WATCH: Florida Keys at 200: Celebrating Paradise

The vibrant and eclectic Florida Keys are turning 200 this year.

“People here are not quite the same as Floridians,” said historian Corey Malcom, with the Florida Keys History Center.

Known usually for beautiful coastlines and boating culture, the Keys are much more to long-time residents than just Margaritaville.

Local 10 takes a look at two centuries of history, including Spanish explorers, pirates, as well as the earliest American, Bahamian and Cuban settlers. There’s also a trip back in time to Henry Flagler’s engineering marvel, the intrigue of rum-running, and how drug smuggling led to the secession of the Conch Republic in 1982.

The Keys are endearing to visitors and so-called “conchs” whose families have lived here for generations. A night on Duval, an afternoon on a boat or a bite of the famed key lime pie just gives a taste of what keeps so many people here, despite the risks of hurricanes and climate change.

The island chain has been home to literary greats like Tennessee Williams, Ernest Hemingway and Hunter S. Thompson. But it also has been the vacation home of presidents, most famously, Harry Truman, who called his home there the Little White House.

“I’ve been all over the country in a lot of different places in my age and here in the Keys, I can go anywhere,” said Hall of Fame Coach and Key Largo resident Jimmy Johnson. “I’m just Jimmy Johnson, no big deal. It’s such a relaxing place.”

Join Janine Stanwood and tune in on Sunday, August 20 at 7 p.m. to watch the Local 10 special “Florida Keys at 200: Celebrating Paradise.”