Key West, located in Monroe County, is a popular destination for cruises to western Caribbean destinations. When the cruise ship docks at Key West's beautiful cruise terminal near Mallory Square, the passenger's first gaze is Tank Island.
He doesn't even notice that the city with more than 20.000 inhabitants is located on five island districts. The main part of the municipality forms the island of Key West with almost 14 km². Four other island districts contribute a few square kilometers.
Key West - Mallory Place
Key West is one of those destinations where you should disembark from excursion programs and let yourself drift through the town, its museums, shops and bars. We report on what is going on in detail under Key West attractions or a day in Key West.
The subtropical vegetation that is visible everywhere is pleasant. There are no high-rise buildings. Buildings built in the Victorian style dominate, to which new commercial buildings have to adapt in terms of height.
There is a lack of tall buildings in Key West
Key West information. The area was settled in the 1820s. For a long time, the commune was considered one of the wealthiest cities in the United States. The exploitation of shipwrecks as an industry (see Miami - A Day on the Florida Keys), cigar production and the trade in sponges made the per capita income of the community rise above all other places in Florida. The connection to the railway network in 1912 brought further prosperity. The city and its port prospered from its proximity to Cuba, 145 km away.
The prosperity was over when the railway line was destroyed by a hurricane in 1935 and cigar production moved to Tampa, Florida. Since then, the city has relied on tourism. Nor does it shy away from using the fame of long-dead residents, such as President Truman or Ernest Hemingway, for advertising purposes.
Key West - Bridge destroyed by the hurricane
There was something bizarre to report from 1982. The liberal Key West gained attention when it broke away from the USA on April 23.04.1982, XNUMX in protest against the immigration policy practiced by the USA and the Conch Republic proclaimed. - The US had previously set up a checkpoint at Key Largo on US Highway 1, the only land route to Key West, to track down illegal immigrants. The intensive controls made tourism more difficult.
Key West - US flag including that of the Conch Republic
The city sued this measure and failed in court. Key West then proclaimed the Conch Republic, broke away from the US, declared war on the nation, surrendered 1 minute later and asked for $ 1 million for rebuilding. Since then, Independence Day has been celebrated on April 23 each year. The flag of the Conch Republic can still be seen all over Key West today.