Noted for its famous resident, author Ernest Hemingway, and its tropical culture, like Duval Street, Key West is the last island in the archipelago of the Florida Keys. It’s the most southern location in the United States and is popularized by the famous Mile 0 interstate marker.
First discovered by the Spanish, it was originally called, “Cayo Hueso”, which when translated directly, means “bone cay”, likely because most of the Keys are extensions of the coral reefs which surround the island chain. But today, its a thriving area where people from all over the globe visit and lives up to its nickname, The Conch Republic.
Life in Key West
Key West is a come as you are environment, where t-shirts, sandals and shorts are common. Restaurants, retail shops, and other establishments not only welcome this type of tropical island wear, they expect it.
The laid-back culture permeates throughout the island, where a gentle breeze blows over the island day and night. Here, the winter is very mild. Summer and spring conditions last throughout the year. During the winter months, daytime highs reach into the upper eighties and low nineties. Overnight lows only fall into the mid seventies.
Recreational Opportunities in Key West
Because of the great weather, outdoor activities are available month after month. For those who really like to connect with nature, and see history up close, the Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges, Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park, and Dry Tortugas National Park are must-go destinations.
Adventurous individuals will like to dive the many shipwrecks near Key West, with the Vandenberg Wreck, being just one of many. The coral reefs are also a sight for the eyes, which divers will love to see up-close. And for those who like the thrill of the ocean, parasailing, water skiing, jet skiing, and more are all right there.
People who want to look at the life of old will enjoy the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum, the Key West East Martello Museum, the Key West Museum of Art & History, the Key West Shipwreck Historeum, and the Key West Lighthouse Museum.
For a more relaxing experience, there’s strolling along the beach, sunbathing, hiking, and camping. Connecting with nature can be done by visiting the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center, the Audubon House and Tropical Gardens, and the Key West Garden Club.
With so much sun and a tropical climate, all this and more is available practically every day of the year in Key West.
Arts and Culture in Key West added
Key West, the southernmost island in the United States, is situated between two beautiful and expansive bodies of water. The Gulf of Mexico lies to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Best known for its iconic Mile 0 green mile marker signage, miles of beaches, tons of water activities, and all kinds of tropical indulgences, Key West is also abundant in arts and culture.
That’s right, the very place where you’ll find miles of tiki bars and good times, along with relaxation amenities galore, is a great place to find some of the finest, as well as eclectic, arts and culture the country has to offer its residents and visitors alike.
The Key West Lifestyle
You can say goodbye to the hustle and bustle of the big cities, as well as its stress, pollution, and high cost of living. In Key West, the come as you are attitude permeates throughout the island and the day to day attire is sandals, complete with t-shirts and shorts, making it a great place to call home.
Weather is one of the biggest attractions in Key West, with daytime highs in the winter rising into the warm and balmy sixties and seventies, falling to the fifties overnight.
Key West Arts and Culture
While the beaches and expansive waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic provide many hours of escapes into the wilds of nautical nature and water activities, the arts and culture of Key West is unmistakable. And although the Key West Symphony has been disbanded, there are still many places to find all types of music. The air is alive and well with melodic tunes all over the island paradise.
Take a glimpse into history at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park or see the museums of Key West, which include the Audubon House & Tropical Gardens, Key West Shipwreck Treasures Museum, Harry S. Truman Little White House, and the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum.
For those who like to explore the arts, from pottery to painting, to eclectic pieces, there are in excess of
three dozen art galleries in Key West, all promoted by the Florida Keys Council of the Arts. Visit Lucky Street Gallery, "The Naked Artist" Gallery & Studio, and the island’s crowning gallery, The Studios. What’s more, in Old Town, residents and visitors can find many places to enjoy the visual arts.
Performing arts are alive and well at the Red Barn Theater, Tennessee Williams Theater, and the Waterfront Playhouse.
With so much to explore and fall in love with, Key West is a dream come true.
Fred Mullins, PA, Donna Mullins, Erin Biby
Coldwell Banker Schmitt Real Estate Company
1201 White Street, Suite 101
Key West, FL, 33040