunday we drove south over the Seven Mile Bridge to the Bahia Honda State Park, which boasts one of the best beaches in the USA, with golden sands and a coral reef. The Park has excellent sandy beaches, with views of the old railroad bridge. This bridge ran all the way to Key West and was completed in 1912. The hurricane of 1935 destroyed the railroad, which was replaced by the Overseas Highway, now US 1. Some sections of this proved too narrow for modern day traffic and a replacement Seven Mile Bridge was completed in 1982.

The coral reef running down the Keys is the third largest in the world.
We visited Key West a couple of times in the week. The town is very commercial, with an historic legacy of piracy and seafaring from days of old. It is also linked to Ernest Hemingway, with his house being open to the public. We walked the length of Duval Street, with its quaint shops and lively atmosphere and bars, then explored the port area, with cruise ships on the dock. We visited the fine Aquarium and climbed the 88 steps to the balcony of the Key West Lighthouse.

At Key West I bought a cigar for $5, which to the annoyance of Penny I spent a very happy hour that evening, smoking it to the stub! (I gave up smoking in 1999)

On the way back from Key West we diverted to No Name Key to search for the famous Key Deer. These small deer are unique to this area and we eventually sighted one at the end of a several mile drive to the end of the Key.

We also spent a couple of mornings at Sombrero Beach at Marathon, which we thought was an even better beach that the one at Bahia Honda National Park.

Seven Mile Bidge

The two Seven Mile Bridges from Pigeon Key, looking North. The road bridge is on the left, with the original rail bridge on the right. A couple of hours were spent visiting Pigeon Key, which is situated a couple of miles along the Seven Mile Bridge. To access the Key we went on a bus, along the old railway bridge. It was at Pigeon Key that Henry Flagler set up his main camp, when building the original Seven Mile Bridge.

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