A trip to Florida can mean many things: whether it’s taking a few days to spend at Disney World and Universal Studios in Orlando or taking in the heat of Miami and spending time in South Beach. Another exciting place to visit in Florida is Key West, all the way down south. It’s actually the southernmost point in the Continental United States — and you can even visit a point buoy that marks the spot. So if you’re planning a trip and are unsure of what to do in the area, here are some spots you should definitely make time to visit.
Dry Tortugas National Park
This national park preserves Fort Jefferson and the Dry Tortugas seven islands. The coral reefs of this archipelago are the most unharmed of the Florida Keys reefs. The park is known for its vibrant wildlife, especially its sea life, and for its coral reeds, bird breeding grounds, and for shipwrecks and sunken treasure. It is part of the Everglades & Dry Tortugas Biosphere Reserve that’s part of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme.
The Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum
Celebrated writer Ernest Hemingway lived and wrote in this Key West home for a decade. He wrote about 70% of his lifetime works. You can visit his home, which has been converted to a museum that provides guided tours from 9am to 5pm. The museum also hosts weddings and other special events. The Hemingway Home has been named as a National Historical Landmark, Literary Landmark, and is even recognized by the Library of Congress. Here you’ll even find the famous polydactyl (six-toed!) cats!
Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory
At the end of Duval Street is the Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory, which is home to over 60 species of butterflies as well as 20 species of exotic birds. There are several parts to this attraction: the climate-controlled conservatory where the butterflies are allowed to fly free, the learning center, an art gallery, and a gift shop.
Duval Street is considered to be the main drag of downtown Key West and is one of the most popular destinations on the island as a whole. The streets runs north and south from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean. Just a mile long, it still packs a punch and provides the heartbeat of the city. You can find the Hogs Breath Saloon, a 25 year old watering hole. You can also visit the Green Parrot Bar, the Key West Aquarium, and enjoy a ride around the city with the Key West Old Town Trolley Tour.
The Southernmost Point Buoy is an anchored buoy that marks the southernmost point in the continental United States, as well as the lowest latitude of land in the North American states. Sitting at 18 feet above sea level, it has been a tourist attraction since 1983 and is located at the corner of South Street and Whitehead street. It’s also one of the most photographed attractions in the US!