One of the reasons so many of us love Key West, and why we return time and time again, is surely the rich history of this southernmost island. When you arrive in Old Town, you're not embarking on any old island getaway, but an experience which gives a deeper appreciation for the past. From its stunning architecture to its institutions such as the Key West Lighthouse and the Ernest Hemingway Home, there is so much to see that one visit rarely suffices. This brings me to one un
So, maybe you're a newbie when it comes to Key West, or perhaps you've visited this southernmost Florida island a hundred times. Either way, there are the Key West classics that you can't miss, like the sunset celebration at Mallory Square, cocktails at the Green Parrot Bar, and brunch at Blue Heaven. Part of the enjoyment of spending time here is that many of the bars, restaurants, and attractions become institutions over time. It's comforting, to be able to return to a plac
Last summer, Zickie and I ventured down to one of our favorite islands, Key West. I was there writing about special spots for one of my favorite blogs, Authentic Florida. Although I'm a fan of several classic Key West restaurants, that July we stumbled across a two-story culinary newcomer named Firefly Southern Kitchen. At this charming spot on 223 Petronia Street (half a block from well-known dining spot Blue Heaven) we enjoyed an entirely delicious meal, with thoughtfully e
Those of you who love Jimmy Buffett's music, and maybe even consider yourself a Parrothead, know that Key West plays a huge role in Buffett lore. In fact, on the Margaritaville website, it states clearly that Key West was the town "that would prove to be the biggest influence in his musical career." It was here on this Florida island that the musician and singer would create his legendary Coral Reefer Band. Key West's unique vibe and way of life inspired a new type of music,
You've seen it before: one of your favorite authentic attractions in the islands becomes so popular, that next thing you know, the thing itself has been so tourist-ified, so commercialized, that all the charm has been squeezed right out of it. To be honest, that is what I'd feared had happened in Key West to Mallory Square. But I'm getting ahead of myself. First things first, what exactly is Mallory Square? For those of you who haven't yet visited Key West: Mallory Square is
There’s one island I can’t get off my mind. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve been, how many walks I’ve taken through its streets, or how many rum cocktails I’ve sipped there after sunset...I never get tired of it. Which tropical isle am I talking about? It's Key West, of course. (Hemingway House in Key West, Florida. Photo by Eric Salard, Flickr.) From my first visit at the age of 14 to our recent island runaway last summer, Key West continues to lure both Zickie and me
Memories of Fantasy Fest by guest "Island Expert" Lisa Hartz Islands have the power to make us step out of ourselves. I think about the islands that have undone me. Seduced me. Once we walked for miles along the coast of Scotland's Isle of Skye, just me and my new husband. Rocks and goats and sea. Paradise. Made love on the beach in Palmas del Mar, Puerto Rico. Blew past the Do Not Enter signs in a tiny rental car to climb the steep ridge of a pineapple farm and look back at
The island way down at the end of the Florida Keys, Key West, really and truly is the end of the line. Once you reach this dreamy, tropical piece of real estate, there’s nowhere else to go…but into the ocean. (Or Cuba.) And for that reason, for well over 100 years Key West has been the perfect haven, an ideal refuge, for island runaways. What do Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, and Jimmy Buffett all have in common? Yep, you got it. They all ran away to this far-flung Flo
Run away to the islands...
Articles & photographic inspo for your own island travel. From the Florida Keys to the Caribbean.