The Keys are basically divided up into Four Main Areas!
When people who are familiar with the Keys think of how the Keys basically layout, they are thought of either in Mile Markers or Areas. The areas being, The Upper Keys, Middle Keys, Lower Keys and then Key West.
All four of these areas have their own ambience and amenities to offer. Additionally some people prefer the upper keys due to Miami and it's shopping and recreation being only an hour away. Others like the Lower Keys due to the short drive time to Key West.
To help you navigate the Keys and consider which areas may appeal to you, we have it broken out into the 4 areas, under which you will find the main Areas (Cities or Keys) for each as well as their respective Arts and Culture and Recreational opportunities, Videos and finally a Directory showing recommended Real Estate Agents for each area.
#A note. I moved to the Keys from Portland Oregon and lived there for 7 years while practicing Real Estate. Having said that, it is my intention that this site will help you make your own decision about whether to visit, relocate, invest in or live in the Florida Keys.
Florida Keys Real Estate Market Comparison: 1st Half 2013 Vs 2012
Finally the Keys are not for everyone. But if you like the outdoors and water sports such as fishing, diving, sailing and are tired of the Stress of bigger Cities, the Keys can be your ticket.
If you have any questions please contact us.
A Fulfilling Relocation to the Florida Keys
The Florida Keys is home to many retirees from different walks of life. You can find ex-doctors managing cafes, ex-executives selling their handmade pottery, and ex-lawyers who own fishing charters just to name a few. These people finally abandoned the stressful daily grind to experience a slower and more relaxing pace of living.
The promise of warmth and sunshine is the reason retirees flock to the Florida Keys. Winter in the United States mainland can get brutally cold, but in the Keys, winter is usually a mix of sunshine and cool air. Absorbing some rays is good for your body, but don’t forget to apply enough sunscreen especially during midday when the sun will be right above you. Another draw to living in the Keys is the low cost of energy. Power plants in the Keys require less energy to make steam from water unlike power plants on the mainland.
If you’re one of those who’d like to live in an area with a close-knit community, then Big Pine is the best place for you. The island of Big Pine prohibits development because it contains a federally protected wildlife environment. Big Pine’s community works carefully to maintain their locale as well as to protect the wildlife that surrounds them. Real estate is relatively cheap and is quite a steal given the unspoiled beauty of the environment.
The chain of islands of the Florida Keys is connected by community bus services. You can get a ride to Florida City from Marathon by taking a bus operated by Miami-Dade Transit. Commuters from Key West going to Marathon can ride the bus operated by the Key West Department of Transportation.
There are 2 airports along the Florida Keys chain of islands. They are Key West International Airport and Florida Keys Marathon Airport. Both of them are found in Monroe County.
Recreation in the Florida Keys
You can never run out of things to do in the Keys. You can manage your business by day and then enjoy wine while listening to soft jazz by night. Are you more of an arts and crafts person? Key Largo in the upper Keys offers arts and crafts classes such as pottery and quilt making.
Whether you’re a green thumb who wants to fully enjoy the benefits of gardening or a novice who wants to learn about landscaping, there’s a place for you in Marathon City. The Marathon Garden Club offers classes on landscape design, floral arrangements, and conservation. The club encourages its members to contribute to the city’s beautification by improving their home’s landscape as well as that of their respective neighborhoods.
Big Pine Key
Remember that peculiar shrub you took a photo of? You may send that photo to the Big Pine Key Botanical Society for identification. Better yet, join them and get firsthand lessons about terrestrial and marine flora.
Discover Key West’s colorful history at the Key West Museum of Art and History. Appreciate treasures and relics recovered from shipwrecks, recognize the literary legends and artists responsible for Key West’s vibrant history, and discover the island city’s history as a seaport.
Islamorada is branded as the Sport-fishing Capital of the World. Fishing charters are found almost everywhere. You may also book a charter for a full day, half a day, or a night trip to catch some swordfish. Living in the Keys wouldn’t be complete without experiencing boating and fishing.
People who have relocated to the Florida Keys
You’ll be surprised at how retirees spend their later years in the Keys. Some retirees own dive shops, others manage restaurants. Discover what some Keys residents are engaged with. Who knows, you might end up establishing a business with a fellow retiree.
The Turtle Hospital in Marathon City is the first of its kind in the world. In the early 80s, a man by the name of Richard Moretti retired from operating a Volkswagen auto body shop and moved to Marathon. Before settling down, he purchased a huge boat and the Buena Vista Motel. He used the hotel’s saltwater pool to house some marine animals he had caught. Eventually, educational tours were held at his hotel. Later on, Dr. Elliot Jacobson was recruited by Moretti to be the veterinarian for his Turtle Hospital. Today, the hospital admits injured turtles to be rehabilitated before eventually returning them to the sea.
Will Soto is a 65-year old performer at the Mallory Square in Key West. Upon his arrival in 1976, he got intrigued by the mix of people in Key West. He saw retirees who were ex-lawyers, ex-doctors, and ex-teachers who lived their lives far from the urban lifestyle. Today, he tightropes at the Mallory Square three nights a week.
Maintaining good health in the Florida Keys
Hospitals and clinics are accessible to Keys residents. Below is a list of the hospitals and clinics and their contact numbers.
Universal Medical Center (305) 248-3290
Homestead Hospital (786) 243-8000
Sunrise Community Inc. (305) 245-9018
VA Primary Care Clinic (305) 248-0874
Mariners Hospital (305) 434-3000
Fisherman’s Hospital (305) 743-5533
Lower Keys Medical Center (305) 294-5531
Moped Hospital (305) 292-3015
Shopping won’t be a problem in the Florida Keys. Groceries, toy shops, dollar shops, specialty stores, and malls are dotted across the islands. Sears, Kmart, and Florida Keys Outlet Center are accessible in the Upper, Middle, and Lower Keys.
You can get fresh produce at a farmer’s market in Marathon. It is right across Kmart and is open during Saturdays at 10am. In Florida City, “Robert is Here” is another great source of fresh produce.
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