Don’t let the palm trees and sunshine fool you: The Florida Keys are more than just a great vacation destination. This beloved archipelago offers a rich history, beautiful biodiversity, and more than a few quirky characteristics.
Here are 10 of our favorite fun facts about the Florida Keys:
- There’s plenty to explore: The Florida Keys include over 800 islands, many of which can be accessed via a network of 42 bridges.
- There’s even more to uncover below the surface. The expansive Florida Reef is the only living coral reef in North America and the third largest coral reef in the world.
- The Sunshine State is also home to the largest nesting sea turtle population in the country. The Turtle Hospital in Marathon, FL is dedicated to the rehabilitation of endangered sea turtles.
- The diverse marine life—along with some spectacular shipwrecks—has earned the Keys the title of Diving Capital of the World.
- And that’s not all: Our island chain is also considered by many to be the Sportfishing Capital of the World. (Learn about Cheeca’s fishing charters and tournaments here.)
- The queen conch is a protected marine species; shell collectors should steer clear of picking up these massive mollusks.
- If you’re looking to escape the cold, this is the place to be: The Florida Keys boast the highest average temperature in the country.
- Despite the beachy climate, you might be surprised to learn that much (but not all) of the sand you’ll find on our islands has been imported from the Bahamas.
- Fortunately, cats seem to love the heat. The Hemingway House is Key West is home to dozens of polydactyl cats.
- Known as the southernmost point in the country, Key West is actually closer to Cuba than Miami, FL.
Discover the Keys and enjoy luxury accommodations when you stay at Cheeca Lodge & Spa.