The heart of the Florida Keys was also the heart of ephemeral piracy and wrecking centuries ago. Lack of freshwater in this region made pirates desist lurking here and it was not until the 20th century when Marathon’s only attraction consisted of the village where the railroad workers lived in Pigeon Key. Today, Marathon offers historic sites, nature refuges and crystal clear beaches, which along with the annual Seven Mile Bridge run and other events throughout the year are the main attractions here as far as Florida Keys attractions go.
Attractions in Marathon:
- Crane Point Hammock, Mile Marker 50
- Key Colony Beach Golf Course, Mile Marker 53.5
- Museum of Natural History and Children’s Museum, Mile Marker 50
- Old Seven Mile Bridge, Mile Marker 47
- Sombrero Beach and Sombrero Country Club, Mile Marker 50
There are two close attractions, which are part of the Middle Keys. The Dolphin Research Center in Mile Marker 59, and the Pigeon Key situated 2.2 miles west of Marathon, a place listed on the National Register of Historic Places in America, home of the railroad workers, and the old Seven Mile Bridge, substituted by the actual one that visitors see.
LOWER KEYS ATTRACTIONS
BIG PINE KEY
Among the Florida Keys, this is the preferred stop for nature lovers and environmentalists. Most of the attractions in this area are connected with wildlife, flora, and fauna, which is rescued and protected in this place. The National Key Deer Refuge is the main and large attraction in Big Pine Key, including the Watson Hammock nature trail and a complex of other refuges belonging to the Lower Key.
Located at Mile Marker 35, the National Key Deer Refuge protects the endangered deer of the region, however, deer species can be seen almost anywhere in the region.
Other Nature Attractions in Big Pine Key:
- Blue Hole Nature Trail, Mile Marker 30.5
- Coupon Bight State Aquatics Preserve, Mile Marker 28.5 – 31.5
- Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge, Mile Marker 28.5 – 31.5
- Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary, Mile Marker 28.5-31.5
Big Pine Key also has two remarkable attractions nearby. The north Bahia Honda State Park, situated at Mile Marker 37 and the Bat Tower at Mile Marker 17 located in the south, off the island.
Ernest Hemingway chose Key West to live in for not only the island’s privileged location and closeness to Cuba, his other preferred destination, but also because this Key is truly a paradise. If a picture is worth thousand a words, a list of just a FEW of the Florida Keys attractions in this town will let you see that Hemingway was right.
Some of the Key West attractions:
- Audubon House and Garden Tours
- Bahama Village
- Conch Tour Train
- Curry Mansion
- Customs House
- Donkey Milk House Museum
- East Martello Museum and Art Gallery
- Ernest Hemingway Home
- Fort Jefferson and Dry Tortugas
- Fort Zachary Taylor
- Heritage House Museum
- Higgs Beach Astro-Park
- Key West Aquarium
- Key West Charter Boat Row
- Key West Cigar Factory
- Key West City Cemetery
- Key West Golf Resort
- Key West Shipwreck Historeum and Museum
- Lighthouse and Military Museum
- Fishing Charters
- Little White House
- Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Society Museum
- Old Town Trolley
- Red Barn Theater
- Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium
- Smathers Beach
- Sunset Celebration at Mallory Docks
- Tennessee Williams Fine Arts Center
- Waterfront Playhouse
- Wrecker’s Museum
Key West features another attraction that costs nothing and it is available from any point of the island: sunsets. In addition, after the sun melts down in the horizon, the night becomes a living street party and real every day carnival at Mallory Square, La Concha, Hilton, and the Schooner Wharf.