The Florida Keys extend from the southern edge of Florida, southwest into the Gulf of Mexico. At land's end stands the island of Key West, the southern most point of the continental United States of America.
The inhabitants of this Florida enclave are an eclectic group made up of artists, entrepreneurs, retirees, writers and those who consider themselves to be living an 'alternative' or 'eccentric' lifestyle.
The local atmosphere is decidedly laid back as the biggest commitment on the island seems to be the almost subconscious daily gathering of people to watch the gorgeous sunset over the Gulf of Mexico.
Key West vacations are typically lazy, sunny days on the beach, and nights on the town that often last till dawn. The island is loaded with flashy clubs, shops and restaurants, and prices in this 'Cheeseburger in Paradise' destination can be a bit on the high side.
Some of the most popular island activities include eating a slice (or two) of 'Key Lime Pie,' strolling on Duval Street, dolphin encounters and whale watching, marlin and sailfish charters, parasailing, jet skiing, windsurfing, and scuba diving in some of the best coral reefs in all of the Caribbean Islands.
The subtropical paradise of Key West is a great place to get away from the daily grind, and best of all, you can drive here from the Florida mainland. And if you chose to drive, you will cross over 40 bridges on this picturesque three-hour journey from Key Largo to Key West.
Roosters roam wild across Key West. You see them everywhere. A local told me that the last count exceeded 3,000. Tourists seem to like them while most of the residents want them gone. For now at least, the birds remain.