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The Florida Keys are a chain of islands located at the southeastern tip of the Florida peninsula, about 15 miles south of Miami, and extend in a gentle arc south-southwest and then westward to Key West, the westernmost of the inhabited islands, and on to the uninhabited Dry Tortugas. The islands lie along the Florida Straits, dividing the Atlantic Ocean to the east from the Gulf of Mexico to the west, and defining one edge of Florida Bay. At the nearest point, the southern tip of Key West is just 94 miles from Cuba. The Florida Keys are between about 23.5 and 25.5 degrees North latitude, in the subtropics. The climate of the Keys however, is defined as tropical. More than 95% of the land area lies in Monroe County, but a small portion extends northeast into Miami-Dade County, primarily in the city of Islandia, Florida. The total land area is 137.3 square miles. As of the 2000 census the population was 79,535, with an average density of 579.27 per square mile, although much of the population is concentrated in a few areas of much higher density, such as the city of Key West, which has 32% of the entire population of the Keys.

The city of Key West is the county seat of Monroe County, which consists of a section on the mainland which is almost entirely in Everglades National Park, and the Keys islands from Key Largo to the Dry Tortugas.

The Keys were originally inhabited by Calusa and Tequesta Native Americans. They were later found and charted by Juan Ponce de León. "Key" is corrupted from the Spanish Cayo, meaning small island. For many years, Key West was the largest town in Florida, and it grew prosperous on wrecking. The isolated outpost was well located for trade with Cuba, the Bahamas, and was on the main trade route from New Orleans. Improved navigation led to fewer shipwrecks, and Key West went into a decline in the late nineteenth century. A legend says that shipwreckers removed navigational markers from shallow areas to strand unsuspecting captains ashore.

Overseas Railway

The Keys were long accessible only by water. This changed with the completion of Henry Flagler's Overseas Railway in the early 1910s. Flagler, a major developer of Florida's Atlantic coast, extended his Florida East Coast Railway down to Key West with an ambitious series of over-sea railroad trestles.

Seven Mile Bridge

One of the longest bridges when it was built, the Seven Mile Bridge connects Knight's Key (part of the city of Marathon in the Middle Keys) to Little Duck Key in the Lower Keys. The piling-supported concrete bridge is 35,862 ft (10,931 m) or 6.79 miles long. The current bridge bypasses Pigeon Key, a small island that housed workers building Henry Flagler's Florida East Coast Railway in the 1900s, that the original Seven Mile Bridge crossed. A 2.2-mile section of the old bridge remains for access to the island, although it was closed to vehicular traffic on March 4, 2008. The aging structure has been deemed unsafe by the Florida Department of Transportation. Costly repairs, estimated to be as much as $34 million, were expected to begin in July 2008. Monroe County was unable to secure a $17 million loan through the state infrastructure bank, delaying work for at least a year. On June 14, 2008, the old bridge section leading to Pigeon Key was closed to fishing as well. While still open to pedestrians - walking, biking and jogging - if the bridge were closed altogether, only a ferry subsidized by FDOT and managed by the county would transport visitors to the island.

After the destruction of the Keys railway by the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, the railroad bridges, including the Seven Mile Bridge, were converted to automobile roadways. U.S. 1 runs the length of the Keys and up the East Coast to Maine; the Keys section is also called the Overseas Highway.

Islands of the Upper Florida Keys:

Key Largo is an island in the upper Florida Keys and, at 33 miles long, the largest of the Keys. It is also the northernmost of the Florida Keys in Monroe County, and the northernmost of the Keys connected by U.S. Highway 1 (the Overseas Highway). Its earlier Spanish name was Cayo Largo, meaning Long Key.

Key Largo is connected to the mainland in Miami-Dade County by two routes. The Overseas Highway, which is U.S. Highway 1, enters Key Largo at Jewfish Creek near the middle of the island and turns southwest. Card Sound Road connects to the northern part of Key Largo at Card Sound Bridge and runs southeastward to connect with County Road 905, which runs southwest and joins U.S. 1 at about mile marker 106. These routes originate at Florida City on the mainland.

Key Largo is a popular tourist destination and calls itself the "Diving Capital of the World" because the living coral reef a few miles offshore attracts thousands of scuba divers and sport-fishing enthusiasts. Visit John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.

Key Largo's proximity to the Everglades also makes it a premier destination for kayakers and ecotourists. This also has an effect on Key Largo Real Estate values

The island gained fame as the setting for the 1948 Humphrey Bogart-Lauren Bacall film Key Largo, although it was filmed entirely on a Warner Brothers sound stage in Hollywood. Plantation Key is an island in the upper Florida Keys and is located between MM 91 and MM 85.5. It became part of the Village of Islamorada when the latter incorporated in 1997. Plantation Key once was the home of a large Indian mound and was named from its history of Pineapple Plantations. Plantation Key became the center for Monroe County Upper Keys government activities and is so today.

Windley Key is an island in the upper Florida Keys and is located between MM 84 and MM8 5.5. It is also part of the Village of Islamorada as of November 4, 1997, when it was incorporated. Windley Key is home to Theater of the Sea, a popular tourist attraction since 1946. The popular Holiday Isle resort and a Florida State Park Service geological site are also on the island.

Upper Matecumbe Key is an island in the upper Florida Keys and is located between MM 79 and MM 83.5 All of the key is within the Village of Islamorada as of November 4, 1997, when it was incorporated. The history of the names of both this key and Lower Matecumbe Key are very confusing, as identical names have been used at different times to designate both keys. Upper Matecumbe Key is the location of the original settlement site of Islamorada. There are a number of Indian mounds and habitation sites located here.

Lignumvitae Key is an island in the upper Florida Keys and is located due north of, and less than one mile from the easternmost tip of Lower Matecumbe Key. The island has the Keys' highest point above sea level of 19 feet, which beats the island of Key West's Solares Hill by 1 foot (0.30 m). This dark green island is covered in rare tropical hardwoods such as the island's namesake, Holywood Lignum-vitae. On March 2, 1971 Lignum Vitae and nearby Shell Keys were purchased by the State of Florida, and Lignum Vitae became Lignumvitae Key State Botanical Park.

Lower Matecumbe Key is an island in the upper Florida Keys and is located on U.S. 1 between MM 75 and MM 78. All of the key is within the Village of Islamorada as of November 4, 1997, when it was incorporated. It is home to the main base of the Florida National High Adventure Sea Base. This key is the site of a number of Indian mounds and middens, most of which were destroyed during the building of the Overseas Railroad. A number of natural wells were also located here, at the northeast end of the key. These wells were well known to early seafaring men as the most reliable source of fresh water in the Keys. They, too were destroyed during the railroad era, and the location of their site has been lost. The southwestern end of the key is the site of a former sand mining operation.

Islands of the Middle Florida Keys:

Craig Key • Fiesta Key • Long Key • Conch Key • Duck KeyGrassy Key • Crawl Key • Long Point Key • Fat Deer Key • Key Vaca • Marathon • Key Colony Beach • Boot Key • Knight's Key

Islands of the Lower Florida Keys:

Pigeon Key • Money Key • Little Duck Key • Missouri Key • Ohio Key • Sunshine Key • Bahia Honda Key • Spanish Harbor Key • West Summerland Key • No Name Key • Big Pine Key (CDP) • Little Torch Key • Middle Torch Key • Big Torch Key • Ramrod Key • Summerland Key • Knockemdown Key • Cudjoe Key • Sugarloaf Key • Park Key • Lower Sugarloaf Key • Saddlebunch Keys • Shark Key • Geiger Key • Big Coppitt Key • Big Coppitt Key (CDP) • East Rockland Key • Rockland Key • Boca Chica Key • Raccoon Key • Stock Island • Stock Island • Key West • Sigsbee Park • Fleming Key • Sunset Key • Wisteria Island

Welcome to the Home Page of Sal Livoti & Misty Pace "Top Producers", associates for Realty Options of the Florida Keys, marketing Real Estate in the Florida Keys. We are Real Estate Sales Agents specializing in the sales of Key Largo Real Estate, Islamorada Real Estate and Real Estate in Marathon.

You can click on the many useful links on this Home Page or use the Tool Bar to navigate our site. On these pages you can view our Exclusive Waterfront Listings or do your own search on the Florida Keys MLS, if you like.

We also have links to Monroe County, Florida Keys Schools, FEMA & State Parks as well as Fishing, Diving, Dive Charts of the Upper Keys & Lobster hunting in the Florida Keys. Find these links on the Keys Information drop down.

Browse through the Homes we Have Sold page for an idea of Florida Keys Real Estate homes variety. Sometimes we have a Buyer that will see a home there that they like, and that will help us to find what they are looking for.

If you want to know a little bit more about Sal & Misty, go to our Scrap Book Page and sample a bit of the Keys lifestyle that we all enjoy "Living and Selling" Real Estate in the Fabulous Florida Keys!

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