Big Pine Key
Where the Florida Keys island chain takes a graceful westerly turn toward the sunset, the Lower Keys are home to two national wildlife refuges, a national marine sanctuary and a state park, and are surrounded by a marine environment filled with abundant terrestrial and marine wildlife.
This quiet region of small islands is connected from the west end of the Seven Mile Bridge at Sunshine Key, mile marker (MM) 40, to Stock Island at MM 5, by community resilience, family-owned resorts, RV parks,campgrounds, quaint B&B’s and licensed vacation homes, as well as eclectic restaurants, native wildernesses and rich history.
Along your road trip explore Little Duck Key and Veterans Memorial Park, a perfect family stop for its sandy beach, picnic areas and pet-friendliness.
Shop, dine or explore the National Key Deer Refuge, a large expanse of mostly undeveloped pinelands where the diminutive Key Deer live, when you reach Big Pine Key at MM 33.
Or, venture out to the freshwater habitat of the Blue Hole or No Name Key for a backcountry kayak adventure.
Big Pine is also the jumping off point for numerous snorkel or dive excursions to the 210-foot wreck of the Adolphus Busch, Sr., and Looe Key coral reef, an area of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary located about six miles south of Big Pine where each year a popular underwater music festival that promotes the preservation of Keys coral reefs is staged.
The Lower Keys are an oasis of islands with intriguing names such as Summerland Key, Big Torch and Little Torch Keys, Cudjoe Key, Sugarloaf Key, Big Coppitt Key.
The uninhabited Saddlebunch Keys are a network of sandy lagoons and mangrove islands that make the jaunt a memorable one, especially at sunset.
Come visit the natural Keys. Big Pine Key is located about 30 minutes by car from Key West International Airport and approximately the same distance from Marathon.