Flights to Key West
Despite being a mere four miles long and one mile wide, Key West packs a tremendous amount of art, culture, history, paradise, and quirkiness into its island. It sits at the convergence of the Atlantic Ocean and the warm, calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, and has no shortage of beaches. Most of them are man-made from ground coral and surrounded by mangrove. They afford vacationers a level of intimacy that you wouldn’t find on mainland Florida.
The island is also rife with historic houses, churches, and sites, some of which are antebellum. Stroll through the historic district of Old Town and you’ll find pastel-painted houses with gingerbread trim and covered porches. More than a few were once occupied by famous inhabitants like Ernest Hemingway and President Harry S. Truman.
The island’s colorful nature doesn’t stop at the architecture. Packed with artists, galleries, bars and restaurants, Key West wears its eccentricity on its sleeve – right down to the free-roaming chickens and roosters you’re likely to run into on the street.
Key West International Airport operates with two passenger terminals and a single runway. Starting in 2006, the airport underwent major renovations, including a new terminal, which doubled its size. The airport’s single runway holds the record for the shortest runway in all of North America used regularly by 737s. Though small, the airport has traveler amenities including ATMs, free WiFi and Mamava nursing suites for mothers. There are also a restaurant, two bars and a few gift and souvenir shops.
- Arriving passengers at Key West International Airport all come to a single terminal with easy access to baggage claim and tourist information.
- Rental cars are available at the airport and parking facilities include spaces for both rentals and passengers’ cars.
- A number of taxi, limo and courtesy shuttle lines also service the airport.
Despite its tiny size, the island of Key West is chock full of Florida historical structures and points of interest. It was on this tropical island that Ernest Hemingway penned his A Farewell to Arms, and in fact, two of the writer’s former homes and gardens, Casa Antigua and the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum are available for tour. At the latter, you’ll find more than 40 cats, many of them descendants of his beloved original felines.
At Fort Zachary Taylor, “America’s Southernmost State Park,” the fort walls of this Civil War outpost are still standing. As a bonus, the park’s white sand beach is one of the most beautiful on the island.
ART AND SHOPPING
The island of Key West has long been an artists’ haven and an important center of the art movement. You’ll find a number of studios and boutiques, including a large concentration along the mile-long stretch of Duval Street. Don’t miss the non-profit Studios of Key West, which showcases about a dozen artists’ work and hosts concerts, readings and literary and visual art workshops frequently.
NIGHTLIFE AND ENTERTAINMENT
Key West is not a sleepy island that shuts down in the wee hours. Revelry and drag shows at bars go on long into the night. The most famous pub crawl, the “Duval Crawl,” takes place along the aforementioned stretch, with guided tours on an almost nightly basis.
The Florida Keys are one of the only mainland U.S. locations known to never have had a frost or freeze. With that kind of record, it goes without saying that Key West offers an agreeable climate in any season. In the coolest month of January, the average high is 75°F and in the warmest month of July it’s 89°F. Even in the summer months, prevailing easterly trade winds and sea breezes help tamp down the heat. And though it does technically have a rainy season from May to October, Key West is the driest city in Florida with an average of 39.17 inches of annual rainfall.