Saturday, February 18, 2012

Key West things to do - composite survey

Each website or guide book has a different view on the best things to do in Key West.  This post brings many of them (including the big name guide books and TripAdvisor)  together.... 

What's the overall best of the best?  The results are in!

Results: Best things to do in Key West - composite poll with scores
The sunset celebration from Mallory Square came first in the survey of things to do in Key West.

In first place, the top Key West thing to do, is....

1 - Mallory Square                  2,093 points
2 - Little White House             2,031 
3 - Hemingway House             1,926
4 - Butterfly conservatory            1,826
5 - Fort Zach                             1,142
6 - Key West cemetery              1,027
7 - Key West aquarium                 870
8 -Southernmost point                   860
9 - Lighthouse                               844
10 - Mel Fisher museum                756

11 - Audubon House                    617
12 - Eco discovery center             583
13 - West Martello tower              560
14 - Nancy Forrester's garden       428
15 - US Mile marker 1                  315
16 - Key West Bight                    245
17 - East Martello Tower              237
18 - Custom House                       36

My comment: If you ask me, several things are crazy in the list, but the people have spoken!  Mallory Square is a predictable top place although the butterfly conservatory, second on TripAdvisor, is voted down in many other polls, and so appears 4th here.  It's great to see the Hemingway House, aquarium and the lighthouse doing so well, and they deserve their high positions.  It's a slight shame about the low position of the Audubon House but a crying shame about the East Martello Tower and the Custom House taking the last spots - they both should be much higher. Shame on those surveys who didn't do enough research to include them!

In my view: most overrated high position: Mallory Square and Southernmost point (should be lower!)
In my view: most underrated low position: Custom House (should be much higher!)

Do you agree with the number 1 and the top 10?  Are there any glaring errors or omissions?  What definitely should not be on the list?  Please leave your comments in the comments boxes below - I'd love to know your view.

YOU CHANGE THE RESULT: Also I will use any suggestions or comments as 'votes' for when I update this in 6 months.  That is, any genuine views, positive or negative expressed in the comments boxes on this post I will use as inputs into the re-calculation of the survey of survey in a few months.  So it's well worth making a comment now...Thanks...

For my highly personal view of the best things to do on Key West click here.

Or for some reasons to visit Key West, with lots of pictures - click here.

Data sources and methodology:  I've done a lot of online research to find 14 websites that have a ranking of Key West attractions.  I've then aggregated the rankings.  However, to reflect that different sites/rankings are busier/more robust I have given different weighting to different sites and their views/rankings higher.  For example, the attraction that Trip Advisor gives a number one place to (the butterfly observatory) I've given (much) more weight to that the #1 attraction in US News (the aquarium).  Determining the weighting of each of the 14 websites towards the total points score: The biggest factor I've used is 'crowd sourcing' ie if  the individual website's ranking is based on lots of reviews - like TripAdvisor.  The sample size of the crowd source  is important too.  For example, the top ranked attraction on TripAdvisor has garnered 357 reviews (as of today) vs only 9 reviews for  So the weighting reflects that.  Other factors used: the websites' brand reputation, how busy the site is and its Google ranking.  The exact ranking I used will remain confidential to me!  Data collection and analysis as at end of December 2011.   To be included the websites must show a obvious ranking of attractions, and not just a general, random or un-curated list or directory.  I've tried to include all the websites that have such a ranking, although inevitably, I will have missed one or 2.  Commercial websites have not been included, even if they used rankings.  Most totally commercial attractions, like the various Key West tours and sailing and fishing trips, have not been included at all.  If you know of other ranking websites or blogs then please let me know in the comments section below and I will include in the next update in 6 months.

The Key West butterfly conservatory came third of all things to do in Key West.  But here's a butterfly just sitting looking pretty on the sidewalk.

Details - Some of the sites used

Trip Advisor
1.Key West butterfly conservatory
2.Little White House
3.Mallory Square
4.Fort Zach
5.Florida Keys Eco Discovery Centre
6.Hemingway House
7.Key West cemetery
8.Audubon House
9.Key West aquarium
1.Key West cemetery
2=.Key West aquarium
2=.Key West butterfly conservatory
2=.Mel Fisher Maritime Museum
2=.Audubon House
1.Nancy Forrester’s Secret Garden
2.Hemingway House
3.Little White House
4.Mel Fisher Maritime Museum
5.Key West Cemetery

1.Southernmost point
2.Mallory Square
3.Hemingway House
4.US Mile Marker 0
5.Key West Lighthouse
6.Key West aquarium
7.Little White House
8.Butterfly conservatory
9.Audubon House
10.Mel Fisher Maritime Museum

New York Times
1.Key West cemetery
2.Audubon House
3.Little White House
AOL travel

US News
Lonely Planet

Travel DK

And others!!

Final comment from me -
I've not counted my (this) blog's view towards the composite used.  Whilst I do have list of my top things to do in Key West, I know that I have not ranked or scored them myself!  Coming soon (actually, during my next Key West visit) in February 2012, I will do a scored list.  And I know already I don’t agree with some of the lists above!!

Finally, please do leave comments under this blog..... I will definitely use any suggestions or comments on Key West things to do as 'votes' for the next update in 6 months.  So please let me know.  Thanks.