Driving America - Key West Florida USA
- Starting Point: Duval Street - https://goo.gl/maps/J92ouVGPJLv
- Key West is a city in and the county seat of Monroe County, Florida, United States. The city encompasses the island of Key West, the part of Stock Island north of U.S. 1 (the Overseas Highway) (east), Sigsbee Park (north, originally known as Dredgers Key), Fleming Key (north), and Sunset Key (west, originally known as Tank Island). Both Fleming Key and Sigsbee Park are part of Naval Air Station Key West and are inaccessible by civilians. Key West is the county seat of Monroe County. Key West is the southernmost city in the Continental United States. It also contains the southern terminus of U.S. 1, State Road A1A, the East Coast Greenway and, before 1935, the Florida East Coast Railway.
Key West is 129 miles (208 km) southwest (229.9 degrees) of Miami, Florida,(about 160 miles (260 km) by car) and 106 miles (171 km) north-northeast (21.2 degrees) of Havana, Cuba. Cuba, at its closest point, is 94 statute miles (151 km) south. Key West is a seaport destination for many passenger cruise ships. The Key West International Airport provides airline service. Hotels and guest houses are available for lodging. Naval Air Station Key West is an important year round training site for naval aviation due to the superb weather conditions. It is also a reason the city was chosen as the Winter White House of President Harry S. Truman. The central business district primarily comprises Duval Street, and includes much of the northwest corner of the island along Whitehead, Simonton, Front, Greene, Caroline, and Eaton Streets and Truman Avenue. The official city motto is "One Human Family."
Points of interest
One of the biggest attractions on the island is a concrete replica of a buoy at the corner of South and Whitehead Streets that claims to be the southernmost point in the contiguous United States (see Extreme Points). Erected in 1983, the famous brightly painted and labeled "SOUTHERNMOST POINT CONTINENTAL U.S.A.", it is one of the most visited and photographed attractions in Key West.
However, the marker is not located at the southernmost point in the continental United States, as discussed below:
Whitehead Spit, on the Truman Annex property just west of the buoy, is the true southernmost point, but it has no marker since it is U.S. Navy land and cannot be entered by civilian tourists.
The private yards directly to the east of the buoy and the beach areas of Truman Annex and Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park also lie farther south than the buoy.
The farthest-south location that the public can visit is the seaward end of the White Street Pier.
Florida's, and by extension the continental United States', true physically southernmost point is Ballast Key, a private island owned by David W. Wolkowsky, a wealthy developer, about 10 miles (16 km) west of Key West. Although Ballast Key is located within both the Key West National Wildlife Refuge and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, signs on the island strictly prohibit unauthorized visitors.
The claim "90 Miles to Cuba" on the monument is close to correct, Cuba at its closest point has been measured at 94 statute miles (151 km) from Key West.
The original Key West settlement on the western part of the island is called "Old Town" and comprises the Key West Historic District. It includes the major tourist destinations of the island, including Mallory Square, Duval Street, the Truman Annex and Fort Zachary Taylor. It is where are found the classic bungalows and guest mansions.