Key West is famous for its fantastic weather, stretches of beautiful beaches, and coral reefs. It's also a perfect destination to explore in Florida as it's uniquely on the southernmost part of the state.

Apart from the weather and geographical features, few travelers know about the city's rich history. Here are some of the unknown facts about Key West.

10 Hemmingway's Favorite City

Shortly after their wedding, Hemmingway and his wife Pauline Pfeiffer settled in Key West. He fancied the weather of Key West and enjoyed deep-sea fishing in the Atlantic Ocean. His house was the first to have a pool and piped water in the city. Today the house is part of the Hemmingway's museum. The museum stores details of the author's stay in Key West and houses 60 polydactyly cats who are direct descendants of the writer's first pet.

Related: 10 Things You Can Do In One Day At Key West

9 Cayo Huesa

The city's original name is Cayo Huesa, which translates to the island of bones in Spanish. When the Spanish explorers arrived, they found the island scattered with human bones. The presence of bones emanated from the island being used as a mass graveyard by the native inhabitants.

The Spanish controlled Key West until America gained independence. Upon gaining free rule, America took control of the island. The settlers then named it Key West, a misnomer of Cayo Huesa.

8 Once America's Wealthiest City

During the early and mid-1800s, the US Navy set base in Key West to curb piracy. The encounter between the pirates and the Navy led to many pirate ships wrecking. Locals salvaged the shipwrecks for treasure and, in return, made a lot of money from trading the treasures. The treasure trade made Key West the wealthiest city in America then.

More about the shipwrecking business is available in the Shipwreck Museum.

Related: Explore Key West Via Seaplane: Here's How Much You'll Spend

7 The Uniqueness Of Mallory Square

One of the essential landmarks in the city is Mallory Square. The square is home to the Hemingway and Shipwreck museums. It also houses over 39 busts that honor famous people from Key West.

Another unique feature of Mallory Square is hosting the famous daily sunset parties. Tourists join locals in enjoying the evening activities from magicians and street dancers as they enjoy sunset views. The plaza is also home to shops selling merchandise celebrating the island's history.

6 The Republic Of Conch

To revolt against the US Border Patrol, locals advocated for secession in 1982. The citizens felt inconvenienced by a roadblock set on the Overseas Highway to curb narcotics from Cuba.

This roadblock slowed down tourism, a significant economic activity for the locals. To this date, the locals celebrate the Conch Republic Day every April. In addition, travelers can purchase Conch Republic merchandise anywhere in Key West.

5 Fort Zachery Taylor

This national landmark lies within the Zachery Taylor Historic State Beach Park. Its construction took place in the mid-19th century during the civil war. The fort once housed civil war armament for the Confederate army. Fort Zachery stored canyons, ammunition, and weaponry, all used during the American Civil War.

A 1968 excavation led to the discovery of this ammunition. The excavated weaponry is the largest ever recorded in history.

4 Truman's Little White House

In his second year in office, President Harry S. Truman caught a cold, and his doctor recommended a vacation in a warm location. An admiral suggested Key West to the President. The President visited the city upon suggestion, and the cold cleared on his second day of stay.

Truman made 11 visits to Key West, totaling 175 days in the city. The President stayed in the little cottage with his workers and occasionally gave press briefings in the Little White House.

Presidents like Bill Clinton and John F. Kennedy also vacationed in the Little White House. Today it serves as a historical landmark, and tourists get to visit and explore its architecture and history.

3 The Duval Street

One of the most prominent areas in Key West is Duval Street. The street is home to several famous bars, including the Joe Buffet Margaritaville and Hemmingway's favorite hangout spot, Sloppy Joes. These establishments make Duval Street perfect for exploring the city's rich cuisine and throbbing nightlife.

The street is the longest in the world, which is no surprise as it stretches from coast to coast. Vacationers can rent scooters to explore the activities lined up on Duval Street.

2 Chicken Everywhere

Key West has a more significant chicken population than any other Florida city. Seeing a hen wandering around with her chicks is normal for the locals but might surprise tourists.

According to the locals, this has been the case for over forty years. The hens are in every corner of the city, eliciting uniqueness to vacationers.

1 Freshwater Or Saltwater Conch?

Locals born and raised in Key West call each other Conchs. Conch comes from the Spanish word concho, which means a shell.

The name is divided into two categories the freshwater conch and saltwater conch. A freshwater conch refers to a local that has lived on the island for at least seven years. Saltwater conch, on the other hand, implies a local born and raised in Key West.