Come to join the party crowd, watch ocean sunsets, and take in historical sites, then head offshore to see the Gulf of Mexico’s castaway islands and mangroves. Read on for our top tips for making the most of 3 days in Key West.
Basilica of Saint Mary Star of the Sea
A pretty church surrounded by a grotto and a garden with the Stations of the Cross, the 1905 Basilica of Saint Mary Star of the Sea is on the National Register of Historic Places. Palm trees flank the American Victorian exterior, and inside the airy white church is a magnificent stained glass window that was installed in 1907.
1010 Windsor Lane, Key West, Florida, 33040
Just a few blocks away from the perpetual party on Duval Street, Key West’s main Catholic church is a quiet oasis. Visitors are invited to stroll through the gardens or light a candle at the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes. Daily services are open to the public as well, with mass held in both English and Spanish. The church website has a small self-guided walking tour that includes information on key sites here.
Things to know before you go
- This church is a great destination for art lovers. In the garden, a series of Carrara marble mosaics adorn the stations of the cross.
- Candles and other mementos are sold at the onsite gift shop.
- A children’s choir sings at some services; check the website for more information.
How to get there
The church is located at 1010 Windsor Lane in Key West, between Truman Avenue and Amelia Street. A bus stop is located on the corner of Truman Avenue and Windsor Lane, serviced by the Red Line and the Orange Line. Limited free parking is available in a lot adjacent to the gift shop.
When to get there
Mass is held every day of the week. Monday through Saturday, services are held first thing in the morning, in addition to a Saturday evening vigil mass. On Sunday, three English-language masses and one Spanish-language mass are held. The Adoration Chapel is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Free tours of the basilica are available for groups by prior arrangement.
Other Historic Sites in Key West
Built in 1851, the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum was the author’s residence from 1931 to 1939, and is a beautiful example of Key West’s 19th-century architecture. On the south side of Key West, Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park played a role in both the Civil War and the Spanish American War. Here you can see historic fortifications near a beautiful sandy beach. Another good stop for history buffs is the Key West Garden Club, on the site of the 1862 West Martello Tower.
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
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