What to Do When You Visit Pigeon Key

What to Do When You Visit Pigeon Key

What to Do When You Visit Pigeon Key

Almost every traveling American will visit Florida at least once in their life. Even a large percentage of foreign travelers inevitably make their way to Florida for its year-round sunshine, warm weather, and tropical beaches.

But where should you go if you are planning your first trip to the sunshine state? There are so many amazing options, from Destin to Miami and dozens of other spots in between, that it can be tough to decide.

But the Florida Keys should be near the top of everyone's list. In particular, Pigeon Key, one of the many islands that make up the Florida Keys, is an underrated spot that you shouldn't miss.

So what are the can't-miss activities in Pigeon Key you need to jump on? Keep reading to find out why Pigeon Key Island is the perfect spot for your next tropical vacation. 

Marvel at the Seven Mile Bridge

There are now two Seve Mile Bridges near Pigeon Key. The original bridge was built between 1909 and 1912. It was used as the main road connecting the islands of Knight's Key (which is where the city of Marathon is located), all the way to Little Duck Key. 

At the time, it was one of the longest bridges in the world. Today, you can still see this historic bridge, though traffic began using the new, much safer Seven Mile Bridge that was completed in 1982.

For many years, the original bridge remained open for pedestrian and cycling traffic, though it was recently closed for extensive repairs. 

It's the original bridge that runs across the tiny island of Pigeon Key, though the new bridge is located just offshore. 

Take a Historical Tour

This tiny, five-acre island once housed many of the workers who built the original railroad that ran the length of the Keys. Today, the island is a National Historic Landmark, and there are a handful of historic, hundred-ear old cottages to explore as part of a historical tour.

The tour starts with a boat ride since you can no longer drive or bike to the island on the original bridge. Today, some of the buildings are now used for various marine science education programs.

Pigeon Key Tours typically lasts an hour, and you'll also get an hour to explore by yourself. You'll hear to the audible Pigeon Key history and get a chance to explore ancient relics in the island's museum.

See Pigeon Key from the Sky

One of the best ways to see Pigeon Key is from the sky. The best helicopter tours in the Florida Keys always have an option to fly over Pigeon Key to see this historic relic from above.

You can take Helitours for as little as six minutes or as long as an hour. Florida Keys Helitours are affordable and are a great way to see the turquoise waters and the coral reefs lying just below the surface. 

You can reserve your tour in advance, though; if you are just passing through, you can usually score a walk-in tour as well.

Snorkel in Crystal Clear Water

Want some more amazing views? Then it's time to head below the surface. Make sure to bring your own snorkel gear, as well as a dive flag, when you visit the island, as there aren't any gear rentals on this tiny piece of land. 

The best place to explore in the water is near the Pigeon Key dock. Not only will you get to swim alongside schools of the most colorful fish you've ever seen, but you'll also find relics of the past. It's not uncommon to find stones that were once used as building materials or other relics of the past with long histories. 

You can also walk into the water from the beach and start snorkeling from there. 

Fish from the Shore

If you bring your own fishing rods and reels, you can easily spend an entire catching tropical fish after tropical fish from the dock or the shore.

You can expect to catch any of the shallow-water species commonly found through the Keys. This includes mangrove snapper, grouper, jack crevalle, pompano, spotted sea trout, and many others. 

You may even get a chance to reel in one of Florida's most sought-after species, such as the mighty tarpon, the famous permit, or the elusive bonefish. 

If you really want to get on top of fish near Pigeon Key, you can hire a fishing charter from nearby Marathon to increase your chances at a monster catch. 

Make sure to have a valid Florida fishing license. Also, catch and release are encouraged on the island. 

Relax on the Beach

When the tour is over, you can relax and spend some time on the beautiful beach. Swim out in calm, warm waters, or simply relax on the sand with a good book.

However you like to enjoy the beach, you can do it without the crows and the noise common in other popular spots in the Keys. 

Bring Binoculars

While the island is very small, there's still a good chance to see some exotic bird species. Keep your eyes in the trees, on the beach, and even on the old bridge. 

Educational Programs

Historical tours aren't the only organized activity you can find on the island. There are a few other educational programs that take place here.

Most common are marine science field trips from local schools. There's a proper classroom on the island, but the bulk of the learning comes from hands-on experimentation. 

Most field trips last three days, as there is a bunkhouse to accommodate those who participate in education programs. These trips usually involve some snorkeling and exploring via catamaran, too. 

There are also summer camp programs available on Piegoen Key. 

Not a student? Pigeon Key also offers public marine science programs as well, making the study of marine life accessible to all curious minds. 

Learning is Fun on Pigeon Key

As you can see, Pigeon Key is a tiny island that is packed with fun things to do. You can easily spend a day exploring the island from the surface, from the air, and from the sea.

Not only will you have fun, but there's a good chance that you'll learn a thing or two as well.

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