Pigeon Key, Florida is a historic and  fascinating microcosm of the Florida Keys. Operated by the Pigeon Key Foundation, it offers daily historic tours among other things.  A ferry departs from Marathon (1 Knights Key -- look for the bright red train car/gift shop), and $12 entitles you to a guided tour and all day to explore if you wish.  The ferry runs several times a day.

An educational center on the island has many interesting exhibits and posters, showing you what wildlife you will encounter. The museum is charming, and explains, through photographs and objects, the story of the Florida East Coast Railroad, and the people who worked on and inhabited the island.

Many of the buildings are open to the public, which the tour takes you through.   Picinic tables dot the island, and soda machines and restrooms are available.

 The foundation also offers day & overnight education trips for visiting school groups (plan in advance), a rental guest house, and weddings.  See their website, www.pigeonkey.net for all this little five-acre island has to offer.