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The Keys were a remote place until Henry Flagler built a railroad to Key West. It was finished in 1912, and only lasted until 1935, when it was destroyed - and within 3 years the Overseas Highway (US Route 1) took its place.
Since then the Keys have seen lots of change - resorts, traffic, celebrities, changing industries and changing fortunes. Many famous people have lived here (particularly Key West) and many of their homes are now museums. The Keys welcome over 3 million tourists each year.
Each island has its own personality. Some are remote, others are more busy and cosmopolitan. Choose the atmosphere you like best, and plan your visit!
The most famous island has an atmosphere unlike anywhere else on earth. The "Let It Be" attitude lets people live as they please, so you'll find a variety of lifestyles and personalities. History buffs will enjoy the homes of past residents, including Ernest Hemingway, Harry Truman, Tennessee Williams and John James Audubon. The air is filled with the sights, smells and sounds of festivals, art shows, bars, gay bars, clubs, shops and restaurants.
The northernmost island in the chain, Key Largo draws divers from around the world. It is also a terrific sports-fishing destination. It is close to the Everglades, so eco-tourists, birders and kayakers also visit this Key.
BIG PINE and the LOWER KEYS
Get away from it all in this region. There are many small resorts, but you'll never feel crowded. It's quiet, friendly and offers plenty of family-friendly activities from bicycling to snorkeling to shopping. Explore the famous National Key Deer Refuge.
Marathon is situated at the mid-point of the island chain. It has plenty of accommodations, restaurants and shops for visitors.
Some of the popular things to do:
-Crane Point Hammock: a 63.5-acre land tract that is an important historical and archaeological site which is also the site of Museum of Natural History of The Florida Keys and the Children's Museum.