The southernmost city in continental US territory, Key West is the vibrant, bustling epicentre of the Florida Keys. There’s plenty to do in the waters that surround Key West as you might expect, but the energetic city is also full of cultural sights, snippets of history, top class eateries and bars and buzzing residents with an infectious vitality.
AT A GLANCE
Legions of literary pilgrims flock to Hemingway’s Key West residence each year and stick around for the famous sunset celebrations in Mallory Square; one of the best places to see a sunset in all of the Keys. The treasure of the Spanish galleon – Nuestra Senora de Atocha – is sure to transport you into the past, as are the wonders of dozens of impressive galleries. And when all that culture gets too much, you can head to the historic seaport to organise some on and underwater activities that are sure to get the blood flowing.
WHAT TO SEE
The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum is a must-see destination for those with even the most fleeting of interests in literature and American cultural history. Located in the heart of Old Town, the Spanish colonial style house offers curious visitors the chance to glimpse inside the home of a literary legend, and soak in the atmosphere and décor of rooms in which great novels were born and written. Keep an eye out for the polydactyl cats that are (apparently) descended from Hemingway’s own.
If, after that leisurely educational stroll, you’re after something a little more up-tempo, then a trip to the Historic seaport is in order. Whether you want to dive into shipwrecks, snorkel and see some vibrant marine life, or try your hand at trophy fishing like Hemingway himself, the seaport will be the perfect spot to organise your off-land excursion.
Top it all off by watching the sunset (and subsequent celebrations) at the famous Mallory Square. As the descending sun injects the sky with rich pinks and deep reds, sit back, enjoy and watch the square come to life. Street performers and entertainers will wow you as revelry fills the air; and when you’ve had your fill you can pick from one of the dozens of bars or restaurants that line the Key West streets.
WHY WE LIKE IT
There is a taste of laid-back island life to be found in Key West, and wandering the rich galleries, the cultural landmarks and the historical sites under the warm sun is a blissful experience. On the other side Mallory Square, the islands pulsating focal point, gives visitors a taste of the vitality and enthusiasm that sets Key West apart from its neighbouring islands. It is this duality and this wiggle-room to craft the experience that you desire that keeps us coming back to Key West; we’re sure it will work its charms on you as well…