"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

January 11, 2015

Jan. 10 - Florida Keys Facts

Sombrero Resort & Marina

There isn’t a lot to report on today, so I’ll share a few fun facts about the Florida Keys. The Florida Keys are a coral island archipelago near the southeastern tip of the US state of Florida, starting about 15 miles south of Miami and extending out in a southwest direction and then west toward the Gulf of Mexico. The islands lie along the Florida straits.

1. There are over 800 keys in total, stretching over 180 miles.

2. The longest key is Key Largo, which is 30 miles long and 0.5 miles wide.

3. There are 42 bridges connecting the Florida Keys islands. The longest bridge is the Seven-Mile Bridge. Harris Gap Bridge is shortest, at just 37 feet long.

4. Key West is the most populated city in the Keys.

5. Key West has more churches than any other place in the country.

6. Cuba is only 90 miles away from Key West!

7. Most (if not all) of the sand found on Key West beaches was shipped from the Caribbean.

8. The Florida Reef is one of the world’s largest coral reefs and is 160 miles long!

9. The Florida Keys are split up into groups. The Upper Keys, the Middle Keys and the Lower Keys. A fourth group is known as the Outer Keys and is made up of islands that can only be accessed by boat.

10. For a long time, Key West was the largest and busiest town in Florida, because it was close to the Bahamas and Cuba and provided a trade route up to New Orleans.

11. In 1935 the Florida Keys were hit by one of the worst hurricanes ever to strike the USA. Winds with speeds of 200 miles per hour battered the islands and a storm surge of over 17.5 feet, 500 people died and the Overseas Railway was severely damaged. 

12. The Overseas Highway was built to replace the Overseas Railway, after it was damaged by the 1935 hurricane, and the railroad bridges were converted to automobile roadways.

13. The climate of the Florida Keys is classified as tropical. The weather is hot and humid from June to October and relatively drier and cooler from November to May. The Keys are the only frost-free place in Florida.

14. Since 1981 more than 23 artificial reefs have been created in the waters off the Keys, mainly through the sinking of ships, and these provide a home to many corals, tropical fish and other marine life.

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