Key West is located in the state of Florida and has a lot of culture to offer as well as great sights and interesting destinations. So if you’re planning a trip to Key West, you’ve come to the right place!
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Vacation in Key West
With its turquoise waters, historic architecture and yearround sunshine, it’s easy to see why Key West is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the United States. Located at the southernmost tip of Florida, this island city offers a laidback atmosphere and a wide range of activities to suit every interest.
Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, explore the island’s unique history and culture, or get active with watersports, Key West has something for everyone. Here are just a few of the many great vacation possibilities this sunny city has to offer.
With nearly 200 miles of coastline, Florida is unsurprisingly home to some of the best beaches in the country. Key West’s white sand beaches and clear blue waters are especially beautiful, and there are plenty of beachfront hotels and resorts to choose from if you want to stay right on the sand.
For a more rugged beach experience, take a short drive to Dry Tortugas National Park, where you can camp on one of the isolated islands and explore the remains of an old fort.
History and Culture
Since it was first settled by the Spanish in the 16th century, Key West has had a long and varied history. This is reflected in the city’s architecture, which includes a mix of Spanish Colonial, Victorian and vernacular styles.
Key West is also home to a number of museums, including the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, which was the author’s residence for nearly 10 years. If you’re a fan of his work, you can even take a Hemingwaythemed walking tour of the island.
In addition to its rich history, Key West is also known for its vibrant arts and culture scene. The city hosts a number of festivals throughout the year, including the popular Fantasy Fest street party in October.
With its warm waters and yearround sunshine, Key West is a mecca for watersports lovers. Snorkeling and diving are particularly popular here, and there are a number of companies that offer guided tours of the area’s reefs and shipwrecks.
If you’re looking for a more adrenalinepumping experience, you can try your hand at windsurfing, kitesurfing or standup paddleboarding. Fishing is another popular activity in Key West, and you can even go on a charter boat to try your luck at deepsea fishing.
Sights in Key West
As the southernmost city in the continental United States, Key West is a popular tourist destination for people who want to enjoy the tropical weather and the laidback atmosphere. The city is located on an island of the same name and is known for its resorts, beaches, and nightlife.
There are plenty of things to see and do in Key West, and visitors can find something to suit their taste no matter what their interests are. Nature lovers can explore the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory or take a ecotour of the mangrove forests. History buffs can learn about the city’s past at the Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum or the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum.
Of course, no trip to Key West would be complete without spending some time at the beach. Smathers Beach is the largest and most popular beach in the city, but there are also plenty of smaller, more intimate beaches to choose from.
No matter what you’re looking for, you’re sure to find it in Key West.
History of Key West
The first known Europeans to visit the island were the Spanish in 1522. Juan Ponce de León, who led the first European expedition to Florida, claimed the island for Spain. He named it San Cristobal after Saint Christopher, the patron saint of travelers.
The island was later settled by the Spanish and became a base for pirates and privateers. In 1815, the pirate captain José Gaspar raided the town of Key West, plundering and burning much of it.
In 1822, the United States took control of Florida from Spain, and in 1823 John Warren was sent to Key West to survey the island. He laid out a plan for the town, which was approved by the Florida Territorial Legislature.
The first settlers arrived in 1825, and Key West quickly became a thriving town. It was incorporated as a city in 1828.
Fort Zachary Taylor was built in the 1850s to defend the city against pirates and foreign invaders. It was also used as a base during the Civil War and the SpanishAmerican War.
Today, Key West is a popular tourist destination known for its sunny weather, beaches, and laidback atmosphere.
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