"OLD KEY WEST" Key West by starship
Key West Travel Guide: 2,067 reviews and 4,137 photos
We arrived in Key West under a blazing sun and extreme humidity which was a shame because it really hampered our sightseeing! For anyone not use to intense sun and humidity, you may find yourself dashing in any place that offers shade, hopefully air-conditioning and a cold drink!! You'll wonder if you're visiting Florida or the SURFACE OF THE SUN!
Besides being mesmerized by the beautiful blue ocean, there are quite a few things you can do in Key West in just a couple of days or even in 5 or 6 hours. Key West has an interesting history. For instance, you might be surprised to discover how shipwrecks off the Florida reefs once provided a robust economy for people in Key West. From Mallory Square or the cruise ship piers, you can walk to a number of cultural or historic places and museums, shop, sample Cuban food and seafood, listen to music, watch the sun set, or visit Ernest Hemingway's house. Don't forget fishing, boating and everything else the ocean has to offer!!
Without being judgmental, Key West seems to be the kind of place where alot of people are still trying to relive the 1960s, where the quintessential "beach bum" sleeps in a hammock strung up somewhere, and Cuban immigrants open restaurants. Everyone is trying to eak out a living while maintaining their own particular lifestyle. There are plenty of quirky characters here to go around. The rich live here too, but maybe they are not so visible; at least not to those of us who spend their time in the tourist areas. Perhaps they are more secluded from the prying eyes of those considered less worthy.
You'll notice the somewhat shabby appearance of old neighborhoods, where the houses are so close together you can hear your neighbor sneeze. Although the architecture is quaint, you'll notice that the paint is peeling, screen doors are torn, and there's virtually no grass; chickens scratch in the dirt because they really don't belong to anyone and no one takes care of them. Large trees do a good job of shading little rundown bungalows where it seems nothing is meant to be permanent because you expect its occupants will return to college in the Fall--or not.
The famous writer Ernest Hemingway had quite a magnificent home here and President Truman had his "Summer Whitehouse" here too---these occupants, one a literary giant and adventurer and one a powerful world leader & history maker, showcase the contrasting characters that once made up Key West then and the same may be said for now.
Key West is the "end of the road" and also the beginning ---see the booey labeled "mile post zero." You can book a not so inexpensive charter fishing trip, or pretend to live in Margaritaville. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
All this being said, I found the people here to be extremely friendly and helpful and other than a fantastic sunset and cooler temperatures, I couldn't ask for more from Key West. Afterall, it's legendary and I'm glad I visited here!!
Whatever else you do in Key West, don't miss the spectacular sunset that seems to be especially beautiful from Mallory Square! It is an especially beautiful & memorable way to end your day while visiting Key West. The accompanying picture, sadly, was taken just a little too late for you to get good idea of just how beautiful it is. But anyone you talk to will rave about the sunsets in Key West!
One of the most prominent and architecturally beautiful buildings in Key West is called the "Custom House" and it is the... more travel advice
Don't be fooled into thinking that "too much sun is never enough." The sun at this latitude means it will always been... more travel advice
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