The Florida Keys are not only known for being absolutely beautiful, but also for having an incredibly rich, dynamic, and fascinating history. In fact, many of the things we are about to share might surprise you - after all, as one of the oldest port cities in the United States there are some fascinating occurrences that have taken place here. But enough stalling, let’s get in to it.
Rumors have it that not long after Christopher Columbus founded the “new world,” he set sail south to Florida looking for the historic and mystical Fountain of Youth. While he certainly didn’t make this discovery, that we know of, he did discover the Florida Keys in early 1513. While it was discovered this earlier, and written about in his writings, it wasn’t until 1822 that Pirates were chased out of the area and the United States Navy pirate fleet set down roots.
From then on, settlers began to colonize the area, and it really took off. With its natural beauty and abundant wildlife, the area was a prime location for settlers to put down roots. With groves of key limes, the area began to thrive, paving way for a shark factory. If the term shark factory is new to you, you aren’t alone. Many decades ago shark factories were used to catch, and skin sharks. The shark skin was salted down and sent to New Jersey to be made into leather. While the factory thrived at the time, these factories no longer exist.
The great location allowed the Florida Keys to thrive as a port cities. Trading quickly became a way of life, and ultimately the city became one of the hot destinations in Florida, until the Great Depression hit. Like many United States cities, the Great Depression hit the Florida Keys hard, and the city went bankrupt. Around this same time, hurricane season was not friendly to the Keys, and the city was in tatters. Federal aid helps the area begin to get on its feet, until World War II hit. While most of the cities inhabitants were sent to war, the US Navy made the area its submarine base which helped the area thrive once again.
In 1949, the Florida Keys began harvesting shrimp for the first-time...and this truly put the area on the map. Not only was the shrimp outstanding and highly sought after, it brought viable job prospects for the first time in years. Fast forward to modern day, the Florida Keys sees nearly three million visitors each year.
What This Means For You
Lucky for you - the rich history of the Florida Keys and surrounding areas provides a fantastic opportunity for fun and sightseeing. Let’s start with visiting the southernmost point of the conteinental United States in Ballast Key, Florida. Or perhaps you’d like to tour Hemingway’s home - nestled in a beautiful, historic neighborhood. Want a view from above? Several local companies offer helicopter tours from above - making sightseeing not only easy, but unique and something you will never forget! Perhaps something more adventurous such as parasailing is better for your sightseeing adventures? Sailing in the clouds is a popular tourist attraction, and something that only gets better when you are flying high above the clouds.
Another great spot to visit is Old Town Key West - an up-and-coming neighborhood in the area, and it has a rich and full history that will have you dying to move there. This bicycle tour is the perfect option for those looking for a leisurely ride - a local guide will take you to some of the most beautiful and well-known areas of Old Town Key West, including Ernest Hemingway’s house! Join Key Lime Bike Tours on your next visit to Key West - it’s perfect for a great land excursion.
Last but not least, renting a Sailing Charter will give you the ultimate freedom in seeing all that the Florida Keys has to offer. Sailing is not only fun, but it gives you a sense of freedom that other activities may not. First, let’s look at the fun aspect. You can spend as much time as you’d like on the water enjoying the beautiful weather of the Florida Keys and enjoying the company of your friends and family. You could even take your sailboat to the location you are wanting to snorkel to most, or just enjoy a swim in the warm waters of the ocean.
Sailing provides you with nearly unlimited freedom. With traditional vacations you might have to book all of your travel and you are restricted to certain times and destinations. With a sailboat charter, you’re free to go where you want when you want. That includes visiting port cities, experience nature preserves, go swimming, and snorkeling your way through the ocean, and island hop whenever you want. You are truly in control when it comes to renting a sailboat charter.
Are you dying to sail the Florida Keys
now? We are excited to have you! With all of the activities to do in and around the Florida Keys, and the ability to rental a charter, it is the place to be! When you set sail with Calypso Sailing Charters, the waters in and around the area are yours to visit as you like. We are looking forward to seeing you this season! Contact us at Calypso Sailing Charters where we can answer all of our questions, address your concerns, and help you book the vacation of your dreams.