Lignumvitae Key Botanical State Park

Upper Keys

This key, only accessible by boat, encompasses a 280-acre island of virgin tropical forest and is home to roughly a zillion jillion mosquitoes. The official attraction is the 1919 Matheson House, with its windmill and cistern; the real draw is a nice sense of shipwrecked isolation. From December to April, guided walking tours (1¼ hours) are given at 10am and 2pm Friday to Sunday. You’ll have to get here via Robbie’s Marina; you can hire kayaks from there (it's about an hour's paddle).

Strangler figs, mastic, gumbo-limbo, poisonwood and lignum vitae trees form a dark canopy that feels more South Pacific than South Florida. Prepare for fierce mosquitoes outside of winter.

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