PORTS OF CALL
The southernmost city in the United States is laid-back, eclectic and brimming with island charm. Discover Key West's 19th-century character in Old Town, whose leafy streets are lined with Victorian homes, quaint cottages and grand mansions.
Key West is a haven for the famous, the nonfamous and for those looking to get a little lost. Everyone seems to enjoy Key West's relaxed pace, storybook architecture, colorful history, live-and-let-live local attitude and end-of-the-world feel.
The natural surroundings in Key West are just as pleasant: Hibiscus, bougainvillea, palm trees and other flora and fauna give the island a tropical feel and smell.
And when the sun begins to set each day, there's cause for celebration in Key West as street performers, arts-and-crafts vendors and other characters participate in the waterfront activities at Mallory Square.
Venture off the island for snorkeling, diving or fishing. Or you can just walk around Old Town and soak up the mix of flavors, including hints of Cuba and Old Florida.
But no matter how you spend your time in Key West, expect to be part of a crowd, because Cayo Hueso, as the Cuban locals call it, draws droves of visitors, many of whom wish they could become locals, if not genuine conchs (that's Key West-talk for island natives).
THE ONE THING YOU DON'T WANT TO MISS
Enjoy the pleasures of a glass-bottom boat on a unique and informative eco-tour of the only living coral reef in the continental United States. It's home to over 300 species of fish, which complete the colorful and intriguing seascape. The boats are specially designed to provide maximum viewing with minimum stress to the delicate reef environment.
OTHER FUN THINGS TO DO
- Visit the Museum of Art and History at the Custom House, a "must-see" when in Key West.
- Take a traditional trolley tour through historic Key West.
- Discover the real Key West as you make your way through the lazy back streets on a bike-tour adventure.
- Board the schooner Liberty for a relaxing sail around Key West Harbor.
- Take a stroll through Key West's famed historic homes and gardens. Admire Casa Antigua, the former residence of Ernest Hemingway. Built in 1931, it was once a hotel, then was later rebuilt as a private home. It contains the largest courtyard in Key West.
- Marvel at the priceless treasures on a visit to the Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum.
- Absorb the local charm on a stroll down Duval Street, lined with quaint shops, cafés and restaurants.
- Kayak through the nearby canals and observe many species of bird and fish, maybe even a manatee.
- Snorkel the clear tropical waters, swimming with colorful and exotic marine life at the only living coral reef in the continental United States.
- Learn the intricacies of racing a catamaran as you compete in an actual yacht race - the Key West Regatta. This fun ride is a real rush as you try to outrun your opponents.
SHOPPING FOR BARGAINS
Shopping in Key West is like no other shopping experience in the world. Key West prides itself on an eclectic array of shops, including famous diamond stores, a cat and dog boutique, artists' markets, butterfly art, key-lime treats, luxurious aloe skin-care products, souvenirs that change color in the sun and pearls from around the world. While in Key West, shop for renowned jewelry from sunken treasures, unique clothing and a wide variety of souvenirs.
The official currency of the United States is the U.S. Dollar (USD).