Key West is one of the most unique destinations in the entire United States. The populace here is fun-loving and strange, and the city reflects this unusual lifestyle. Why, in 1982, the residents proclaimed their independence from the United States and named the new country the "Conch Republic." There are many things to do here, so it warrants several days for any visit. Here’s my list of the best of Key West, to be followed shortly by a photo album.
1. Observe the Sunset from Mallory Square – This is a tradition for both locals and tourists since Mallory Square is on the west end of town and tends to have glorious sunsets. The daily gathering is known as the "Sunset Celebration."
2. Have a Drink at Sloppy Joe’s Bar – This icon of the city is just opposite Mallory Square, at the end of Duval Street and is a favorite haunt of locals and tourists alike. Many of the patrons are extremely "different," so this is a great place to people-watch.
3. Take the Conch Train Tour – A great way to orient yourself is to take this popular tour upon arrival, then return to the places that seem most interesting.
4. Visit Hemingway’s House – This house preserves much of what the famous author left behind during his lengthy stay here, including his polydactyl cats which roam throughout the property.
5. Take a picture at Southernmost Point – The colorful buoy here claims to be only 90 miles from Cuba (it’s actually 94) and is well-labeled as the southernmost point in the continental United States. True or not, it’s a great place to take a picture.
6. Admire Southernmost House – This Victorian mansion resplendently claims the honor of being the southernmost home in the continental US. It is actually quite a lovely home and property. It is not open to the public.
7. Stroll Duval Street – This historic street contains numerous bars and restaurants and is part of any walking tour of Key West.
8. Visit the Key West Lighthouse – The first lighthouse here dated to 1825, but since that one was destroyed in a hurricane, the present lighthouse, built in 1849, replaced it. It was decommissioned in 1969 and is now a museum.
9. Take Part in a Parade – There are many events in Key West’s calendar, so it is quite likely that a visit may coincide with an annual celebration of some kind. These are almost always accompanied by a parade.
10. Go Deep-Sea Fishing – There are many boats for hire in Key West for fishing trips and the fishing is great in the Gulf of Mexico.