Key West

Today, Key West attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world. The island’s vibrant culture and history, pristine beaches, abundant marine resources make this island a premier tropical paradise.

History

Key West is the southernmost city in the United States which is actually closer to Cuba than Miami. Native Americans who first inhabit Key West fought bloody battles with settlers resulting to death of many natives while some fled to Cuba. When the first explorers of the island discovered piles of bones scattered in the area, they named this tropical island Cayo Hueso, a Spanish word for “Bone Key”.

Great Britain once ruled the island but then returned its ownership to Spain. In the year 1819, the island was surrendered to the United States. Then, Juan Pablo Salas sold the island to an American business man named John Simonton for $2,000. With Key West’s natural deep water harbor it became US Navy’s base of operation and U.S port of entry.

Salvaging and wrecking became the primary business of the island. Majority of the island residents became wealthy by selling their salvaged valuable items. Salt manufacturing is also a major industry in Key West supplying much of the nation’s salt from 1830 until the Civil War. In 1890, cigar trade became a big business when cigar workers from Havana moved to Key West. Key West remained inaccessible until Henry Morrison extended the Florida East Coast Railway to Key West.

Today, Key West attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world. The island’s vibrant culture and history, pristine beaches, abundant marine resources make this island a premier tropical paradise.

Getting There

Key West is accessible by airplane, car or boat. Major airlines have regular flights, direct flights going to Key West from different host cities and locations including Ft. Myers, Tampa, Miami, Orlando and West Palm beach. It is recommended to check with the airlines for the latest flight/route information.

For visitors coming from Miami International airport, take LeJeune Road south to 836 West. Then, take Florida Turnpike south until you reach the southern end. Lastly, take Route US 1, drive until you reach the very end of US 1 and you will be in Key West.

If you are driving from the North, take Florida Turnpike south, follow the signs that will take you to Exit 4; Homestead/Key West. Then, take Route US 1 south until you reach Key West.

Passenger ferries take visitors to Key West from Marco Island and Ft. Myers Beach. Trips are available daily with estimated time travel of 3 hours and 30 minutes.

Weather

Key West enjoys a warmer temperature year round. This island is said to be the driest city in Florida with an average temperature of 89° F on summer months. During winter season, the island’s average temperature ranges from 75-80. Generally, everyday weather is warm and sunny with thundershowers but don’t last all day.

What to Wear

A trip to Key West any time of the year requires no specific attire. For day time activities such as strolling and museum visits, you only need to wear shorts, light top and flip flops or sandals. For dining out and night outs a pair of sundress will do. Light jacket and pair of pants is also a must to protect yourself from cool night breeze. Also, don’t forget to bring a couple of swimwear. Lastly, always wear sunglasses, hat and tons of sunblock to keep you from being sun burnt.

Fishing

Fishing is excellent in Key West throughout the year because of its warm tropical weather. With the island’s huge marine habitat, anglers come to Key West to try their angling skills and the thrill to catch trophy fish. Whether you are into sports or recreational fishing, deep sea fishing or flats fishing, Key West has it all for you.

Types of Key West Fishing include:

• Flats fishing
• Light Tackle sport fishing
• Offshore Deep Sea Fishing
• Kayak Fishing
• Party Boat fishing

Fish species in Key West:

• Bonefish
• Tarpon
• Permit
• Sharks
• Barracuda
• Spotted Sea Trout
• Lady Fish
• Jack Crevalle
• Yellow Jacks
• Sailfish
• Wahoo
• Dolphin
• Kingfish
• Marlin
• Grouper

BEST MONTHS TO FISH

Key West primary fishing seasons will help you plan your next fishing vacation.

• March to October – the best season to catch Barracuda and Grouper

• April to November – an excellent season to catch Blue marlin

• April to October – the best time to catch Bonefish

• April to August – Dolphin fishing time

• January to March and October to December – the best months to catch quality Kingfish

• March to July – catch excellent Permit and Tarpon during this period

• January to May – the ideal period for Sailfish fishing

• February to July – the prime months to catch Sharks

• June to August – the best months for Wahoo fishing

WHAT TO BRING AND WEAR WHEN FISHING

• white soled sneakers
• hat
• polarized sunglasses
• sunblock with SPF 50 or higher
• long sleeve top or light weight shirt
• water or your preferred refreshing beverage
• food

Attractions and Activities

Whether you are traveling alone, with friends or family, a handful of activities and attractions await to be explored in Key West. Stroll the streets under the blue clear sky and visit museums and historical landmarks. These places will take you back in time and learn the Key’s colorful culture and heritage.

Key West’s marine life abundance makes the island a renowned diving spot. Scuba diving and snorkeling will take you to the island’s protected marine habitat for that unmatched diving adventure. If you are not a certified diver you can still have fun in the water with kayaking.

If you can’t get enough of Key West’s beautiful view, try Key West cruises and know how it feels to be in the middle of this tropical paradise. Different types of cruises are available; day, sunset and dinner cruises. Eco tours are recommended for nature lovers. Don’t miss the chance to get up close with the region’s mangrove forests, reefs and beautiful environment.

In Key West you are sure to find what you love to do.

Where to Stay

Key West offers a wide variety of accommodations to cater every visitor’s preference from amenities to services to budget.

Spanish Gardens Motel
Address: 1325 Simonton Street ~ Key West, Florida 33040
For more information visit their website:
http://www.spanishgardensmotel.com/

Parrot Key Hotel and Resort
Address: 2801 N. Roosevelt Boulevard, Key West, FL 33040
For more information visit their website:
http://www.parrotkeyresort.com/index.php

Santa Maria Suites Resort
Address: 1401 Simonton St, Key West, Florida 33040
For more information visit their website:
http://www.santamariasuites.com/

Bone Island Vacation Rentals
Address: 219 Simonton Street, Key West, FL, 33040
For more information visit their website:
http://www.key-west-florida-accommodations.com/index.html

Travelers Palm Inn
Address: 815 Catherine Street in Key West, Florida
For more information visit their website:
http://travelerspalm.com/

Key West Bed & Breakfast
Address: 415 William Street Key West FL 33040
For more information visit their website:
http://www.keywestbandb.com/default.html
Wicker Guesthouse an Island Bed & Breakfast
Address: 913 Duval Street Key West, FL 33040
For more information visit their website:

home page

Southernmost Hotel
Address: 1319 Duval Street • Key West, FL 33040
For more information visit their website:
http://www.southernmostresorts.com/

Where to Eat

Enjoy Key West’s wide selection of restaurants serving fresh sea foods and other local menu.

A & B Lobster House
Address: 700 Front Street – Key West, Florida – 33040
For more information visit their website:

Home

Louie’s Backyard
Address: 700 Waddell Ave, Key West, Florida 33040
For more information visit their website:

Home

Kellys Caribbean Bar and Grill
Address: 301 Whitehead Street, Key West, FL 33040
For more information visit their website:
http://www.kellyskeywest.com/

Little Palm Island
Address: 28500 Overseas Highway, Mile Marker 28.5 Little Torch Key, FL 33042
For more information visit their website:
http://www.littlepalmisland.com/

Mangia Mangia® Pasta Cafe
Address: 900 Southard Street, Key West, FL 33040
For more information visit their website:
http://www.mangia-mangia.com/

Benihana Steaks and Seafood
Address: 3591 S. Roosevelt Blvd. Key West, FL 33040
For more information visit their website:

Home

Square One Restaurant
Address: 1075 Duval Street (in Duval Square), Key West, FL 33040
For more information visit their website:
http://www.squareonerestaurant.com/

Rum Barrel
Address: 528 Front St Key West, FL 33040
For more information visit their website:
http://rumbarrel.com/

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