Southernmost Point

#10 in Best Things To Do in Key West
Southernmost Point picture1 of 2
Southernmost Point2 of 2
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Key Info

Corner of Whitehead Street and South Street

Price & Hours

Free
24/7 daily

Details

Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing, Free Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
3.5

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 0.0Food Scene
  • 3.0Atmosphere

One of the most popular things to do in Key West is to snap a photo with the colorful buoy marking the southernmost point of the United States. Sitting at the intersection of Whitehead and South streets, the striped buoy is just 90 miles north of Cuba. Next to it, you'll also find a plaque dedicated to Cubans who have lost their lives trying to reach America.

Keep in mind, though, that this isn't truthfully the southernmost point – just to the west of the buoy is a patch of land that's owned by the Navy and closed to the general public. Recent travelers say this concrete buoy is a must for first-time visitors to Key West, but they also add that the crowds can make it difficult to snap a quality photo. If a stop at the buoy is on your to-do list, heed the advice of recent visitors and get up early to beat your fellow tourists, or sign up for a guided tour – many of which stop at the landmark. Access to the buoy is free 24/7.

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Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park1 of 13
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Type
Time to Spend
#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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