Most visitors don’t know it, but in the 1940s the island of Key West doubled in size with added landfill. On that landfill New Town was born. Today, New Town is a quiet and mainly residential neighborhood. It houses shopping centers, hotels, the airport and the best beach in Key West. Here are our favorite perks of New Town.
Established in the early 1900s and located at the edge of New Town, the port has the largest fishing fleet on the island. You can rent a charter for anything under the sun, or walk along the pier and check out the slips. Tarpon feeding is every day at the Garrison Bight at 4 p.m., and expect to see a ton of pelicans in on the action. You can also walk the docks and see the day’s catch from fisherman between 3-5 p.m. For more information on your options for a day out on the water, check out the charter boat website.
If you’ve been to the island you know that most of our beaches are rocky, but at Smather’s you can go barefoot and only worry about the sand being too hot. It’s a treasured spot on the island, with sugary sand that spans into Key West’s largest public beach. The beach is less than 3 miles from The Gates, so we suggest you hop on one of our rental bikes and enjoy a ride along the bike path to Smather’s. Enjoy panoramic ocean views. If you get to the beach early, snag a shady spot under a palm tree because by midday these are coveted areas. Paddle boats, catamarans, beach chairs and more are available for rent at a reasonable price through Sunset Watersports, located right on the beach. To check out their prices, visit their website.
This spot is part of what makes Key West “Key Weird.” Construction on the Civil War-era fort began in 1862 in case of a possible Confederate assault on the then Union-controlled island. The fort didn’t see any threat of battle and was left unfinished. Now, the Martello-style building is home to Robert the Doll, an inanimate childhood playmate of a late Key West artist with deep family roots in the island. The doll is rumored to be both evil and cursed, and is the main draw for the museum. The old fort is also host to historic memorabilia, art and artifacts. The museum is located right near Smather’s Beach on S. Roosevelt Blvd. It’s open every day from 9:30-4:30, and admission is $10 for adults, kids 6+ are $5.
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