The Tropical Paradise Of America

Posted On December 23, 2009 

Spreading over 110 miles, with over 17, 00 islands, the Islands of Florida Keys are America’s key to a tropical vacation. It is about 15 miles to the south west of Miami city in Florida in the south east of United States. The islands of Florida Keys all are connected by bridges and causeways.

The Islands lie along the Florida Straits with the Atlantic Ocean on its east and the Gulf of Mexico to its west.  The southern tip of the Key West Island is about 94 miles away from Cuba.

The first Island here is Key Largo, a popular tourist destination famous for its diving sites. Next comes the Islamorada Island, to the south of Key Largo. Known as a destination for sport fishing, it holds fishing tournaments and angling opportunities throughout the year. Bone fishing as well as fishing sailfish in the winter months here offer thrilling experiences here.

Florida key islands

At the heart of Florida Keys Island is the Marathon Island with a number of resorts to relax at. Further are the Big Pine Key and the Lower Florida Keys Island, where boating attracts the tourists here. There are tours to the Looe Key, a dive and snorkeling site and out into the backcountry for fishing or bird watching.

The last, but certainly not the least of all, is the Key West, also known as the Last Resort. It is at the southernmost point in the continental U.S and to pull the tourists here is the enchanting sunset, all night dance and the peruse Duval Street in downtown Key West.

Location of Key LargoKey Largo Islands

As mentioned above, the Key Largo Islands are the northernmost of the Islands of Florida Keys, in the Monroe County and is governed at a local level. Stretching to about 33 miles, it is the largest of all the Florida Key Islands. Its earlier Spanish name was Cayo Largo, which means Long Key.

While most of the Island is in the Monroe County, there is a small portion that extends northeast to the Miami-Dade County, in the Islandia city of Florida.

When to visit

The Florida Key Islands are always sunny and warm, especially the lower keys. The keys are in the subtropical region in the western hemisphere. It’s proximity to the Gulf Stream and the Gulf of Mexico gives these islands a mild sub tropical maritime climate.

With a tropical climate, Key Largo has a favourable season for tourists all throughout the year.  The average summer temperature here has rarely gone beyond 32 degree Celsius. Winter months are mostly dry. Rains enter only in late May but are of shot duration.

While June to November is the months of hurricane season, this period brings some of the most beautiful daily weather of the year.

How to reach

From Florida, you could take the air, water or road route to the Florida Keys Island. There are scheduled shuttle services from Miami and the Miami airports to all the Florida Key Islands. The drive to the Island is of course refreshing and worth taking. Ferry services are of course the lifeline of an Island. There are international airport at Key West and the Marathon Islands as well. Chartered flights too operate here.

A number of bus services operate within the Florida Keys Island.

The Island of Key Largo is just an hour drive from Miami. Once in the Island, you can also rent a bicycle to explore the place.


Key Largo, because of its scenic marvels, has been a hot spot as a place to shoot Hollywood flicks and a great place for travelers to relax at. On its west is the Everglades National Park spread over 1.4 million acres. The park is home to about 300 species of birds that include bald eagles as well as alligators, deer and bobcats. You can enjoy an eco tour or a trip by fishing charter to the park.

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State ParkTo the east of Key Largo is the only living coral barrier reef of North America. Known as the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, it includes the Coral Reef Theatre, a reconstruction of a living reef in a 30 000 gallon aquarium. Other activities that you can enjoy here are snorkeling, diving, glass bottom boat tours, kayak, canoe, camping and fishing to name a few.

The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is another attraction 6 miles off the shore in Key Largo. The wreck of a 510 foot Navy ship scuttled in June 2002 forms the backbone of a new coral reef in this 2,800 square nautical miles park.

Some other formations beneath the water to entertain the snorkelers and divers are the a bronze statue of Christ of Abyss in just 25 feet of water, the Molasses Reef that has a variety of tropical marine life and  the Benwood Ship Wreck, a casualty of World War II that is now home to schools of grunts and pork fish.

Harry Harris ParkThe Key Largo Island has a number of parks that will enchant the nature lovers. There is the Harry Harris Park with a playground, restrooms, and an artificial lagoon and the Hammocks State Botanical Site among many others. There is a 5-acre Wild Bird Center as well where you can spot native as well as migratory birds as well.

Among the water sports of Key Largo, swimming with dolphins is as popular as kayaking, canoeing, parasailing, diving and snorkeling. The island is also famous for sports fishing.

Eco Tours are popular among the tourists in Key Largo. Dunsenberry Creek with its tributaries and mangroves make for a good kayak and canoe trips. In winters, you can spot the manatee here.

Waters of Florida Bay and the Atlantic shore make for a great trip as well. There are air-boat ride as well that you can enjoy. You can also visit the Crocodile Lake National Park Wildlife Refuge, a nesting area for crocodiles.

Wellness is another major business in the Island of Key Largo with a number of spas and other such centers. For Pilates, there is Pilates in Paradise. Other spas here are the Blue Bamboo Salon and Spa, Ciao Bella Salon and Day Spa, Healing Waters Massage Therapy & Aquatic Bodywork and the Island Body and Soul Spa to name a few. Most of these spas and wellness centers are in resorts itself.

Also attracting the tourists is the Jacobs Aquatic Center, a water park with the Africa Queen, the original boat from John Houston’s film that starred Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn, on display.

The Key Largo Islands and the other Islands of Florida Keys are definitely a destination you should plan your trip to.

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One Response to “The Tropical Paradise Of America”
  1. Peter says:

    Whole world knows about USA and has a dream to visit once. But its Tropical region is always missed and this article has covered the correct thing! This is the place worth a visit!

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