Key West, Florida Vacations

Adventures, Activities and Attractions in The Conch Republic

Key West vacations come full of surprises, sometimes historically and educationally wrapped. Once home to Ernest Hemmingway, Key West is the last island in the chain of Florida Keys and represents the southern-most point in the United States. Key West is located at the end of US Highway 1 - you know this because the highway sign tells you just that! Only four miles wide and two miles long, this little Key supports (per year 2000 US Census) 25,811 permanent residents and sits only 90 miles from Cuba. During tourist season, the population grows to fill the island to capacity, but most visitors do not usually stay for the entire season.

The Key West of today boasts Key West International Airport for those travelers on a tight schedule. Once Miami International Airport, 161 miles away, was the nearest international airport available. Still, many people like to fly into Miami and rent a car for the beautiful drive to Key West. They understand that it is part of the experience of visiting the islands. Water transportation is available in the port of Key West. It is a popular stop for cruise ships as a first port of call on the way to the Bahamas or Mexico or as a destination port. Dockage for private watercraft is readily available with full hookups. There is camping available on the Keya. Other accommodations range from high-end hotels, bed and breakfast inns, houseboat rentals to vacation cottage rentals.

Key West has the only true barrier reef in the United States and provides some of the best diving and snorkeling anywhere. Just beyond the reef, the Gulf Steam in the Atlantic Ocean provides some of the best sports fishing available and visitors come from all over the globe just for this. The west side of Key West is technically the where the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico converge.

World famous author Ernest Hemingway once resided in Key West. You can tour his historic home, which is now a national landmark and explore some of his favorite local haunts. Duval Street, at the center of old Key West, continues to be known as the eclectic party capital of the state. Pridefully referred to “The Conch Republic” by many old timers, it seems as if Key West truly is part of another world. You can spend some time strolling the streets, visiting bars, shops, restaurants, and the street-party that happens every day. Dining can be found from small snack shops to high-end restaurants within a short distance.

Boat rentals, with or without crew are available. Charter fishing trips, on large craft carrying groups or smaller charters just for your Key West vacations group, are available. Dive trips, dolphin encounters, the Key West sunset at the southernmost point, sunset cruises and dinner cruises are all part of the fun of Key West. Para-sailing, glass bottom boat tours, Jet Ski rentals, even kayaking are popular activities for the visitor. The beaches are beautiful in Key West, but it should be noted that all pets are banned from the beach.

Key West has so many festivals and events that they are too numerous to mention. From the Fantasy Festival, Fat Tuesday Festival, to arts and theatre events, the calendar is always full of things to do in Key West. Whenever you choose to vacation, you will find plenty of choices on the calendar to keep you happy and busy.

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Chamber of Commerce

The Key West Chamber of Commerce site offers business directory, events calendar and visitor information.


Nearby cities to check for activities and attractions: North through the Florida Keys. Fly or boat to visit the Fort Jefferson National Monument in the Dry Tortugas.


More Key West, Florida Tourist Links

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