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The island of Key West packs a lot of punch in its relatively small surface area. To keep tabs on Duval Street nightlife, seasonal seafood, event guides, watersport adventures and more, bookmark the 24 North Hotel Blog.

History

Originally named Cayo Hueso by the Spaniards, Key West has seen its share of shipwrecks, bootleggers, eccentric boat captains and famous writers. This is our guide to the unique history of Key West.

Key West Profiles: Mario Sanchez, Great American Folk Artist

Key West Profiles: Mario Sanchez, Great American Folk Artist

November 19th, 2018 | History

Mario Sanchez is considered one of the most significant Cuban American folk artists of the 20th Century. A Key West native, Sanchez worked with wood and paint, mostly creating bas relief carvings that reflect images of earlier times on the island that were never captured in photos. Today, his artworks hang in the Smithsonian in Washington D.C., as well as the Gallery on Greene in Key West.


Key Weird: Conch Mayor Water Skis from Key West to Cuba

Key Weird: Conch Mayor Water Skis from Key West to Cuba

November 8th, 2018 | History

In 1978, the island’s then-mayor McCoy was inspired to make the 100+ mile journey because of a challenge from a local reporter and chance conversation with President Jimmy Carter. Thirty years later, famous long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad swam from Cuba to Key West. Here’s another aspect of what makes Key West known as “Key Weird.”


A Look at the Florida Coral Reef

A Look at the Florida Coral Reef

November 6th, 2018 | History

The coral reef off the coast of the Florida Keys is the third-largest in the world and the only living reef in the continental United States. Each year, thousands of tourists visiting Key West snorkel the reef to swim with tropical fish and check out diverse coral species. Here’s a look at its diverse habitats, ways to visit it, and reef-friendly practices that will ensure its longevity.


A ‘Conch’ Kinda Honky Tonk

A ‘Conch’ Kinda Honky Tonk

October 22nd, 2018 | History

Conch blowing contests have a long history on the island, put on during the Old Island Days celebrations started in the 1960s.


Plan a Visit to the Key West Cemetery

Plan a Visit to the Key West Cemetery

October 9th, 2018 | History

Its mix of quirky epitaphs, odd stories, wild iguanas, and the beloved interred are what you can expect at the Key West Cemetery.


Key West Profiles: Captain Tony

Key West Profiles: Captain Tony

September 28th, 2018 | History

Former mayor of Key West, bootlegger, fisherman, sailor, gambler, bar owner and father of 13, Capt. Tony was a Key West personality whose spirit has left an impression on the island.


Key West Profiles: Tennessee Williams, Literary Icon

Key West Profiles: Tennessee Williams, Literary Icon

September 25th, 2018 | History

One of America's greatest playwrights called Key West home for over 30 years.


Key West: Former “Wrecking Capital” of the World

Key West: Former “Wrecking Capital” of the World

September 24th, 2018 | History

Shipwrecks off the coast have provided the island with treasures for centuries. Here's a look at the Conch Republic's history as a wrecking town.


Key West: Birthplace of Pan American World Airways

Key West: Birthplace of Pan American World Airways

September 21st, 2018 | History

Pan American World Airways didn’t survive the times, but the quaint little house that sold Pan Am’s first tickets did.


A Brief History of Turtle Canning in Key West

A Brief History of Turtle Canning in Key West

September 20th, 2018 | History

During your visit to Key West, a visit to the old turtle cannery is a must. But first, read about the history of the turtle meat industry on the island.


Key Weird: Celebrating Sunset and Eyeing the Green Flash

Key Weird: Celebrating Sunset and Eyeing the Green Flash

August 22nd, 2018 | History

Not only does Key West celebrate the sunsets daily at Mallory Square with live music, jugglers and other live acts working the crowd, but the “green flash” of sunset continues to elude onlookers.


Roosters, Iguanas & Pythons - Oh My! 3 Weird Animals in the FL Keys

Roosters, Iguanas & Pythons - Oh My! 3 Weird Animals in the FL Keys

July 19th, 2018 | History

These three non-native animals have found the warm climate of the Keys and Southern Florida especially favorable.


Key Weird Series: Capt. Tony’s Saloon

Key Weird Series: Capt. Tony’s Saloon

June 25th, 2018 | History

It’s only customary you stop by Capt. Tony's Saloon while in Key West and enjoy live music and a mixed drink. It’s located right off Duval Street, just steps away from Sloppy Joe’s.


10 Notable Key West Residents

10 Notable Key West Residents

June 18th, 2018 | History

Here’s a list of musicians, writers, sitting presidents, celebrities and baseball players who have all called Key West home.


Key Weird Series: The Conch Republic's Big & Small Feats

Key Weird Series: The Conch Republic's Big & Small Feats

April 19th, 2018 | History

In this installment, we’ll look at all the big and small records held by our humble, southernmost island.


Hemingway’s Key West

Hemingway’s Key West

March 13th, 2018 | History

The island has changed dramatically since Ernest Hemingway arrived with his wife in 1928, but some of his favorite spots still stand today.


Key Weird Series: Hemingway’s 6-Toed Cats

Key Weird Series: Hemingway’s 6-Toed Cats

January 19th, 2018 | History

As part of our Key Weird Series we’ll delve into all the odd details of what makes Key West so weird.


A Look at Key West’s Colorful Bahama Village

A Look at Key West’s Colorful Bahama Village

January 3rd, 2018 | History

If you’re into Florida Conch architecture, good eats and a diverse Caribbean culture, Bahama Village is worth a visit.


Bars with History: Unique Key West Watering Holes

Bars with History: Unique Key West Watering Holes

December 11th, 2017 | History

In honor of the Conch Republic’s colorful, boozy past, we’ve rounded up some of the peculiar bars on the island that all have a story to tell.


Key Weird Series: Preserving a Relationship

Photo courtesy Florida Keys Public Libraries

Key Weird Series: Preserving a Relationship

December 1st, 2017 | History

A love story or tale of prolonged, demented obsession?


A Brief History of Dry Tortugas Nat'l Park

A Brief History of Dry Tortugas Nat'l Park

November 28th, 2017 | History

Thinking of planning a trip to Dry Tortugas National Park?


The History of the Key West Theater

The History of the Key West Theater

October 17th, 2017 | History

Like all things Key West, the island town’s theater has an unique past.


5 Iconic Movies Filmed in the Florida Keys

5 Iconic Movies Filmed in the Florida Keys

August 16th, 2017 | History

Key West’s tropical island characteristics has attracted many crews  to film on its bright beaches through the decades.


The Hidden Treasures of The Atocha

The Hidden Treasures of The Atocha

June 22nd, 2017 | History

On September 4, 1622, a fleet of Spanish ships set sail from Havana en route to Spain. They were loaded down with treasure from the New World - gold, silver, emeralds and pearls.


5 Hemingway Haunts to Visit in Key West

Photo courtesy of Florida Keys Public Library

5 Hemingway Haunts to Visit in Key West

June 16th, 2017 | History

Ernest Hemingway’s time in Key West has been well-documented over the years - and best re-lived by Conchs during July’s annual Hemingway Days, as well as tourists in their frequent bar hops.


The Haunted History of Key West

The Haunted History of Key West

October 31st, 2016 | History

Key West is filled with ghost stories. From lingering lovers to ghastly murders, the island is not without its share of haunted history. While ghost-hunters say these supernatural phenomenon can be seen year-round, we especially like to call forth the Halloween spirit in the month of October.


The Old Key West – Key West's Cuban History
From the Scott DeWolfe Collection (https://www.flickr.com/photos/keyslibraries/6315815506/) at the Florida Keys Public Library

The Old Key West – Key West's Cuban History

July 20th, 2016 | History

Key West and 24 North Hotel share much more with Cuba than the same latitude line (24° N) – they have an entire history together. These days, you may be hard-pressed to find more Cuban mementos on Key West than a café con leche, cigars and rum, yet there was a time when Key West was more Cuban than American.


24 Things to Do in Key West – Historical Landmarks in Key West

24 Things to Do in Key West – Historical Landmarks in Key West

June 6th, 2016 | History

Key West has long been the stomping grounds of notable Americans and noteworthy historical sites. Here are our favorite landmarks for the history buffs: