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Cruising Guide to the Keys

The Florida Keys has long been a destination for sailors, yachtsmen and boaters because it is one of the most beautiful cruising grounds on the planet. There are several ports with deep water access and a plethora of destinations for boats with shallow draft. There is an abundance of places for SCUBA diving and fishing. Several waterfront bars and restaurants are accessible by water including a few that can only be reached by boat. Some of the very best beaches in the Keys are accessible only by boat.

For those who want to get away from it all, there are several quiet, secluded anchorages. Other anchorages have access to shopping, restaurants and nightlife. There are a few places that are well protected from all but the worst weather. With all of these choices it may be a little confusing, but this guide will enable you to find the most appropriate places to visit in the Keys.

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The Florida Keys consists of a cluster of over 1,500 islands off the southern tip of the Florida peninsula and extend south and west to the Dry Tortugas. The islands sit on a shallow bank of coral and sand that separates the Gulf of Mexico from the Straits of Florida. This bank is the exposed part of a coral reef system that began forming over 100,000 years ago and have become fossilized as sea levels varied with several recent ice ages.