Island Life: Paradise Just to the South

Planning a trip to the Conch Republic? You have chosen an amazing, tropical paradise with an affluent cultural and historical heritage. No matter what you enjoy, from night life to historical sites, they have something for what you crave.

Indoors or out, Key West will keep you busy. This tropical paradise separates the Atlantic Ocean from the Gulf of Mexico, with the look and feel of being in the Caribbean. Only 90 miles from Cuba and the southernmost point of the continental United States, this speck of an island is surprisingly loaded with fun-filled actives.

Of course, being surrounded by pristine turquoise waters lends this to the perfect haven for all water sports. Fishing, snorkeling, diving, parasailing, and boating reign supreme during the day. A prime spot for sport fishing, more saltwater world records have been established in the Florida Keys than any other angling destination on the globe. Snorkeling is a fun, quick trip to explore and take in the wonders of the ocean without having to dive in too deep. For the more adventurous, amazing dive sites are available for those with SCUBA certifications. The Florida Keys do offer the only living coral barrier reef in the United States. Not certified? No worries! Many dive shops offer one-day dive classes, so you can go explore the shipwrecks and reefs that abound under the calm blue seas.

Want to really enjoy the warm, tropical breeze? How about an airborne trip around the island? Get yourself strapped in, get whisked off your feet, and settle back for an awesome glimpse of Key West that others almost never see. Not a fan of flying through the air? Enjoy a chartered boat ride that will allow you to enjoy every inch of the pristine beaches that the island has to offer. There is even a replica pirate ship available to take you onto the ocean, complete with cannons in case the enemy approaches.

Be ye not worried, landlubber! There be enjoyment to be had on the shores, too. The infamous Hemingway House offers tours of the writer’s home base from 1928 to 1940. Papa Hemingway, as he was known to the locals, could often be found at Sloppy Joe’s bar when not writing or spending time with his polydactyl cats. Speaking of Sloppy Joe’s, you can take a short stroll over to enjoy a cool cocktail after browsing the Hemingway House and Museum.

When the sun goes down is when the party really starts on the Key. From award-winning, fine dining restaurants to the numerous bars and hangouts, there is something to please every pallet. Remember to partake in the Key’s world renowned dessert: the crisp and cool Key Lime pie.