Like most of Florida, the Florida Keys have a perfect tropical maritime climate that rarely varies more than 10 degrees across seasons. Key West even boasts a range of 65-72 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter, much warmer than other parts of Florida.
Although it is closer to the equator than any other part of the United States, the average daily high is a comfortable 89 degrees. The water temperature is also in the mid-80s, making for a refreshing sea dip when the sun becomes unbearable.
The well-known Florida rain showers do occur in the Keys, but they aren’t as long as on the mainland. In fact, it is quite rare for there to be many rainstorms in the winter months, as the rainy season usually begins in May and lasts until early October. However, hurricane season officially begins on June 1st of each year and ends on November 30th. While hurricane season can be nerve-wracking, this is offset by the beautiful weather the Florida Keys offers most of the year.
The Florida Keys have a diverse habitat that supports over 40 species of animals. Many of these animals are only found in the Florida Keys, and they include the Florida Keys mole skink, the Key ringneck snake, the Key Largo cotton mouse, the Lower Keys striped mud turtle, and the beautiful Stock Island tree snail. The snail’s shell is depicted below with its gorgeous markings.
Keep in mind: not all the wildlife in the Keys are friendly! Be sure to be on the lookout for the American Crocodile and the American Alligator. Situations involving these, as well as other reptiles and mammals, should be handled cautiously. Although beautiful, some wildlife should be viewed from a distance for your safety and theirs.
Although we consider the Florida Keys as a single unit, the different islands offer vastly different experiences.
As the closest Key to the mainland, Key Largo has many unique benefits as compared to the other islands. Firstly, if you’re making your home in the Florida Keys but you love to travel elsewhere, Key Largo is about an hour’s drive away from Miami International Airport.
For this reason, Key Largo is also one of the top tourist spots along the chain, and the island considers itself to be the ‘Diving Capital of the World,’ as countless scuba divers flock to the area to explore the coral reef. For those that love scuba diving, there are many diving sites with beautiful views. For those who are engaged, you can even book an underwater wedding!
As reported by those that live there, the best part of Key Largo is its laid-back atmosphere. As it offers a wide range of outdoor activities, it also has several options for shopping, bars, and restaurants. One of the top-rated restaurants in the area is What The Fish?, which features locally caught seafood and offers an activities deck for fun and food combined!
In sum, when thinking about relocating to Key Largo, remember that the island offers an incredibly laidback lifestyle, but it also offers that edge from living close to the mainland.
Encompassing six islands in the Florida Keys, Islamorada is about a 90-minute drive from Miami and has its own assortment of activities and luxurious living. Islamorada, much like Key Largo, has its own world title: “The Sportfishing Capital of the World.” Backcountry sport fishing, as well as saltwater fly fishing, is believed to originate here, prospering due to the islands’ huge commercial and private industry of fishing.
Aside from fishing, many other activities are available in the area. Theater of the Sea is the perfect way to safely get up close and personal with the Florida wildlife mentioned earlier. Much more than your average park, Theater of the Sea offers swims with dolphins, sea lions, sharks, and rays, as well as meet and greets with sea turtles and alligators.
Interested in nightlife? Islamorada is home to Islamorada Brewery & Distillery, the only brewery and distillery in the Florida Keys. Islamorada Brewery & Distillery includes its own kitchen, or you could opt-in for its food truck, Spanky’s Kitchen, which offers a menu full of seafood and craft beers.
Those who love to shop can stop by Rain Barrell Village, a combination of tropical oasis and shopping center. The village offers shops ranging from local art to jewelry and specialty stores. It’s no doubt why locals find just as much use out of the quaint complex as tourists do.
Islamorada offers the same great beach activity as the other keys, but the six islands get their edge from the great nightlife and shopping opportunities.
Marathon is where the locals really start to outnumber the tourists. As a successor of the Islamorada islands, Marathon also has a rich fishing business and tons of beautiful beaches. Known as the “Heart of the Florida Keys,” Marathon is a nautical city that offers a wide range of on-land and at-sea activities. Bring your family to the beach for jet-skiing, kayaking, boating, or snorkeling.
On land, take a day to hike one of the many natural or historic sites around the islands and eat at a waterfront restaurant. Seven Mile Bridge, both old and new, is also located within Marathon. Although out of commission to this day, the Old Seven Mile Bridge serves as a popular pier for fishing, jogging, and walking.
Marathon has one of the Keys’ three hospitals, and it is home to the Florida Keys Marathon Airport. The airport has a single runway, but it does allow for international travel.
Arguably one of the best-known cities in the Florida Keys, Key West is the only Caribbean island accessible by car from the continental United States. With beautiful coral reefs and a laid-back environment, Key West has been a creative hub for decades. Writers and artists like Ernest Hemingway traveled to Key West to be inspired by the cultural phenomenon that is Key West.
As the southernmost point in the contiguous United States, Key West also serves as a cruise ship port and has an international airport to boot. Rich in history, those who enjoy digging into the past can find many museums and historical homes in Key West.
The main reason people love Key West is its charming vibe and vibrant life. With lots to do and see, locals and tourists alike can stay actively engaged in the local culture. Ghost tours await the thrill-seekers, and bars await the more docile. With so much diversity, Key West feels like freedom incarnate.
If you are ready to make the Florida Keys your home, contact OceanSIR. OceanSIR has a variety of properties available in all of these communities. Whether you are looking at Key West luxury homes, homes for sale in Marathon, or a beach house in Key Largo, OceanSIR can help you find your paradise today.
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