I spent the past few days in Key West Florida, the southern-most city in the United States. I had been kicking it in Miami for a week prior, but I’ll get back to that on my next post. My parents and brother still live back in Pennsylvania, and they’ll take any chance they get to escape the northeast winter. So it didn’t take much convincing to have them come meet me down here for a week of fun in the sun. They flew in to Miami and from there we made the drive to mile marker 0 in Key West. In all my travels, I had never ventured to the Florida Keys, and it had been about 40 years or so since my parents’ last trip down here. They had told me stories of how crazy and funky the town was, which of course perked my interest. I even heard a few of the locals here refer to the town as “Key Weird.”
Down in the Keys, you very much feel like you’re on a tropical island. The water is a beautiful blue and there always seems to be a constant breeze. Key West is the final stop on a string of islands that make up the Florida Keys, lying roughly 90 miles north of Cuba. Downtown Key West revolves around Duval Street and at all times of the day you can find it buzzing with some kind of action. The street is lined with bars, restaurants, shops, strip clubs, street vendors and eclectic characters. It seems daily you can find at least one cruise ship docked in town and hoards of tourists flooding the streets. It’s certainly a tourist destination. You have the original Margaritaville, Fat Tuesday, Hard Rock Café, and countless other places that I personally want to avoid at all times. But between all the tourist traps, Key West is a place where you can stumble into a funky little bar at all times of the day, see a band playing, strike up a conversation with someone and just enjoy yourself. I met a number of people who come back here every year because it’s a place where they can get away and cut loose. There’s also some history to the city. It’s most famous resident was Ernest Hemingway, and you can tour the house the he lived in. There’s also the Mel Fisher Museum where I learned all about the famous treasure hunter. Key West has a little to offer for everyone and if you’ve never been certainly a town worth checking out at least once. Here are a few shots from the trip.