"key west florida" Top 5 Page for this destination Key West by doug48
Key West Travel Guide: 2,066 reviews and 4,116 photos
pictured is the monroe county courthouse built in 1890. key west is the county seat of monroe county florida. key west was originally inhabited by the calusa native american tribe. the first european to visit key west was ponce de leon in 1521. the spanish named the island cayo hueso "bone island" because of the numerous native american bones they found there. in 1763 when the british took control of florida they expelled the spanish settlers to cuba. later spain regained control of florida but the original spanish settlers did not return to cayo hueso in significant numbers. when spain ceded florida to the united states cayo hueso was sold to john simonton for $ 2000. in 1822 matthew perry sailed to cayo hueso and renamed it key west. during the civil war florida was part of the confederacy but key west remained under union control. fort zachary taylor built in 1845 was an important union outpost. the population of key west rose significantly after the construction of the overseas railroad in 1912. the railroad was to help key west become the popular tourist destination that it is today. the labor day hurricane of 1935 destroyed sections of the overseas railway and in 1938 the railroad was replaced by the overseas highway as an extention of US 1 from miami to key west. for the tourist interested in history key west has numerous historical attractions.
most visitors to key west come to the island to party. duval street and mallory square is world famous as a party spot. at sunset each day locals and tourists go to mallory square to drink and celebrate the sunset. public drinking is allowed in downtown key west as long as the beverage of your choice is not in a glass container. of course drunk driving is not condoned and drunk drivers will be arrested. key west hosts several festivals such as fantasy fest (oct), hemingway days (july), pirates in paradise (dec). along with several biker runs each year. pictured is sloppy joes bar which is one of several historic bars on or near duval street. key west is a very tolerant town and welcomes gays and lesbians. there are many hotels and bars that cater to the gay and lesbian tourist.
key west is famous for it's excellent off shore diving and fishing. if you do not have your own boat there are boat rentals in key west or you can charter a fishing or diving trip. also a pleasant way to see the key west reef is to take a glass bottom boat tour. another interesting activity is to go to the dry tortugas by boat or seaplane. the dry tortugas is a island about 60 miles west of key west. key west has much to offer the tourist and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in florida. to really experience key west you should allocate at least 4 days to a week to take in all the sites of this interesting florida town.
- Pros:tropical setting, excellent diving and fishing
- Cons:crowded and expensive during the winter season
downtown key west has a number of bars that cater to the gay and lesbian tourist. for the gay and lesbian tourist see... more travel advice
the key west cemetery is an interesting spot in key west. many of key west's original settlers are inturned here. many... more travel advice
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