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“Be sure to set your expectations”

National Key Deer Refuge
Book In Advance
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US$155.88*
and up
Dolphin Research Center and Florida Keys Tour
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Fourteen square mile natural habitat of white tailed Key deer.
Reviewed 9 April 2014

We drove to this refuge at dusk and actually didn't see any Key Deer whether on the trails or otherwise from the car. So to be honest I give this 3.5 stars. Why any stars at all? First, it's nice to be out in nature on the trails, and it's free. But be advised, the trees / shrubbery on the trails have been burned down (honestly I couldn't tell if it was intentional, as they mention intentional burnings time to time or if it was an accident), but they still have informative signs and isn't a bad place to walk around and stretch your legs.

Where did we see them? Go behind the Winn Dixie in the shopping plaza in Big Pine Key. They hang out at the dumpster there! (we found this by accident). Also, at various times of the day, you honestly have a great shot of seeing them in along the road or in people's yards in Big Pine Key. They were actually a little bigger than I expected!

Thank Boots123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"blue hole"
in 111 reviews
"visitor center"
in 61 reviews
"big pine"
in 38 reviews
"winn dixie"
in 17 reviews
"endangered species"
in 10 reviews
"drive slowly"
in 7 reviews
"drive carefully"
in 6 reviews
"hiking trails"
in 8 reviews
"refuge area"
in 7 reviews
"speed limit"
in 9 reviews
"drove down"
in 8 reviews
"worth a stop"
in 10 reviews
"overseas highway"
in 7 reviews
"fish"
in 15 reviews
"key"
in 152 reviews
"dusk"
in 28 reviews
"watson"
in 20 reviews
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378 - 382 of 556 reviews

Reviewed 3 April 2014

It was dusk and we thought what the heck let's see if we can find the Key deer. So we turned at the only traffic light in Big Pine Tree and headed to Watson Rd., turned right on Watson and followed it into a residential area. We saw our first deer in a homeowner's front yard which was exciting enough to cause us to continue our search which didn't take long. Someone had thrown an apple at the side of the road and there was another deer eating it, I think he thought we were going to take it away, because he was defending it. We then kept seeing them on both sides of the road, and all together we saw at least 10 and possibly more. They are tame and adorable. Dusk is a great time to see them. If you like animals, they are well worth stopping to see.

Thank Alvalee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2014

Plenty of roads to search out the Key Deer and habitat. Key Deer Visitor Center in shopping area with very informative volunteers. Well worth a stop.

Thank ahbarbour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 March 2014

We did a drive through the refuge and saw 1 deer during the drive and 1 along Hwy 1. The visitor center was a little hard to find - it is in the shopping mall on the corner. The staff there were exceptionally informative and can let you know where the activity is in the refuge. Some nice short hiking paths to take if you like to do that.

1  Thank Gwen G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 26 March 2014

I'm used to deer running away from people. These deer know that they are protected and are just beautiful. My son loved every minute of the Blue Hole and the deer every where, not to mention all the iguanas. Have fun!!!

1  Thank Tonya P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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