FEATURED KEY WEST BEACHFRONT HOTEL

The Westin Key West Resort & MarinaThe Westin Key West Resort & Marina
245 Front Street,
Key West, FL 33040 US

The Westin Key West Resort & Marina is located on the west end of Key West, adjacent to a waterfront promenade, and is approximately four miles from Key West International Airport. Local attractions include Duval Street, located two blocks from the property, nightly Sunset Celebration on The Westin Pier, North America's only living coral reef, approximately six miles away by boat...more

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Hotel Listings

The Westin Key West Resort & Marina
245 Front Street,
Key West, FL 33040 US

Southernmost Hotel
1319 Duval Street,
Key West, FL 33040 US

Pier House Resort and Caribbean Spa
1 Duval Street,
Key West, FL 33040 US

Casa Marina Resort - Waldorf Astoria Collection
1500 Reynolds Street,
Key West, FL 33040 US

...more hotels

ABOUT KEY WEST

Holding the distinction of southernmost city in the continental United States, Key West lies 130 miles southwest of Miami and 90 miles north of Cuba. Marking the confluence of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, its climate is mildly tropical, moderated by warm Gulf currents and easterly trade winds. Its location makes for a unique juxtaposition of Caribbean and colonial culture.

When the Spanish laid claim to Key West in the 1500s, it was populated by Native Americans originating from what is now mainland Florida. Spaniards named the island Cayo Hueso, meaning "bone key", presumably because of its use as native burial ground. Although Great Britain occupied the island during the 1700s, Spain eventually regained control, but maintained no established governance there, resulting in an influx of inhabitants from Cuba and British Bahamas. While the U.S. eventually annexed the Florida Keys in 1822, Key West residents still refer to themselves as "Conchs", in reference to the large number of Euro-Bahamian Loyalist immigrants who came to this once British colony during the American Revolutionary War.

In the years following U.S. annexation, industry surged in Key West making it the largest and richest city in Florida by the 1860s. While fishing and salt production contributed to this boon, shipwreck salvage dominated the economy. The salvage industry owes its success to geography. Often referred to as islands, the Keys are actually composed of coral reef exposed over time by changing water levels. The coral barrier reef of Florida, lying a few miles off the Florida Keys, is the third largest barrier reef system in the world. Its position near the Gulf Stream and historic shipping lanes meant that many a ship wrecked along the reef until better navigational aides were published in the 1850s.

Today, Key West is a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors interested in its history, culture, and natural resources. World-class fishing exists, both in nearby saltwater flats and deeper offshore waters, along with phenomenal snorkeling and diving opportunities. Key West parks offer visitors the chance to "hit the beach", though in actuality, no true sand beaches exist in Key West. Because of its coral configuration, the Key West coastline is primarily rocky and protected by the barrier reef from the tidal action necessary to beach formation. Still, several man-made beaches provide the opportunity to walk along the warm waters of this thriving, eclectic, and culturally rich community.