The Florida Keys

13 July 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Environment, Miami / South Florida, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks Reading Time:  15 minutes

Fort Jefferson - Dry Tortugas © U.S. National Park Service

Fort Jefferson – Dry Tortugas © U.S. National Park Service

The Florida Keys are an archipelago of 4500 islands in the southeast United States. They begin at the southeastern tip of the Florida peninsula, about 15 miles (24 km) south of Miami, and extend in a gentle arc south-southwest and then westward to Key West, the westernmost of the inhabited islands, and on to the uninhabited Dry Tortugas. The islands lie along the Florida Straits, dividing the Atlantic Ocean to the east from the Gulf of Mexico to the west, and defining one edge of Florida Bay. At the nearest point, the southern tip of Key West is just 90 miles (140 km) from Cuba. The Florida Keys are between about 23.5 and 25.5 degrees North latitude, in the subtropics. The climate of the Keys however, is defined as tropical according to Köppen climate classification. More than 95 percent of the land area lies in Monroe County, but a small portion extends northeast into Miami-Dade County, primarily in the city of Islandia, Florida. The total land area is 137.3 square miles (356 km2). As of the 2000 census the population was 79,535, with an average density of 579.27 per square mile (223.66 /km2), although much of the population is concentrated in a few areas of much higher density, such as the city of Key West, which has 32% of the entire population of the Keys. The city of Key West is the county seat of Monroe County. The county consists of a section on the mainland which is almost entirely in Everglades National Park, and the Keys islands from Key Largo to the Dry Tortugas.   read more…

The Conch Republic celebrates Independence Day on April 23

3 April 2013 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Miami / South Florida Reading Time:  5 minutes

Flag of the Conch Republic © Jmckean/cc-by-3.0

Flag of the Conch Republic © Jmckean/cc-by-3.0

The Conch Republic is a micronation declared as a tongue-in-cheek secession of the city of Key West, Florida from the United States on April 23, 1982. It has been maintained as a tourism booster for the city since. Since then, the term “Conch Republic” has been expanded to refer to “all of the Florida Keys, or, that geographic apportionment of land that falls within the legally defined boundaries of Monroe County, northward to ‘Skeeter’s Last Chance Saloon’ in Florida City, Dade County, with Key West as the nation’s capital and all territories north of Key West being referred to as ‘The Northern Territories’.”   read more…

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