The Florida Keys & Key West

The Lower Keys The Lower Keys The Lower Keys The Lower Keys 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, and are surrounded by a marine environment 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 Sunshine Key, mile marker (MM) 40, to Stock Island at MM 5, by community resilience, family-owned resorts, RV parks, campgrounds, quaint B&B’s and licensed vacation homes, as well as eclectic restaurants, native wildernesses and rich history.

BridgeKey Deer

Ride a bicycle through Key Deer country, take a fishing adventure in the backcountry, or troll the deep blue waters beyond the reef.

The Natural Keys

Beautiful Beaches

Along your road trip explore Little Duck Key and Veterans Memorial Park, a perfect family stop for its sandy beach, picnic areas and pet-friendliness.

A mile further southwest is Ohio Key and Sunshine Key RV Camping Resort, with pool, family restaurant and modern amenities.

Near MM 37 is Bahia Honda State Park and Recreation Area, whose white sandy beaches and abundant wildlife frequently earn the area “one of the most beautiful beaches in America” accolade.

Waterfowl & Key deerTurtle

Shop, dine or explore the National Key Deer Refuge, a large expanse of mostly undeveloped pinelands where the diminutive Key Deer live, when you reach Big Pine Key at MM 33.

Or, venture out to the freshwater habitat of the Blue Hole or No Name Key for a backcountry kayak adventure.

An Oasis of Islands

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

Flats fishingUnderwater Music Festival

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 sandy lagoons and mangrove islands that make the jaunt a memorable one, especially at sunset.

Stock Island fishing boatsStock Island marina

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 unique heritage dates back to an era far before the Keys attained their present-day fame. Stock Island’s strong seaport core is indicated by the commercial shrimp boats tied up at its docks, and the sight of shrimpers offloading masses of sweet Key West 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 since Stock Island also features two thriving new resorts, it’s being discovered by a growing group of visitors entranced by its vivid, creative, working-class seafaring atmosphere.

It’s that atmosphere — and the community and its easygoing pleasures — that you can discover during an annual “I Love Stock Island Festival.”

Unmatched Variety

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

Palm BranchesSnorkelers

Come visit the natural Keys. Big Pine Key is located about 30 minutes by car from Key West International Airport and approximately the same distance from Marathon.

Lower Keys Chamber of Commerce

Read our travel blog - Keys Voices

The Ten Keymandments

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