When going to a tropical island for a vacation, there is a fine line to draw between trying to do too much and feeling at the end like you did too little. A good rule of thumb is to make sure the things you do are pretty special to the place where you are visiting. Many people think if you could do the same thing elsewhere, why go on vacation to do it? Here is a list of three things that you can do most places, but Key West, Florida does them better than most.
Dining out. Everywhere you go on vacation, you obviously are going to be going out to eat, but would you believe that not only are there more than 300 Key West restaurants to choose from, but that many of them also offer a style of cooking unique to this southernmost island paradise? Called New Island Cuisine, it features traditional methods of food preparation combined with island flavors and spices, including tropical fruit and of course, some of the freshest seafood you will ever find. And dining out is always more special when it is done on an outdoor dining patio under the shade of palm trees while tropical breezes keep you cool.
Getting out on the water. Key West is home to the only barrier reef in all of North America and several times a day, numerous charter boats take people out to explore this natural wonderland while snorkeling and Scuba diving. There are also guided kayak tours among the mangrove trees, Jet Ski adventures that circumnavigate the island and of course, all kinds of fishing adventures, from deep sea angling to backwater flats fishing.
Enjoying the sunset. Just like dining out, the sun sets everywhere in the world, but nowhere does it happen with more beauty and entertainment than in Key West, Florida. Historic Mallory Square sits on the western edge of the island, creating not just the perfect location for watching the sun slip into the Gulf of Mexico, but also a platform for street performers, musicians, artists and vendors. It is the destination of choice for both locals and tourists to watch day become night in Key West.
This is just a small sampling of what brings more than 11 million people to visit Key West every year. On top of this partial list there are museums and galleries, beaches and historic homes, and the legendary nightlife that it is so well known for. But to make sure you make the most of your Key West vacation, as long as your trip includes some time on the water, visits to the Key West restaurants and time out to watch the sunset, you will be sure to have a memorable vacation.
Jack Terry is a freelance travel and lifestyle writer who has lived in Key West for several years. http://www.rooftopcafe.com