What's your favorite Florida key?

I admit I’ve not spent a lot of time in most southern Florida in recent years, but when I have, I’ve always enjoyed the many facets of the various keys.

Duck key was lovely in the 60’s, as was Key Colony in the 70’s. Key West was interesting, but I really fell in love with Ft. Jefferson out west of west, on Garden Key.

So, anyone know any good, minimally visited Keys?

Anybody know what Grayvik is like, on the northeastern portion of Key Largo?

What’s your favorite?

I like Lower Sugarloaf Key, because it has the Bat Tower. And after a visit, you can have a drink or four at Mangrove Mama’s.

I also like Key West a lot, for the excellent bars and gorgeous barmaids. And because it’s the locale of the jawdroppingly bizarre tale of Carl Tanzler van Cosel and Maria Elena Milagro de Hoyos.

Hell, I just love the fuckin’ Keys in general. One of the weirdest places in the lower 48.

…isn’t Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas, rather than the Keys themselves?

I consider pretty much all of the coastal islands off the florida peninsula to be keys. And since they’re generally referred to as keys on maps and such, I guess others agree with me.

From Cedar Key on the Gulf coast down around the bottom and up to Key Biscayne, anyway.

Tanzler is pretty bizarre, even on my jaded scale, Ike!

For going to the beach, Lovers Key is the best. But for coolness, Mound Key wins. It was a city of the Caloosa indians and the mounds they built are still there.

C sharp.

He’s a charmer, isn’t he?

My last trip down to Key West, about ten years ago, I found a dusty old copy of A Halloween Love Story wayyyy in the back of a cobwebby book/magazine stand. It contained a reprint of the personal history Tanzler wrote for the pulp magazine Fantastic Adventures, plus some more objective reports, plus a bunch of groovy photos of waxy corpses and desecrated tombs.

Damn you.

Beat me to it.

What a great story. I’m surprised I hadn’t heard of it. That picture of the corpse is too much.

I’ve only spent any amount of time in Key West, which is off the hook weird. I love it there. I drove the highway but stupidly didn’t allow enough time to explore any of the other keys. I was there during Hurricane Dennis and barely made it pass 7 mile bridge before it shut down. The locals kept on telling me not to worry and I took the whole thing a bit too casually. It was pretty cool seeing a hurricane though.

My judgement is probably skewed because I live here, but I do love Key Largo the best. Fantastic fishing, amazing snorkeling, wonderful restaurants, fun entertainment, and nice locals. It may not look like a lot driving through, but it really is one heck of a fun place to be.

Islamorada’s great if you like to fish. The best fishing seems to be in the middle keys.

Having never been, I was going to post that Key Largo is my favourite because it’s where Zettie Bo Bettie lives.

Islamorada IS fantastic for fishing, but I have to say- I fished 4 times last week off of Key Largo and had great catches- snapper, mackerel, grouper, porgies- tons of good fish. We’ve also had great luck with dolphin fish, tuna and others. This was caught a few days ago (not by me, but that’s me with it).

A 30lb grouper. 3 miles from the coast of KL. I think all of the keys are fantastic for fishing and all have great charters to take out if you’re here on vacation.

Isn’t Islamorada the key that decided to make life imitate art (if you call the Beach Boys “art”) and adopt “Kokomo” as having referred to it?

(Serious question: I know one of them did, and played it up – we took a driving trip through South Florida at the time, went partway out the keys and were amused by it.)

Well, growing up in Gainesville, our favorite key was Cedar Key. It’s not down south in “The Keys”; it’s actually just to the west of Gainesville. It’s a tiny, laid back town where you can get good seafood and just hang out.

My very favorite key is Snake Key which is south of Cedaqr Key (here is a map of the keys). It’s part of the Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge and when I visited it with a nature group, you had to have special permission to visit (looking for it now, it looks like you’re allowed to kayak over). There are no mammals on the key, just lots of birds and snakes. But there’s tons of really cool wildlife, we spent the day coconutting in the water, getting close to the brown (endanged) pelicans (one actually bit me!) and playing with sea cucumbers and horseshoe crabs.

I live down here and I don’t think I’ve ever been coconutting in the water- I"m intrigued as to exactly what that means! I want to coconut in the water, teach me! :slight_smile:

Oh, I don’t know if it’s a real term or not but that’s what we called it. At calm beaches (like on Snake Key) you just kinda hang out in the water with just your head above the surface. If you don’t make a lot of fast movements or loud noises, the wildlife will supposedly think your heads are coconuts floating on the surface :wink: and ignore you. It seems to work, we always had birds come right up next to us and fishes swimming around our feet. Just make sure you wear lots of sunscreen…

Sigh, it’s 40 degrees and overcast here. Sure’d be nice to be on a hot, sunny beach right now…

Oh man, I am so calling it that from now on. Coconutting. I like it!

Today would have been an awesome day to go coconutting. It was in the 80s and gorgeous out. I should have headed to a beach but I worked like a good girl.

Key West. I like beach towns more than beaches.