Mile Marker 1: Florida Begins at Key West
Key West is quite unlike any other city-its quirky southern atmosphere, friendly irreverence and historical charm give the entire island a vibrant and energetic feel that is truly irresistible. Where else will you see ancient Banyan trees, snoozing seven-toed cats and the occasional chicken perusing the brick sidewalks? Though the island is geographically small, celebratory crowds regularly fill up the streets, restaurants and one-of-a-kind shops during the many festivals and events that take place throughout the year.
No Matter What You Call It, Key West is Always Fun
During its colorful history, Key West has answered to many names both official and unofficial, including Cayo Hueso, the Conch Republic, Thompson's Island and "the southernmost city." Some of the best ways to get around the island include scooters and bicycles, but many people find it just as enjoyable to get around on foot-the northwest part of the island is very pedestrian-friendly. That's where you'll find plenty of restaurants and shops, as well as great spots for fantastic photos. Check out Duval Street for nightlife that frequently stretches until morning.
Of course, Key West also offers more than its share of solitude, culture and history. Ernest Hemingway found creative inspiration here, Harry Truman found a respite from the stress of everyday life, and you can find all that and more. There are almost always community theater productions to see, and the wide range of natural beauty, art galleries and history museums are sure to make you wish you'd brought your sketchbook.