Florida Guide > Other Florida
Fascinating Florida – Part 3
We love visiting our beautiful villa in Orlando, but we have also managed to see a little of the rest of Florida, and one of our favourite trips was down to Miami and then on to the Keys, crossing the famous Seven Mile Bridge. Key West, right at the southernmost tip of Florida, has the highest average temperatures in the United States – and having visited it several times we can certainly confirm this fact – it is always blisteringly hot there, even when we have visited at Christmas. However, it has many more claims to fame.
1. There are around 1, 700 islands in the Florida Keys, with 42 bridges connecting the islands.
2. The most famous bridge in the Florida Keys is Seven Mile Bridge. It connects Marathon and the Lower Keys and was built in 1982. It was actually constructed in pieces, and then shipped to the Keys to be assembled.
3. Key Largo is known as the Dive Capital of the World.
4. Islamorada is known as the Sports Fishing Capital of the World.
5. One of the most dived shipwrecks in the world is the Benwood, which can be found on French Reef in the Florida Keys.
6. Key West has attracted many famous artists and writers, but maybe the most famous was Ernest Hemmingway, who lived and wrote in Key West for more than 10 years. He finished ‘Farewell to Arms’ as well as the classic short story, ‘The Snows of Killimanjaro, ‘whilst living there. It is said that he wrote his best works during his time in Key West.
7. In 1982 Key West was declared by its mayor, Dennis Wardlow and the city council, to be independent. He called it the ‘Conch Republic. ’
8. The limestone floor of the Everglades continues southward beneath the shallow waters of Florida Bay, emerging in the Florida Keys.
9. The Pennekamp Underwater Park, which can be found off Key Largo, is the US’s first underwater park. It covers 75 square miles of the Atlantic Ocean, and it is a living coral reef which is preserved.
10. Key West’s coral reef is the third largest in the world, and the largest in North America.
11. A crypt in Key West is inscribed, ‘I told you I was sick. ’
12. Fort Zachary Taylor was built between 1845 and 1866. It was active in the Spanish-American War as well as in World War I and World War II. However, it was controlled by the Union during the Civil War and was the home base for the blockade of Confederate ships which was so successful.
13. A favourite dessert is Key Lime Pie, made with that delicious citrus fruit, the lime.
14. Key West attracts many cruise ships to its shores.
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