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Florida Lower Keys

 

The Florida lower Keys are one of the four areas of the Keys - upper, middle, lower and Key West.  What's intersting is that each area has its own atmosphere, culture and even vegetation!  It really is quite amazing.  

What you'll find in the Florida lower Keys are nature and plenty of parks.  Outdoor activities are pretty much the only thing going, although there is some shopping on Big Pine Key.  (If you are a shop-a-holic, wait and splurge in Key West.) 

However, the lower Keys are more tropical than the middle or upper ones.  Time seems to slow down, and looking at the turquoise waters and the amazing sunsets, you begin to understand why the Florida Keys are sometimes called the American Caribbean.

Florida Keys SunsetWhere to Stay in the Florida Lower Keys

Where to stay while in the Florida lower Keys -- that's the question. 

There aren't a whole lot of places to stay when you are here, but they are available!  Here are just a few of them:

Looe Key Reef Resort and Dive Center:  If you're into diving, this is the place to stay.  Located at MM 27.5, on Ramrod Key.

Old Wooden Bridge Guest Cottages:  There are 13 guest cottages (actually mini-mobile homes), a store and an marina. Located at MM 31, Big Pine Key.

Sugar Loaf Lodge:  All the rooms are waterfront, and there are ameneties like a heated pool, tennis court, restaurant, tiki bar and a small landing strip for planes.  Located at MM 17, Sugarloaf Key.

Dolphin Marina:  Seven rooms and a guesthouse.  Also has a marina with both rental and docking, plus fishing charters.  When it comes to Little Torch Key Florida hotels, this is really it.  Located at MM 28.5, Little Torch Key.

Bahia Honda State Park:  Campgrounds include space for tents and RVs, as well as some (air conditioned) cabins for rent.  Located on Bahia Honda Key.

The Lower Keys Accessible by Car

  • Bahia Honda
  • Big Pine
  • No Name
  • Little Torch
  • Middle Torch
  • Ramrod
  • Summerland
  • Cudjoe
  • Sugarloaf
  • Saddlebunch
  • Boca Chica
  • Stock Island

The Lower Key Accessible by Boat Only

  • Looe  (This is the big dive and snorkel area.)

Let me qualify this a little; there are lots of lower Keys you can only get to by boat.  Looe Key is the only one that is regularly visited, due to the fabulous coral reef.

Things to Do in the Lower Keys

Some of the activities popular in the Florida lower Keys include:

  • Snorkeling
  • Diving
  • Fishing
  • Bicycling
  • Hiking
  • Camping

Attractions in the Florida Lower Keys

Some of the attractions here include:

  • The Blue Hole
  • National Key Deer Refuge and Watson Trail
  • Perky Bat Tower

Ok, I'll admit -- none of these are attractions in the normal sense, but this is the Florida lower Keys -- nature rules!  If you have time for only one, make it the National Key Deer Refuge.

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