Key West is the southern most city in the United States. It sits on the last major island at the end of the Florida Keys. The weather ranges from balmy, hot, & humid to quite pleasant in the winter months. The rainy season is in the summer time.
The dry season is during the winter months. Temperatures in Key West during the middle of January often are in the low 80’s when the rest of the nation is being blanketed by snow drifts or is fighting floods. As a result, the winter and Spring months are a great time to visit and there are plenty of hotels in Key West to choose from. The humidity tends to be the lowest during the winter months.
During the summer months the humidity is quite high; the temperatures hover around the high 80’s or low 90’s and rain showers are common.The hurricane season officially begins in July, but most of the dangerous hurricanes arrive in August and September.
Key West was discovered by Ponce de Leon on May 13, 1513. In later years Key West became home to many pirates. As recently as the seventies and early 80’s smugglers were using Key West to unload their drugs. Key West was once the richest city in Florida, in the late 1880’s. “Wrecking” used to be a profitable job in Key West in the early 1800’s. This involved salvaging treasure from many of the sunken vessels that litter the bottom of the local waters. Cigar factories were extremely profitable in the late 1880’s and Key West was the cigar capital of the world. As with the other Keys, Key West is built on an old coral reef. This means the soil quality is rather poor. Most people in the Keys have to pay high prices for water because it is taken directly from the ocean and then desalinated.
For the most part the Keys do not have their own aquifers and water needs to be taken from the ocean. Unlike the rest of the United States the price for water is higher than the price for electricity.
Highway One which is the only road leading to and out of Key West is an interesting and enjoyable ride. It is marked with mile markers, mile 110 is near Key Largo and mile marker 0 is in Key West at the corner of Fleming and Whitehead Streets. US 1 traverses about 110 miles of islands known as the Florida Keys. Each island is unique in appearance however; all have their share of mangrove trees, coconut palm trees, and tropical beachside bars. A very impressive part of the roadway is the seven mile bridge.
As you enter this bridge you have the feeling that you somehow are driving into the ocean. All you can see ahead of you is miles of water. Next to the seven mile bridge is the old 7 mile bridge. Parts of it are now missing and it shows its age. Key West has been the home to many famous writers and artists. Some names that come to mind are Ernest Hemmingway, Tennessee Williams, Robert Frost, and Jimmy Buffet. Key West is a centrally located bustling port town. Coming to Key West to write or otherwise? Why not stay in luxury – try the Parrot Key Resort and Spa.
It has a tropical Caribbean flavor to it, especially with the inter mixing of various island cultures.There are also many, many tropical plants that grow here. In fact Southern Florida is a haven for tropical fruit and vegetation. Many of the species grown here, cannot grow in the rest of the United States. Besides some of the really rare plant and tree species, expect to see many coconut palms, hibiscus, and bougainvillea.Watch out for the coconut palms. They may leave you with “Coconut Amnesia” as Lenore Troia sings about in her album Jetset to Sunset. The Famous Point in Key West.
For more information about Lenore and her excellent lively island music, please visit her website at: www.lenoretroia.com – Click on her “sounds” link on the left side of the webpage and you will soon be hopping along to the tunes! Some of my favorites are off of the Jetset to Sunset album – among them, Jetset to Sunset, Coconut Amnesia, & Save Me From The Real World. Sometimes memories are made with music and I hold good memories of driving in The Keys listening to Lenore’s music full blast with the windows down!
As you walk around town notice the unique architecture of the local buildings. Key West has one of the largest historical districts in the United States with over 3000 structures on the National Register of Historical Places. The homes range from modest to elaborate Victorian mansions.
The largest of the early homes were built by sea captains. Prices for lodging and food tend to be a bit expensive in Key West. This is in part because of the limited space on the island.