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"The southernmost territory of the Conch Republic"

keywest south most point Key West is 90 Miles to Cuba and the southernmost point in the continental USA. It is Monroe County's Government Headquarters. As you approach Key West look for "fat Albert" which is the giant white balloon above a missile tracking station on Cudjoe Key (MM20) that keep tabs on boat traffic in this area. Acclaimed for its laid-back lifestyle and diverse personality, Key West is equally known for the Coast Guard and Naval Station that protects the coast and the waters of the USA. The Key West area includes Boca Chica Key (MM10) home to the US Naval Station to Stock Island (MM5) with the US Naval Hospital located at MM4, the Key West International Airport (MM3).

Key West was once the richest city per capita in 1889 and also knew tough times too as in 1930 it declared bankruptcy. Key West has a colorful cast of characters ranging from Spanish Explorer Ponce De Leon to railroad magnate Henry Flagler to President Harry Truman, who loved to vacation in "The Little White House" on Front Street that you can still visit today. Key West has been a haven for the creative spirits of the world such as Ernest Hemmingway, Tennessee Williams and Robert Frost. Key West has been home to alternative life styles and a large gay population for many years.

Key West has known its fair share of conflict over the years, from hurricanes, to oil spills, from human rights issues, to political conflicts, from the Civil War to the Spanish-American War, to the Cuban Missile Crisis. Key West is closer (in distance) to Havana Cuba (90 miles away) than to Miami (150 miles away). Yet Key West is a treasure trove, not just because of the history of shipwrecks found artifacts and memorabilia. Its Old Town section is rich with history, historical sites and architecture. Because the island is so compact, many venerable houses and other buildings now functions as restaurants, bed and breakfasts, quaint inns and museums.

Duval Street bisects Old Town and is known as "the longest main street in the world" because it goes from coast to coast…the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. Whitehead Street is also well known and is equally historic as Duval Street, with the Hemmingway House and the Audubon Houses and the Key West Lighthouse on it to name a few. All roads in Key West lead to Mallory Square where everyone gathers for the world famous Sunset Celebration every night. The Sunset Celebration is a nightly extravaganza attracting thousands to sunset outside with street performers, merrymakers, artists, dancers, musicians, singers, magicians, pantomimes, and more. Everyone from all walks of life come together for a fitting end to another fabulous day in paradise.

Key West is known for its fabulous restaurants where you can enjoy many meals of ocean fresh seafood, complimented by tropical vegetables and fruits. One of the Key West delicacies are pink shrimp, which are harvested from extensive fisheries around the Dry Tortugas. Some people like them so much they call them "pink gold" these shrimp can be baked, broiled, sautéed, marinated, fried or grilled but they are always devoured. Stone crab claws served with tangy mustard sauce are also a very popular delicacy along with sweet Florida lobsters served with hot drawn garlic butter. Key Lime pie made from the juice of tiny yellow Key limes are a perfect ending to any memorable meal in Key West which is always an experience.

With more than 50 points of interest and attractions all the treasures of Key West cannot be listed, they need to be discovered by you, but a few need to be mentioned like: the Dry Tortugas National Park at Fort Jefferson just a 70 mile boat ride away, Fort Zachary Taylor State Historical Park at the end of Southard Street, The Southernmost Point on the corner of Whitehead and South Street, Smathers Beach at S.Roosevelt & Bertha Street, The Key West Lighthouse at 938 Whitehead Street, Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine at 700 Truman Street and Saint Paul's-the first church built in Key West at 401 Duval Street. Key West has a myriad of things to offer including great bars, restaurants, beaches and entertainment. Key West has big city conveniences and entertainment, with small city warmth and charm waiting around every corner, in a tropical paradise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and The Gulf Of Mexico.

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Pat Ketchum

Cell: 305-923-9424

Email: Pat Ketchum at Pat4KDM@aol.com



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