The State of Florida is massive at 54,153 square miles featuring 399 miles of Atlantic Coast Line and 798 miles of Gulf Coast Line. Florida is inundated with a myriad of vacation hot spots complete with beautiful landscapes, themed parks, historical recollections, beaches and mesmerizing sunsets. Key West, Florida is only two miles wide and four miles long, however, pound for pound, Key West has so much amassed in such a small area that it can rival any comparable area in Florida. Because of this Key West is a vacationers delight with a plethora of things to see and do without having to travel for hours in doing so.
Key West is only 106 miles to Havana, Cuba. It is as close to being a Caribbean Island as there is, without actually being in the Caribbean. Mild, humid temperatures through out the year, with a quaint ambiance and certain appeal that is as diverse as it is beautiful. Key West is broken down into two neighborhoods; the west and the east.
The West neighborhood known as “Old Town” is considered the historical district and comprises the major tourist destinations such as Mallory Square, Duvall Street which is the bar and restaurant district , the Truman Annex and Fort Zachary Taylor. Much of the historical attractions are circa 1886-1912. Features of the real estate ambiance in the west neighborhood can be characterized as Victorianesque,gingerbread trimmed, metal roofed, eloquent covered porches and pastel shades of paint.
The East Side neighborhood or “New Town” is the modernesque part of Key West. Complete with retail stores, gift shops, shopping mall, schools, ball parks, residential areas and the Key West International Airport.
Key West was originally called Cayo Hueso or Island of the bones by the Spanish due to its bone remains from an ancient Native American battlefield and burrial grounds. Prior to Columbus sailing to Florida, it was first visited by European, Juan Ponce De Leon in 1521. Key West has changed hands of the years from Spanish to British before becoming part of the United States after its independence. originally, most of the residents living in Key West were immigrants who arrived from the Bahamas after 1830 after fleeing for the closest Crown Colony
during the American revolutionary War. These descendants of loyalists came to call themselves “conchs”. Still today, residents born in Key west are considered conchs while those who were born elsewhere and now reside in Key West are called freshwater conchs.
Authors Tennessee Williams and Ernest Hemingway have strong ties to Key West as do President Harry S. Truman, Jimmy Buffett, Calvin Klein, Judy Blume, Kelly McGillis, Bronson Arroyo and Mel Fisher.
There is an abundance of things to see and do in this small island community. Spend some time drooling at the silver and gold plus treasures found from the wrecks of the “Nuestra Senora de Atocha” and the “Santa Margarita” two Spanish galleons sunk by a hurricane on September 6Th of 1622 and discovered by Mel Fisher on July 20Th of 1985 and are on display at the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum.
The Key West Lighthouse and Keeper’s Quarters Museum, Key West Botanical Forest and Garden, Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, Ernest Hemmingway’s house, the famous Sloppy Joe’s Bar, Louie’s backyard, Tennessee William’s theater, Duval Street and Mallory Square represent a few other unique and fun places to experience.
I have yet to mention anything about water! Water and Key West are synonymous with each other after all Key West is an Island. With that comes a fisherman’s paradise and boater’s world, beach lover’s glory and diver’s dream. Sun, warm temperatures, crystal clear turquoise waters and fine grain sand provide the backdrop to this remarkable and beautiful vacation destination. Water sports run rampant with almost every kind available from para-sailing, jet skiing, sailing, deep sea fishing, snorkeling and scuba diving and tanning.
When it comes to dinning and refreshments, what better way to enjoy a meal or cocktail than with tropical music, gentle Caribbean Breezes and the beautiful sunset from Mallory Square. Island cuisine with a Caribbean and Cuban flare are incomparable. Restaurants and bars galore offering vacationers a wide selection of opportunities to sample native favorites like conch fritters and the Cuban hoagie to local seafood. Maybe French or Italian food is more pleasing to the palette, you decide with the myriad of choices on the island.
Key West is definitely a premier tourist destination with its historical roots, beautiful landscape, diverse cultural heritage, water, water, and more water for doing all those fun activities while getting wet. Paradise found describes Key West where it is always 5:00 on Margaritaville…Thanks Jimmy Buffett
Take some time to visit Key West! You’ll be glad you did. A mecca for dinning, partying, relaxing and having a good time…