How Many Keys Are In The Florida Keys?

The Florida Keys are world-famous for their beautiful beaches, laidback lifestyle, and stunning coral reefs. Stretching for 120 miles from Key Largo down to Key West, this island chain is a tropical paradise.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: There are approximately 1,700 islands in the Florida Keys archipelago.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive deep into everything you need to know about the keys that make up this island chain. You’ll learn about the different types of Florida Keys, how they formed, major landmarks across the islands, and exactly how many individual islands there are in the Florida Keys.

What Are the Florida Keys?

The Florida Keys are a unique and picturesque archipelago located off the southern coast of Florida. This chain of islands stretches approximately 120 miles from the southern tip of Florida’s mainland down to Key West, the southernmost point of the continental United States.

The Florida Keys are known for their stunning natural beauty, diverse wildlife, and vibrant culture, making them a popular destination for tourists from around the world.

Definition and Description

The Florida Keys are made up of over 1,700 islands, although only a few of them are inhabited. The main inhabited islands include Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon, Big Pine Key, and Key West. Each island has its own unique charm and attractions, ranging from pristine beaches and coral reefs to historic sites and charming seaside towns.

The Florida Keys are renowned for their stunning coral reefs, which are part of the third-largest barrier reef system in the world. These reefs provide a haven for a wide variety of marine life, making the Florida Keys a paradise for snorkelers and scuba divers.

History and Formation

The Florida Keys were formed millions of years ago through a combination of geological processes, including the movement of tectonic plates and the erosion of limestone. The islands were originally inhabited by Native American tribes, who left behind evidence of their presence in the form of artifacts and shell mounds.

In the early 16th century, Spanish explorers arrived in the Florida Keys and claimed the area for Spain. The Keys later became a base for pirates and smugglers, with legends of hidden treasure still captivating the imaginations of visitors today.

In the 20th century, the Florida Keys became more accessible with the construction of the Overseas Highway, a scenic road that connects the islands to the mainland. This development opened up the Keys to tourism and played a significant role in shaping the region’s economy and culture.

Major Landmarks and Attractions

The Florida Keys are home to several major landmarks and attractions that draw visitors from near and far. One of the most iconic landmarks is the Seven Mile Bridge, a breathtaking stretch of road that connects Marathon to the Lower Keys.

This bridge offers stunning views of the turquoise waters and is a popular spot for fishing and photography.

Another must-visit attraction is Key West, the southernmost city in the continental United States. Key West is known for its vibrant nightlife, historic architecture, and famous residents, including the legendary writer Ernest Hemingway.

Visitors can explore the Hemingway House and Museum, stroll down Duval Street, or witness the famous sunset celebration at Mallory Square.

The Florida Keys also offer a wealth of outdoor activities, including snorkeling, fishing, kayaking, and boating. Visitors can explore the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, dive into the crystal-clear waters of the Dry Tortugas National Park, or simply relax on the beautiful beaches that line the islands.

Types of Keys in the Florida Keys

The Florida Keys are a unique and picturesque chain of islands located off the southern coast of Florida. These islands, known as “keys,” are diverse in their geological makeup and offer a variety of experiences for visitors. Here are the main types of keys found in the Florida Keys:

Mangrove Islands

Mangrove islands are a distinctive feature of the Florida Keys. These islands are characterized by their dense mangrove forests, which provide a vital habitat for a diverse range of flora and fauna. The mangroves serve as a nursery for many fish species and provide a natural barrier against erosion.

Visitors to the mangrove islands can explore the unique ecosystem by kayaking or taking guided boat tours.

Limestone Islands

Limestone islands are another type of key found in the Florida Keys. These islands are formed from ancient coral reefs that have been uplifted over time. The limestone rock gives the islands a rugged and picturesque appearance.

Visitors can discover stunning limestone formations and enjoy snorkeling or diving in the crystal-clear waters surrounding these islands. Some popular limestone islands in the Florida Keys include Key Largo and Islamorada.

Coral and Sand Islands

The Florida Keys are also home to coral and sand islands, which are formed by the accumulation of coral debris and sand over thousands of years. These islands are known for their pristine white sandy beaches and vibrant coral reefs.

Snorkeling and diving enthusiasts flock to these islands to explore the colorful underwater world teeming with marine life. Key West and Marathon are examples of coral and sand islands that offer a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors.

These various types of keys in the Florida Keys contribute to the region’s unique beauty and ecological diversity. Whether you’re interested in exploring mangrove forests, diving among coral reefs, or simply relaxing on sandy beaches, the Florida Keys offer something for everyone.

How Many Islands Are in the Florida Keys?

The Florida Keys is a beautiful archipelago located off the southern coast of Florida. Composed of a string of islands, this tropical paradise is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. But just how many islands make up the Florida Keys?

Upper Keys

The Upper Keys, also known as the northernmost portion of the Florida Keys, is home to a collection of islands that offer a variety of attractions and activities. The most well-known island in this region is Key Largo, which is famous for its stunning coral reefs and underwater marine life.

Other islands in the Upper Keys include Islamorada, Tavernier, and Key Biscayne. In total, there are approximately 15 islands in the Upper Keys.

Middle Keys

The Middle Keys are located in the middle portion of the Florida Keys and are known for their natural beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities. The largest island in this region is Marathon, which is a popular spot for fishing, boating, and diving.

Other islands in the Middle Keys include Big Pine Key, Duck Key, and Long Key. In total, there are around 40 islands in the Middle Keys.

Lower Keys

The Lower Keys are the southernmost portion of the Florida Keys and are known for their laid-back atmosphere and pristine natural landscapes. The most famous island in this region is Key West, which is famous for its vibrant nightlife, historic sites, and stunning sunsets.

Other islands in the Lower Keys include Sugarloaf Key, Cudjoe Key, and Big Coppitt Key. In total, there are approximately 20 islands in the Lower Keys.

Experience the Beauty of the Florida Keys

The Florida Keys are a tropical paradise located off the southern coast of Florida. Comprised of a chain of islands stretching over 120 miles, the Keys offer stunning natural beauty, vibrant marine life, and a laid-back atmosphere that attracts visitors from all over the world.

Whether you’re looking to relax on white sandy beaches, go snorkeling in crystal-clear waters, or explore charming waterfront towns, the Florida Keys have something for everyone.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit the Florida Keys is during the winter months, from December to April. This is when the weather is most pleasant, with temperatures averaging in the high 70s to low 80s Fahrenheit (25-30 degrees Celsius).

During this time, you can enjoy sunny days and cooler evenings, making it perfect for outdoor activities like fishing, boating, and exploring the islands. Keep in mind that this is also the peak tourist season, so it’s advisable to book your accommodations and activities in advance.

How to Get There

The Florida Keys can be accessed by both air and land. If you’re flying in, the nearest major airport is Miami International Airport (MIA), where you can rent a car and drive down to the Keys. Alternatively, you can fly into Key West International Airport (EYW), which is located in the southernmost part of the Keys.

Another popular option is to drive from mainland Florida, taking the scenic Overseas Highway (US-1), which connects the Keys to the mainland. This iconic drive offers breathtaking views of the ocean and the opportunity to stop at various points of interest along the way.

Top Things To Do

  • Explore the underwater world: The Florida Keys are renowned for their coral reefs, making it a haven for snorkelers and scuba divers. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo is a popular spot for snorkeling and offers guided tours for all skill levels.
  • Visit Key West: The southernmost city in the continental United States, Key West is known for its vibrant culture, historic sites, and lively nightlife. Take a stroll along Duval Street, visit the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, or catch a sunset at Mallory Square.
  • Go fishing: The Florida Keys are a fisherman’s paradise, with ample opportunities for both offshore and backcountry fishing. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, you can charter a fishing boat and try your luck at catching species like tarpon, bonefish, and snapper.
  • Enjoy water sports: From kayaking and paddleboarding to jet skiing and parasailing, the Florida Keys offer a wide range of water sports activities. Rent equipment from local vendors and explore the calm waters of the Keys while enjoying the warm sunshine.

These are just a few of the many amazing things to do in the Florida Keys. Whether you’re a nature lover, an adventure seeker, or simply looking to relax and soak up the sun, the Florida Keys will not disappoint. Plan your trip and get ready to experience the beauty of this tropical paradise.


The Florida Keys are a tropical paradise like no other. Approximately 1,700 islands make up this 120 mile island chain, which stretches from Key Largo down to Key West.

With stunning beaches, incredible snorkeling and diving, and a laidback Keys culture, the Florida Keys offer the perfect island escape. Now that you know exactly how many keys there are, it’s time to start planning your Florida Keys adventure!

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