First discovered in the 16th century, the coral cay archipelago known now as Florida Keys, were long accessible only by water. Regardless of their lack of concrete connection to the mainland, the islands, particularly Key West, thrived off of sea based trade and commerce, particularly with the close islands of Cuba and the Bahamas. Then, along came industrialist Henry Flagner with a bold proposition to connect the Keys to the mainland by means of an overseas rail-road. An extremely ambitious project, especially in 19th and early 20th centuries, Flagner’s dream was eventually realised (though a 1935 hurricane damaged the construction beyond repair).
By this token, the men who ‘built’ modern America, (particularly its industry, and its transportation systems) were deeply rooted in the American-Caribbean soil of the keys. Not only this, but the majesty of the beauty of the islands, including the majestic wildlife and picturesque beaches and bays on offer, attracted some of America’s most cherished imaginations (including Mark Twain and Ernest Hemingway to name but a few).
An environment worthy enough to inspire some of the greatest minds in American history is an environment that is certainly worth visiting. Perhaps the most brazen author of his time, Hemingway was not one to waffle or waste space on the page – so if you don’t trust us (although why wouldn’t you?), then trust the straight-talking man who chose to make the tropical keys, with all its natural wonder, his home.
A varied and fascinating landscape, with national and state parks both in the sea and on land, plays host to a plethora of stunning and exotic wildlife, whilst the warmer tropical climates mean that you won’t find some of these animals anywhere else in the US. Given this climate and the paradisiacal backdrop, your exploration can be as comfortable or as challenging as you want. So whether you’re snorkelling or diving down to one of the historic shipwrecks, taking in the natural glory of the only living reef in the US, or celebrating with the locals and sampling authentic fusion cuisine, we can guarantee that you’ll be right at home in a brand new world.