I have covered bits and pieces of our trip to Key West over the last few weeks, and considering that the trip itself was only four days, there has been an amazing amount of material, but now we are winding down to the last few topics.
While the Hemingway House was both intriguing and inspirational, and the visit to the Key West cemetery reflective, a trip to the Southern part of the island is simply one of those cheerful touristy things that tourists do when they go to Key West. Over towards the Atlantic ocean side of the island, the two or three blocks that lead to the Southernmost point are covered with things dubbed the “Southernmost” – the Southernmost restaurant, the Southernmost Hotel, the Southernmost Inn, the Southernmost grocery store, the Southernmost dog (well, they didn’t really have a Southernmost dog, but I am surprised that someone didn’t think to bring a dog and hang a plaque around its neck saying so!)
The Southernmost point in the continental United States is actually not quite the Southernmost point – there is an antenna off a jetty behind a fence that you can see from the point dubbed the Southernmost point that is a little more South, but a) you can’t reach it, and b) it is built on land that was created/dredged/reclaimed by filling in the water, so in a typically pragmatic fashion, Key West has continued to call the Southernmost point, the Southernmost point.
To be sure that it is recognized, someone placed a (very colorful, can’t be missed) monument there stating that it is the southernmost point.
There was a line to have your picture taken at the monument, and the family in front of us was kind enough to take a picture of both of us with our camera.
Although it is kind of touristy, it is not a complete gimmick, as there are some interesting historical sites surrounding the southernmost point.
The most recognizable site is the Southernmost House. The history of the Southernmost house is set out in this plaque:
The Southernmost House, itself, is a Victorian mansion complete with all the trimmings. We did not tour the house while we were there (after all, you have to save something for the next time), but we took several pictures of it, including the following.
As the posted sign by the Southernmost House noted, the mansion was built in 1897. Technically, it is no longer the very southernmost house anymore, as someone came in and built one house right behind it on the block leading to the Southernmost Monument that is more Southerly, but, I guess, age having its privileges. this mansion was the Southernmost House originally, so the Southernmost House it shall remain!
At the very corner of the turn to reach the monument, there is a structure known as the cable house. It didn’t look like much, but appearances, as the placard on the cable house showed, can be deceiving.
The Southernmost Point/House/Inn/Hotel/Motel was simply a fun, cheerful trip, and cost almost nothing (we even were lucky enough to find a parking spot we didn’t have to pay for!) and, in its own way, was as much a highlight of our trip as the other adventures were.
Have a great day everyone!
You’ve made me want to go visit! (Granted, it takes so little for me to want to go places.) I was at the Southernmost point in the US (including non-continental = South Point on the Big Island of Hawaii) last year and now I think I need to round out my adventures, no?
Thanks for sharing!
If you get a chance to go to Key West, GO! It was a blast! I envy your having gotten to go to Hawaii. Was it fun?
It was beautiful. South Point on the Big Island is extremely windy and is on the dry side of the island (read as, dusty), but head north to one side and you get to lava deserts and to the other and it’s the volcanos and lush vegetation and everything that one expects “Hawaii” to be. Definitely go if you get a chance… I’ll do the same for Key West!
It’s a deal!