Florida Keys, Florida, USA

de: Iyna Bort Caruso

The Florida Keys have no analogue in the continental U.S. Geographically they are utterly unique—a chain of small, semi-tropical islands arching 100 miles from Miami to Key West connected by a series of bridges along US 1. For avid fishers and divers, there may be no place like it anywhere.

Every island and village along the archipelago affords immediate access to two distinct bodies of water. On the interior Florida Bay side boats can enter the Back Country, the vast marshy basin where the Everglades empty into lagoons near the Gulf of Mexico, casting for snook, tarpon and redfish. On the ocean side, premier sport fishing—sailfish, marlin, mahi mahi—wait just a few miles off shore. Naturally, the Keys have become an ideal second-home destination for large boat owners.

The Keys are also a renowned diving and snorkeling destination and site of North America’s only living coral barrier reef. Key Largo, 50 miles south of Miami, is known as the “Diving Capitol of the World” because of its vast reef ecosystem that includes the underwater John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and numerous artificial reefs surrounding scuttled ships.

“When you think of the Florida Keys it’s really about all these wonderful outdoor activities—paddle boarding, kayaking into the mangroves, fishing and diving scattered throughout the islands, says Leah Maki, Marketing Director for Ocean Sotheby’s International Realty. “There’s so much to experience on the water.”

The most premium properties in the Florida Keys showcase the 360-degrees of water, either on the oceanfront or sunset views over the bay. People come for the water, of course, but they also get the Keys’ laid-back lifestyle, great food and a cultural scene burgeoning with of local artists, photographers and musicians.

On the secluded northern tip of Key Largo just 50 miles south of Miami (or 10 minutes by helicopter is the private resort community of Ocean Reef. First developed in 1945 as a fishing camp, Ocean Reef has evolved into a gated, 2,500-acre luxury development consisting of over 1,700 residences and estates. On-site amenities include shopping, restaurants, a salon and spa, and even a pre-K through 8 academy, as well as two pristine, renovated 18-hole golf courses, a tennis center and a private airport.

From Key Largo to Key West, from the upscale estates of Islamorada to the serenity of Summerland and Sugarloaf Keys, no matter the mile marker you’ll find charm and sporting lifestyle that only the Keys can offer.

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