Key West Live Cam

Key West is known for its world famous sunsets


Hosted by:
  • Hog's Breath Saloon
  • 400 Front Street - Key West
  • Florida 33040 - United States
  • (305) 296-4222
  • [email protected]

Local children diving for pennies from Sunset Pier around 1910

During the Great Depression Key West sank into complete despair, with more than half the population on relief. In 1931 the City declared bankruptcy and became a ward of the government. As a part of the nationwide WPP program, Key West started a citywide beautification program, built motels and began to market itself as a vacation destination. The program showed signs of success until Labor Day 1935 when the strongest hurricane ever recorded in this hemisphere came ashore near Islamorada, killing an estimated 1000 people and cutting off the lower keys to all contact and services.

The railroad was gone, but the government under direction of President Franklin Roosevelt took control of the abandoned right of way and by 1939 the Overseas Highway opened.

World War II saw the keys boom again as a strategic military base. German U-Boat activity was heavy in the Florida Straights, with 49 ships sunk during the month of May 1942 alone. Boca Chica became a strategic air base for the fledgling Army Air Force and Key West was overrun with sailors from the Naval base. Postwar Key West soon became cold war Key West, with Russian support communist Cuba just 90 miles to the south.

The area continued to be an important military base throughout the next forty years, while the community began to rely more and more on a flourishing tourist economy. Along with small bed and breakfasts, larger resorts began to spring up in town, and Duval street took on it’s current mix of boutique art stores, trendy restaurants, bars, nightclubs and tee-shirt shops. Unlike most communities that re-invent themselves, tear down old and put up new, and make all efforts to "keep up with the times" Key West and the Florida Keys seem to hang on to a little piece of every era that has ever passed by.

Today you can see where the Turtles were held at the Turtle Kraals, buy a hand-rolled Key West Cigar, visit the Wreckers Museum, buy a sponge, see Civil War memorabilia at the East Martello Museum, visit the Mel Fisher Museum, Ernest Hemingway’s House, and dozens of other pieces of history that dot the island, not to mention other diversions, including world-class deep sea and flats fishing, snorkeling, diving, sailing and cruising and nightly sunset celebrations at the Pier and other locations. Of course we can’t forget The World’s Longest Street, Duval Street, that stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf Of Mexico, and it’s popular watering holes like Sloppy Joes, Hog’s Breath, Captain Tony’s Irish Kevin’s and many others, and the best place to have breakfast, Lunch or Dinner, the World Famous Sunset Pier at Ocean Key, where the Sun Sets in Key West.

As mentioned above, the area at the North End of Duval Street is where Key West started, and the harbor area, the pier that is now known as Sunset Pier, and the grounds where Ocean Key now stands is steeped in history. In the 1880’s the lot was covered by the very large Porter Docks warehouse, a storage facility for bulk goods, tobacco from Cuba, and export items, including sea salt from the salt ponds, located near the present day airport, canned turtle soup, and cigars.

By the 1930’s the area had become a large oil tank farm for the increasingly popular diesel powered ships and was a key supplier for fuel during World War II.

The area remained a fuel storage area until the 1980’s when the land was purchased for development as a time-share condominium. Reflections on Key West opened in 1984, was renamed Ocean Key House later that year and converted into a luxury resort. In 1998 the property was purchased by Noble House Resorts, and was relabeled Ocean Key – A Noble House Resort.

The resort has completed the first two phases of a complete transformation to one of the most luxurious resorts in Florida. When done, Ocean Key will have a full service health & fitness spa, fine dining restaurant, boutique gift shop, and, as always, the best location in Key West to do anything, everything, or nothing at all.