Top Historic and Natural Attractions of the Middle Florida Keys

| oktober 2, 2012 | 0 Comments
edited kayak4 150x150 Top Historic and Natural Attractions of the Middle Florida KeysTravelers who want to experience the magic of the Florida Keys, an island archipelago off the southern tip of Florida, should head to the middle Florida Keys – it’s the perfect spot for enjoying all the Florida Keys has to offer, from Key Largo to Key West, the southernmost point of the continental United States.
The Middle Keys offers all the wonderful watersports that draw tourists from all over the world – big game sports fishing on the deep sea or in the flats of the backcountry.; diving – SCUBA and snorkeling – on the only barrier reef of the United States; sailing; jetskis, kayaking, kite surfing, parasailing … the list goes on.
You might be surprised to learn there’s quite a bit of history to experience in the middle keys.

Historic Pigeon Key – Just Southwest of Marathon

You can explore the site of the railway workers quarters where they lived while they built one of the Seven wonders of the modern world – the seven mile bridge of the Oveseas Railway, the brainchild of Florida developer and railroad owner Henry Flagler.  Flagler believed that Key West had the potential to be an important commercial seaport – it lay only 90 miles from Cuba and at the mouth of the Gulf of Mexico.
Pigeon Key, as the old railroad camp is called, is a tiny island off the historic 7 mile bridge – and hosts a museum that has preserved the history and artifacts from this railroad construction – and destruction. Completed in 1912, the railroad was never a financial success, and on Labor Day in 1935 a major hurricane struck the Florida Keys and wiped out many miles of railway – as well as claiming many lives. The railroad was not rebuilt but sold the State of Florida and rebuilt as the Overseas Highway.

Crane Point Museum and Nature Trails – Marathon

From a 600 year old dug out canoe to artifacts from pirate ships and shipwrecks, the Museum at Crane Point more colorful Florida Keys history awaits the curious mind at the Crane Point museum.
The 63 acre site is a a treasure of ecology and culture – there is evidence of life on this land reaching back as far as 700 years, and there are remains of more recent settlement – George and Olivia Adderley, who settled on this parcel in  1902 and remained until 1949. The hardwood and thatch palm hammocks, mangrove forests and wetlands also offer an education on the ecosystems of the Florida Keys.
Children are delighted by the wildlife in the hammocks … as well as the rescued birds in the Wsild Bird center. Kids will also delight in an interactive  ship, the 17th century galleon “Los Ninos de Los Cayos” … which is complete with pirate garb and treasure.

The Turtle Hospital

Daily education tours are offered to allow visitors to learn about the rescues of sea turtles off the Florida Keys. The tour includes meeting the current residents awaiting release; the permanent residents, a presentation on the endangered species of sea turtles, and an opportunity to help feed the turtles at the end of the tour.  One of the residents visitors will meet is OD – a 330 lb green turtle that was found floating – unable to dive. The hospital was not able at first to determine why OD can’t dive – but they have fitted him with his own weights so he can dive in the hospital pool. It wasn’t OD’s first rescue, either and a tag on him allowed the hospital to learn of an earlier stranding off North Carolina in 2007 – and the reason he can’t dive  on his own.  He was treated for a lung infection and released after his initial stranding. The hospital is seeking a permanent home for OD.

Where To Stay While You Play in the Middle Florida Keys

pigeon key aerial 150x150 Top Historic and Natural Attractions of the Middle Florida KeysIf you’re visiting for just as short time, there are hotels in Marathon. For stays of a week or longer, we recommend a waterfront vacation rental in Key Colony Beach. The homes all offer easy access to the ocean, most come with beach club membership and all provide the convenience of a home away from home and lots of space at a much lower cost than hotel room rates.
From this central location, you can visit all of the attractions of the Florida Keys, from the wildlife in the ocean and natural trails of the islands, to the wild life of the Key West nightlife – a town made famous for its water holes and water sports by famous sportsman such as Zane Grey and Ernest Hemingway, as well as US Presidents throughout the 20th Century.  More on Hemingway and Key West: Historic Homes Paint Colorful Key West History for Visitors.

Category: Key West

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