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History of the Florida Keys

To truly understand the complexity and wonder of your Florida Keys vacation, you need to take a journey into its past, and RentTheKeys makes it easy to do just that. Paradise is beautiful, but it hasn’t always been as easy to make it home, nor has it always been a place for vacationers, and the fascinating Florida Keys history will make you fall even deeper in love!

Thousands of Years of Florida Keys History

The native tribes of Calusa and Tequesta made these beautiful islands their homes for many centuries before the Europeans came along and claimed they had discovered the Keys, much as it was everywhere else in our nation. But it was in the 1500s when Ponce de Leon brought attention to this region of the world, actually naming the keys Los Martires (the martyrs) because he felt they looked like men going through a bad time and needing help. The rocky shores around the Keys were dangerous to navigate in those days, leading to more ships crashing than not, and today treasure hunters still have plenty of sunken ships to keep them busy on their search for gold! (The Key West Shipwreck Museum tells the tales of these early travels and also offers actual treasures found in the sunken vessels.) In spite of the natural dangers, however, the area around the keys was a popular shipping route and pirates became yet another obstacle for the vulnerable travelers. (Salty Sam’s Pirate Cruise in Fort Meyers Beach is a popular attraction for kids and adults!)

Henry Flagler Had a Vision

As the years passed, much of the Keys were still unreachable, but New York industrialist had a vision, a dream of opening the Keys to travelers and his Florida East Coast Railway did just that! Extending out over 128 miles into the Keys, suddenly people could take vacations that explored the sheer beauty of the Florida Keys and in spite of obstacles like the Great Depression and hurricanes, we can consider it a rousing success. Today, much of the original railroad is being transformed into a biking and hiking trail, opening up the keys to outdoor enthusiasts in ways it never has before!

Welcome to the Tropics

Offering rare fauna and flora and an environment that resembles the Caribbean, the Florida Keys will be your most favorite adventure, especially when you choose RentTheKeys for your vacation shelter. Reserve your favorite escape today!