florida keys information



Florida Real Estate Featured Area of the Month: Marathon

Geographically, the Middle Keys stretch from the southern tip of Islamorada at the high-rise Channel 5 bridge – which has, in both directions, perhaps the most beautiful and stunning views in the Keys – to Marathon’s improbable, spectacular Seven Mile Bridge connecting Marathon to the Lower Keys. Most of us have seen this famous 7 mile bridge in movies (True Lies) or television commercials. It neatly divides the Atlantic Ocean on the East from the Gulf of Mexico to the West, a mere thread of concrete across the 75-100 square miles of azure and green seas and “flats” and islands that your eyes encompass simultaneously.

As a practical matter, the Middle Keys basically refer to the “large” incorporated town and bustling commercial center of Marathon and the nearby expensive housing areas of Hawks Key (Duck Key), Key Colony Beach, and Long Key. The other islands in the Marathon region are Boot Key, Knight Key, Hog Key, Vaca Key, Stirrup Key, Crawl and Little Crawl Key, East and West Sister’s Island, Deer Key and Fat Deer Key, Long Pine Key and Grassy Key. Marathon’s metro area sits between mile markers 48 and 55 and has a non-tourist residential population of more than 13,000 (it feels bigger than that), with a median age of 44.

Marathon is centrally located 80 miles south of mainland Florida and more or less just 50 from Key Largo and 48 from Key West. Marathon is served by bus lines to Key West and the Mainland, and by the sleek Marathon airport offering connections to Miami and Ft Lauderdale and from there to anywhere in the world.

Lower Florida Keys Fishing Charters
Sea boots charters in big pine key was started over 20 years ago by jim sharpe a captain with more than 50 years of experience in big game fishing in the florida keys, bahamas and south florida. 

For more information please go to http://www.marathonflhomesforsale.com/


Florida Keys Area Information

Area Information

Fl Keys Arts and Culture

The Keys are made up of small towns and communities. However, due to the strong economy from our tourist base, the Arts are a primary part of our culture. Most weekends bring festivals and street parties throughout the Keys and especially in Key West. Photography of wildlife here is great www.dhphotoart.com

The Florida Keys Council of the Arts does a great job in supporting Art in the Keys http://www.keysarts.com/
Also see the Key West Arts and historical society http://www.kwahs.com/


The Keys Community Concert Band. Susan Bazin 451-4530.
Keys Chamber Orchestra. Call Inga-Lisa Wright, 305-744-0508
The Key West Pops, Inc. - 305 293-7658, P.O. Box 6206
Note to musicians-There are about a zillion Tiki bars etc, that have live music. The times range from the afternoon through the evening. The pay is generally better than you'll find working in a regular club in the rest of the country. In addition to that most outdoor venues shut their nusic down about 11-so the hours are shorter.
Museums and Culture

Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum - 305 294-1136, 907 Whitehead St., Key West FL
Flagler's Station Historeum®-901 Caroline St., 1-305-295-3562.
Key West East Martello Museum - 305 296-3913, 3501 S. Roosevelt Blvd.
Key West Lighthouse Museum - 305 294-0012, 938 Whitehead Street
Key West Museum of Art & History - 305 295-6616
Key West Shipwreck Historeum - 305 292-8990, 1 Whitehead Street
Little White House Museum - 305 294-9911
Lofton B. Sands African Bahamian Museum - 305 293-9692,
Wrecker's Museum - 322 Duval St., 294-9502.

Middle Florida Keys
Marathon Community Theatre, 5101 O/S Hwy.....305 743-0994
Key West Theatre
Island Opera Theatre.....305 296-1520
Red Barn Theatre, 319 Duval St (Rear).....305 296-9911
Waterfront Playhouse, Mallory Square.....305 294-5015
Art Galleries/ Visual Arts

Over 90 galleries throughout the Keys
Note to Artists; regardless of the medium, ther is a place for you in the Keys. The Keys strongly support resident artists.
Writers groups in all genres (from screenwriting to novels) are spread throughout the Keys. There is definitely a reason so many world class writers and Play-rights have made and do make the Keys their home-especially Key West.(“Ernest Hemingway” ) The musician and actor community here is strong.

In conclusion, the arts community in the keys is very strong and will even grow stronger. So if you like the arts and a small community with lots of outdoor opportunities, The Florida Keys could be just the place.

Wouldn’t it be nice to vacation here and not have to leave?


Cost of Living

Florida Keys and Monroe County Cost of Living

The cost of living index is based on the composite price of groceries, housing, utilities, transportation, health care, clothing and entertainment.
Cost of living indexes will generally be higher in areas that offer access to beaches, culture, arts and recreation. In addition, areas that offer a wider variety of services such as health and education will run higher due to higher wages, and increased quality of living.

Cost of living indexing explanation
A figure of 100 points is used as an average both for the USA and Florida. For example:
Boise Idaho is ranked at a 99
Boston Mass is rated at 154.0
San Francisco at 185.03
• Statewide, Florida cities come in from a low of 90 and up.

One way to compare Florida areas to salary requirements:

For example-If you were relocating from Portland Oregon (whose rate is 110.0) to Orlando, and you currently make $50,000 per year, the formula is as follows
• Take the destination index, in this case Orlando-94.2 and divide by Portland’s index-110, then multiply by a salary of $50,000. This will give you a figure of $42,818, which you would be required to make in Orlando and have the same quality of life.

The Keys and Monroe County top out the state at an average Cost of Living of 160 plus. This is mostly due to the cost of housing, whether you’re buying or renting. We only have so much land and the building permits in the Keys are heavily regulated. IT’S A GREAT TIME TO BUY IN PARADISE! We’re currently experiencing a buyers’ market, prices are down and there are many excellent opportunities to buy before the market takes off again.

Compared to other areas nationally and given the amenities of the Keys, the Florida Keys are a wonderful place to live, work and play.
(Population Weighted-State Average=100

2010-2011 stats Source C2ER formerly accra-col index and http://www.bestplaces.net/

Boca Raton-136.0
Cape Coral-Ft Myers-98.0
Ft Lauderdale-120.0
Jacksonville metro-94.0
Big Pine Key fl-137.0
Key Largo-141.0
Key West-177.00
Marathon fl-137.0
Miami metro-115.0
Naples Fl-184.0
Orlando metro-105
Palm Bay-84.56
Palm Coast-Flagler-97.0
Panama City-93.0
Pensacola metro-93.0
Tampa 95.0
St Pete-Clearwater-95.6
Vero-Beach Indian River-115.0
West Palm Beach metro-106.0
(Population Weighted-State Average=100
See national comparisons
Cost of living (100 = nationwide average)

* New York, NY -159.0
* Long Beach, CA -141.0
* Palo Alto, CA -241.0
* Boston, MA -154.0
* Malibu, CA -250.0
* San Francisco, -185.0
* Chicago, IL -116.0
* Dallas Tx -94.0
* Atlanta Ga -105.0
For more information about cost of living go to either
Sperlings best Places http://www.bestplaces.net/
or Accra's site at http://www.coli.org/
For Utility charges
• The Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority provides water for the entire Keys:
• Tavernier.....305 852-8068
• Marathon.....305 743-5409
• Lower Keys.....305 296-2454

For Electric
• The Florida Keys Electric Cooperative
• provides power for the upper Keys:
• Tavernier.....305 852-2431
• Marathon, 3421 O/S Hwy.....305 743-5344
• Key West City Electric
• provides power for the Lower Keys
• 1001 James St, Key West.....305 294-5272

Propane is available from local dealers

Telephone Companies:
• Bell South
• Residential Services.....305 780-2500
• Business Services.....305 780-2800

Florida Keys Electric Cooperative

Keys Energy

Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority

Most homes in the Keys are on septic tanks with a few exceptions-Key West-Marathon. Garbage pickup is included in your taxes


The Florida Keys demand good healthcare facilities. Although the total population is less than 90,000, due to the influx of tourists, good healthcare has to be available. In addition Miami and its world class Baptist hospital and all the other facilities, is just hours away.
Healthcare Facilities in the Keys:

Hospitals, 4
Assisted living, 3
Health Care clinics, 8
Skilled Nursing facility, 3
For more information (other facilities and their address) see http://facilitylocator.floridahealthstat.com/
See the health department Web site http://www.doh.state.fl.us/chdcollier/services/services.html

Another great site that has all the local resources for Monroe Colunty is at


KEY WEST , FL 33040
TELEPHONE#:305 294-9200

TELEPHONE#:305 743-5533

KEY WEST , FL 33041-9107 TELEPHONE#:305 294-9200

TAVERNIER, FL 33070 TELEPHONE#:305 434-1582
A list of Services for people with disabilities

For names and numbers of physicians in the Keys go to http://www.mcms.org/contents/refserv/referralservice.htm
In addition to local facilities, the world class health facilities of Miami are 3 hours away from Key West.


Monroe County is totally dedicated to good education. The school district offers a first class educational system to all its residents. With over 1500 employees
To see the Monroe County mission statement and for more particulars go to http://www.monroe.k12.fl.us/
Schools listing

ASD 275828-Public Big Pine Key Neighborhood School Big Pine Key Monroe 33043
ASD 9902- Public Coral Shores High School Tavernier Monroe 3307o
ASD 144250 Public Gerald Adams Elementary School Key West Monroe 33040
ASD 144249 Public Glynn Archer Elementary School Key West Monroe 33040
ASD 123786 Private Grace Lutheran School Key West Monroe 33040
ASD 39184 Public Horace O'Bryant Middle School Key West Monroe 33040
ASD 123787 Private Island Christian School Islamorada Monroe 33036
ASD 9972 Public Key Largo School Key Largo Monroe 33037
ASD 9981 Public Key West High School Key West Monroe 33040
ASD 123788 Private Little Lambs Preschool & Childcare Key West Monroe 33040
ASD 44232 Public Marathon Junior Senior High School Marathon Monroe 33050
ASD 9983 Catholic Mary Immaculate Star Of The Sea School Key West Monroe 33040
ASD 144254 Public Plantation Key School Tavernier Monroe 33070
ASD 9982 Public Poinciana Elementary School Key West Monroe 33040
ASD 140995 Public Sigsbee Elementary School Key West Monroe
33040 144253 Public Stanley Switlick Elementary School Marathon Monroe 33050
ASD 144251 Public Sugarloaf Elementary Middle School Summerland Key Monroe 33042
Private schools

ACADEMY AT OCEAN REEF, 2 Dockside Lane N, Key Largo, 305-367-2409
ISLAND CHRISTIAN SCHOOL, MM 83.2, Islamorada, 305-664-2781
ISLAND CHRISTIAN SCHOOL-SOUTH, 14 125th St., Gulf, Marathon, 305-743-2200
MARATHON LUTHERAN SCHOOL, 325 122nd St., Gulf, Marathon, 305-289-0700
MARY IMMACULATE STAR OF THE SEA SCHOOL, 700 Truman, Key West, 305-294-1031
Pre schools and kindergarten

ABC DAY SCHOOL, 6630 65th St. Ocean, Marathon, 305-743-3521
COMMUNITY COOPERATIVE PRESCHOOL, 550 122nd St., Marathon, 303-743-3517
EASTER SEALS FLORIDA, 5220 W. Junior College Rd., Key West, 305-294-1089
FREDERICK DOUGLASS CHILD CARE CENTER, 103 Olivia, Key West, 305-294-3934
GRACE LUTHERAN SCHOOL, 2713 Flagler Ave., Key West, 305-296-6262
GROUPER LANE PRESCHOOL, 735 Grouper Lane, Key Largo, 305-852-9520
HAPPY APPLE PRESCHOOL, 12350 O/S Hwy., Marathon, 305-743-9020
ISLAND CHRISTIAN SCHOOL-SOUTH, 14 125th St., Gulf, Marathon, 305-743-2200
ISLAND PRE-SCHOOL, 5 Transylvania Ave., Key Largo, 305-451-1181
KEYS ACADEMY AT ST. JUSTIN, MM 105.5, Key Largo, 305-451-6415
KEY WEST PRESCHOOL CO-OP, 2610 Flagler Ave., Key West, 305-296-4749
KREATIVE KIDS CHRISTIAN ACADEMY, 4711 O/S Hwy., Marathon, 305-743-7165
LIGHTHOUSE CHRISTIAN ACADEMY, 5580 MacDonald Ave., Key West, 305-292-5582
LITTLE BEARS PRE-SCHOOL & DAYCARE, MM.100.4, Key Largo, 305-451-0755
LITTLE SEAHORSE ACADEMY, MM.104.9, Key Largo, 305-451-6045
MONROE COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT, 241 Trumbo Rd., Key West, 305-293-1400
MONTESSORI IN KEY LARGO, MM. 99.5, Key Largo, 305-453-3939
MONTESSORI ISLAND SCHOOL, MM 92.3 Oceanside, Tavernier, 305-852-3438
ST JAMES CHILDREN'S CENTER, MM 87.5, Plantation Key, 305-852-2161
TEMPLE CHRISTIAN PRE-SCHOOL, 5727 2nd Ave., Stock Island, Key West, 305-294-2775
WESLEY HOUSE CHILD CARE CENTER, 1100 Varela, Key West, 305-296-5231
Universities and colleges

FLORIDA KEYS COMMUNITY COLLEGE, Upper Keys, Tavernier, 305-852-8007
FLORIDA KEYS COMMUNITY COLLEGE, Middle Keys, Marathon, 305-743-2133
FLORIDA KEYS COMMUNITY COLLEGE, Main Office, Key West, 305-296-9081
NATIONAL UNDERSEA RESEARCH CENTER, 515 Caribbean Dr, Key Largo, 305-451-0233
SAINT LEO UNIVERSITY, 718 Boca Chica Naval Air Station, Key West, 305-293-284
Junior/Community Colleges:

Florida Keys community College and Adult education
Because of the layout of the Keys, busses are used for transportation. Ask your REALTOR which district your area will fall in.


The Keys sub-tropical climate offers year-round sports and recreational opportunities. Winter, spring and fall are filled with lots of sunshine.

The hottest month is August with an average high of 89° F and an average low of 78° F. In January the average high temperature is 74° F and the average low is 65° F.
There has never been frost or freezing conditions in Key West.
Normal annual precipitation is 39 plus inches, with the largest monthly totals accumulating from July through September.
Subtropics marked by two distinct seasons

Weather is what brings a lot of people to Southern Florida - particularly during the dry, mild winter.
It's also what drives a lot of people away - particularly during the hot, rainy, sweaty, sticky summer.
Welcome to the subtropics, an area just outside the tropics, which lie between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. GENERAL WEATHER SAFETY
• When lightning flashes, count the number of seconds before thunder is heard. Divide the number by five. The answer is the approximate distance in miles from the lightning.
• Never seek refuge from a storm under a tree
• Make sure you are not the highest object around you
• Avoid open fields, open water, beaches
• If you are on the road, stay in your car
• Avoid heavy exertion during the hottest part of the day - noon to 3 p.m.
• Drink plenty of fluids, especially water. Remember, alcohol and caffeine increase dehydration n Wear a hat and sunscreen
Our subtropical weather is marked by two distinct seasons - the rainy season, part of which is hurricane season, and the dry season, part of which is windsurfing season.
During rainy season, May 15 to Oct. 15, Southern Florida receives 42 of its annual 53 inches of rain.
Rainy season temperatures average highs in the high 80s and low 90s and lows in the 70s.
A typical rainy-season day in Southern Florida starts with a hot, humid morning, followed by a hotter afternoon, clouds moving in from the east, and sometimes violent thunderstorms.
The frequency of summer thunderstorms has made Southern Florida the lightning capital of the world, so it's a good idea to seek shelter as the clouds roll in.
Hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30
Emergency managers suggest that residents educate themselves about hurricanes and be prepared, just in case.
In contrast to Southern Florida's rainy season, dry season is, well, dry.
Eleven inches of rain spread over six months doesn't exactly put us in the same arid league with the Sahara, but the countryside can get pretty parched.
In one of those curious hydrological coincidences, the dry season also happens to be tourist season, so we have all those extra people using up the available water that isn't replenished because it's the dry season.
So water levels in aquifers can drop, and the South Florida Water Management District can impose water-use restrictions.
All this dryness can lead to serious wildfires, and residents are urged to clear vegetation around their homes.
People should never throw cigarette butts from car windows - that practice is bad for the environment at any time - but during dry season, it can easily and quickly spark a major fire.
Dry season temperatures average highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s.
But things can get chilly around here.
The big factors are cold fronts that occasionally blast through Southern Florida, bringing nasty cold rain and leaving behind unsubtropical, cold air.
You can usually tell when a cold front is coming without even looking at a weather map.
Southern Florida's prevailing winter winds are light and easterly, but a couple of days before a front hits, winds pick up and clock around to the south - the winds are warm and the days sunny.
This is when area windsurfers load up their gear and head to their favorite sailing sites.
As the front approaches, winds shift to the Southern, then west - winds still warm, days still sunny.
Eventually, the front appears on the horizon like a long, gray wall; when it hits, the wind jerks abruptly around to the north, and the air behind the front feels as if somebody up north left the door open on a giant freezer.
Fortunately, cold temperatures following a front usually don't last long.
Within a few days, skies clear, temperatures warm, and once again, Southern Florida shows off the weather that attracts all those winter visitors.
Then, within a few weeks, the overall dry, mild dry season gives way to the rainy, sweaty rainy season that drives them all away.
The above article was written by By KEVIN LOLLAR, klollar@news-press.com Published by news-press.com on November 3, 2003.
His emphasis was on the southwest area of Florida just above the everglades, however the article primarily relates to the Keys as well.

The Keys Temperature Annual high average

Month Air
January 7 4
February 75
March 78
April 81
May 85
June 87
July 89
August 89
September 88
October 84
November 80
December 76
Water temperatures go from 69 in January to 87 in July and August.

Other Keys Weather Indicators

Average Wind Speed 10.9
Clear Days 104
Partly Cloudy Days 155
Cloudy Days 107
Avg. Relative Humidity 74.5. To see stats by the month, go to
*Although it looks like we have lots of cloudy days, the sun is out almost year round and the clouds are partial-not like in the Northwest (where I’m from) and it will stay overcast and dark for weeks on end.

*Also, although we do get rain here-it is a tropical rain and comes and goes quickly, generally acts as a refresher to the hot days..

To see average January temperatures across the United States go to http://www.mapsofworld.com/usa/thematic-maps/usa-temprature-january.html
Compare where you live or want to live in Florida. For more specific info, look at the area you are interested in and go to the weather page.

So what about Hurricanes, the rainy season and humidity?
We are a tropical climate, so our rainy season comes in the summer. Generally it will rain hard for a half hour then subside. It does get humid then. Although not as bad as you’d think. Our water breezes really help cool us off.
Despite four devastating hurricanes in 2004, the number of Florida visitors rose 7% to an all-time high of 79.8 million last year and is on target to hit 80 million this year.
To think on:
If you live on the coast you stand the greatest chance of having one affect you. Some areas of Florida have gone fifty years plus without one but you never know.
As a resident having lived in the Keys and now in central Florida I’ve been through them.

In my opinion, the best thing you can do is buy a home that was built after Andrew-August 92 that was built to stricter building codes. Have window protection and a backup generator and make sure your insurance is up to date. If they ask you to leave, do it!

Realize-If you live in an older home that was not built up to the stricter building codes (After Hurricane Andrew-August 1992) or you live in a mobile home you stand the best chance of having major structural damage.

Living on the beach in a mobile home is asking for it. Although, you may never have a problem, you’re still definitely taking your chances. Barrier islands and open-water Ocean or Gulf front are the most prone to damage.
Having lived in California, I prefer the threat of a hurricane however as opposed to an earthquake. At least you have a warning.

For current information about hurricanes go to http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/
For 2005 climate info by areas go to http://www.coaps.fsu.edu/climate_center/LCD/2005LCD.html
For current weather forecasts by cities go to http://iwin.nws.noaa.gov/iwin/fl/fl.html
*Living in a waterfront home typically means that you will pay a higher Insurance premium. The insurance is higher due to flood and wind concerns.
Part of this is also because the pricing on these homes is higher so there is more value to insure against.

Having said all this, I can’t imagine living elsewhere. It is really great to wake up and it’s sunny out.
We spend over half our lives indoors…so when you do go outside, wouldn’t it be nice if it was warm and sunny?



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About the areas
The site has the state divided up into 19 major areas and 80 plus sub-areas. We chose these areas as they are the ones most referred to in guides about Florida and also because most people are familiar with them as the names evoke something. Additionally on each area dropdown there is information relevant to florida real estate and relocating to florida. We have provided lists of Florida Real Estate agents-Mortgage brokers and more.