Key West Florida is one of the most unique places you can visit in the continental U.S. You’ll certainly feel like you’re “not in kansas anymore” As the last island in the Florida Keys, Key West is only 90 miles north of Cuba and has virtually 365 days of beautiful sunshine and a fantastic free spirit attitude and culture.
There’s an eclectic mix of people in Key West and the island offers something for everyone. If you decide to vacation there, I would recommend flying in to Miami INT’L and renting a car for the 159 mile drive down the Keys. It has to be one of the most beautiful drives offered in North America, you’ll cross the famous 7 mile bridge and be able to stop to take extraordinary pictures along the way.
When you arrive in Key West I would recommend staying at the Reach Resort on the eastern side of town. It has the best private beach on the island and has recently undergone and extensive renovation.
The Reach Resort isn’t far from Duval street is where all the action is. You’ll find bars, clubs, restaurants, boutiques, and art galleries. You can spend an entire day just perusing one half of the street. make sure to head down to the Sunset Celebration that takes place at Mallory Square every night. You’ll find arts and crafts exhibitors, street performers, food carts, and psychics. Each night around two hours before sunset masses of people, both locals and tourists alike, flock to the water’s edge to experience a multicultural happening and to watch the sun sink into the Gulf of Mexico. It’s really spectacular.
Another must see in town is the Ernest Hemingway house. He lived in town for a number of years with his wife Pauline. Pauline’s rich uncle Gus Pfeiffer bought the 907 Whitehead Street house in 1931 as a wedding present. Legend says the Hemingway’s installed a swimming pool for $20,000 in the late 1930s (equivalent in 2006 to $250,000). It was such a high price that Hemingway is said to have put a penny in the concrete, saying, “Here, take the last penny I’ve got!” The penny is still there. Tours of the house are available most days and it’s spectacular. During his stay he wrote or worked on Death in the Afternoon, For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Snows of Kilimanjaro, and The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber. He used Depression-era Key West as the locale for To Have and Have Not — his only novel set in the United States.
If you’re looking for a great mix, of night life, beaches, fine dining, and culture. I would highly recommend Key West. You will have a great time no matter what your back round is.