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National Key Deer Refuge

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  • Excellent53%
  • Very good32%
  • Average12%
  • Poor2%
  • Terrible1%
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“blue hole”(123 reviews)
“visitor center”(66 reviews)
“big pine”(39 reviews)
Fourteen square mile natural habitat of white tailed Key deer.
Suggested duration: 2-3 hours
28950 Watson Blvd, Big Pine Key, FL 33043-6087
+1 305-872-2239
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All reviews blue hole visitor center big pine drive slowly watson blvd hiking trails refuge area winn dixie shopping center speed limit drove down worth a stop dusk wildlife key endangered visitors sightings
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1 - 10 of 561 reviews
Reviewed yesterday

Drive carefully in this area - especially in the morning and evenings as lots of deer have been killed. The deer are all over the island and are so cute. It really makes this place special. Everyone should do all they can to protect the...More

Date of experience: February 2019
Thank Craig-World-Travelle
Reviewed yesterday via mobile

I had read about these little deer but was amazed to see them live. This is the only place that they live. There is no particular place to see them yo just have to drive around and watch. We saw about 10-12. They are about...More

Date of experience: February 2019
Thank 44TonyS
Reviewed yesterday via mobile

We only made it a few feet past the parking lot. Some said the saw an alligator in the water. We walked 2 feet off the trail, between 2 white trees with brown blotches and leaned between the closely spaced trees to photograph the alligator....More

Date of experience: February 2019
Thank SeaviewKing15
Reviewed 4 days ago

I have seen a lot of deer in my life so wasn't really interested. However, we did really enjoy seeing a very small 4 point buck (he was so small that calling him a "buck" was wrong so we called him "Buckey"

Date of experience: January 2019
Thank Elizabeth R
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Love this place and you never know how many key deer you’ll see. This trip we saw less than the previous trip. They are so cute but please do not feed them as they will associate food with people and more and more will get...More

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank jbrenz
Reviewed 1 week ago

We were not able to go into the Visitor's Center due to the shutdown but there was a map on the window that helped us. We were able to see lots of key deer in their natural habitat. Very small and cute!

Date of experience: January 2019
1  Thank goldmeh
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We tried to see the deer even though we were not there at the ideal time of early morning or late afternoon. We found two groups total of about 8 right off the road on no name key. Enjoy!

Date of experience: February 2019
Thank 2333FarMor
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

The building was closed because of the government shut down. They left some flyers outside to take. We got to see the alligator. Saw lots of deer including bucks along the roads.

Date of experience: January 2019
Thank CPhT01
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Drove out to the refuge while visiting Key West. We saw several herds of the small key west deer. They were very friendly. Walked down to the water but didn't stay long because the bugs were bad.

Date of experience: January 2019
Thank Cowgirlkc
Reviewed 5 weeks ago via mobile

We stayed for a couple of hours walking the Watson and Mannillo trails. Saw two alligators in the Blue Hole. Fished at the No Name Key Bridge. Saw lots of Key Deer along Watson Blvd and at the end of No Name Key. Drive slow...More

Date of experience: January 2019
Thank GuiWong
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Questions & Answers
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March 3, 2017|
AnswerShow all 7 answers
Response from Jerry S | Reviewed this property |
I laughed when I read your question because I thought the same as you. I was expecting a fenced in area where the deer were present. The whole Key, along with No Name Key are the preserve. As others have said, stop at the... More
March 3, 2017|
AnswerShow all 5 answers
Response from fishersgirl | Reviewed this property |
Turn off of the Overseas Highway onto Key Deer Blvd. On the right you will see a shopping plaza with a Winn Dixie. The Key Deer information center is across the parking lot from the grocery store. The best times for seeing... More
Susan D
December 17, 2016|
AnswerShow all 12 answers
Response from fishersgirl | Reviewed this property |
Absolutely 100%! Drive to the very end of Key Deer Blvd, it ends in a turn around - there are generally deer there. Then go down Kyle Blvd and drive slowly through the neighborhood - I have never not found there there. The... More
Travel Forum Posts
Heather H.
Chicago, Illinois
Some help with accommodations (also what Key?) (7 Replies)
Hello! Hoping for some opinions from some experienced travelers down to the Keys. We are arriving Miami on Wed, 1/28 and will depart Monday 2/2. Our plan is to spend the last couple of days in Miami Beach, so what I'm looking for help with is the where is the best location to stay in the Keys? Our interests are mainly nature based. The agenda so far is the following: Turtle Hospital Crane Point Museum and Nature Center Dolphin Research Center National Key Deer Refuge I know most...More
January 16, 2015|
Response frombluewater|
Just to get more of a sense of what you are looking for and not - why leaning away from the Marathon area? Have you looked at Casa Morada or The Moorings? Are you even able to find things available this late?
Saluda, North Carolina
Keys trip itinerary - advice needed (4 Replies)
My sister and I are taking a trip to the Keys this June. Here's my itinerary, let me know if anything needs to be changed/added. I have a lot of sightseeing possibilities on our list but I'm not sure which ones are the best since we have limited time. Is John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park the best place for snorkeling? We would also like to do a kayaking tour or some easy kayaking somewhere. Also, any budget accommodation recommendations in Key West are welcome! Thursday, June 4: Arrive...More
January 11, 2015|
Response frombluewater|
Snorkeling the reef is great all through the Keys, no need to focus on Pennekamp. Not saying NOT to go there but if the opportunity arrises elsewhere - go for it. Consider Aquarium Encounters too. However it looks like your dance card is pretty full already. :) It's a good idea to have reservations for Turtle Hospital. When at Crane Point, make sure to follow the trails back to the bay. It's beautiful and you can feed the Mangrove Snappers. Also, be sure to check out the small trail that...More