Southernmost marker, Key West, Florida.
Southernmost marker, Key West, Florida.

Southernmost Point in Continental USA

Field review by the editors.

Key West, Florida

Whenever the winter chill sets records in much of the country, those in the know huddle around the pot-bellied stove-like monument marking the Southernmost Point in the Continental United States.

The marker stands at what is supposedly the furthest south tip of Key West (it isn't). Although painted like a buoy, the monument is actually a very heavy piece of concrete storm drain. It replaced the sign that used to mark the spot -- and kept being stolen -- in 1983. The sign itself appeared as a way to draw tourists to a long-gone open-air shell market. It's close enough to the southernmost point that no one really minds that it's not, and the concrete monument is so heavy that no one wants to go to the trouble of moving it.

The monument notes that Cuba is only 90 miles away, and just to its right, a plaque commemorates the brave Cubans who have drowned trying to get to America, "The Leader In Democracy." In the blocks around the Monument are numerous other "Southernmosts" -- hotel, house, restaurant, etc.

On the top of the monument is painted the logo of The Conch Republic. In the 1970s Key West, seeking to enhance its reputation as a free-wheeling, fun-loving, party-without-consequence kind of town, seceded from the United States, declaring itself The Conch Republic (Every April, a ten-day party celebrates the event). But if that's the case, then the Southernmost Point in the Continental U.S.A. is actually one key up, in Boca Chica.

Remembering the brave of Cuba.
Remembering the brave of Cuba.

Southernmost Point in Continental USA

Address:
South St., Key West, FL
Directions:
Follow US 1 south until you can drive no further. At the corner of Whitehead and South Sts.
Admission:
Free
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Statue of the Conch-Blowing GreeterStatue of the Conch-Blowing Greeter, Key West, FL - < 1 mi.
Cigar Monument to Factory WorkerCigar Monument to Factory Worker, Key West, FL - < 1 mi.
Ernest Hemingway's Museum and CatsErnest Hemingway's Museum and Cats, Key West, FL - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Big Manatee, Key West, FL - 3 mi.

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September 25, 2017

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