Key West is not for everyone. After returning from our trip, I called my mother and told her she would not enjoy Key West. Why? There is a lot of walking and a great deal of Key West's downtown area is filled with late-night partiers.
For older visitors, it is recommended that they visit via a stop on a cruise ship. During their brief stay, they can visit the Key West Aquarium, take a ride on the interesting Conch Train Tour?, or take a tour of Hemingway's House?. Of course, a trip is not complete without visiting the Southernmost Point? and attending the nightly sunset celebration.
We visit Key West as much as we can, because we enjoy the laid-back attitude. Everyone is welcome and no, it is not just for homosexual men. There are many good restaurants. Don't forget to try the Conch fritters!. There is also a a great seaport with shops and restaurants. Even though we reside in Florida, visiting Key West is like traveling to a different world. Key West is called, "The only Caribbean Island in the United States."
We suggest you stay at one of the many bed and breakfast inns (Hint: a few are clothing-optional; do your research!). Don't forget to look for coupons for water sports, restaurants, lodging, and more. You can investigate the latter either online or when you arrive in Key West. There are many Key West visitor guides as well as the Vistor's Center, which is located in town.
Perhaps Key West isn't for everyone, but if you're looking for a "dress-down" vacation, that has water sports, plently of history, great food, fun or just relaxation, we suggest you give it a try. One last point: you MUST try anything that has key lime in it! Enjoy!!!!
I agree with the previous poster, as far as Key West not being all that suitable for the "old folks." Mind you, I'm 47 and had a blast!
Just got back from a five-day trip there. We stayed at a fabulous bed and breakfast inn, the Seaport Inn. It's a sister property to Courtney's Place. The pricing was extremely reasonable, the accomodations were homey (not the Ritz, but very nice and spacious), with a pool and a bar in the backyard. Since there were so many of us, we booked the entire place and had it all to ourselves.
The nightlife definitely rocks in Key West. Some favorite stops include the The Hogs Breath, Irish Kelly's (GREAT one man band - but not for the faint of heart - VERY raunchy but funny as all get out), and Turtle Kralls. Lots of great bars, lots of great food, all in all...a great vacation spot!
70 miles west of Key West, lies a cluster of seven islands, composed of coral reefs and sand. They, along with the surrounding shoals and waters make up Dry Tortugas National Park?. Discovered by Ponce de Leon in 1513, the Tortugas are dry because there is no fresh water available on the islands.
The area is also known for its bird and marine life. There is a rich historical aspect to the site because there are numerous legends about famous pirates and caches of buried gold.
The United States built a fort in the early 1800's, due to its strategic location in the Florida Straits?. Plans were made for a massive fortress, but the fort was never completed.
Doctor Mudd served his time here for his aid to John Wilkes Booth?, following the Lincoln assassination, where he received praise for his work ministering medicine to malaria-stricken soldiers, during his imprisonment.
You can travel to this area via seaplane or ferry boat. The best way to visit the Tortugas is in a self-contained private boat. Anchor off and spend a few days relaxing in the surreal quiet of these out-islands. Plenty of privacy for people, who just want to get away from it all.
Picnic grounds are available but Tortugas has no commercial accommodations and some of the islands are closed to the public. You can also take advantage of the small, primitive campground, which is located on the same island as Fort Jefferson, which is a short walk from the public dock and is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
On Garden Key, Fort Jefferson, now in ruins, is one of the largest coastal forts ever built. It's first tier is still accessible to visitors and it is a romantic photo-op, if ever there was one. This relic of the fort is huge; it's surrounded by pristine reefs, glorious sea life, and numerous birds. The rounded, deeply-shadowed arches of the old cannon emplacements will enchant your eye and the camera's lens. Loggerhead Key's lighthouse offers another great photo-op for camera buffs.
Swim, snorkle, or scuba dive until your heart's content in these pristine waters. Look for the green flash as the sun sets over a vast ocean plain that rocks you gently to sleep, under a star-filled midnight sky.
Fort Jefferson and the surrounding waters are a national monument. Furthermore, Dry Tortugas National Park was established in 1992 to protect both the historical and natural features.