Click for possible route/stop changes on the day of your tour here.
Skip to content
open search box Close
Manage booking

Key West Cemetery

13 Stop 13
Grave of Key West

After seeing some of the city’s most colorful and quirky characters on Duval Street and in Mallory Square, take a moment to visit the Key West Cemetery, where it is said that close to 100,000 original Key Westers are buried. It’s an excursion that offers history, at the bast of lighthearted humor. Located on Solares Hill, which is the highest point of elevation on the island, the cemetery opened in 1847 after bodies from the original cemetery washed ashore during a storm. Stroll through the 19 acres and see if you can find the headstone that reads “I told you I was sick”, or “At least I know Where He’s Sleeping Tonight”.

Then look for the various monuments and family plots that are marked by amazing statues and memorials. There are several different sections of the cemetery, Jewish, Catholic and Cuban, that distinguish the many cultures and backgrounds that share and love Key West. There is also a section for the victims of the battleship Maine. You’ll notice that the newer graves are actually above-ground, it is said that this is because the cemetery ran out of space underground.

On any day, a visit to the cemetery is most out of the ordinary; a kind of living museum dedicated to the past and illuminating the present.

For a diverse assortment of food and beverages, gifts and even treasure, be sure to take a walk down Duval Street. Wander around in Mel Fisher’s Treasure Sales; it’s filled with dazzling gems and jewels that are on display and for sale. Visit the Wyland Gallery to see the work of the famous Florida artist who captures the beauty of Florida’s marine and wildlife. Indulge in excellent cuisine and see the many sights that make this section of Key West one of the most popular.


Does Key West Cemetery have any famous individuals buried there?

Yes, Key West Cemetery is the final resting spot for several notable individuals such as Sloppy Joe Russell, a close friend of Ernest Hemingway, and Ellen Mallory, affectionately known as Key West’s “Queen of the Bahamas.” These notable personalities, along with many others, add depth to the cemetery’s intricate narrative fabric, showcasing its importance not just as a place of rest but also as a treasure trove of the region’s varied cultural and historical legacy.

What is the history of the cemetery in Key West?

The Key West Cemetery, established in 1847, has a rich history dating back to the aftermath of a destructive hurricane that necessitated its creation. It serves as a resting place for over 100,000 individuals, reflecting the diverse cultural fabric of Key West. Its occupants include famous personalities, naval officers, and victims of tragic events, each adding a layer to the tapestry of stories encompassing Key West’s historical evolution and its community’s resilience and spirit.

Are there guided tours available for the Key West Cemetery?

Yes, guided tours of the Key West Cemetery are available, offering a deeper insight into the rich history and notable individuals buried there. These tours feature fascinating stories of Key West’s past, including unique epitaphs and ornate gravestones, enhancing the visitor experience. It’s an excellent opportunity for history buffs and curious travelers to explore the cemetery’s picturesque surroundings and learn about its significant impact on the local cultural landscape.

Up Up
Back to top