On the tip of the Florida Keys, between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, lies the historic island city of Key West. Situated as it is at the gateway to the Caribbean and in close proximity to Cuba, this island supports a vibrant community and a long seafaring and naval tradition,
Key West, also known as the 'Conch Republic', has a distinct Caribbean flavour. The streets of its old quarter are lined with palms and pastel-painted, wooden colonial 'gingerbread' houses. It has been the favoured holiday haunt of greats like Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, and Harry Truman. This is because of its relaxed atmosphere, colourful neighbourhoods, legendary bars and restaurants, offshore fishing opportunities, and lively nightlife. The city also hosts innumerable pageants, parades and festivals, has an active theatre culture, and several heritage museums.
The streets of Key West are attractions by themselves; buskers providing impromptu entertainment for those at sidewalk cafés or browsing the many stores. Visitors on holiday here flock to 'The Bight', the old harbour, to arrange sea trips for fishing, snorkelling, or diving. Nightlife in Key West starts with sunset drinks on the Mallory Dock, before moving on to areas like Bahama Village, and along Duval Street.