Key West Florida's Bahama Village is a well kept secret
Bahama Village - one of the oldest sections of Key West Florida
I'm here in Key West FL for 6 weeks, and finally ventured off Duval Street and over to Bahama Village. Now, Bahama Village, if you ask me, is an area of old town Key West that's gotten a bum rap. Known as the spot where the locals live, Bahama Village has some of the most colorful houses and characters this side of the Conch Republic.
I'm on my own in Key West, ,alone for a week, with 2 of my dogs - lucky beasts get to have very long walks throughout Key West 3 times a day. I daresay that Bahama Village might be their favorite walking spot in Key West also as there tends to be a bit more "open space" for them to do their business.
Come along and see some of the sights I've seen in quaint Bahama Village. I'll bet you fall in love with this area of Old Town Key West just like I have.
All pictures were taken with my own Sony Cybershot camera. To see more pics I've taken with the Sony Underwater camera, check out my Personal review of the Sony waterproof DSC-TX10 camers. All rights on these Key West pictures are reserved, but if you see a pic you like all you have to do is ask. I'm betting i'll let you use it.
Update 13DEC12: John and I spent a week in Key West during Fantasy Fest! If you've never been, you MUST go! Anything goes during Fantasy Fest in Key West!
How I found Bahama Village
AKA: where the heck am I?
I drove to Key West, Florida from my home in Maryland, towing my jet ski and 2 dogs along for the ride. A friend of mine drove with me and, during her shifts, I spent some time on the Kindle reading different books about Key West. The below are among my favorites so, if you're traveling to the Conch Republic anytime soon, these are pretty good reads:
Key West in Your Pocket:
Your Guide to an Hour, a Day, or a Weekend in Key West
Fodor's In Focus Florida Keys, 2nd Edition
A Guide to Florida's Southernmost City
History of an Island of Dreams
A Tropical Lifestyle
The Houses of Key West
Key West's Bahama Village has interesting sights - Click any picture to enlargeClick thumbnail to view full-size
Some of the original Conch houses are found in Key West's Bahama Village
The story I heard was....
Bahama Village was so named as a lot of the houses built here were actually built in the Bahamas, where there is wood. Key West sits atop a dead coral reef so there is no soil to speak of. In fact, dig down in the sand about 10 to 12 inches and you hit coral. So, it was cheaper to build the houses in the Bahamas and ship them to Key West than to ship the lumber down from the mainland.
But, in further digging, I believe that Bahama Village was actually named for the first Bahama immigrants who settled in the area. Wherever the name came from, it is agreed that Bahama Village covers only 16 blocks but they're blocks chocked full of interesting things to see. To read more about the history of Bahama Village, see Visit Florida Keys - Bahama Village Key West.
Conch houses can be quite beautiful - I love the Bermuda style colors painted on mostClick thumbnail to view full-size
Colorful yard art abounds in Bahama Village
Here's some more articles about Bahama Village that might interest you
I'm a big proponent in learning about where I'm traveling so I naturally go on the internet and searched around for information on Key West Florida. While there, I started looking in depth at articles about Bahama Village. Some of the best articles I wandered across are below:
- Wikipedia's write up on Bahama Village
This article says that Bahama Village was named for the first black descendants in Key West who came from the Bahamas. Not sure but other articles point to the fact that it's the houses made in the Bahamas which gave Bahama Village its name.
- Visit Florida Keys websie
This short article documents the flea market that you'll find on the corner of Petronia Street in Bahama Village.
- Conch Scooter blog
This wonderfully entertaining blog documents life in and around Key West. I love the humor in Conch Scooter's posts and am betting you will too!
- Bahama Village Music Program
A long time teacher in Bahama Village, Ellen Sanchez, started this non-profit to bring music into the lives of the children in Bahama Village. If you're in Key West, check out and see if they have a concert coming up. They're very talented.
I doubt Tommy Bahama has ever been in Key West...
...but, I like the patterns on his fabrics - they look very much like the wares I see in Bahama Village.
Do you have a favorite Key West memory? Are you yearning to come to the Conch Republic?