If you're looking for a party, you'll find it in Key West. More than any other island, this is the land of the eternal vacation, where no one wears a watch or tie and the phrase "hasta mañana" could have been invented. It seems the sun is always shining in this part of Florida, making the island a perfect destination for sunbathers, deep-sea fishermen, divers and motorcyclists. Munch on fresh seafood, watch the jugglers in Mallory Square and have another margarita. You can think about work tomorrow.
Things to Do
In a town that's perennially on vacation, the preferred leisure activity in Key West is relaxing poolside. Visitors inclined toward more active pursuits head to the docks, where divers leave port to explore submarine reefs. Hemingway set out from Garrison Bight Marina and you can, too, in hopes of landing sailfish and tarpon in the sunny, azure waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
There's no way around it: Walk the streets of Key West, and you'll soon become convinced the predominant island souvenir is a tacky t-shirt. But if you can make it past the crude shirts, you'll discover a nice supply of bathing suits, strappy sandals and sunglasses all along Duval Street. Head to Cigar Alley between Front and Greene streets for a souvenir stogie rolled by Cuban immigrants.
Nightlife and Entertainment
When the sun begins to drop on Key West, Sunset Celebration goes into full swing in Mallory Square. Magicians, jugglers and one-man bands entertain the crowds each evening as the sun tints the sky and waves with orange and purple. After dark, Duval Street buzzes with live music, wet t-shirt contests and lots of frozen fruit drinks. Favorite bars include Sloppy Joe's, reputed to be an old Hemingway haunt, and Hog's Breath Saloon.
Restaurants and Dining
For a taste of authentic Cuban food at its best, locals and visitors wait in line for a table at El Siboney. Marinated melt-in-your-mouth pork is served with hearty helpings of yellow rice and beans. Order a pitcher of Key West's finest sangria to wash it down. Head off the beaten track to enjoy a fish dinner at Hogfish, where tattooed bikers and yacht owners alike gather to eat freshly caught fish at picnic tables.