Lower Florida Keys are the Best Deal for a warm weather getaway
South Beach has its strip. Key West is famous for its Jimmy Buffett-infused party vibe. But for those who want a quieter getaway, it's the Lower Keys that count.
Per Charles Passy, Money Magazine contributing writer,
South Beach has its strip. Key West is famous for its Jimmy Buffett-infused party vibe. But for those who want a quieter getaway, it's the Lower Keys that count. This 36-mile stretch of the 120-mile Florida archipelago is one of the most protected spots in the state.
Composed of a dozen or so islands and sandwiched between more touristy Marathon and Key West, the Lower Keys have strict limits on development (forget high-rise condos). The largest landmass - Big Pine Key, at 10 square miles - is home to a 9,200-acre deer refuge. And some keys, like Cudjoe, have no commercial center at all.
The area also feels decidedly tropical, and no wonder: Poised at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, it's the closest you can get to the Caribbean within the 50 states. And while the shores of other Keys are notoriously rocky, the Lower Keys' Bahia Honda State Park is a notable exception. It has been rated among the top beaches in the U.S.
All this adds up to a vacation spot where you can let your own rhythm take over: Have a late breakfast, spend the morning exploring by boat, then follow up with some serious beach bumming. If you get bored from all the R&R, you're at most a 40-minute drive away from boisterous Key West - the islands are all connected via bridges along the Overseas Highway.
Big Pine Key Florida February 27th, 2008 – Per Florida Keys and Summerland Key REALTOR, Abby Oglesbee: This is a great article and reinforces why the Lower Keys are so popular.
When asked how that would have a direct effect on Big Pine Key Real Estate, Abby remarked: If Money Magazine rates the Lower Keys as one of the most affordable getaways, it helps the tourist industry with increased income and jobs, plus it means more people who will be considering the option of a second home here plus the great potential for rental income.