North America
Central America
South America
Middle East

Key West's Key Attractions



Key West's Key Attractions View large version If you want to visit a small place with a big name, then you must consider Key West - three and a half miles in length and one and a half miles in width. It lies to the south west of Miami, some 160 miles away. Being just miles away from Havana in Cuba, Key West is the most southern community within the continental United States.

The history of Key West is just as attractive as the island itself. There are many tales of daring naval exploits where smugglers and pirates took their spoil. Some of the island's stories relate to salvagers and buccaneers. The island is also a refuge to the fishers, writers and other artists. Its population of over 30,000 comprises of Conchs, Cubans, Spanish and transplanted Americans.

You will reach the new sections of Key West first no matter how you travel - by road or by air. Although the key attractions are sparse in this region, you will benefit from the accommodations which are quite cheaply priced. When you go past the new sections, you will get into the Old Town where you will find many special features. As you approach the place, you will notice that the streets become narrower and you will get to see old gingerbread homes that are covered with tin roofs used for harvesting rain water. Most of the homes were restored to bring back the old charm.

These homes indicate the early prosperity of the area. Ship carpenters were largely responsible for erecting the houses. The sponge fisheries here accounted for 90% of all the sponges used in the country in the 1880s. When blight affected the sponge beds and the cigar manufacturers relocated to the Tamper region, there was a tangible effect in the economy that had serious consequences. As if that was not enough - the First World War and a massive hurricane that destroyed the railroad in 1935 made the situation worse.

However, there are still many great attractions in Key West that will make your vacation worthwhile. The main street that passes through the Old Town is Duval Street; it is known as the longest street in the world because it begins right from the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and goes all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.

The waterfront gives you the opportunity to either take part or just watch a variety of activities. You can go sight seeing either in a boat, or in a trolley or by train. You may also rent a bicycle to explore the island. Alternatively, you may simply take a walk to have a closer look at the interesting sites.

You can learn and get to know more of the island's history at Key West Lighthouse Museum. Constructed in 1825, the building was originally a lighthouse station for the Coast Guard but it got totally destroyed by a hurricane in 1846. Nevertheless, it was rebuilt two years later.

Key West is a great place for fishing; you can enjoy a variety of seafood cuisines even if you do not go fishing! Anyway, the main idea is to enjoy the relaxing experience.



Related Guides
Guides from Richard L.


There are no comments for this travel guide. Add your comment!