Quirky Attraction: Southernmost Point in the Continental USA

southernmost point key west

Southernmost Point in the Continental USA
Location: Key West, Florida
When to visit: Anytime, but for shortest lines, come before 9 am
Cost: Free
Time needed to enjoy: 10-60 minutes, depending on the wait

In Key West, Florida, you can find a monument that marks the southernmost point in the continental United States. This red, black and yellow concrete buoy right next to the ocean has become a huge tourist attraction. If you visit Key West, you’ll want to stop by, but chances are you’ll be waiting with dozens of other people to get your picture taken with it.

For easiest access, arrive early. That’s when you’ll find the shortest lines. When I visited a couple weeks ago, I got there around 9:30. It was rainy and it was off-peak season, so I got my photo with only a five-minute wait.

Many publications call the Southernmost Point in Key West a tourist trap. Of course it is! So what? Some scrooges also like to point out that the monument isn’t truly the most southern spot in the continental U.S. – that distinction belongs to Ballast Key, an isolated, privately-owned island 10 miles west of Key West.

But don’t let that stop you from enjoying the Key West tradition. Join in on the fun and get your picture taken next to the “90 Miles to Cuba” marker that has become a landmark since it was erected in 1983.

southernmost point tourists


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About the Author

Scott Shetler is a Seattle-based journalist and blogger who seeks out offbeat attractions and awesome destinations around the world. He has been featured in Travel + Leisure, Connect Magazine, Matador Travel, and the Washington Post.

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  1. When you are a tourist or even if it is your home town – go for it – I had to go there by car having been there by cruise ship 10 + years before – it was a steady flow of people

  2. What a strange tourist attraction! If i’m every in Key West it definitely looks like the kind of thing I’ll need to take my picture next to! Thanks for the article.

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