Sitting right at the end of the Florida Keys, Key West is one of the most visited cities in all of Florida. A far cry from the crazy family attractions of Orlando and the high-rise skyscrapers of Miami, Key West is located right at the end of United States Route 1, the longest north-south road in the country. This means that Key West is home to the southernmost point in the contiguous United States, and there's even a land marker you can visit to prove that you'd been as far south as it is possible to go. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Key West RV Parks
2.Leo's Campground and RV Park
4.El Mar RV Resort
3 Best Key West RV Parks & Campgrounds
- Key West RV Parks, Photo: itsallgood/stock.adobe.com
- Leo's Campground and RV Park, Photo: Iuliia Sokolovska/stock.adobe.com
- Sigsbee Campground , Photo: Andrey Armyagov/stock.adobe.com
- El Mar RV Resort, Photo: creativenature.nl/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Oleksandr/stock.adobe.com
More Ideas: Audubon House and Tropical Gardens
The Audubon House and Tropical Gardens opened as a museum after being restored in 1960 that commemorates the first half of the 19th century life in Key West, the wrecker lifestyle of Captain Geiger and the art work and connection of John James Audubon to the home.
In October of 1846, a massive hurricane destroyed most of the homes on the island of Key West, Florida. In the wake of the storm, Captain John Geiger, master wrecker, decided to build a grand home that would reflect the wealth and status of his family. He the corner of Whitehead and Greene Street to construct his home because anyone coming or going from the waterfront would be able to see the home there.
The home was built in the American Classic Revival style of architecture using Dade County Pine, a hardwood which was impervious to termites and is now extinct. Other expensive hardwoods such as mahogany and cypress were also used in the home.
Four generations of Geiger’s lived in the home for over 100 years with the most recent being Captain Willian Bradford Smith. Unfortunately, William was a recluse who lived alone and never installed electricity, running water or a functional indoor kitchen in the home. When he died in 1956 the home was in very bad shape and the home was not livable and slated for demolition.
Luckily, the Wolfson family, who had close ties to Key West, purchased and restored the home for use as a museum in 1958. They added electricity as part of the renovation project, Audubon art, antique furnishings from the early 1800’s including some that belonged to the original Geiger family, and opened the museum in 1960. The Museum is currently operated by the Wolfson family through the Mitchell Wolfson Family Foundation.
The main attraction of the Audubon House and Tropical Gardens in the Home itself. The home renovated by the Wolfson family in the late 1950’s and turned into a museum to commemorate the lifestyle of the early 19th century when the home was built as well as the art work of James Audubon who painted 22 of the original 435 Havell plates in Dr. Benjamin Strobel’s house which was located on the site of The Audubon House before it was built. Many of the images of flora in the artworks are said to have been in the gardens.
Guided tours of the three-story home are offered daily. Most of the furniture in the home are antiques from the early 18th century that have been collected and placed in the home for authenticity, while others such as the dining room table and a painting of Captain John Geiger were owned by the original family. Watch out for ghosts while you are exploring though! The Audubon house has been certified as haunted by many paranormal investigators. William Smith, the last descendant is said to still haunt the third floor of the home and a child’s laughter and sighting of a young girl have also been seen around the home.
One unique feature of Audubon house is the outdoor cook house. To Avoid heat and fire, homes in the early 19th century often had outdoor cook houses that meals were prepared in. The original cook house was beyond repair and demolished in 1958; however, a replica was built in 2012 that is historically accurate of an 1850’s model. The cook house is furnished with period antiques and a medicinal herb garden to show how most of the cooking and care taking would have been done then.
Visitors are also encouraged to stroll through the acre of tropical gardens and view more than 200 orchids in bloom. There are also rare palms, crotons, lots of butterflies and birds, and koi pond that honors local poet John Malcolm Brinnin. The pond also has plenty of seating to relax and watch the Heron. The gardens are where local legends say artist John Audubon found inspiration for his drawings.
Adjacent from The Audubon House and Tropical Gardens is The Audubon House Gallery which features the art prints and some originals of John James Audubon. In addition to the collection of the original 19th century works, there are also select limited editions available as well as the gallery owner’s very own special editions of Birds of the Florida Keys.
The Museum Gift Shop is located on the property and offers a wide array of art, prints, collectibles, gifts, and educational materials. Visitors will find art by John James Audubon as well as pottery, jewelry, painting and drawing by local artists, and antique collectibles as well. The shop also has an extensive book collection that explored Audubon and life in the 19th century Key West.
Back to: Things to Do in Key West, Florida
205 Whitehead Street, Key West, Florida, 33040, Phone: 305-294-2116
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More Ideas: Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park
Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park was built by the United States to protect the coast from pirates in 1822, and was named after President Zachary Taylor in 1845. Before the naming and establishment of Fort Taylor, the area was controlled by Spanish explorers. The fort was once used as a military storage yard and today is home to one of the widest collections of weaponry, including Civil War cannons.
Activities at the Park
Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park is popular for its US military history and recreation opportunities. With expansive beaches and coastlines, the park is also famous for picnicking, swimming, and snorkeling. The park is open to the public and is accessible by paying an admission fee. Inside, it offers a trail of enjoyable nature walks and cycling to help you relax and unwind as well as camping facilities for families and groups as well as canoeing and kayaking opportunities. There is a myriad of activities on offer, including horse trails, boat tours, and surfing. The park also frequently plays host to events such as weddings and social gatherings. While at the park, be sure to adhere to the safety guidelines and the regulations that are in force in order to maximize your fun.
If you find yourself running out of time and are not quite ready to head home, the park offers overnight options from camping, cabins, and lodges to spending the night on a house boat. There are also options for group camps and primitive camping. For overnight bookings, visitors must make a reservation with the park’s management prior to arrival.
Special Boating Trips
For honeymooners and couples looking for something a little more special, the park has several romantic boat trips running throughout the year. These are moonlit boating tours in canoes with a park ranger-guided tour down the river. For early birds and families, why not take advantage of a sunrise boating tour during the spring and summer, where you can get up close and personal with some of the local wildlife.
Besides having fun, the park also offers opportunities for educational trips, volunteer projects, and life learning programs, among others. The park is ideal for youth groups, such as the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides.
There is also the Junior Ranger Program, which offers an opportunity to learn while interacting with the natural environment. Researchers may also apply for permission to conduct studies within the park.
Fees and Charges
Admission fees are charged per vehicle with two to eight occupants. It is also important to note that separate fees are charged as per the park amenities and activities. Overnight charges range from $16 to $160 dollars, depending on your requests. Please remember that prior reservations are required to book you in for the night.
601 Howard England Way, Key West, FL 33040, Phone: 305-292-6713
Back to: Key West Things to Do
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