Come prepared to scope out tons of birdlife, as this is a major breeding ground and migration stop as well. The highlight of a visit to Key Largo is John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, which includes 70 nautical square miles of beautiful Atlantic Ocean waters and the only living coral barrier reef in the continental United States. The private property directly to the east of the buoy, and the beach areas of Truman Annex and Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park, also lie farther south than the buoy. In 2017, Hurricane Irma caused substantial damage with wind and flooding, killing three people. Collectively, the region is made up of hundreds of islands, so there are a ton of worthwhile stops to make during a road trip from the mainland down to Key West. Key West and most of the rest of the Florida Keys are on the dividing line between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. At this time, there was also a book mobile service, which served the entire Keys. Guests have their pick of free activities including yoga classes, bocce, lounging by the small pool, or renting kayaks, push bikes, or snorkel gear. He used Depression-era Key West as one of the locations in To Have and Have Not—his only novel with scenes that occur in the United States. Together with all or parts of the separate islands of Dredgers Key, Fleming Key, Sunset Key, and the northern part of Stock Island, it constitutes the City of Key West. In 1852 the first Catholic Church, St. Mary's Star-Of-The-Sea was built. Key West is the southern terminus of U.S. Route 1, State Road A1A, the East Coast Greenway and, before 1935, the Florida East Coast Railway. Flagler created a landfill at Trumbo Point for his railyards. Not enough outdoor activities on the agenda yet?  Fort Zachary Taylor, constructed from 1845 to 1866, was an important Key West outpost during the Civil War. One of these includes a letter from singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffet. It’s easy to see why new and professional anglers cast their lines into these waters. Fact #2. A Chronological History of Key West A Tropical Island City, Stephen Nichols, 3rd ed. However, if you are driving, be sure to take the scenic, historic route across Marathon’s famous Seven Mile Bridge, or just do as the locals do and cast a line off the side and fish for wild, wide-mouthed tarpon. Key West is the driest city in Florida, averaging just under 40 inches of rain per year. According to the National Weather Service, the Florida Keys and Miami Beach are the only places within the contiguous United States to have never recorded a frost or freeze. In the 1830s, Key West was the richest city per capita in the United States.. We know the options can be overwhelming, but not to worry — we've broken it down for you. Alvarez, Lizette (September 2, 2013). The monument is labeled "Southernmost point continental U.S.A.", though Whitehead Spit is the actual southernmost point of Key West, on the Truman Annex property just west of the buoy. Key West is an island located at 24°33′55″N 81°46′33″W / 24.565176°N 81.775794°W / 24.565176; -81.775794 in the Straits of Florida.  No protests were made over the American claim on Key West, so the Florida Keys became the property of the United States. Map of Key West got his name by Spanish Explorers in 1815 the Spanish crown granted the island to Spanish army officer, Juan Pablo … A fire on April 1, 1886 that started at a coffee shop next to the San Carlos Institute and spread out of control, destroyed 18 cigar factories and 614 houses and government warehouses. Easterly (tropical) waves during this season occasionally bring excessive rainfall, while infrequent hurricanes may be accompanied by unusually heavy amounts. , In addition to architecture, Old Town includes the Key West Cemetery, founded in 1847, containing above-ground tombs, notable epitaphs, and a plot where some of the dead from the 1898 explosion of the USS Maine are buried.. Welcome to Key West, Florida. Overall, Marathon is the perfect home base for folks looking to explore the region to the fullest. With everything from gorgeous historical buildings (like Hemingway’s Home) to bumping nightlife and great food, a stop here is a no-brainer. , NAS Key West, Boca Chica and the Truman Annex have been the home of U.S. ships, submarines, Pegasus-class hydrofoils and Fighter Training Squadrons like the VF101 detachment. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 126.0 males.  Additionally, the residences of some historical Key West families are recognized on the National Register of Historic Places as important landmarks of history and culture, including the Porter House on Caroline Street and the Gato House on Virginia Street. The Southernmost Flyer, a weekly publication printed in conjunction with the Citizen, is produced by the Public Affairs Department of Naval Air Station Key West and serves the local military community. You can’t drive here and you won’t find any hotels, but Dry Tortugas National Park is one of the most underrated places in the U.S. National Parks System. One of the most popular attractions on the island is a concrete replica of a buoy at the corner of South and Whitehead Streets that claims to be the southernmost point in the contiguous United States. But it’s perhaps most proud of its quirkiness.  Sigsbee Park—originally known as Dredgers Key—and Fleming Key, both located to the north, and Sunset Key located to the west are all included in the city boundaries. The Navy added a small base from which the USS Maine sailed to its demise in Havana at the beginning of the Spanish–American War. The Florida Keys are an archipelago of about 1700 islands in the farthest southeast portion of the United States. If you think you may need a break from all of that fresh seafood, you can visit the tasty M.E.A.T Eatery and Taproom on Islamorada, which has been featured on Food Network’s hit show “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.”. For every 100 females, there were 122.3 males. You can hit up theater shows, check out museum exhibitions, and eat at any of the tasty food festivals hosted on the island. The all-time record high temperature is 97 °F (36 °C) on July 19, 1880, and August 29, 1956. Other great nature activities include kayaking through mangrove forests and over seagrass flats, bird-watching, observing herons on the shore at the Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge, and seeing freshwater wildlife at the Blue Hole (keep your eyes peeled for alligators, turtles, and colorful birds). At the time it was called Convent of Mary Immaculate. The total land area of the city is 5.6 square miles (15 km2). The per capita income for the city was $26,316. The last Native American residents of Key West were Calusa refugees who were taken to Cuba when Florida was transferred from Spain to Great Britain in 1763. The new section on the eastern side is called New Town, which contains shopping centers, retail malls, residential areas, schools, ball parks, and Key West International Airport. print this map. Pan American Airlines was founded in Key West, originally to fly visitors to Havana, in 1926. The adults-only hotel has its own art gallery and botanical garden on-site, plus only 13 rooms, keeping things personalized and intimate. B. The spa, fitness room, and small pool with a hot tub make this a lovely choice for relaxing when not exploring the island. Marathon is a 10-mile-long community in the middle of the Keys island chain and is the gateway to the famed Seven Mile Bridge that leads to Key West. One of our favorite spots is the National Key Deer Refuge, where visitors have the chance to spot Key deer, a tiny white-tailed deer only found in the Florida Keys, and go for hikes through the refuge. Key West is located in USDA zone 11b (the warmest zone in the contiguous United States). And, of course, the famous Seven Mile Bridge is not to be missed, as it connects the city of Marathon, which is part of the Middle Keys, to Little Duck Key in the Lower Keys. Key West Snorkeling Map Find the best snorkeling spots in Key West using our informative and interactive map. In September 2005, NOAA opened its National Weather Forecasting building on White Street. If you have never been here before, you are in for a real treat. The U.S. government then rebuilt the rail route as an automobile highway, completed in 1938, built atop many of the footings of the railroad. The Reynolds Street Pier, Higgs Beach, the West Martello Tower, the White Street Pier, and Rest Beach line the waterfront. Kona Kai Resort, Gallery & Botanic Garden is a special property that sits right on Florida Bay. John Fleeming (nowadays spelled Fleming). The small islands are fringed with picture-perfect beaches, and stunning marine life swims in the waters offshore. Old Town is full of history, bars, and much of what most visitors to Key West have been coming to see for years, while New Town highlights some of Key West’s fresher developments and spots that nod to the city’s history. The monument states "90 Miles to Cuba", though Key West and Cuba are about 95 statute miles (153 kilometers; 83 nautical miles), apart at their closest points. Soon after his purchase, John Simonton subdivided the island into plots and sold three undivided quarters of each plot to: Simonton spent the winter in Key West and the summer in Washington, where he lobbied hard for the development of the island and to establish a naval base on the island, both to take advantage of the island's strategic location and to bring law and order to the town. Easily the most famous of the Florida Keys, there’s a reason why Key West is the most popular destination in the Keys. Some antebellum structures survive, including the Oldest (or Cussans-Watlington) House (1829–1836) and the John Huling Geiger House (1846–1849), now preserved as the Audubon House and Tropical Gardens. Fantasy Fest is the most well known Key West festival, which takes place over the 10 days leading up to Halloween in October. Tennessee Williams first became a regular visitor to Key West in 1941 and is said to have written the first draft of A Streetcar Named Desire while staying in 1947 at the La Concha Hotel. Dry Tortugas lie about 60 nuatical miles due west of Key West. The Keys themselves are broken into three categories: the Upper Keys, Middle Keys, and Lower Keys. There are also great places to go snorkeling along the reefs and opportunities to see manatees, Florida’s gentlest giants. The mayor is elected in a citywide vote. The Key West City Commission has exempted the house from a law prohibiting more than four domestic animals per household. DirecTV and Dish Network provide Miami-Fort Lauderdale local stations and national channels. During the wet season some rain falls on most days, often as brief, but heavy tropical downpours, followed by intense sun. The number of families (as defined by the Census Bureau) declined dramatically in the last four decades of the 20th century. For the neighborhood in Havana, Cuba, see, Aerial photo of Key West, looking north, April 2001, "The Conch Republic", "Southernmost City in the Continental United States", U.S. Census Bureau map showing city limits. The most recent hurricane to impact Key West was Hurricane Irma, which made landfall in the Keys in the morning of September 10, 2017 as a Category 4 storm. Key West Key West is a city and an island of the same name, the county seat of Monroe County, and an island in the Florida Keys. Traveling by boat? The mail route was known as the Key West, Florida – Havana Mail Route. Key West, like the rest of the Florida Keys, is vulnerable to hurricanes. Key West is closer to Havana (106 miles or 171 kilometres) than it is to Miami (130 mi, 210 km). Photo: Wikimedia, CC0. The Hemingways installed a swimming pool for $20,000 in 1937–38 (equivalent to about $291 thousand in 2019). The storm damaged many of the houseboats along "Houseboat Row" on South Roosevelt Boulevard near Cow Key channel on the east side of the island. Generally, the structures date from 1886 to 1912. José Martí made several visits to seek recruits for Cuban independence starting in 1891 and founded the Cuban Revolutionary Party during his visits to Key West. The atmosphere is peaceful and serene, with tropical garden grounds, and a small private island with pool and tons of loungers. Key West Map. It’s one of the most popular attractions in the Keys. Many of the black Bahamian immigrants who arrived later lived in Bahama Village, an area of Old Town next to the Truman Annex. In fact, these Lower Keys are nicknamed “the Natural Keys” because of their preserved beauty and access to natural areas. Robbie’s of Islamorada is a easily one of the most popular spots in town, as guests can purchase buckets of bait to feed the famous tarpon from the docks. Levy, Philip.  The distance from the monument to Havana is about 90 nautical miles (104 statute miles; 167 kilometers).. There were 13,306 housing units at an average density of 2,237.9 per square mile (863.4/km2). While Mallory Square can be boozy, it’s especially famous for its Sunset Celebration, where musicians, artists, performers, and revelers all start mingling about two hours before sunset. Key West the Newspaper (known locally as The Blue Paper due to its colorful header) is a local weekly investigative newspaper, established in 1994 by Dennis Cooper, taken over in 2013 as a fully digital publication by Arnaud and Naja Girard.. Decorative Florida map of Key West, old Key West Florida map, Key West map, Key West poster map, Key West art map, Key West FL, Cayo Hueso.  Like most tropical climates, Key West has only a small difference in monthly mean temperatures between the coolest month (January) and the warmest month (July) – with the annual range of monthly mean temperatures around 15 °F (8.3 °C). Kayak to Wild Dolphin Boat. , Dwight D. Eisenhower stayed at the Little White House following a heart attack in 1955. Help. Our Key Largo Hotel Pick: Kona Kai Resort, Gallery & Botanic Garden. He bought the island because a friend, John Whitehead, had drawn his attention to the opportunities presented by the island's strategic location. PERSONAL PROTECTIVE ACTIONS WHILE ON VACATION . This is definitely Key West at its wildest, with drag queen contests, barely-there costumes, and all sorts of drunken revelry. , Like most tropical climates, Key West has a two-season wet and dry climate. All products are independently selected by our writers and editors. Official records for Key West were kept at the Weather Bureau in downtown from January 1871 to February 1958, and at Key West Int'l since March 1958. Key West was always an important military post, since it sits at the northern edge of the deepwater channel connecting the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico (the southern edge 90 miles [140 km] away is Cuba) via the Florida Straits.  Key West Montessori Charter School is a district-sanctioned charter school on Key West Island. the highest and lowest temperature readings during an entire month or year) calculated based on data at said location from 1981 to 2010. This map was created by a user. Kennedy himself visited Key West a month after the resolution of the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Salt production resumed at the end of the war, but the industry was destroyed by an 1876 hurricane and never recovered, in part because of new salt mines on the mainland.. For more information, see.  After the outbreak of the Civil War, Union troops shut down the salt industry after Confederate sympathizers smuggled the product into the South. Like all of the other Florida Keys, Key West offers fantastic boating, snorkeling, fishing, and other outdoor opportunities. Fact #3.  Half the residents were said to be of Cuban origin, and Key West regularly had Cuban mayors, including the son of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, father of the Cuban Republic, who was elected mayor in 1876. Made with Google My Maps.  It literally means "bone cay", cay referring to a low island or reef. Because of this, Key West since the 1820s had been dubbed the "Gibraltar of the West". A traffic jam of 17 miles (27 km) ensued while the Border Patrol stopped every car leaving the Keys, supposedly searching for illegal immigrants attempting to enter the mainland United States. Marathon is also a popular spot for families who prefer easy, low-key, and educational vacations that blend history, nature, activities, and good food. , The Port of Key West includes Key West Bight, Garrison Bight at City Marina, as well as three docks utilized by cruise ships.. The basic features that distinguish the local architecture include wood-frame construction of one- to two-and-a-half-story structures set on foundation piers about three feet (one meter) above the ground. The period from November through April is normally sunny and quite dry, with only 25 percent of the annual rainfall occurring. The average household size was 2.23 and the average family size was 2.84. He was a member of the city council. Damage postponed the island's famous Halloween Fantasy Fest until the following December. The county took over and finally found a permanent location. May through October is normally the wet season. The Outer Keys consist of islands that are accessible by boat. SUNSET TONIGHT: 6:02 PM. This Dry Tortugas Map by Google is interactive and allows you to move in, move out and travel the world. The Tennessee Williams Theatre is located on the campus of Florida Keys Community College on Stock Island. They extend from the southeastern Florida peninsula about 15 miles south of Miami, and run south-southwest gradually curving west to Key West and out to the uninhabited Dry Tortugas. Big Pine Key. He later sent those copies to the Monroe County clerk for preservation, which gives us a view of life in Key West in the early days (1820–1840). Click on map for larger view. Plus, you can sample local brews that pay homage to the Florida Keys at Florida Keys Brewing Company or Islamorada Beer Company. Tip: Follow the posted speed limits, especially in the Key Deer Refuge on Big Pine Key, which are strictly enforced and appreciated by the locals. 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