The town of Tavernier, which stretches from the south end of Key Largo onto the northern tip of Plantation Key, may have gotten its name from the famous French traveler and jewel trader Jean Baptiste Tavernier, or from a mispronunciation of the Spanish name "Tabona" ("Horsefly"), or maybe from the thirsty mariner's question, "Is there a tavern near?"
Across from the Tavernier Towne shopping center and the adjacent state-of-the-art hospital in the middle of town is the historic neighborhood of Old Tavernier.
Driving through its narrow streets lined with charming, vintage "conch" houses (built by local residents known as "conchs") and its small "Red Cross" houses (built by WPA relief workers after the 1935 hurricane), you get the feeling of "time standing still" that doesn't exist anywhere else in the Keys outside of Key West.
Tavernier still has a small business district (including the original Tavernier Hotel) in the same locations, on and off of Highway US 1, where businesses have stood since the 1920's.
Across the Tavernier Creek Bridge, which links Key Largo to Plantation Key, is the lower section of Tavernier. This section of town has another small business area, including dive shops and marinas, as well as the A-rated Plantation Key School (K-8) and the new Coral Shores High School.