The Lower Keys

Welcome to the Lower Keys!

Where the Florida Keys island chain takes a graceful westerly turn toward the sunset, the Lower Keys are home to two national wildlife refuges, a national marine sanctuary and a state park filled with abundant terrestrial and marine wildlife.

The Lower Keys on the map

This quiet region of small islands is connected from the west end of the Seven Mile Bridge at Little Duck Key, mile marker (MM) 40, to Stock Island at MM 5, by family-owned resorts, RV parks, campgrounds, quaint B&B’s and licensed vacation homes, as well as eclectic restaurants, a strong sense of community, native wildernesses and rich history.

A family at an RV park in the Lower KeysA couple in the ocean in the Lower Keys

Take a boat trip to enjoy the crystal-clear shallow waters of the Lower Keys’ remote sand bars, or head out on a fishing adventure in the backcountry or in the deep blue water offshore beyond the reef.

The Natural Keys
Beautiful Beaches and Nature

Bahia Honda State Park near MM 37 is known for its white sandy beaches, clear waters and magnificent sunsets that frequently earn the park accolades as among America’s best beaches.

A family on a beach in the Lower KeysA Key deer

On Big Pine Key, bike or walk in the National Key Deer Refuge, a large expanse of mostly undeveloped pinelands where the diminutive Key deer live.

Venture out to the freshwater habitat of the Blue Hole to spot alligators and birds, head to No Name Key for a backcountry kayak adventure, or stop at one of the Keys’ hardest to find restaurant/bars, No Name Pub.

An Oasis of Islands

Big Pine Key is the jumping off point for numerous snorkel and dive excursions to the 210-foot wreck of the Adolphus Busch, Sr., and Looe Key reef, an area of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary where each year a popular underwater music festival that promotes the preservation of Keys coral reefs is staged.

A woman walking beside a swimming pool in the Lower KeysA couple on a boat in a marina in the Lower Keys

The Lower Keys are an oasis of islands with intriguing names such as Summerland Key, Big Torch and Little Torch Keys, Cudjoe Key, Sugarloaf Key, Big Coppitt Key and Stock Island.

The uninhabited Saddlebunch Keys are a network of shallow sandy lagoons and mangrove islands that make the jaunt by boat or paddlecraft a memorable one, especially at sunset.

A couple looking at shrimp boats in the Lower KeysA couple eating on a restaurant patio in the Lower Keys

The hub of the Florida Keys commercial shrimping industry, Stock Island is defined by a rustic authenticity that flavors its colorful marinas, art studios and waterfront bars and restaurants.

Stock Island’s strong seaport core is indicated by the commercial shrimp boats at its docks and shrimpers offloading sweet pink shrimp. Its marinas are headquarters to world-class charter fishing captains and frequented by dedicated anglers. The island is also a haven for independent young artists.

And Stock Island’s two thriving resorts attract visitors entranced by the vivid, creative, working-class seafaring atmosphere.

Unmatched Variety

The Lower Keys' southern location and relative absence of artificial lighting at night provide optimal viewing conditions, attracting amateur and professional astronomers from around the world to view an unmatched variety of southern constellations, comets, stars and other celestial objects.

Blue Hole in the Lower KeysAn illuminated camping tent below a starry night in the Lower Keys

Come visit the natural Keys. Big Pine Key lies about 40 minutes by car from Key West International Airport and slightly less from Marathon. The Lower Keys below Big Pine are even closer to Key West, with Stock Island just outside the southernmost city.

Lower Keys Chamber of Commerce

Read our travel blog - Keys Voices

The Ten Keymandments