(GERMANY OUT) Amerika, USA, Florida, Key West, Sunshine State,Atlantic Ocean , Caribbean Sea, Island,  Key West Cemetery, cemetery  (Photo by Franken/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

ullstein bild via Getty Images

Key West Cemetery

Key West

A darkly alluring Gothic labyrinth beckons at the center of this pastel town. Built in 1847, the cemetery crowns Solares Hill, the highest point on the island (with a vertigo-inducting elevation of 16ft). Some of the oldest families in the Keys rest in peace – and close proximity – here. With body space at a premium, mausoleums stand practically shoulder to shoulder. Island quirkiness penetrates the gloom: seashells and macramé adorn headstones with inscriptions like, ‘I told you I was sick.’

Get chaperoned by a guide from the Historic Florida Keys Foundation (305-292-6718), with guided tours ($15 per person) that usually go at 9:30am on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Call to reserve a spot.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Key West attractions

1. Nancy Forrester’s Secret Garden

0.32 MILES

Nancy, an environmental artist and fixture of the Keys community, invites you into her backyard oasis where chatty rescued parrots and macaws await…

2. Key West Distilling

0.38 MILES

This tiny craft distiller, basically a one-man operation, creates some excellent rums, two types of vodka (including one with horseradish), one gin and…

3. Duval Street

0.44 MILES

Key West locals have a love-hate relationship with the most famous road in Key West (if not the Keys). Duval, Old Town Key West’s main strip, is a miracle…

4. Strand Building

0.46 MILES

The historic Strand Theater was one of Key West’s great old-time movie houses, and it was used as a theater in the 1993 film Matinee. Today it’s a…

5. San Carlos Institute

0.48 MILES

Founded in 1871 by Cuban exiles, the San Carlos is a gorgeous building constructed in classical Spanish mission style. The current structure dates from…

6. Studios of Key West

0.48 MILES

This nonprofit showcases about a dozen artists’ studios in a three-story space, and hosts some of the best art openings in Key West on the first Thursday…

7. Hemingway House


Key West’s biggest darling, Ernest Hemingway, lived in this gorgeous Spanish Colonial house from 1931 to 1940. Papa moved here in his early 1930s with his…

8. Casa Antigua

0.52 MILES

This former hotel (known as the Trev-Mor), built in 1919, was where Hemingway and Pauline first stayed after returning from Paris in 1928.