Key West

The Keys are a chain of little islands, connected by 22 bridges. The most southerly is Key West, known in Spanish as Cayo Hueso (Bone Key) because of the human bones that the colonizers found there.

Found at Florida's southern tip, close to Cuba only 90 miles away, throughout history this little tropical island has been a refuge for pirates, fishermen, and those turned away by society - as well as a paradise for treasure hunters! Today Key West has become a tourist destination famous for its beauty.

What to see in Key West

The city is tiny, meaning the best way to explore is either by foot or pedalling by bike, making the most of its peace and quiet. Here are some of the must-see destinations in Key West:

  • Duval Street: this is one of the main thoroughfares in Key West, and also one of its most lively. It's here that you can find the majority of bars and terraces in the city, and one of the most famous spots is Sleepy Joe's: a bar which was in its day a favourite of Hemmingway.
  • Southernmost Point: one of the most photographed spots in Key West is the enormous buoy that marks the southernmost point of the United States. Here, where the powerful waves crash against the shore, the state of Florida ends, and the Caribbean begins.
  • Fort Taylor Beach: this little beach, with crystal clear waters, behind the Zachary Taylor Fort is considered the best beach in Key West. One of the best spots in the entire city to see the sunset.
  • Hemingway Home and Museum: throughout history, Key West has been a place of peace for writers and artists, but none quite so famous as Ernest Hemmingway. In this enormous house, the artist found inspiration for his writings over the course of more than ten years.
  • Lighthouse Museum: the old Key West lighthouse has been standing since 1848. And with the passing of the years, it's been raised a full three metres so the height of the surrounding buildings don't block it out! Climbing the 80 steps to the top is well worth it for the beautiful views of the city.
  • Mallory Square: the Mallory Square dock is the best place in Key West to catch a stunning sunset - it's a place where musicians, jugglers and street vendors accumulate, creating a special atmosphere.

How to get to Key West

The best way to get there from Miami is by renting a car. The 150 mile journey is filled with stunning scenery, especially the crossing of the Seven Mile Bridge. If you don't have a car, or don't want to undertake the eight-hour return drive, the best option is to contract an organised excursion.

Day trip to Key West