Key West Neighborhoods: What You Need to Know

October 1st, 2015

An island of eight square miles with a population of 25,000 people, Key West is one of the most dynamic small towns in America. With a melting pot of residents from all over the country, its various charms equate to paradise for many. While the island’s most distinctive division is Old Town and New Town, there are a handful of other neighborhoods that give the island its unique character.

Old Town
Old Town is the heart of historic Key West where all of the tourist attractions, restaurants and nightlife are found along its main artery, Duval Street. Many locals call Old Town home and love how convenient it is to get around in the walkable neighborhood. The borders of Old Town are typically considered within the northwest confines of White and Truman Streets and the Gulf of Mexico. The easiest way to get around is by bicycle, scooter and skateboard, and residential and paid parking spots are also available for cars. Old Town is widely considered the most desirable part of the island and therefore, the most expensive. It’s the true heart of Key West.

New Town
By contrast, New Town is largely residential and many people who live here are families who have called Key West home for generations. With a handful of off the beaten path restaurants and various shopping centers, New Town is a place to get business done. This is where you’ll find large grocery stores, hardware shops, fast food chain restaurants and a movie theater. The advantage of living in New Town is that you get more for your money. Larger homes and lots are available for a fraction of the cost of a home in Old Town.

Map of Key West Neighborhoods

More Key West neighborhoods

Bahama Village
Bahama Village is found within Old Town to the southwest of Whitehead Street. Petronia Street is the heart of this neighborhood, originally settled by Key West’s Bahamian population. Once considered an unsavory neighborhood, Bahama Village is now one of the hippest hoods in Key West with great local boutiques, restaurants and art galleries. Blue Heaven, a Key West restaurant and institution, has long anchored the neighborhood and drawn locals and visitors alike. This was once a part of town where you could find a great deal on a home, but prices have been on a steady rise in recent years.

Historic Seaport
Northeast of Duval Street and set against the Key West Channel, you’ll find the streets that occupies the Historic Seaport. This desirable Old Town neighborhood retains that Old Key West charm with a great variety of classic Key West restaurants, like Pepe’s and Harpoon Harry’s, as well as new and exciting dining destinations, like Eaton Street Bakery and Help Yourself. The picturesque setting of the marina is a major attraction and there are many highly sought after historic homes here.

Casa Marina/The Beaches
Don’t confuse Old Town with oceanfront real estate. The neighborhood encompassing the southern stretches of the island and the Atlantic Ocean is called Casa Marina for the iconic resort found there. While still within close proximity to Old Town, this neighborhood is technically on the fringes. It’s a quiet, laidback residential community with contemporary built homes. It’s also where you’ll find the classic Key West restaurant Louie’s Backyard.

Truman Annex
A planned subdivision adjacent to Mallory Square and en route to Fort Zachary Taylor State Park & Beach, Truman Annex is a desirable residence with a uniform design scheme that could be described as conch cottage moderne. Named for the Truman Little White House within the neighborhood, it’s filled with both condos and free-standing homes with access to community swimming pools and beautifully landscaped gardens. It’s an ideal Old Town location within walking distance to Duval Street that’s appealing for both its Key West charm and modern comforts.

As the name implies, Mid-Town is the neighborhood that blurs the lines between Old and New. Generally considered to be between White Street and 6th Street, Mid-Town is a happy medium between the action of Old Town and the quiet of New Town. A mostly residential neighborhood of both new and old homes, it’s a tranquil community with big yards and wide streets.