Big Pine Key in the Florida Keys is known for its Key Deer.  If you are
driving through the Keys, you can not help noticing that you are
approaching the National Key Deer Refuge because the speed limit
changes from 45 MPH to 30 MPH at night. This speed limit is strictly
enforced by law enforcement.  This area is from Mile Marker 29 to Mile
Marker 33.  In the Winn Dixie Plaza in Big Pine, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife
Service operates an information center on the Key Deer and its habitat.
(Directions: Go north on Key Deer Blvd. or Wilder Road. The information
center is located across from the Winn Dixie in part of the strip center.)

The shoulder height of Key deer is between 24-32 inches.  Does weigh
45 to 65 pounds while bucks weigh 55 to 80.  Rutting season activities
begin in September, peaking in early October and decreasing gradually
through November and December.  Some breeding may occur as late
as February.  The gestation period is 204 days with fawns born April
through June.  At birth fawns weigh 2 to 4 pounds.  Antlers on mature
bucks are dropped February through March, and re-growth begins
almost immediately so that by June, bucks with 2-inch stubs are seen.  
Antler growth is completed by August, and velvet is rubbed and kicked off
in early September.

They feed on native plants such as red, black and white mangroves,
thatch palm berries and over 160 other species of plants.  Key deer can
tolerate small amounts of salt water, but fresh water is essential for their
survival.  They must also have suitable habitat to ensure their future
existence.  No records exist documenting the origin of the deer in the
keys.  It is believed that the deer migrated to the Keys from the mainland
many thousands of years ago, across a long land bridge.  As the
Wisconsin Glacier melted, the sea rose dividing the land bridge into
small islands now known as the Florida Keys.

For more information, contact:  United States Department of the Interior
Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges,  PO Box 430510,  Big Pine Key,  
Florida 33043-0510
Phone: 305-872-0774Fax: 305-872-2154

Much of this information was obtained from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
publication "Facts on the Key Deer", which is available at their information center.
Key Deer
Key Deer - Big Pine Key, Florida
Photos by Gail Culver www. Florida Keys Website Design .com
Key Largo Princess Glass Bottom Boat        
305 451-4655  877-648-8129
Holiday Inn Docks,  MM 100       
www.keylargoprincess.com
Key Largo, FL
View the beautiful, underwater world of John Pennekamp Coral Reef
State Park on the 75-foot, 149-passenger, spacious, air-conditioned
motor yacht.  Cocktails and continuous viewing.  Daily cruises.  

2 hours cruises 10:00 am  1:00 pm  4:00 pm
Purchase tickets in the gift shop in the Holiday Inn lobby.
Dry Tortugas
National Park
This National Park is located on an island about 70 miles west of  Key West and is only accessible by
boat.  There are a few ferry services that have scheduled trips to the Park.  Dry Tortugas National Park
and Fort Jefferson have a fascinating history and beautiful beaches for divers and snorkelers.

Historic Fort Jefferson is located on Garden Key which is the largest island in the group of 7 islands.  
Fort Jefferson construction began in 1846 but was never finished yet it covers 11 of the key's 16 acres.  
The army abandoned Fort Jefferson in 1874.  In 1908 the area became a wildlife refuge to protect
nesting birds from egg collectors.  In 1935 the area was proclaimed a National Monument and in 1992
was designated a National Park.
Mel Fisher Maritime
Museum
200 Greene St
Key West, FL
One of the major attractions in all of the Florida Keys, Mel Fisher's houses and displays recovered
Spanish treasures.  It's from here that Mel and his "Golden Crew;" as he liked to call them,
brainstormed the search for the Atocha and her sister ship, Santa Margarita.
Flagler Station
Over-Sea Railway Historeum
901 Caroline Street
Key West, FL
www.flaglerstation.net
305 295-3562
In 1912, old magnate Henry Flagler completed his Over-sea Railway, 130 miles out to
sea.  Relive this engineering miracle, and discover what it took in lives, money and
resource to bring the Florida East Coast Railroad to Key West.  Rare footage of the
original film, "The Day the Train Arrived", photos and artifacts combine to make this a fun
and educational experience.
7:00 and 9:00 pm every evening
Step off the beaten path with the Ghosts & Legends of Key West for a
spine-tingling ninety-minute tour into the restless spirit world of our tiny island.
As we saunter along the shadowy streets and lanes of Old Town your guide
narrates Key West's most colorful ghost stories and legends.  Learn about
haunted Victorian mansions, pirate lore, voodoo superstitions and rituals, a
Count who lived with the corpse of his beloved, and other bizarre yet true
aspects of "Bone Island".  Points of interest on the tour may include the
Audubon House, the old city morgue, the Marrero House, St. Paul's Cemetery,
the Otto Mansion, as well as hidden aspects of Key West that only a "Conch"
could show you.

Reservations Required
The Ghosts & Legends of Key West
3095 294-1713
866-622-GHOST
www.americabyfoot.com
Tours meet at the Porter Mansion at the
Corner of Duval and Caroline St.
Ernest Hemingway House & Museum
907 Whitehead St
Key West, FL
Visit the home of the Nobel Prize winning author.  See the six toed cats
and the office where Hemingway wrote "For Whom the Bell Tolls" and "To
Have and Have Not".  Guided Tour.
Mallory Square
Located on the historic waterfront between
Whitehead and Duval Streets
Key West, FL
Mallory Square - where the world famous
Key West Sunset Celebration takes place!
Be there about one hour before sunset
every day for the best free show anywhere!  
Artists and craftsmen gather in Key West
from all corners of the globe.  Tight rope
walkers, contortionists, fire and sword
eaters, mimes, music and much more live
entertainment.  And, of course, the fabulous
Key West sunset!
Old Town Trolley Tours
305 296-6688
www.historictours.com
63-acre environmental and archaeological preserve.

Hike nature trails, visit the historic Adderly home built in
1906 and a Wild Bird Rescue Center.  Museum store.  
Trolley tours. Group rates
See the best of Key West on Old Town Trolley's 90 minute tour.  
Old Town Trolley Tours cover over 100 points of interest.  Get off at
any of the convenient stops to shop, dine or sightsee then reboard
a trolley and it's on with the tour.  You may get off as many times as
you like as you make one complete loop.  The trolleys come by
each stop at least every 30 minutes.  Tour at your own pace.

Stops and nearby attractions:
  • Mallory Square
  • Historic Waterfront/Mac's Sea Garden
  • Simonton Row
  • Holiday Inn La Concha
  • Bahama Village Market
  • Key West Welcome Center
  • Wyndham's Casa Marina Resort & Beach House
  • Southernmost Trolley Stop
  • Truval Village
  • Angela Street Depot
Museums & Nature Center of Crane Point      
5550 Overseas Highway      
Marathon, FL
305 743-9100
Florida Keys attractions, Key West attractions, Things to Do & See in the Florida Keys
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Eco-Discovery Center
NOAA opened the doors to the brand-new, 6,400-
square-foot Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center
on Jan. 13, treating visitors to an exciting array of
interactive exhibits highlighting the rich natural
environment of the Keys. Opening day saw
nearly 300 people pass through the center,
which offers free admission and a fun,
educational experience for visitors of all ages.

Located in NOAA’s Dr. Nancy Foster Florida Keys
Environmental Complex on the Truman Annex
waterfront in Key West, the center features
numerous exhibits that interpret the resources
and management efforts of Florida Keys
National Marine Sanctuary, two national parks,
and four national wildlife refuges. Highlights
include a simulation of the Aquarius underwater
research habitat, complete with sights and
sounds experienced by the “aquanauts”, and a
high-definition theater screening a 17-minute
video about Florida Keys National Marine
Sanctuary by world-renowned filmmaker Bob
Talbot.
Eco Discovery Center website
Watch Florida Keys Chambers
of Commerce videos on our
"
About the Keys" page.