March 1, 2014
As the southernmost city of the continental United States, Key West, Florida provides an unlimited amount of fun, adventure, and excitement. Surrounded by cooling ocean waters, the island offers ideal temperatures year-round, with an average summer temperature of 89 °F and an average winter temperature of 41°F. Fresh seafood, tropical adventures, and historical landmarks are all ready to be discovered in Key West.
Located on historic Front Street and within walking distance of five hotels, Two Friends Patio is a family-owned landmark established in 1967. At this restaurant, patrons enjoy an open-air dining experience and the island flavor of fresh seafood such as shrimp, conch, oysters, and lobster. To add to the friendly environment, karaoke is offered in the lounge on select nights.
Children-friendly, inexpensive, and with a funky vibrant atmosphere, Camille’s Restaurant provides a dining experience to remember. The gourmet menu includes yellow corn cashew waffles, hand-pulled chicken salad with golden raisins, and hand-banged tender veal. The innovative menu at this spot is subject to change, but prices always remain low and servers always remain friendly.
Having guests travel from all across the globe, Key West has a variety of hotels and inns to accommodate any taste imaginable. The Silver Palms Inn allows you to experience the authenticity of Old Town Key West during your visit. Located three blocks from the bustling Duval Street, this hotel is a short walk from many of the downtown restaurants, galleries, and shopping scenes. It’s also walking distance from Key West’s historic homes and attractions such as the Hemingway Home & Museum. Complimentary amenities include continental breakfast to fill your stomach before your day of traveling thru out the city, as well as Wi-Fi, a fitness room, and 310 thread count sheets for a good night’s rest.
For a more upscale lodging experience with a paradise feel, check into the Sheraton Suites Key West, where suites have a brand new look. Spacious and decorated in Caribbean tropical furnishings, rooms exude a peaceful environment and offer a variety of amenities including satellite television, a wet bar, and room service. Some rooms have balconies and you can book one overlooking the pool, courtyard, garden or ocean. It is right across the street from Smathers Beach and complimentary shuttle services to Duval Street are offered. Another bonus involves rooms, which are pet-friendly and dog beds are available upon request.
Things to See and Do
Whether you are a history buff, nature lover, or just want to relax in the sand, Key West has the perfect activity to make your visit a memorable one. There are numerous services provided for those who want to explore and enjoy the beauty of the waters and the creatures it hosts. Snorkeling and diving are offered by an array of companies: Dive Key West, Finz Dive Center, Fury Water Adventures, and Mellow Ventures. They offer services to take patrons to explore one of the many radiant reefs along Key West. At these reefs, visitors can observe and interact with the abundant species of colorful coral, fantastic fish, and other magnificent marine life. Catamaran ECHO also offers snorkeling activities as well as dolphin encounters and tours.
With a visit to Key West comes fun in the sun, and there’s no better place for it than at one of the island’s beaches. Swimming, snorkeling, and sandcastle-building are all activities to enjoy at beaches like Rest Beach, which has a picnic area and boardwalk. Or check out Smathers Beach, which has a boat ramp and a volleyball area. South Beach is located at the end of Duval Street, so after a morning of shopping, you can head over and spend the afternoon lounging on the sandy beach or wading in its shallow waters. Fishing is also allowed at most beaches with piers, such as Higg’s Beach and Dog Beach is canine friendly.
For a cultural experience to supplement the fun and sun of Key West, take a step back into history with a visit to the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum. Located in the heart of Old Town Key West, the Hemingway Home and Museum was once home to one of America’s most famous and respected authors, Ernest Hemingway. According to hemingwayhome.com, Hemingway lived there for more than ten years, called Key West his home and found comfort in the waters surrounding the island. At the museum, visitors can take a tour of the house and garden and have their questions answered by educated tour guides.