21 Fun Facts about the Florida Keys - Hemingway's Polydactyl Cats - Frayed Passport

21 Fun Facts About the Florida Keys!

21 Fun Facts About the Florida Keys!

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21 Fun Facts about the Florida Keys - Hemingway's Polydactyl Cats - Frayed Passport

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Planning a journey to Important West, or the other Florida Keys? Below are 21 enjoyment points to get you all set for your adventure!

Abroad Freeway

The Abroad Freeway is an extraordinary feat of engineering that stretches 113 miles throughout 42 bridges, connecting the Florida Keys to the mainland. If you&#8217re highway tripping through the Keys, you&#8217ll consider this All American Highway!

Crucial Lime Pies

The Essential Lime Pie, with its superb sweet and tangy flavor unique to the tiny yellow Key limes observed in the Keys, was invented below. No a person looks to know when this dessert was invented, but it appears to have been talked about earliest in 1931 as a Magic Lemon Cream Pie—but we do know that in 2006, Key Lime was named Florida&#8217s formal pie!

Hemingway&#8217s Polydactyl Cats

They personal the put &#8211 Image by Sarah Stone / Frayed Passport

Ernest Hemingway&#8217s former home—now a museum in Key West—is popular for, among the other issues, its approximately 60 polydactyl (six-toed) cats that roam the grounds. They&#8217re thought to be descendants of Hemingway&#8217s initial cat, Snow White, and their minimal mitten feet are totally lovely.

Barrier Reef

The Florida Keys are home to the only residing coral barrier reef in the continental United States, spanning about 350 miles from the Dry Tortugas to St. Lucie, and supplying a habitat for countless numbers of maritime species. It&#8217s a best spot for divers and snorkelers from all over the earth looking to take a look at this astounding underwater ecosystem.

Artificial Reef

21 Fun Facts about the Florida Keys - Sink the Vandenberg - Frayed Passport

Sink the Vandenberg! &#8211 Picture by Sarah Stone / Frayed Passport

In 2009, the Vandenberg—formerly a navy troop transport and missile tracker—was sunk about 7 miles south of Vital West to make an synthetic reef. This helps not only to shield the all-natural reefs and endangered species residing in them, but also supplies a amazing dive web site and instructional useful resource for adventurous vacationers!

Conch Republic Independence

The Conch Republic was &#8220started&#8221 in 1982 when Essential West humorously declared independence from the United States in protest of a roadblock established up by the Border Patrol. The function is celebrated on a yearly basis with parades and parties to honor the &#8220Persons who seceded wherever other people have unsuccessful.&#8221

Southernmost Place

The colourful buoy in Important West marking the southernmost place in the continental United states is a beloved photograph place for tourists—and it&#8217s the closest you can get to the accurate southernmost level in Important West, for the reason that that actual place on the island is in the Truman Annex, not obtainable by the community. (And the serious southernmost position in the contiguous Usa is on Ballast Crucial, which also isn&#8217t available by the general public!).

Underwater Tunes Competition

The Reduce Keys Underwater Songs Pageant is a a single-of-a-form party where songs is broadcast underwater for divers and snorkelers at Looe Important Reef, mixing enjoyment with messages of reef conservation.

Pirate Historical past

The strategic place of the Florida Keys for traders all over the Caribbean in the 17th and 18th generations produced this space a key spot for pirates seeking for gold, silver, and other riches. It also was a excellent area for wreckers who&#8217d salvage no matter what was on ships that sunk in the barrier reef together the keys.

7 Mile Bridge Operate

This annual race has been held just about each individual 12 months considering the fact that 1982 by the Marathon Runners Club, to advantage children&#8217s and youth things to do in Marathon. The race requires location totally more than the h2o, and it&#8217s so well-liked that registration—which is restricted to 1,500 runners—usually closes in an hour of opening!

Vital Deer

The itty-bitty Crucial deer is exclusive to the reduced Florida Keys and is the smallest residing North American deer species. Conservation initiatives in the Countrywide Key Deer Refuge, founded in 1957, goal to shield this endangered species.

Extra fact: Crucial deer can swim! They truly swim amongst islands in the Florida Keys:

Shipwreck Salvage Economic climate

For a time in the 19th century, Crucial West was the richest city for every capita in the United states, thanks mainly to a rewarding shipwreck salvage industry. Salvagers would rescue products from ships wrecked on the treacherous reefs and share in the gains. You can learn a ton about the Keys&#8217 shipwreck salvage record at areas like the Shipwreck Museum and the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum.

Atocha Treasure

Speaking of Mel Fisher: this treasure hunter&#8217s discovery of the Spanish ship Nuestra Señora de Atocha in 1985—363 years following it sank—near Critical West uncovered an approximated $450 million in gold, silver, and gems, building it one of the most valuable shipwreck finds ever.

Initial Underwater Park

John Pennekamp Coral Reef Condition Park in Vital Largo, recognized in 1963, was the first underwater park in the Usa. Get a working day journey out listed here to go snorkeling, diving, or kayaking—or examine out a glass-bottom boat tour, which will give you a opportunity to see and master about the coral and undersea lifestyle. The visitor heart right here has a massive aquarium and lots of routines for households way too!

Maritime Heritage Path

Okay, not precisely on a Vital, but in Biscayne Countrywide Park near to Miami (about 45 minutes from Essential Largo, your very first cease in the Florida Keys), the Maritime Heritage Path is a great location to examine shipwrecks, which include the Arratoon Apcar, Erl King, Alicia, Lugano, and Mandalay. Even if you don&#8217t have scuba certification, the h2o is shallow more than enough, and visibility distinct plenty of, that you can see some of the wrecks just on a snorkeling excursion.

The Purple Island

21 Fun Facts about the Florida Keys - Islamorada - Frayed Passport

Florida Keys Brewing Co. on Islamorada &#8211 Photo by Sarah Stone / Frayed Passport

Islamorada, regarded as the &#8220Purple Island,&#8221 probable acquired its title from the purple bougainvillea flowers or the breathtaking purple sunsets found by the early explorers who mapped the area.

Similar: Important West Street Journey: Best Eating places, Bars & Sights from a Community

Truman’s Minimal White Residence

Initially a naval command headquarters, Truman&#8217s Small White Dwelling in Key West served as President Harry S. Truman&#8217s winter retreat. Now, it&#8217s a museum giving insights into Truman&#8217s presidency and the historical past of the area.

Mile Marker Zero

The Mile Marker sign in Key West symbolizes the conclusion of U.S. Route 1, which stretches over 2,300 miles north to Fort Kent, Maine.

Fantasy Fest

Vital West&#8217s Fantasy Fest is held every yr in October, with parades and costumes, often when compared to Carnival and Mardi Gras. This social gathering is unquestionably not loved ones-harmless, with some nudity allowed in a selected Fantasy Zone and of course a ton of drinking and revelry—with a large fundraiser to benefit HIV/AIDS plans.

Cigar Metropolis

In the 19th and early 20th hundreds of years, Important West was recognised for its thriving cigar market, with Cuban immigrants rolling hundreds of thousands of cigars on a yearly basis. The field&#8217s legacy is still evident in some of the island&#8217s historic architecture and culture.

The African Queen

The original boat from the 1951 motion picture The African Queen is moored in Essential Largo, offering visitors a probability to move aboard a piece of cinematic history and love a cruise on the regional waterways.

Browse additional about the Keys:

  • Vital West Road Trip: Most effective Places to eat, Bars & Sights from a Area
  • Checking out Vital West? Snorkel at the Dry Tortugas Nationwide Park!

Featured image by Sarah Stone / Frayed Passport (added pleasurable simple fact: Shel Silverstein lived in Vital West!)

The submit 21 Fun Points About the Florida Keys! appeared first on Frayed Passport.


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Hi, I’m Steven, a Florida native, who left my career in corporate wealth management six years ago to embark on a summer of soul searching that would change the course of my life forever.