Stock Island in Florida

9 March 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Miami / South Florida Reading Time:  6 minutes

© Averette/cc-by-3.0

© Averette/cc-by-3.0

Stock Island is a census-designated place (CDP) & Unincorporated community on an island of the same name in the Florida Keys in Monroe County, Florida, United States. The population of the CDP was 4,410 at the 2000 census. It is located on the portion of the island south of US 1. It is supposedly named for the herds of livestock formerly kept there. Alternatively, some local historians suggest that it may be named for an early settler. Due to the quiet peripheral location compared to the tourist hustle and bustle on and in Key West, it is now an insider tip and because of its relative naturalness called the “real Key West”.   read more…

Duval Street in Key West

8 February 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Miami / South Florida Reading Time:  9 minutes

Duval Street © Marc Averette

Duval Street © Marc Averette

Duval Street is a downtown commercial zoned street in Key West, Florida, running north to south from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean, just over 1.25 miles in length. It is named for William Pope Duval, the first territorial governor of Florida. A 1967 National Park Service (NPS) survey of Historic American Buildings designated 18 buildings as historic. A full six blocks were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. Further protection for this historically significant street has been created through the City’s, “Historic Architecture Guidelines,” approved in 2000, which sets standards for construction on Duval Street.   read more…

Bahia Honda State Park in the Lower Florida Keys

14 January 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Miami / South Florida, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks Reading Time:  9 minutes

© flickr.com - KimonBerlin/cc-by-sa-2.0

© flickr.com – KimonBerlin/cc-by-sa-2.0

Bahia Honda (Spanish deep bay) is an island in the lower Florida Keys. U.S. 1 (the Overseas Highway) crosses the key at approximately mile markers 36-38.5, between Ohio Key and Spanish Harbor Key 12 miles (19 km) west of Marathon, close to the west end of the Seven Mile Bridge. The island is virtually uninhabited, being home to the 524-acre (2.12 km²) Bahia Honda State Park. Founded in 1961, the park occupies most of the island. The channel at the island’s west end is one of the deepest natural channels in the Florida Keys.   read more…

Theme Week Miami – Biscayne National Park

24 April 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Miami / South Florida, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks Reading Time:  15 minutes

© National Park Service Digital Image Archives

© National Park Service Digital Image Archives

Biscayne National Park is a U.S. National Park located in southern Florida, south of Miami. The park preserves Biscayne Bay and its offshore barrier reefs. Ninety-five percent of the park is water, and the shore of the bay is the location of an extensive mangrove forest. The park covers 172,971 acres (69,999 ha) and includes Elliott Key, the park’s largest island and first of the true Florida Keys, formed from fossilized coral reef. The islands farther north in the park are transitional islands of coral and sand. The offshore portion of the park includes the northernmost region of the Florida Reef, one of the largest coral reefs in the world. Biscayne National Park protects four distinct ecosystems: the shoreline mangrove swamp, the shallow waters of Biscayne Bay, the coral limestone keys and the offshore Florida Reef. The shoreline swamps of the mainland and island margins provide a nursery for larval and juvenile fish, molluscs and crustaceans. The bay waters harbor immature and adult fish, seagrass beds, sponges, soft corals, and manatees. The keys are covered with tropical vegetation including endangered cacti and palms, and their beaches provide nesting grounds for endangered sea turtles. Offshore reefs and waters harbor more than 200 species of fish, pelagic birds, whales and hard corals. Sixteen endangered species including Schaus’ swallowtail butterflies, smalltooth sawfish, manatees, and green and hawksbill sea turtles may be observed in the park. Biscayne also has a small population of threatened American crocodiles and a few American alligators.   read more…

Islamorada in the Florida Keys

9 May 2016 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Miami / South Florida Reading Time:  6 minutes

© Ex1le/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Ex1le/cc-by-sa-3.0

Islamorada, a “Village of Islands,” is a village in Monroe County in Florida. It is located on the islands of Tea Table Key, Lower Matecumbe Key, Upper Matecumbe Key, Windley Key and Plantation Key in the Florida Keys. The village has a total population of 6,500.   read more…

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…

Fort Jefferson on Garden Key

8 April 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Miami / South Florida, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks Reading Time:  8 minutes

Fort Jefferson © U.S. National Park Service

Fort Jefferson © U.S. National Park Service

Fort Jefferson is a massive but unfinished coastal fortress. It is the largest masonry structure in the Americas, and is composed of over 16 million bricks. The Dry Tortugas are part of Monroe County. The fort is located on Garden Key in the lower Florida Keys within the Dry Tortugas National Park, about 70 miles (110 km) west of the island of Key West. A series of engineering studies and bureaucratic delays consumed 17 years, but the construction of Fort Jefferson (named after the third President, Thomas Jefferson) was finally begun on Garden Key in 1846. The new fort would be built so that the existing Garden Key lighthouse and the lighthouse keeper’s cottage would be contained within the walls of the fort. The lighthouse would continue to serve a vital function in guiding ships through the waters of the Dry Tortugas Islands until the current metal light tower was installed atop an adjacent wall of the fort in 1876. The original brick lighthouse tower was taken down in 1877.   read more…

Key West at the southwesternmost end of the Florida Keys

4 April 2014 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Miami / South Florida Reading Time:  8 minutes

US Southernmost point © Daniel Schwen/cc-by-sa-3.0

US Southernmost point © Daniel Schwen/cc-by-sa-3.0

Key West is a city in and the county seat of Monroe County in Florida. The city encompasses the island of Key West, the part of Stock Island north of U.S. 1 (the Overseas Highway) (east), Sigsbee Park (north, originally known as Dredgers Key), Fleming Key (north), and Sunset Key (west, originally known as Tank Island). Both Fleming Key and Sigsbee Park are part of Naval Air Station Key West and are inaccessible by civilians. Key West is the southernmost city in the Continental United States. The official city motto is “One Human Family.” Key West is 129 miles (208 km) southwest (229.9 degrees) of Miami, (about 160 miles (260 km) by car) and 106 miles (171 km) north-northeast (21.2 degrees) of Havana. Cuba, at its closest point, is 94 statute miles (151 km) south. Key West is a seaport destination for many passenger cruise ships. The Key West International Airport provides airline service. Hotels and guest houses are available for lodging. The central business district primarily comprises Duval Street, and includes much of the northwest corner of the island along Whitehead, Simonton, Front, Greene, Caroline, and Eaton Streets and Truman Avenue.   read more…

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