Key West Neighborhoods & Towns
Key West is a small island -- about seven square miles -- located at the westernmost tip of the Florida Keys chain. It's connected to the Florida peninsula by U.S. Highway 1, also known as the Overseas Highway.
The western half, Old Town, is the most tourist-friendly, as the streets are lined with the best hotels and restaurants. It's also home to most of the attractions, including Mallory Square and the beaches of Fort Zachary Taylor, as well as Duval Street, which runs north to south through the middle of the district. Go off the beaten path with a stop by Bahama Village, located east of Duval. The small community has resisted change over the years; lizards, chickens and other wildlife still roam freely.
The eastern half of the island is mainly residential and does not contain much that would interest visitors, experts say. However, it does contain the majority of the island's chain hotels and fast food restaurants.
The Florida Keys' crime rate is low. But you should still use common sense when exploring Key West, especially at night and around hectic Duval Street. Be cautious if you go into the water as well; be sure to heed all flags and warning from authorities. Writers also say that you should take care when bicycling through the streets: You're required to use bike lights at night.