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Key West is one of the older cities in the United States and that history is especially reflected around it’s old waterfront region. There are several older buildings here, like the above featured U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, now a shopping arcade.
The old waterfront reminds me a little of San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Warf. There are quirky attractions like the Shipwreck Treasures Museum, which includes a viewing platform that is one of the tallest points in Key West.
Key West has an old small aquarium that’s interesting to visit……
One of the most impressive buildings in Key West’s historic seaport is the old Custom House, today the Key West Museum of Art & History.
Key West was an important and growing city in 19th century Florida. Authorities saw the need for a proper Custom House and authorized its construction in 1885, adjacent to the U.S. Naval base. It was completed in 1891 and became home to the island’s customs office, postal service, and district courts.
In 1932, the building transferred to the U.S. Navy and became headquarters for their Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico operations. The Navy no longer needed the building in the 1950s and it was abandoned for many years. Despite being abandoned, it was placed on the National …
One of the most popular attractions in Old Key West is a stop at the Home and Museum of iconic author, Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway was an adventurous man who lived in many places in his life including France, Spain, Cuba, Idaho and Florida.
The Hemingway home is lovely home and interesting to visit. Hemingway only lived here from 1931 to 1939, although he retained ownership of it until he died. Key West was Hemingway’s kind of town — eclectic, with lots of physical activity available to him in the form of deep-sea fishing (especially for marlin and tuna) and boxing, and good pubs for drinking and socializing. Some of his most important works were written in Key West including “A Farewell …
As we walked down Truman Avenue on our way to Duvall Street — around which you’ll find the main sites of interest in Key West — we came across this pretty church. It’s the Basilica of St Mary Star of the Sea, one of the oldest parishes in Florida.
The first Catholic Church in Key West was constructed in 1851 and was dedicated as “Saint Mary Star of the Sea”. That church was destroyed by fire in 1901. Construction of the present church began in 1904 and was completed the following year.
The church is built directly onto the island’s coral limestone and is made of concrete blocks containing crushed limestone and sand. It’s exterior design is considered “American Victorian”. The church …
Late one afternoon while we were heading towards Mallory Square to enjoy Key West’s nightly celebration of the setting sun, my brother and I came upon this Memorial Sculpture Garden, which remembers and pays tribute to some of Key West’s most famous residents.
The Sculpture Garden opened in September 1997 and there are nicely made busts of 36 men and woman who lives impacted the history of Key West. Most of these are of local people unknown to most of us, but there are several that are easily recognized. These include Ernest Hemingway, President Harry S. Truman, and Tennessee Williams.
All of these busts were crafted by artist James Mastin. The Sculpture Garden was privately funded (Friends of Mallory Square, Inc), and …
We were walking the streets of Key West after dinner — a beautiful warm winter night — and I was impressed with how nicely lite many of the older homes were. Admittedly it was December and this may have been something special for the Holidays, but I suspect it is part of the normal ambience of the city.
Yet another thing I enjoyed about our visit to Key West.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)
Sloppy Joe’s Bar is located on Key West’s main business street, Duval Street. The bar opened in 1933, the day prohibition ended. It was to move locations and have a name change or two before it ended up being at its current site in Key West. The name finally chosen was borrowed from the original Sloppy Joe’s bar in Havana, Cuba, although today the name has really stuck to the Key West location.
Local legend has it that Joe Russell, the original owner, was a friend of author Ernest Hemingway who lived in Key West at that time, and that Joe provided Mr. Hemingway with some illegal hooch during prohibition. It seems likely that Hemingway would have visited the bar when …
It’s often said of cities people visit that there’s no other place quite like it. Well, that’s definitely true of Key West, the most southern point in Florida.
Many cities have unique qualities — Vancouver BC and it’s beautiful harbor, New Orleans with its fascinating French Quarter, San Francisco and its Golden Gate — you get the idea.
I’ve often visited Florida, but this past trip marked my first visit to Key West. I was delighted with what I found. It’s an eclectic mix of history, the sea, grown up hippies, people who respect the military, partying, and a positive attitude about life. The place is a lot of fun!
Regular readers of this website know that I like to collect photos of the …