Social Media

Falling in love with Key West, an island of sun, shipwrecks & laid-back beach vibes

Imagine an island just four miles long and one mile wide. A place where palm trees are more bountiful than people and houses are painted in the prettiest pastel shades, each one surrounded with a perfect picket fence. Incredible seafood restaurants are abundant, the temperature rarely drops below 20 degrees, stories of shipwrecks and pirates circulate town and five-toed cats laze languidly in the garden of Ernest Hemingway’s old home. Welcome to Key West; the last in the line of inhabited islands on Florida’s most famous archipelago. There’s something in the air in this tiny town, something that draws in creative types, writers and adventurers from across the globe. As well as Hemingway and his feline friends, Key West was also home to author Judy Blume and playwright Tennessee Williams, who penned the final draft of his Pulitzer Prize winning play, A Streetcar Named Desire, in the La Concha Hotel back in 1947. 

sunken shipwreck underwater off coast of key west
Shipwrecks off the coast of Key West

Treasure hunters have been drawn to this part of the world for centuries too, shallow waters and hidden reefs often meant ships would run aground. One of the most famous was the Spanish galleon, Nuestra Senora de Atocha, which sunk in 1622, just off the coast of Key West. The ship went down in a hurricane taking the vast haul of gold, silver and precious South-American gems with it. 

Over 300 years later Indiana-born Mel Fisher dedicated his life, (even losing his own son in the process), to finding the lost treasure of the Atocha. Eventually he struck gold, literally, in 1985, bringing up 40 tonnes of the stuff along with a pretty impressive haul of silver, Spanish coins and Colombian emeralds. 

Today you can visit the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum in town to see some of the treasure he recovered. But if treasure isn’t your bag, don’t stress it, Key West has a lot more to offer, the laid back feel of the place (it is closer to Cuba than mainland America after all), incredible food and friendly faces mean Key West should firmly be on your travel radar.

Take a bike tour

Key Lime Bike Tours have brilliant, extremely knowledgeable tour guides who’ll fill you in on all there is to know about Key West, past and present. Tours last around three hours and are the perfect way to get to know the town when you first arrive, plus you get a piece of Key Lime Pie when you finish.

Visit Papa's place

Literature lovers should head the home of Ernest Hemingway, open everyday from 9am-5pm, to see where he lived and wrote for over ten years. His office, at the back of the house, remains frozen in time with his typewriter still sitting on the wooden table top.

wooden table, typewriter and old books inside ernest hemingways study key west

Inside Hemingway's house

Spot turtles from the air

Fly to Dry Tortugas National Park on a seaplane with Seaplane Charters who’ll fly you over to America’s southernmost national park by seaplane. The plane flies no higher than 500 feet and everyone gets a window seat, from the air you can spot sharks, turtles, dolphins and shipwrecks. The shallow waters, coral islands and quicksands below make the ocean look magically beautiful. Once in the national park, spend the day exploring, snorkelling alongside tropical fish or sunbathing on the white sand beaches.

Try kayaking in the dark

Night kayaking is the new way to kayak, once the sun has gone down, hop into a clear-bottomed kayak at Ibis Bay to spot lobsters, crabs and maybe a turtle, if you’re lucky.

Get back to nature

A beautiful glass conservatory on Duval Street, houses around 60 different species of butterflies and some bright birds, including flamingos. Open daily it’s a calm space to relax for a few hours.

Post a Comment


Theme by BD