Old Town: The defining Key West neighborhood
The heart, and some would say the soul, of Key West is Old Town. Originally the city’s center, Old Town is today the central location for Key West’s historic district and tourist destinations.
Old Town’s Duval Street, which stretches from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean is the main artery in Key West. Intersected by Truman Avenue, Duval Street provides the backbone from which Key West’s historic homes, seaport and cultural centers extend.
Old Town, particularly those areas North of Truman, is the neighborhood most people think of when they think “Key West.” Its homes are modest bungalows and magnificent mansions that live side-by-side along Fleming, Eaton, Margaret and Southard.
Old Town is generally the area west of White Street. Locals divide Old Town into two parts: South of Truman and North of Truman. Bahama Village, the neighborhood settled by Bahamian immigrants, is officially part of Old Town and it has maintained its character and distinctive Bahamian culture.
Old Town reflects the island’s long history as a seaport and cigar manufacturing town. Wealthy landowners built the magnificent Victorian and Gothic mansions surrounded by the small cottages that have become quintessential Key West. Since the 1970s, renovation and restoration of these homes has been a major part of Key West culture.
Beautifully updated inside and historically significant outside, these homes reflect the partnerships among homeowners, architects, builders and landscape professionals.
Strict construction and architectural guidelines and restoration and renovation consistent with Key West’s history have ensured Key West’s Old Town maintains its exceptional sense of place.
- Best features: Close to restaurants, entertainment and the seaport. Beautiful historic architecture. People watching. Quiet lanes. Duval Street. Tropic Cinema, art galleries, Hemingway Home and the Historic Seaport. Solares Hill, the highest point above sea level in Key West, and Bahama Village. Convenient and energetic mix of retail, services, entertainment, the library, the cemetery and laid-back residential streets.
- Getting around: Great for walking. Stick to scooters and small cars. Parking is usually at a premium.
- Street boundaries: Old Town North-of-Truman: White Street to Whitehead Street and south to Truman. Includes the Key West Cemetery and Bahama Village. Old Town South-of-Truman: Eisenhower on the east to Fort Street on the west. Truman to United on the south with several blocks extending to the Atlantic Ocean next to the Casa Marina area.
- Get more information: City-Data.com compiles Census and other data on Key West’s neighborhoods. You can explore statistical information from household income to age, employment and education – even how long Old Town residents have lived there and how long they commute to work.
- See the map: The Key West Association of Realtors has an excellent map detailing the neighborhoods and streets.