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St. Mary Star of the Sea, Key West

St. Mary Star of the Sea, Key West (must see)

St. Mary Star of the Sea is a very beautiful Catholic basilica; one of the oldest Catholic parishes in the state of Florida and the oldest parish in the Archdiocese of Miami. With local coral rock used as construction material, the exterior of the church reflects the eclectic period of American Victorian Architecture. It also shows elements of a modified, early Renaissance Revival style. This may be found in the rusticated walls, rounded arches and lunettes that are composed of transitional gothic arches, louvered shutters and colored glass. Many interior elements have both Romanesque and early Renaissance characteristics. Behind the altar is a stained glass window that depicts the church's patroness.

Once you exit the church building, you find yourself on the grounds. A cemetery, grotto, and a marker can be found there. As you walk toward each, you will notice that the stones underneath your feet come together to form the shape of a rosary. This Rosary Path is meant to make you pray the rosary as you walk from stone to stone. You will notice the lovely grotto at the end of the path, which contains statues of Lourdes and Bernadette. It is said that one of the members, named Sister Gabriel, remarked on its dedication day "Key West would never experience the full brunt of a hurricane". And as all residents can attest, there has not been a severe storm on the island since the erection of the Grotto in 1922. This is a famous spot for broadcasting any hurricane threats to the island.

Why You Should Visit:
Lovely, peaceful grounds! The basilica itself is inviting, with a sanctuary containing many Caribbean design features, and has opening doors all along the sides for cool airflow.

Tip:
Be sure to explore the Stations of the Cross garden adjacent to the grotto before heading inside to admire the beauty and tranquility of the basilica.
If you go inside, please donate (a complex like this has ongoing needs) or stop by the well-stocked gift shop behind the building.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 8:30am-12:30pm / 1:30-4:30pm

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Key West, Florida within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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St. Mary Star of the Sea on Map

Sight Name: St. Mary Star of the Sea
Sight Location: Key West, USA
Sight Type: Religious

Walking Tours in Key West, Florida

Create Your Own Walk in Key West

Create Your Own Walk in Key West

Creating your own self-guided walk in Key West is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Museums and Galleries Walk

Museums and Galleries Walk

Key West offers some unique and exceptional museums related to the history and location of the city. As it is situated on an island, this place was often visited by pirates in the past, and so there are many museums about pirates. The famous American writer Ernest Hemingway lived here and there is a museum dedicated to him. Key West is also the birthplace of some really famous artists. You can...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles
Key West Bar Hopping

Key West Bar Hopping

Referred to as "an amusement park for adults fueled with alcohol", Key West has so many great bars, each with their own vibe, that it's hard to narrow it down to just a few – but the ones included in this walk should get you off to a good start. Besides a sense of history and exceptional sunsets, the bars offer good beers, margaritas, wines, a variety of meals, and – not the...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.3 Km or 0.8 Miles
Key West Introduction Walk

Key West Introduction Walk

For the historically curious as well as for party people or laid-back drifters, Key West is a small paradise at the end of the road, with some truly awesome sunset views. The smell, flavors and visions of Hemingway-esque Old Town with its pirates, shipwrecks, quaint homes and historical sites exist in the middle of one of America's premier party towns. Even though there aren't any grand...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 Km or 2.5 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


Top 12 Bars in Key West, Florida

Top 12 Bars in Key West, Florida

Drinking is a way of life in Key West. Whether you want a perfectly poured Guinness or would rather sip frozen rum runners while watching the sun set, the Southern Most City has everything to offer. This guide will help you find the most popular bars and hidden local favorites on Duval Street and...