Leaving Costa Maya we headed back to Miami. Most passengers disembarked but we stayed onboard for another round. Leaving that afternoon we set sail for Key West, Florida. When I was in the Navy i could have been assigned to Key West. Never was and that was somewhat of a dissappointment. Both of us were lookng forward to this stop.
Located closer to Cuba than to Miami, Key West is Florida’s irreverent southernmost subtropical paradise, a unique confluence of history, climate, natural beauty, cultural diversity, architecture and unabashed romantic appeal.
Palm-lined streets with gingerbread mansions and tin-roofed conch houses were home to Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Frost and Jimmy Buffett, a few of the famous people who discovered solace and inspiration in the island city whose Bahamian and Cuban heritage in large part was inspired by Bahamian wreckers, commercial fishermen, spongers and Cuban cigar makers.
In Key West, you can visit a host of historic attractions by convenient public transportation, taxis, pedi-cabs, tour trains, trolleys, bicycles or even your own two feet.
Residents and visitors to the island actively participate in sightseeing, diving, fishing, watersports, golf and shopping by day, and then become part of the sunset celebration held each evening at Mallory Square, when tightrope walkers, jugglers and animal acts perform before the fiery sun settling into the Gulf of Mexico.
At night, streets filled with sidewalk cafes, open-air bars, legendary pubs and world-class restaurants with island specialties come alive. Drama, musicals and comedy flourish on local stages.
In the island city of Key West, Duval Street is the hub for sightseeing, attractions, cuisine infused with local flavor, cold libations, and shopping! Teeming with activity, live music, bicyclists, pedicabs, and locals with birds on shoulder, this 1.25-mile stretch is also home to epic people-watching.
Not your average street, Duval Street is one of the few places in the world that touches two bodies of water. At its northern end, which is frequented by tourists and cruise ship passengers, Duval Street meets the warm Gulf of Mexico. At the south end, near the Southernmost Point in the Continental U.S., marked by an oversized buoy that attracts photos around the clock, Duval Street spills into the bright blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean.