Are you a traveler looking for the ultimate exploration of beauty, history and culture? Look no further than Key West! This tropical island paradise at the edge of Florida is home to some of the world’s most renowned historic landmarks. Whether it’s exploring out-of-this-world architecture, discovering meaningful monuments or checking out what incredible historical artifacts have been preserved here, there is always something remarkable around every corner in this unique destination. Keep reading to learn more about the top 10 most historically significant places to visit while spending time in Key West!
Fort Zachary Taylor State Park
Fort Zachary Taylor State Park in Key West, Florida, is a must-see for anyone looking for an idyllic beachy getaway. The park’s pristine sand and crystal-clear waters make it perfect for swimming, fishing, kayaking and exploring. There’s also a fantastic snorkeling and scuba diving site, so don’t forget to bring your gear! In addition to the multitude of activities that can be done on the beach, visitors can also explore the historic Fort Zachary Taylor built in the mid-1800s and look at the military artifacts located there. Another popular activity is bird-watching, as more than 200 species of birds inhabit the area — many of them rare species of tropical birds. Fort Zachary Taylor State Park is a great place to relax, enjoy nature and get away from everyday life!
Key West Aquarium
If you’re looking for an exciting historic experience in Key West, the Aquarium is a must-see. Step back in time while marveling at the many aquatic wonders and the diverse wildlife of the Florida Keys. Start your journey with a stroll through historic Mallory Square and watch as hundreds of fish species encircle you in their playful displays. Explore areas normally submerged beneath the sea. Be sure to keep an eye out for some of the rarer creatures, such as giant tarpon and coral reef sharks. With its unique blend of marine life, this aquarium is definitely worth a visit for anyone interested in learning about the habitats and conservation efforts surrounding some of our most precious sea creatures.
Harry S. Truman Little White House
The Harry S. Truman Little White House in Key West, Florida, is an incredible piece of history. Not only did Truman frequently visit the house, contrary to popular belief, but it is actually considered a part of history itself. Before being designated as a presidential residence, the house was built by naval officer Captain John Huling Geiger in 1890 as a military base. Later on, President Harry S. Truman would make numerous visits here for his work, and even for rest and relaxation. The house is still maintained and looked after to this day, with its original artifacts and decorations unchanged since Truman visited. Visitors exploring today will experience what the Little White House was like during Truman’s time!
Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum
The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum is a unique attraction for history and literature buffs. Located in idyllic Key West, this long-standing museum is the perfect venue to explore the life and history of one of America’s most iconic authors. In addition to showcasing a variety of artifacts from Hemingway’s life, the museum also celebrates his history with profound education and exhibits. Visitors can tour a replica of Hemingway’s famous writing room and also get a glimpse into his history as an expatriate in Cuba and Paris. Whether you’re interested in history or literature, the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum is an awe-inspiring destination that everyone should experience at least once!
Key West Lighthouse Museum
The Key West Lighthouse Museum offers a rich history of one of the most iconic lighthouses in the nation. Walk through this lighthouse and explore its history, including the history behind its construction and how it’s been used since. Take a tour with a knowledgeable guide to learn about famous light-keepers who tended to the light. After taking in some landmark history, head up 85 feet for breathtaking views from atop the tower and take in panoramic views of paradise!
Dry Tortugas National Park
Dry Tortugas National Park is situated off the coast of Florida and is quite a fascinating place. It’s been around since the 16th century when Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon discovered a group of small islands that make up what is now the park. They’re known for their beautiful turquoise waters, maritime heritage, abundant birdlife and history. Offering amazing snorkeling experiences and picturesque views, it’s no wonder why this place has been in history books for centuries! Aside from the island itself, there are also lighthouses, fortresses and other rustic structures to explore. With so much history to take in, it’s no wonder tourists flock to this historic location every year!
Key West Cemetery
Key West Cemetery is steeped in history. Located in the beautiful Florida Keys, this unique cemetery is filled with history and culture. It houses the oldest Jewish cemetery in South Florida as well as the resting places of many notable names. Lined with stunningly tall gravestones, each grave has a history dating back centuries and provides an insight into the past. The vast space can provide a peaceful yet eerie vibe, making it a perfect spot to uncover the history of Key West.
Key West Historic Seaport
The Key West Historic Seaport is a vibrant and bustling epicenter of history and beauty. Located on the southernmost tip of the U.S. continental mainland, this area has been a key port since 1823, with millions of ships coming through every year. Today, it hosts a variety of shops and restaurants as well as incredible scenery to take in. There are many attractions to explore, including the 19th-century sailing schooners that call this port their home and full-sized replicas of Conch Republic vessels from the 1800s. Take a walking tour along brick-paved streets to learn even more about this beautiful destination’s rich history!
East Martello Museum and Gallery
The East Martello Museum and Gallery, located in Key West, Florida, is a unique history museum that provides insight into the history and culture of the Florida Keys. With its collections of photographs, artworks, antique furniture and maps over a century old, it’s a great place for history buffs to learn about the area’s history. Visitors can spend hours wandering around the museum’s many galleries, which unravel the history of Florida from prehistoric times to the present day, as well as explore various interactive exhibits on ecology and sustainability. The museum also showcases works by local artists in their yearly exhibitions.
San Carlos Institute
Situated in the heart of Key West, the San Carlos Institute is one of the most fascinating landmarks in South Florida’s history. Founded in 1871 by Cuban exiles, this cultural community center was a place for celebration, debate and education. It served as a refuge from suppression during the Spanish colonial period, and its walls are lined with patriotic symbols that represent freedom. Through books, classes, magazines and events hosted at the institute, Cubans were able to pass on their history and preserve their culture. Today, it is a historic source of inspiration throughout Key West as well as a focal point for Latin-American history and art.
With so much to explore in Key West, it’s no wonder why it is a favorite destination spot for people all over the world. From climbing the steps of the Lighthouse museum to taking a ride through Fort Zachary Taylor State Park, you will be mesmerized by all that there is to do and see. Take a trip back in time wandering the garden paths of the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, or stroll around the Historic Seaport at Key West Bight. You can marvel at Harry S. Truman’s Little White House, wander through the East Martello Museum and Gallery or take an educational journey down memory lane while visiting San Carlos Institute before venturing out to Dry Tortugas National Park to get more close-up views of Key West’s most beautiful sights. Every moment spent on this island paradise is sure to be one that creates lasting memories.
What is Key West famous for?
Key West is an iconic destination that has been a favorite of travelers since the early 19th century and is renowned for its vibrant culture, stunning scenery and one-of-a-kind style. From world-renowned sunsets to architectural icons such as Hemingway’s house, the island boasts sights galore. Foodies can flock to local seafood spots and Cuban eateries while beach lovers find themselves enamored with the serene tropical beaches that line the coast. A trip to Key West wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the historic Mallory Square, where locals gather each day at sunset for a lively street party with street performers galore. Popular activity options include snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters, visiting bird and sea animal sanctuaries or simply lounging around, soaking up the local sun and sipping on some handcrafted cocktails. In Key West, all these possibilities come together to make an unforgettable experience.
What is the most famous street in Key West?
Duval Street in Key West is undoubtedly the most notable street in town. It’s famously known as the “main drag” due to its usually bustling streets filled with sunset lovers, tropically-inspired bars and flamingo-bedecked motels. Whether you’re looking for a place to shop for Key West souvenirs, take a nighttime stroll, or even bask in some golden rays, Duval Street has something for everyone. With its unique atmosphere and an unending list of amusing attractions, it’s no wonder Duval Street is considered one of the island’s top destinations.
Where is the old part of Key West?
The old part of Key West is located in the southernmost point of the continental U.S. It’s a small, quaint area filled with atmosphere and popular among tourists from all around the world. Its location along the Gulf Coast provides stunning views of turquoise waters and beautiful sunsets for its visitors to take in. It’s also home to some rich history, with old Spanish forts built in the 1700s still standing today alongside some of the most architecturally unique homes on the island. A visit to this charming district is sure to leave any visitor feeling as if they’ve stepped back in time.
What is the most famous statue in Key West?
The most famous structure in Key West, Florida, is the Southernmost Point Buoy. It is a large concrete buoy-shaped monument covered with stripes that stands at the corner of South Street and Whitehead Street. This iconic landmark marks the southernmost point of the continental United States, only 90 miles from Cuba. People all over the world come to take pictures with this photo-op favorite every day. Each year thousands of tourists flock to see this impressive structure for themselves. In addition to being a fun piece of pop culture, it’s also symbolic and serves as a reminder of how close Key West is to multiple countries and cultures.