Introducing Key West
The Keys, like any frontier, have always attracted two 'E's': edges and eccentrics. And when it came to the far frontier, the very edge, the last outpost of America – out here, only the most eccentric would dare venture. And thus, Key West, is the most beautifully strange (or is it strangely beautiful?) island in the US. This place is seriously screwy, in a (mostly) good way. There's no middle separating the high and low brow, that's for sure. On one side of the road, literary festivals, Caribbean villas, tropical noir and expensive art galleries. On the other, an S&M fetishist parade, frat boys vomiting on their sorority girlfriends and 'I Love to Fart' T-shirts (seriously).
Where the other Keys are a bit more country-fried, Key West, a historical haven for homosexuals and artists, remains a little more left of center. The locals revel in their funky nonconformity here, probably because weirdness is still integral to the Key West brand. But past these idiosyncrasies is simply a beautiful tropical island, where the moonflowers bloom at night and the classical Caribbean homes are so sad and romantic it's impossible not to sigh when you see them.
Best places to stay in Key West
Hemingway Days Festival: a guide to Florida's Hemingway look-alike contest
'Key West' by Stig Nygaard. Creative Commons Attribution Location: 201 Duval St, Key West, Florida, USA Dates: 16–21 July 2013.
Key West destination guides
Top alternatives to Halloween
Tired of the same old Halloween parties? Well, Halloween isn't the only festival for fans of costume parties, the occult, fireworks and general merriment. In this excerpt from Lonely Planet's A Year of Festivals, we provide a guide to six fantastic Halloween alternatives around the world. 1.
Key West Day Trip
No visit to South Florida is complete without a journey to Key West! There are plenty of ways to enjoy your time on this culturally and history-rich island. You can take it slow with a leisurely day soaking up Key West's laid-back atmosphere, quaint shops and outdoor cafés or if you are looking for more activity, there are upgrades available.
Key West Sail and Snorkel Day Trip from Fort Lauderdale
Whether you’re an experienced snorkeler or you want to try something new and exciting, you’ll find Key West to be the perfect destination for fun in the ocean. On a day trip from Fort Lauderdale, you’ll enjoy Key West’s clear waters and tropical marine life on a 3-hour sailing and snorkeling trip aboard a 50-foot (15-meter) catamaran.
Fantasy Fest: a guide to Florida's costume party
Untitled by Mcklein73. Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC BY 2.