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Key Info

701 Pauline St.

Price & Hours

Free
Mon-Sat 7 a.m-7 p.m.

Details

Free, Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 2.0Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

Located in Old Town, the Key West Cemetery has been around since 1847 and is well worth at least a walk-through. The quirkiness of the city's residents extends even to the grave. Tombstones in this 19-acre cemetery don't wear the typical inscriptions. Instead, you'll find epitaphs that reflect the island's casual lifestyle. Some of the more well-known inscriptions include "I told you I was sick" and "I'm just resting my eyes." One tombstone is actually a ship's mast. While you're here, take note that many of these burial plots actually have multiple people stacked on top of one another.

Many recent travelers compared the cemetery to those found in New Orleans, thanks to the prevalence of the above-ground graves. Reviewers also said it reflects the "eclectic" citizens of the Keys.

Key West Cemetery is free for anyone to walk through, but you should also consider taking a guided tour, offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:30 a.m. for a moderate fee; advance reservations are required. You can also pick up a map for a self-guided tour at the cemetery's front office, which is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The cemetery is open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Visit the cemetery's website for more information. 

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#1 Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park

For the cleanest beach and best waters in Key West, you should head for the westernmost point of the island to Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park. There, you can sunbathe, hike, bike, fish and get a dose of history all in one place. Recent visitors favor this shoreline over Smathers Beach (the water is clearer, making it an ideal snorkeling spot), but travelers also warn that the sand is not soft and that beach shoes are needed to traverse the rocky terrain safely. While the beach might not be as powdery soft as some other Florida beaches, it does offer some great snorkeling opportunities, according to recent visitors. Along with your snorkel gear, pack some grilling food and charcoal: This beach has plenty of barbecue grills and rental equipment.

If you get tired of hanging out beachside, stop by the historic fort located within the park. The fort was built in mid-1800s and was used during the Civil War and the Spanish-American War. Guided tours are offered twice a day.

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