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Florida Guide > Places to Visit

Big Pine and Lower Keys

If you are traveling to Key West and you have time try to explore Big Pine and the Lower Keys you will be amazed how good it is to get away from a busy and crowded world and completely relax.

If you want to dive you can board a dive boat and enjoy a day of diving and snorkeling on the famous Looe Key coral reef. There is a pool, sundeck, restaurant and tiki bar as well as a dive center.

If you want to cycle you can rent a bicycle and ride through Key Deer country.

Tiny Little Duck Key, at mile marker 40 in the upper end of the Lower Keys is great for the family with its sandy beaches and picnic areas. Here you will also find Veterans Memorial Park.

Bahia Honda State Park and Recreation Area is at mile marker 37. The park has 500 acres with great sandy beaches and lots of wildlife. There is also a gift shop, snack bar, kayak rental and daily snorkeling tours.

The Lower Keys are located between two large oceans, the Gulf of Mexico to the north and the Atlantic Ocean and Florida Straits to the south. As the strong currents flow from the Gulf to the Ocean through the islands you get a great selection of gamefish and fishing grounds.

Light tackle fishermen will love fishing on the flats. The boats used for this are small and very shallow. The Guides on the boats often pole the boat using a long fiberglass pole to move silently across the shallow water to enable the angler to sight cast to gamefish for tarpon, bonefish, permit, shark and barracuda. My Dad went on one of these trips and loved it.

In the Gulf of Mexico fishing is usually on shipwrecks. Many of these shipwrecks were sunk during the Second World War and many fish including cobia, permit, snapper, grouper, goliath grouper, barracuda and sharks can be found here. Guides on these boats use fast outboard boats outfitted with proper electronics to locate their fishing spot seems like a great way to locate fish to me!

To the south of the Lower Keys few boats fish the area and within a three quarters of an hour run you can catch dolphin, wahoo, kingfish, cero mackerel, blue or white marlin, snapper, grouper, barracuda, amberjack as well as sharks.

Big Pine Key, at mile marker 33, is the main shopping area of the Lower Keys. If you have time do try to stop off at Big Pine and the Lower Keys.

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Page added on: 7 February 2011
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