Every April since the early 1980s, people of Key West celebrate the Conch Republic Independence. This multi-day festival culminates in several island events that encapsulate and commemorate the independent spirit of Key West. Consider engaging in the festivities during your stay at Southernmost Inn and learn more about our island’s unique history. 

What Is the Conch Republic? 

Officially founded on April 23, 1982, the Conch Republic represents Key West’s brief secession from the United States of America. As you might imagine, a series of interesting historical events led up to this occurrence. In March of 1982, the U.S. Federal Government placed a Border Patrol Roadblock on the highway just south of Florida City in an attempt to stop “illegal” immigrants from entering the mainland via the Florida Keys. However, this meant that hundreds of U.S. citizens faced subpar treatment upon leaving the island, creating 20-mile-long traffic jams and effectively alienating Key West from the rest of the country. 

In an act of frustrated defiance, Captain John Kraus sailed Schooner Western Union into the harbor and ravaged an attack on the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Diligence with water balloons, conch fritters, and stale Cuban sandwiches. The latter fired back with fire hoses, thus commencing the Great Battle of the Conch Republic. Eventually, they quietly removed the roadblock, and Key West’s beloved Conch Republic was born. Each year, citizens and tourists come together to celebrate the island’s unique independent history with several festivities, including a reenactment of the battle. Engage in the community celebration during your stay at the best hotel on Duval Street, Key West. You never know what fascinating facts you might learn!

Immerse Yourself in the Community at Our Key West Inn

Indulge your inner history buff and book a stay at our Key West historic hotel. Our quiet corner of Old Town Key West exudes island charm and hospitality. Our spacious rooms feature a neo-colonial design with easy access to several area attractions. Get a great deal on your stay by checking out our special offers, and give us a call at 888-525-0037 to reserve your tropical getaway.