Located 160 miles southwest of Miami, Key West has the distinction of being the southernmost city in the continental United States. "The Conch Republic," as it's known to locals, is also the most Caribbean-like travel destination in Florida, and it has something of an "anything goes" reputation for its laid-back attitude to, well, pretty much everything.
For these and so many other reasons – a lovely climate for most of the year, plenty of attractions and fun things to do, along with a great food scene – Key West is very much the kind of place you'll want to visit time and time again.
About Key West
FORTY-ONE DEGREES (5°C) IS THE RECORD LOW TEMPERATURE IN KEY WEST.
On average, you can expect temperature highs in the 70's to 80's year round with low temperatures in winter dipping into the 60's. Thanks to its subtropical climate and low elevation, there has never been any record of frost, ice, sleet, or snow in Key West.
THE ISLAND IS ONLY EIGHT SQUARE MILES.
Key West is a very small island, running about four miles long and two miles wide.
Key West is the southernmost city in the continental United States, and it is actually closer to Havana, Cuba than to Miami, Florida. Cuba is only 90 miles (145 km) away from Key West, while Miami stands 150 mi (240 km) away. The proximity to Cuba has infused the island with a unique blend of Cuban culture.
The third-largest coral reef in the world is off the coast of Key West. Known as the Florida Straits, it's the largest in North America and the third largest in the world behind Belize and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. An ideal destination for scuba enthusiasts!
It has the most bartenders per capita in the nation.
If you’re thirsty, you’re in good hands. In 2015, a study found that the city had the highest concentration of bartenders in the US at 13.3 per 1,000 residents.
Pan American Airways Was Founded Here
Its first flight to Cuba was in 1927 and the company only took off from there. You can visit the original Pan Am offices at 301 Whitehead St., which today is a restaurant and brewery – aptly named First Flight.
The island earned the nickname "The Conch Republic" after temporarily seceding from the US in the 1980's. While the secession was brief, the name stuck and has proven an enduring symbol of Key West's nonconforming, rebellious nature. Key West-born locals are called “conchs,” which are tropical marine mollusks found throughout the waters of The Bahamas. The island also holds annual conch-blowing contests, conch fritters are as commonplace as a hot dog and the local high school mascot is the Fighting Conch.
The infamous Key Lime Pie was born in Key West!
San Francisco has its Golden Gate Bridge, Houston has its Astrodome—and then there's Key West, with its Key lime pie. It's a major tourist attraction and it comes in many forms - Key lime cake, Key lime ice cream, Key lime daiquiris.