Key West is a tropical oasis just a short four hour drive from Miami. The laid back attitude of the town is just one of the many aspects that draw thousands of visitors each year. There are white sandy beaches, unique attractions, and even a very apparent connection to the paranormal world. If you’re in Florida you won’t want to miss your chance to experience Cayo Hueso.
Geographical Facts about Key West
Key West is divided into two portions, Old town and New Town. The Old town was the original part of the island before it was expanded via landfill. The Old Town is what the settlers built over and still contains remnants of the past. The New town is the north east region of the island being continuously built by man-made landfill. The New Town is home to the Key West International Airport and many of the town’s malls. Key West is basically surrounded on all sides by beautiful warm blue water. The Atlantic Ocean borders the east and the Gulf of Mexico borders the west. The town is only 90 miles from Cuba, making it the southernmost point in the USA. There’s even a concrete buoy you can visit and take pictures with to mark it.
How to get to Key West?
There are multiple ways to access Key West, so it’s best to look into all the options to decide which is best for you. There are pros and cons to each, so you really have to do your research. The first option of getting to Key West is to fly. Flying to the island means paying for a flight, which I’m sure you already know, isn’t the cheapest. It’s about a 50 minute flight, so it’s the fastest option for getting to the tropical paradise. The next option is to rent a car and drive down to Key West. The drive to Key West is one of the most scenic drives in the world due to the seven mile overseas highway that connects it to the rest of the USA. The benefit of driving is that you may stop along the way as many times as you want, but renting a car and spending money on gasoline really adds up. It’s a four hour drive that’ll cost you around twenty two dollars on gas each way and the rental fee per day which ranges from twenty five to seventy five dollars per day. For a cheaper driving option, many people opt to take a Miami to Key West shuttle. The last way to get to Key West is a private boat charter or ferry. This may be the most scenic and prettiest option, but it’ll also rack you up the biggest bill unless you’ve made some sort of deal with the owner of the boat.
The Key West Aquatic Attractions
Key West is an island, so there’s plenty of water to support the multibillion dollar industry of aquatic activities. Whatever floats your boat; you can find it in the tiny tropical paradise. The island is home to the only living reef in the United States and the third largest reef in the world. The Great Florida reef has patches of coral reef as far north as Stuart and extends all the way down to Key West. The reef supports a complex ecosystem, home to a variety of marine life. Many people choose to snorkel or scuba dive to experience the live reef up close and personal. Key West tour operators generally offer both snorkeling and scuba diving, as well as glass bottom boat tours. The glass bottom boat allows you to experience the reef without having to get in the water, which makes it a perfect option for families with young children who don’t know how to swim yet. There are also specialty aquatic activities offered if you search for them such as: shark tours, dolphin tours, and even shipwreck diving. Of course due to the size of the underwater ecosystem, fishing is an option for fun on the water. Ever wanted to catch a trophy sailfish, or a shark? You can do it in Key West.
The Key West Land Attractions
Although the highlights of Key West are the sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, there are also many unique and intriguing land attractions. The island was once a Native American burial ground, so if you’ve learned anything from horror movies you’ll know the place is haunted. There are many ghost tours operated once the sun sets and the ghouls come out to play. One of the most common stops is the Key West cemetery, which houses over 100,000 dead people. If you’re not into the ghost experience, there are trolley tours during the day which visit the highlights of the island such as the Key West Aquarium and the Shipwreck museum. These attractions are awesome for visitors of all ages because you get to learn while you’re enchanted by colorful fish, or by the performances from the Shipwreck museum’s employees. If the attractions on the trolley tour aren’t bizarre enough for you, there’s always Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Odditorium. The museum is home to the most unique exhibits in the town including a sculpture of Niki Minaj made out of candy and a pine needle bear. It boasts over five hundred weird exhibits in thirteen rooms. Ripley’s isn’t exclusive to Key West, but some of the exhibits are, such as a shrunken human torso owned by author, Ernest Hemingway. If you’re interested in a more informative tour, rather than bizzare, there’s places like the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum where you can learn everything there is to know about underwater archeology and shipwreck artifacts that there is to know. Whatever your preference, there are options for you in Key West.