"OLD KEY WEST" Key West by starship

Key West Travel Guide: 2,066 reviews and 4,116 photos

"The Conch Republic"

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!!

Seeing What Condition My Condition is In

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!!

Don't Miss A Key West Sunset!!

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!

  • Last visit to Key West: Aug 2003
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (11)

Comments (18)

  • blueskyjohn's Profile Photo
    Feb 26, 2015 at 6:58 PM

    Nice tour of Key West! I've always wanted to visit because of Hemingway, my favorite author.

    • starship's Profile Photo
      Feb 27, 2015 at 5:17 AM

      Thanks, John. Wouldn't mind going back here myself some time if the opportunity presented itself.

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Jun 6, 2014 at 3:40 AM

    I've often heard of Key West, so I've had an interesting read on what there is to see and do there, sounds like plenty!

    • starship's Profile Photo
      Jun 6, 2014 at 5:15 AM

      Hi Dee, thanks so much for your visit and ratings. Key West is quite different from middle America which makes it appealing. We only had a day (hours really) to see it. I enjoyed what we saw and the views (and especially the sunset) are spectacular.

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Nov 30, 2010 at 10:39 AM

    The Key West's Shipwreck Historeum Museum looks right up my alley. That is so interesting about Hemmingways cats, I had no idea. Your right about the heatstroke, great tip! Nice page Sylvia!

  • csordila's Profile Photo
    Feb 17, 2010 at 12:10 PM

    I have not been on Key West since ages, it is hightime to visit here again, I think it at least. Best. L.

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    Jan 25, 2010 at 5:31 AM

    It's been many years since visiting Key West, but I do have fond memories of our time there. Great tips on Hemingway home and his six-toes cats.

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Nov 17, 2009 at 2:55 PM

    Great warning tip. Your in-depth descriptions are outstanding. Even though I was not enamored with KW on my first visit, on the second, I really enjoyed it. Excellent introduction! 5-star tips with detail, truth, & oh, so interesting.

  • Oct 31, 2009 at 5:54 PM

    Captain Tony was Very Good old Friend of mine back in old Key West. He will always be missed. One of a kind! Sail-on Captain Tony Forever. your pal, Kutchie Pelaez Kutchie's Key West south Asheville, NC

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Oct 31, 2009 at 1:15 AM

    Key West looks like a lovely place to visit! I once were on my way, even had a bus ticket and had paid for accommodation (non refundable), but couldn't go in the end.

  • olja1234's Profile Photo
    Sep 27, 2009 at 3:53 AM

    Key West seems to be a place worth to visit. Your page about it is fantastic. I enjoyed.

  • Jul 14, 2008 at 4:14 AM

    Florida is my favorite place in US. i never been in your country but anyway hope to find time and have the change one day!


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