Our first port call on this trip was Key West, Florida.
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 this city of fascinating contrasts, you could easily find yourself wanting to let go of mainland hassles permanently — and many have done so. Visit Key West, and you’ll see why.