school of fish swimming in warm water


iconic photo of the florida keys

Key West’s Early Beginnings

The Florida Keys are a rich oasis of picture-perfect beaches, turquoise waters, and fresh nautical cuisine ready to be devoured. You may wonder: how did this stunning coral cay archipelago come to be? Here are some interesting facts about The Keys that you may not know.

Calusa and Tequesta Indians were the first inhabitants, but Juan Ponce de León joined them in 1512 on his search for the Fountain of Youth. He never found “The Fountain” but discovered what is now known as The Florida Keys.

The word “Key” came from the Spanish word cayo, meaning small island. The word experienced a metamorphosis due to bad translations and now is the name of our beloved islands.

The earlier settlers set up key lime, tamarind, and breadfruit groves. So next time you order a sweet and tangy Key Lime Pie, remember you are tasting an age-old fruit that played a large role in the agricultural colonization of these islands.

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