Discover Key West
Looking for an alternative to Caribbean islands next vacation? Perhaps your next tropical journey end at the southernmost point of the United States at Key West. — Dwight Brown
Key West, the county seat of the entire Monroe County, is just 90 miles off the coast of Cuba. It is to Florida what New Orleans is to Louisiana. It’s a party capital oasis that attracts international tourists who go sunbathing, swimming, shopping and sightseeing during the day, and bar & restaurant-hopping at night. The town is distinguished by its 19th and 20th century architecture, with conch houses lining quaint palm-tree lined streets that were introduced by African heritage immigrants from the Bahamas.
On the road to “KW”, you’ll cross over 42 bridges. Marvel at the Seven Mile Bridge —- it’s the big daddy. Majestic looking Seven Mile Bridge starts at Knights Key, a southern section of Marathon in the Middle Keys, and ends on Little Duck Key in the Lower Keys, on the way to Key West. The box-girder, white structure, made with prestressed concrete viaduct arcs up to 65 feet, so boats can pass under. But, lots of the bridge barely skims the water and that’s the fun part. Drive on the famous bridge pictured in Licence to Kill and 2 Fast-2 Furious and it’s like you’re motoring across a bridge in a movie.
To get a feel for the city, board a Conch Tour Train. Pull out your camera and let the narrated, humorous mini-train ride around the city school you on the facts and figures of the most lauded historic venues. Check out: Harry Truman Little White House, Key West Aquarium and Mallory Square, which is an ideal location for famed sunsets. Survey Bahama Village, a 16-block, diverse area that’s a lasting vestige of the Afro-Caribbean people who settled in the vicinity in the 1800s.
Today, if you visit the Bahama Village Market, you’ll hear reggae, calypso and rhythmic junkanoo music. And you must have a photograph taken at the iconic Southernmost Point Buoy, which marks the most southern point in the continental U.S.
You can rest your head at the very chic Winslow’s Bungalows by Kimpton Key West. Just blocks away, enjoy lively Duval Avenue where tourists love the clubs, restaurants and shopping. This string of 85, exquisite bungalow guest rooms, with three pools set among lush verdant foliage, is an oasis within an oasis.
No central hallways, instead guests enjoy private entrances, porches, on-site parking, free continental breakfast and a helpful staff that makes this hotel feel more like a lush retreat.
Walk, drive or bicycle to these famous KW spots and you’ll create the memories of a lifetime.
1. Wear a bright shirt to Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory and the beautiful, winged creatures may land on you.
2. Walk around the historic grounds of Key West Lighthouse & Keeper’s Quarters (circa 1848).
3. View the six-toed cats and famous author’s mansion at Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum.
4. Listen to jazz music and sip wine on the romantic Sunset Sail With Sebago Key West.
5. Sunbathe at Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park Beach for its serenity, Higgs Beach for the lively bar-scene and Smathers Beach for the longest stretch of sand in the city.
6. Eat Crab Cakes and Oxtail at Mo’s Restaurant, a Haitian-owned, black-business Creole eatery.
7. The famed signature Swordfish dish at the tony Bagatelle Restaurant is genius.
8. The taste and crunchiness of the Fish Sandwich at Caroline’s will make you smile.
9. Black History’s imprint on KW is evident in venerable churches, stately cemeteries, public parks and an American Legion Hall dedicated to black veterans of WWI and WWII.
10. Play tennis at Higgs Beach Park Tennis Courts and get instruction from Tennis Key West.
Other Key West Sites to Visit
Danger Charters Wind & Wine Sunset Cruise
ADDRESS: 45 Front Street, Westin Marina, Key West, FL
ADDRESS: 709 Truman Avenue, Key West, FL
Conch Republic Seafood Company
ADDRESS: 631 Greene Street, Key West, FL
Sun Key Island
ADDRESS: 245 Front Street, Key West, FL
Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum
ADDRESS: 907 Whitehead Street, Key West, FL
Blue Heaven Restaurant
ADDRESS: 729 Thomas Street, Key West, FL
ADDRESS: 237 Front Street, Key West, FL