Key West vs. Miami: Florida's Hottest Spots

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Difference between Key West and Miami

For most people who visit Florida, Key West and Miami are two destinations that definitely shouldn't be missed. Both places have their own distinctive features of course, and there is no reason why you shouldn't have a great time in either place. That being said, not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to visit both cities on the same trip. Therefore, we present this comparison article in the hopes of helping you make a more informed decision as to which one to go to on your next visit.

Key West

Geographical Features

Key West is a city in Monroe County, Florida. It covers the entire island of Key West, a portion of Stock Island north, Sigsbee Park and Fleming Key towards the north, and Sunset Key to the west. Miami is a city on the Atlantic coast of Florida towards the southeast. The city is actually the county seat of Miami-Dade County and it is the most heavily populated county in Florida.

Claim To Fame

Key West is widely considered a primary destination for numerous cruise ships. The city is also home to the prestigious Key West International Airport, which is the hub for a variety of local and international destinations. Among the other notable destinations in the city is the Naval Air Station, which serves as an important training site for naval aviation activities, largely due to its favorable weather conditions all year ’round. Key West is also famous for having been used as the Winter White House of Harry S. Truman during his years as president of the United States. Miami for its part is widely considered an important global city because of its significance in the areas of finance, business, culture, fashion, education, and international commerce. It is also widely known as “The Gateway to the Americas.”

Key Attractions

Key West is a particularly suitable site for sightseeing and biking, and this latter activity provides plenty of opportunities to explore the city’s rich historical heritage and distinct architecture, the most notable of which is the section known as Old Town Key West. The city also offers numerous cultural, entertainment and dining spots. Miami certainly isn't lacking in attractions either, with loads of entertainment venues, theaters, museums, parks and other entertainment and cultural centers to be found all over the city.  Foremost of these is the recently opened Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, which has the distinction of one of the largest performing arts center in the country, second only to the Lincoln Center in New York City. Miami is also the location of the Florida Grand Opera.


Key West

  • Is a city in Monroe County, Florida
  • Is the county seat of Monroe County
  • Is the southernmost city in the United States mainland
  • Is a major destination for many cruise ships
  • Key West is about 500 miles from the BP oil spill


  • Is located on the Atlantic coast of southeastern Florida
  • Is the county seat of Miami-Dade County
  • Is the fourth-largest urban area in the United States
  • An important center for finance, business, culture, fashion, education, and international trade
  • Widely known as “The Gateway to the Americas”

Which Florida hot spot is better?
  • Key West
  • Miami

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