Visiting tropical Key West, Florida

Key West is the most southerly point in Florida, closer to Cuba than to Miami by boat.

Key West is part of the Key Islands which make up a strong 1700 archipelago.  The largest of the Islands being Key Largo.  Key West was the largest city in Florida but in recent years the population has dropped under 25,000.  Many of the islands are only accessible by boat.  There are some however accessible by bridges, the longest being the Seven Mile Bridge.  Key West’s economy is mainly eco tourism due to its high level of biodiversity.

Things to do in Key West: The Quay
The Quay is a hive of activity.

The cruise ships port is only a few minutes walk away from the main Duval Street.  Here you can find many restaurants and shops.  The restaurants serve a variety of seafood from grouper and snapper to Couch steak and fritters.  There are even speciality bars for shell fish, oysters and Hogfish.  Some of the more bizarre shops include one that sells everything from the sea including shark teeth.  One of my favourite stores is the Key West Hammock Company where you can find an array of hammocks and no visit to Key West would be complete without visiting the Key Lime Shoppe.  The key lime sweets are delicious!  Not to mention the key lime pie ice cream on a stick is superb!

Things to do in Key West, Florida: Don't miss the entertainment in Mallory Square at festival time.
Don’t miss the entertainment in Mallory Square at festival time.

Some of the key things to do in Key West

Key West is very lush with mangroves some of the species include the red mangrove, black mangrove and white mangrove.  If you would like to see some of these up close why not take a kayaking trip. It is very tranquil paddling through the Mangroves.  Don’t forget your water, hat and sunscreen.

Things to do in Key West: Ernest Hemingway's house
The grand architecture and lush gardens of Ernest Hemmingway’s House and Museum.

Some of Key Wests famous residents included Ernest Hemingway. Mr Hemingway wrote and lived in Key West for more than ten years.  His grand colonial house can still be visited today, now a museum The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum located on Whitehead Street.  Enjoy wondering around the lush green gardens and exploring through the noble prize winners home that is now home to more than forty cats. If you’re a literature buff, this should be in our list of things to do in Key West.

The Mel Fisher Maritime Museum houses some of the gold and silver treasure recovered by Mel Fisher from the Spanish Galleon Ships off the Florida coast. One of the Spanish Galleon ships was the Atocha which sunk in 1622 and recovered by Mel Fisher and his crew in 1985.  There was over 40 tons of treasure including coins, emeralds, Silver and Gold artefacts and Silver bars.  In the shop you can buy the gold and silver coins each certificated and numbered with authenticity.

There is also a bicycle ride along the streets of key west taking in the history, flora and fauna of the area and the colonial architecture.

If all this sounds to much why not take a trolley tour?  This little train takes in the highlights of the area while you sit comfortably and enjoy the views from your seat.

Things to do in Key West: Take a trip to the top for great views over Key West.
Take a trip to the top for great views over Key West.

Other things to do in Key West include catamaran sailing, golf and fishing trips also don’t miss the Lighthouse!

There is a lot of ground to cover from the most Southern Point to the Key West Shoppe.  I would highly recommend a good pair of walking shoes.

There are many festivals throughout the year the most popular is the annual Fantasy Fest which runs for ten days in October.  There are parades with floats and people dressed in flamboyant costumes, themed parties and street fairs.

Depending on the time of year for your visit you can arrive in either dry or wet season.  Dry season runs from December to April and wet May to October.  Temperatures ranging from 90 degrees in the summer to 65 degrees in the winter months.  Hurricane season runs from June through till November.  Generally September is the worst month.  Spring is the most popular time of year to visit as well as during Christmas and New Year so there are certainly plenty of things to do in Key West, Florida during these seasons.

 

Things to do in Key West, Florida: Great views from the Lighthouse.
Great views from the Lighthouse.

Why not extend your stay in Florida and rent a car from Miami, there are some wonderful places and beaches to visit.

About MichelleDeansHarding

Website: http://WWW.MDHardingTravelPhotography.com

 

Michelle has a love of travel and photography, which has currently taken her to six continents. Experiencing other cultures/history and food both independently and while working on-board luxury cruise ships. Discover more about Michelle, her enthusiasm for travel and photography via: www.MDHardingTravelPhotography.com

Other posts by the Author

Leave a Reply