Bahia Honda State Park: Beaches, Snorkeling and Camping in the Keys

By Carlos Harrison Bahia Honda State Park can boast that it was the first-ever Florida site to make #1 on Dr. Beach's famous "Best Beaches" list. That was in 1992, nearly 500 years after the first Spanish explorers sailed past and gave it its name – “Deep Bay.” The soothingly secluded white-sand…

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Big Pine Key: An Oasis of Natural Simplicity

By Nancy Moreland Say “South Florida” and high-rise, high-fashion, high-intensity images might spring to mind. But three hours south of Miami, South Florida reveals its simpler side on Big Pine Key through places like the Big Pine Key Fishing Lodge and the No Name Pub of Big Pine Key. It's one of…

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Looking Up: Winter Star Party on Big Pine Key

By Saundra Amrhein Jeff Struve had driven more than 1,000 miles, from Iowa to Big Pine Key, to see it. After setting up his four telescopes and two observatory tents, Struve waited for the sun to set. Spread out above him was a scene that would keep him awake with excitement until 3:30 the next…

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The Florida Keys: National Key Deer Refuge on Big Pine

Jeff Klinkenberg I tap the brakes. Crossing the road in front of my truck is a small deer about two feet tall. As it ambles into the mangroves of Big Pine Key, the big island about 30 miles from Key West, I tap the gas pedal and continue. Then I brake again – this time for the tiniest deer I have…

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The National Key Deer Refuge in Big Pine Key

You won’t find Key deer anywhere else in the world, except in the lower Florida Keys. The Florida Key deer is the smallest of all white-tailed deer. Their Size Key deer are about the size of a big dog. They measure a little over two feet tall at the shoulder. A female (doe) weighs 45 to 65 pounds…

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On Big Pine Key, the Deer Are a Wee Bit Different

The Florida Keys have a flair for everything offbeat. They’re a little unexpected, a little quirky and sometimes a little magical. Colorful roosters roam the streets and six-toed cats live at the Hemingway House. Outrageous events are common occurrences, many of which provide a grand excuse to…

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