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A Day in Key West

By: Cityseeker
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Smathers Beach

This strip of sand is one of the best-known beaches in Key West. Named after a former governor, it is just west of the airport and, at two miles long, it is the island's longest strip of sand. This beach is an excellent choice if you have children. With plenty of parking, restrooms, concession stands, chair rentals, picnic tables, watersport rentals and more, everything you need to have a great day in the sun is right at hand. The beach was hit hard by a hurricane in 1998, but it has recovered well and is flourishing once again.

West end of S Roosevelt Boulevard, Key West, FL, United States, 33040
Key West City Cemetery

It may sound morbid to go strolling through cemeteries, but Key West City Cemetery is also a historical landmark. Established in 1847 and covering nearly 20 acres, the cemetery includes the graves of sailors killed in the sinking of the USS Maine in 1898. You will see unique headstones, like a ship's mast or the famous one reading, "I told you I was sick." Admission is free to tour the site on your own.

701 Passover Lane, Key West, FL, United States, 33040
Nancy Forrester's Secret Garden

Located right in the middle of crowded Old Town Key West, this place is an "island in the stream." Owner Nancy Forrester has somehow managed to face down the pressure of development and the tree-tearing fury of hurricanes in order to keep this 30-year-old garden pristine and magnificent. Here you will see the tropics in all its foliage glory with exotics such as orchids nestling in branches, huge ferns, bromeliads, red ginger, pink heliconias and a "sunburn" gumbo-limbo tree. Bring a picnic lunch and tour the onsite art gallery, as well. Admission is USD6.

1 Free School Lane, Key West, FL, United States, 33040
Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory

If you're a fan of the delicate winged creatures, then this is definitely the place for you. The Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, which treats visitors to amazing sights and smells of mother earth, has a climate controlled enclosure for about 60 species of butterflies. The colors, size, shape, history and lifespan can be studied at the Learning Center - a great experience for children and adults alike. The gallery and gift shop have lots more in store.

1316 Duval Street, Key West, FL, United States, 33040
The Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum

The Hemingway Home & Museum was the residence of the renowned author Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway was known both for his grander-than-life personality and his amazing writing, including the books The Sun Also Rises and Farewell to Arms. The rooms and the collections on display give you an insight into the life of this famous writer. Keep a look out for the museum's many polydactyl (six-toed) cats that are rumored to be descendants of Hemingway's pet cat Snow White.

907 Whitehead Street, Key West, FL, United States, 33040
Key West Art & Historical Society

A non-profit organization founded in 1949, it comprises of the Fort East Martello Museum and Gardens, the Lighthouse and Keeper's Quarters Museum, and the Museum of Art and History at the Custom House. The exhibitions running at the moment are Vera Vaseks' glass sculptors and Dale Dapkins' abstract art. The museum also rents out its property for weddings and other events. This is a beautiful area just to stroll through, even if you don't catch an exhibition.

3501 South Roosevelt Boulevard, Key West, FL, United States, 33040
Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum

Anyone who enjoys tales about pirates and buried treasure will appreciate this small museum. Named for a local salvager who found sunken treasure aboard a wrecked Spanish galleon, the museum currently houses a collection of these treasures, including doubloons, solid gold bars and four sunken ships from as far back as 1560. The museum also shows a film on Mr. Fisher that describes his 1985 discovery.

200 Greene Street, Key West, FL, United States, 33040
Liberty Fleet

Liberty, one of several tall-masted ships in Key West, is an 80-foot schooner that sails daily. A second ship, the Liberty Clipper, is a 125-foot skimmer that sails the sea and offers barbecue cruises with live music. There's nothing like an adventure on a sailing ship. Both are available for charters, for weddings, birthdays, anniversaries or any special occasions, as well as for business meetings for up to 125 people.

245 Front Street, Key West, FL, United States, 33040
Key West Shipwreck Museum

Before tourism became Key West's major source of income,'wreckers' earned their living by salvaging what they could from ships wrecked on the reefs. At the Key West Shipwreck Historeum, you can learn about the 'wreckers' and see jewelry, china, house wares and other artifacts from the Isaac Allerton, which sank in 1856. An observation tower offers a great view.

1 Whitehead Street, Key West, FL, United States, 33040
Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park

A historic military fortress that played a crucial role during the Civil War, this Fort Zachary Taylor is now a National Historic Landmark. the fort offers tours to visitors. Visitors can take guided tours of the fort and learn about its history, including its strategic importance, and explore the seacoast gun collection that is housed here. The west side of the park is ideal for fishing and snorkeling. In addition, the park also provides tables and grills for a picnic, making it an ideal location for outdoor gatherings and families.

601 Howard England Way, Key West, FL, United States, 33040
Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden

A tropical forest at your disposal ... butterflies, birds, turtles, frogs, hummingbirds, native fragrant plants, tropical spices and herbs, geckos, anoles and dragonflies are a common sight. This botanical garden shows visitors the importance of biodiversity. Suggested donations range from $2 to $4. Children under 12 accompanied by an adult can enter free.

5210 College Road, Key West, FL, United States, 33040
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