If anything bad could be said about a vacation - and let's face it, the last thing anyone wants to do is complain about time away from work and responsibility - is that they can be too short to really get a feel for it. This may not matter so much if your destination vacation is a theme park world or an all-inclusive resort, but it certainly makes a difference if you are visiting somewhere unique like Key West, Florida. The best way to enjoy the Southernmost City is to vacation like a local, and the time to do that is now.
In the past, vacationing in Key West was broken into a high season of January through April and a low season the rest of the year. Over time, people have discovered the joys - and lower cost - of off season travel, and many events and festivals sponsored by the city have drawn people during all months of the year. Still, the island definitely gets a little bit slower in summertime, and that is when the locals find the time to enjoy their paradise a bit more.
This is when they know they can go to their favorite Key West restaurants and not have to worry about waiting for a table. They know they can sit on the outdoor dining patio, taking their time to enjoy the fresh seafood and handcrafted cocktails, and even indulge in a second piece of key lime pie if they wish.
This is when they visit the attractions that the island is known for, taking the historic tours, visiting the museums and exploring up close the architecture and natural beauty that attracts over eleven million visitors a year. Smaller crowds mean more opportunity to linger over their favorite activities, whether it is strolling through the butterfly conservatory or wandering the hidden side streets.
This is when they have a day off to sit in the sunshine, or the shade, at one of the many bars that feature live music and get to relax and listen. This is also when a person on vacation might just happen to be sitting next to them and get a chance to learn about the island and all it has to offer from a local's perspective.
What cannot be accomplished in a week during the busy season can happen in just a couple of days during the summer. Before the week is over, the barista will know exactly how you like your Cuban coffee, the waiter will call you by name, and you will know the beauty of living in island style in the laid back latitudes of Key West, Florida.
Jack Terry is a freelance writer who focuses on travel and lifestyle in the Caribbean. http://www.rooftopcafekeywest.com