Key West Florida is closer to Cuba than Miami and is a completely unique city located on the very southernmost tip of the USA. Key West has some of the best weather in the world, with a tropical climate that makes it the driest and balmiest city in Florida. It is also the only city in America to have never had a recorded frost.
Alongside the tropical vibes, Key West is also notable for its historical heritage. The old town is filled with gingerbread mansions built in the 1800s, and notable buildings include Ernest Hemingway’s house and “The Little White House”, regularly visited by president Harry S. Truman during the cold Washington winters (now open to tourists).
As the visiting cruise ships wave goodbye to Key West, everyone gathers around Mallory Square to take part in the ‘sunset celebration’, where entertainers and musicians say goodbye to the sun as it dips beneath the horizon.
Mel Fisher Maritime Museum
There is a wide range of museums and attractions in Key West, but a highlight is this unusual maritime museum where gold, silver and more traditional treasures recovered from shipwrecks are on display. Treasures from famous wrecks such as The Henrietta Marie make for a fascinating look into the colonial history of America and Key West.
The spirit of Key West can be found in the main drag of Duval street, that provides shopping and snacks in the day, and comes to life at night. Duval street has a range of venues for every taste, including jazz bars, piano bars, country and blues at the Hog’s Breath Saloon or hilarious drag shows at the gay bars. Duval street has a quirky and friendly atmosphere that will make every evening unforgettable.
What To Do
Explore Old Town by Bike
A popular choice amongst visitors to Key West is to rent a bike and cycle around the attractive, palm tree lined streets of historical Old Town. Cycle alongside the laid back pace of the residents of Key West and admire the pastel coloured mansions that occupy the Old Town. A popular stop in Old Town is the Ernest Hemingway museum, based in his old house. This quirky museum matches the personality of the great writer, and the museum includes over 50 polydactyl (seven or more toes) cats, of which Hemingway was fond.
Where To Stay
Key West has its fair share of tropical beaches, with plenty of resorts on the beach front, complete with seafood restaurants and spa treatments to ease you into your vacation. The Hyatt Resort and Spa is a luxurious choice, with breezy beachfront accommodation and unbeatable views across the ocean.
There is also a range of resorts and upmarket hotels to choose from in the Casa Marina area of Key West, close to the marina where you can go on sunset boat tours and take part in the range of water activities in the area.
Many of the mansions in Old Town also serve as authentic and friendly bed and breakfast spots in a great location.