Guide

Explore Key West

Flanked by sandy beaches and surrounded by warm Gulf waters, Key West is the "Key to Caribbean" and a popular getaway spot for tourists the world over. But this island city promises more than luxurious resorts and tropical drinks to those who are willing to look in the right places. Lucky for you, this guide to some of Key West's most interesting historic sites makes it easy! Explore the city's iconic architecture and fascinating history below.

  1. Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum

    Earnest Hemingway lived and wrote at 907 Whitehead Street for more than 10 years. In that time, he found solace and a home in the island city of Key West. Besides offering guided tours to guests, the Hemingway Home also houses more than 40 cats on its property.

  2. Photo By: Sam Howzit/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

    Sloppy Joe's Bar

    Another Hemingway-related historic site in the Keys, Sloppy Joe's has been a mainstay in Key West history since the famed author grabbed his first drink there in the 1930s. When you're there, be sure to try the ropa-vieja-style Sloppy Joe and tequila-based Sloppy Rita.

  3. Photo By: Romanboed/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

    Harry S. Truman Little White House

    President Harry S. Truman made this home—originally built in 1890 as a Naval officer’s residence—famous when he chose it as his winter vacation spot and christened it the “Little White House.” Today, it is both a public, living museum and a retreat for America's top leaders.

  4. Photo By: The Brit_2/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    African Cemetery at Higgs Beach

    In 1860, three illegal slave ships were diverted to Key West. The city's community worked to provide food and shelter for the almost 1,500 enslaved people on board, but hundreds died and were buried at Higgs Beach. After their graves were located by archaeologists in 2010, a memorial was added to this historic site.

  5. Photo By: Florida Keys Public Libraries/Flickr/CC BY 2

    La Concha Hotel & Spa

    This Historic Hotel of America is situated on Duval Street, smack dab in the middle of Key West's vibrant night life. The hotel dates back to 1926, and visitors will notice the mark that the city's unique history has left on La Concha.

  6. Photo By: aidaneus/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    San Carlos Institute

    The San Carlos Institute was founded in 1871 by Cuban exiles in Key West as an educational center, and it was at this historic spot that José Martí famously united the exile community to launch the final phase of his campaign for Cuban independence. Today, the center includes exhibits recounting its rich history and connection with the Cuban community that lives on today.

  7. Photo By: dcwriterdawn/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0

    Southernmost House

    Located near the southernmost incorporated place in the contiguous 48 states, the Victorian-style Southernmost House represents some of Key West's most elegant architecture. It has historically been the first choice for Presidents, royalty, and other nationally renowned figures.

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