Although Key West  gets the majority of the Keys’ spotlight shone on it, it’s important to remember there are almost 1,700 other islands in this tropical archipelago. Granted, most of them are tiny, uninhabited spits of sand and mangrove, but quite a few of them offer their own unique character.
The Keys are roughly divided into the Upper Keys  (Largo  and Islamorada ) and the Lower Keys (Marathon  and below). It’s something of a shame that many Key West visitors don’t bother to make a day trip into the Lower Keys for a bit of exploration; the wildlife and outdoor activities on Big Pine Key, Marathon, and the other nearby islands are less than an hour away.
The area has withstood hurricanes, pushed back against development, and maintained a laid-back lifestyle that’s richly evocative of Old Florida’s charms.