When you think about Florida, you think of mouse ears, princesses, and kids. Florida has a lot of hidden gems and Key West is one of them. The southernmost city in the continental U.S. and only 90 miles from Cuba, it is an island city filled with rich history, pastel-hued and a laid back attitude with a lot to offer.
From Fort Zachary Taylor, which was active during the Civil War and contains the largest collection of Civil War cannons, to the Key West Butterfly and nature conservatory, Key West offers a little bit of everything.
Lots of outdoor activities will keep you busy during the day with biking, paddle boarding, snorkeling to explore the many coral reefs, fishing or walking around the different areas of Key West.
Old Town is the historic district, where you can see why president Harry S. Truman fell in love and became his winter destination. You can visit the actual home he stayed in, The Little White House. While in Old Town, you should visit the Shipwreck Historeum Museum which shows you the history of shipwrecking. Be sure to visit the Audubon house. The Audubon House and Tropical Garden Museum is dedicated to the art work of John Jones Audubon and the history of Key West.
If you’re in to shopping, New Town is where you want to be. With many shops and malls, you’ll always find what you need.
At the Southernmost city, is a great tourist attraction. A monument replica buoy at the corner of South street and Whitehead street, that claims to be the southernmost point in the 48 states.
The tropical weather makes this a great destination all year round. Hurricanes rarely affect Key West. November through April is considered the dry season, sunny and dry, while May through October is the wet season, but usually results in quick tropical downpours followed by intense sunshine.
After the breath taking sunset is gone, that is when the real party begins. Side walk cafe’s and open air bars. Along Duval street are plenty of stops for a drink. Sloppy Joe’s, with live bands and great food make it a popular destination. Other notable stops are Duval Street Bar, Irish Kevin’s, Bull and Whistle Stop Bar, Capt. Tony’s, Green Parrot Bar, and Fat Tuesdays.
To go along with all the drinks you’ll enjoy, is the food. Food is huge in Key West and does not disappoint! With influences from Cuba and the Caribbean, Key West food has an exotic spin and many restaurants to prove it. Must eat places include Eaton Street Seafood Market, Blue Heaven, El Siboney Restaurant, Fogarty’s and Garbo’s Grill.
All year long, Key West hosts a variety of festivals and events. Nightly is the Sunset Celebration in Mallory Square, which show cases art, crafts, beer, street performers, psychics and of course food. Some yearly events are Taste of Key West every April, Pride Fest and the Cuban-American Heritage Festival in June, Bike Week in September, Fantasy Fest in October, plus many more.
Key West is unquestionably a hidden, colorful, historical gem in the sunshine state.