If you are looking for something to add to your southern Florida vacation, consider heading to the Florida Keys for a couple days. This strip of islands south of Miami have resisted a lot of the change seen in the rest of Florida with the northern and middle keys offering the laid back feeling of Florida in the twentieth century, and the gem at the end of the keys, Key West, having a unique culture of its own. Here are some thing to do on a jaunt to the southernmost tip of the United States in Key West.
Go on a quest for the best key lime pie. Most chefs at the local restaurants have their own special recipe. The tiny key limes used in the pie are native to the island, and grown all over the Caribbean and Mexico. Don’t miss the Café Sole on your quest.
Walk down Duval Street. Treat yourself to a stroll down Duval Street towards Mallory Square at Sunset. This quaint street is the tourist’s main street, but seemingly every restaurant, bed and breakfast, store, gallery, and bar along Duval is a beautifully renovated hundred year old home. You may find yourself comparing the pastel homes with their artistically painted signs to those found in the Bahamas, New Orleans, or Grand Cayman. Certainly all of these influences converge to give this corner of Florida its own unique flavor. Then enjoy the festivities as the sun sinks into the Gulf of Mexico at the end of the street: Mallory Square.
Tour the sights on a bike. Combine your time exercising with your time sightseeing by charting out a route on a map and tour the island on a rental bike. Some places to discover are The Ernest Hemingway House, The Southernmost Point Buoy, Sloppy Joe’s, The Key West Light House, Martello Gallery – Key West Art and Historic Museum, Key West Heritage House and Robert Frost Cottage, The End of A1A Highway (or the beginning of the road as residents call it).
Relax on the beach. After combining your exercising and sightseeing, spend your free afternoon relaxing one of the island’s public beaches, or at the beach of one of the beautiful hotels on the island. The Waldorf Astoria has two hotels near southern end of the island and guests can visit both beaches.
Charter a boat. Many people wouldn’t consider a trip to the Keys complete without getting out on the water. There are plenty of places to charter a boat and try your hand at deep sea fishing or sunset cruising. There are also restaurants that will cook your catch for you. Inquire at the beautiful Southernmost Beach Café.
Getting to Key West is easy now that many major airlines are flying directly to the Key West International Airport. The airport offers car rentals and shuttle services. But one of the greatest parts of a trip to Key West is the drive down Highway 1 from Miami with the windows down and a quick stop for lunch at a little seaside restaurant.