Closer to Havana than to Miami, Key West’s intoxicating mix of Caribbean, Latin and US culture never fails to seduce. This is the furthest flung of the jewel-like islands that snake around Florida’s coast, and it’s an outpost of off-beat charm. Here the vibe is strictly shorts and flip-flops, and when you’ve done with the day’s activities, there’s always someone around to share a conversation or a margarita with. No wonder Ernest Hemingway loved Key West so much he made it his home.
On Key West holidays the sun shines warmly and the view is lushly tropical. The fantastic crystal-clear waters that lap the island’s shores act as one of the biggest lures, and the snorkelling, diving and fishing on tap is superb. Richly hued fish swarm the offshore reefs in their millions, creating an underwater paradise that’s easily reached by boat, plus there are submerged wrecks for divers to explore. Meanwhile fishermen can sail off in search of tuna, mahi mahi and tarpon.
Back on dry land, and there are small island beaches dotted about, some sandy and some rocky, but all with their own character. Peaceful Fort Zachary Beach has plenty of trees offering shady respite from the sun’s rays, fabulous snorkelling straight from the beach and – a fort! Other beaches, like Smathers, have watersports for those craving some wave action, including jet skis, parasailing, water skiing and powerboating.
But what gives Key West so much of its charisma is the town itself, complete with palm-lined streets, quirky boutiques and colourful wooden houses. The atmosphere is distinctly boho, leaving you free to choose your own path – whether that means visiting a museum, shopping for quirky souvenirs, or working your way along the bars on Duval Street. On Key West holidays, anything goes.
On a holiday in Florida Keys, you’ll find plenty to explore in the pretty town of Key West, with its palm-lined streets, walking tours and even ghost tours!
On your Florida Keys holiday discover Key West, a charming resort with a wealth of history and an old US town feel, with a Caribbean climate and its own gorgeous section of the amazing 160 mile Florida Keys.
Visit Ernest Hemingway’s home, watch the sunset from Mallory Square or simply relax on the stunning palm-lined beaches of this paradise getaway; whether it’s a romantic or family holiday, Key West will not disappoint.
Fabulous Beach Holiday
You’ll be spoilt for choice on a Florida Keys holiday, with its miles of crystal clear waters; Fort Taylor Beach is excellent for snorkelers wishing to explore the rock-pile barriers and tropical fish, the two mile Smather Beach offers soft sands and calm waters great for families and a daytrip away are local’s favourites Bahia Honda and Dry Tortugas beaches with powdery sands, stunning views and great diving. There are excellent fishing opportunities in Key West, with deep sea fishing too, and those who enjoy boating should take a trip to see dolphins in the wild or a kayak to explore the stunning scenery by water.
A visit to Ernest Hemingway’s home makes an interesting trip, you’ll find art galleries in the Old Town of up-and-coming artists, the fabulous daily Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square attracts locals and visitors alike and the New Town offers countless chic boutiques for shopping lovers.
As the sun sets upon the Florida Keys, you’ll find loads of food and drink to choose from; sample the local seafood, sit indoors and listen to live music, dine outside and watch the sunset, or head to Mallory Square for street entertainers. Get lost amongst the pretty streets and you are sure to stumble across some friendly pubs and cafes or you can even catch a show at one of the concert halls.
With its unique charm and gorgeous climate, this resort offer an unforgettable experience; whether you’re looking for a cheap Florida Keys holiday for the family, or a luxury break, with lowcostholidays.com there is a Florida deal to suit your needs.
Sunset is a nightly ritual on Key West holidays, celebrated in style at Mallory Square pier. As the fiery ball of the sun sinks below the horizon in a haze of purple and orange, the Square comes alive with jugglers, fire eaters, buskers and performers of all kinds. You can even catch some cat acrobatics!
Ernest Hemingway Home
The famed author and hell-raiser lived on Key West in a stunning Spanish colonial style house from 1931 to 1942. You can tour the house and view the roost where he wrote classics like To Have and Have Not, as well as walk in the lush gardens. Look out for the 40 plus cats that roam the property – descendents of Hemingway’s own famous six-toed pet.
Dry Tortugas National Park
Take the boat or the seaplane out to remote Dry Tortugas National Park to explore its seven islands and Fort Jefferson, a massive 19th-century coastal fortress marooned 70 miles offshore.Wander its brick corridors, learn about its fascinating history, and then slip into the glassy waters of the Gulf for superlative snorkelling over coral reefs. Watch out for the amazing birdlife, too.
Key West’s main drag is a mecca for anyone on the hunt for souvenir T-shirts by day, and for party animals by night. It’s a quintessential part of the Key West experience, and doing the legendary ‘Duval Crawl’ along its mile-long strip of bars, restaurants music clubs and shops is pretty much obligatory.
Get up close to the creatures that inhabit the surrounding waters at the Key West Aquarium, where you can watch sharks, rays and barracudas in a feeding frenzy, as well as touch sea anemones and sea cucumbers. Also drop into the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Centre to find out all about the natural history of this stunning area.