Located at the southern tip of the Florida Peninsula, The Florida Keys are a stretch of islands that curve around from Miami south and to the west with Key west being the southernmost point in the continental U.S. The Florida Keys extend west to the Dry Tortugas, a small archipelago of coral islands about 70 miles from Key West and only accessible by boat or small plane.
The Overseas Highway, the southernmost section of U.S. 1, connects the Florida Keys and extends 113 miles from Key Largo to Key West with a series of bridges, most famously, the Seven Mile Bridge. The Overseas Highway is like the mainstreet of the Keys and the various islands and destinations are located by their mile marker. These little green mile-marker signs start just south of Florida City with number 127, and extend all the way to zero in Key West.
The small islands of the Florida Keys are made up of ancient coral reef. Offshore is one of the largest barrier reef systems in the world, the Florida Reef, which makes the keys a haven for snorkelers and scuba divers. While the Florida Keys are not know for their beaches like many other areas along the coast in Florida, water activities including fishing, boating, scuba diving and anything on the water, is common in the Keys.
The Tropical climate keeps the temperature warm year round with very little temperature variation. The Keys have basically two seasons, like much of south Florida; from June – October, it is rainy and hot, from November – May, it is drier and just slightly cooler. Much of the Florida Keys are protected with Biscayne National Park, The National Key Deer Refuge, Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Dry Tortugas National Park as well as the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.