The City of Layton, a 40-acre oasis between Islamorada and Marathon, sits in the middle of Long Key. The dream of Miami grocer/developer/entrepeneur/wild man Del Layton, this little city was built by the man's persistence, starting in 1948, and incorporated by Monroe County in 1963. Layton has a post office, Italian restaurant, resort, convenience store, an on-and-off gas station, and a marine research institute. The marine research institute is housed in a historic building that at various times has been a post office, laundromat, hippie commune and local craft shop. According to the 2004 census, the population of the City of Layton was 204.
Zane Grey Creek, named for the famous novelist and fisherman, runs parallel to the highway directly behind some of the stores and buildings on the oceanside of the city, then meanders through unspoiled stands of mangrove trees until it empties into the Atlantic. Homes on the creek as well as on five nearby canals make this secluded neighborhood unique in today's Florida Keys.