Located miles from the Florida mainland and overflowing with flair, personality, and natural beauty, Key West very nearly qualifies as being a world of its own. Famed for its sunsets as well as its open-mindedness, this fun-loving island has more than enough attractive qualities to make it a top choice for your next vacation.
Key West is small, only two by four miles, yet there is such a density of events, sights, and flavors that you’ll need some time to properly take it all in. Start with the basics by enjoying the weather and the scenery. Close proximity to the Gulf Stream means mild tropical temperatures averaging a pleasant 77 degrees annually. Abundant sunshine and salty sea breezes combined with the fact that this lucky little island has never seen frost, ice, or snow makes for a nearly perfect atmosphere for being outside during any season of the year.
The island is surrounded by coral reefs, which make snorkeling and diving trips a treat. Be sure to respect the delicate underwater landscape as you go about exploring it up close or viewing it from above in a glass-bottomed boat. Kayak tours will lead you to where the dolphins play and catamaran cruises will provide a less-demanding experience for coastal observers.
A popular, can’t-miss event in Key West is watching the sun go down from Mallory Square on the western tip of the island. This breathtaking sight isn’t so much watched as it is celebrated, as the locals and visitors alike join together for music, refreshments, and lots of picture-taking. No where else will you witness such a joining together of worship for the sun, so be sure to arrive early and stay late.
Celebrating is a common theme in Key West, as you’ll come to notice soon enough. Happy hour on Duval Street illustrates why the nickname “Margaritaville” is so apt, and the hundreds of restaurants and bars tend to keep things going long into the night. One of Key West’s most famous former residents is the star of several days of merriment each July, when the Ernest Hemingway Festival takes place. Participate in the fishing tournament, the short story contest, or tour the home of this Nobel Prize winning author that is the pride of a surprisingly culturally rich island.
October brings the party of all parties, FantasyFest. This Mardi Gras-style carnival attracts thousands of people to celebrate the theme that has been chosen that year, and culminates in an eye-popping parade. This coming together of eclectic, positive-minded people epitomizes the tolerant viewpoints and live-and-let-live attitudes of Key Westerners, and should be attended by anyone who wants to experience the ultimate party.
Quieter pursuits do exist on Key West, such as home and garden tours, art festivals, or simply spending some quality time lounging on the beach. Dress codes don’t really exist here, so feel free to head to straight to dinner after a day of sightseeing. Whether you choose to plan your day down to the minute or just sit back and see what happens, you’ll certainly find yourself feeling sated in every sense of the word after some time spent living life at a Key West-pace.
To top off this heavenly retreat, look into renting a vacation home that will satisfy your needs while maintaining the offbeat way of life you have started to grow fond of. A Bermuda-style cottage with a private sun porch will make the perfect romantic getaway, and remember, nothing is too far away here in Key West, so a stroll in any direction will take you where you want to go.
You’ll find beach towels in the closet, a coffee maker in the kitchen, and shelves of books for your lounge-chair entertainment. Walk a few steps out the door and you’ll be at the pool, and a couple minutes more will deposit you in the heart of the shopping and dining district. Grab a meal with your partner, or if you need some alone time, return to your bungalow for a casual home-cooked meal and a cocktail on the patio.
Visit HomeAway.com to discover the vacation rental that will make your next trip your best ever.
This cozy spot is only one example of the many properties you’ll find on this idyllic little isle, so go online to reserve the Key West Vacation Rental where you can best imagine yourself spending a few carefree days. Embrace the spirit of the island, and try something new.
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