Enchanting Key West has two mottos that express the truth about this gay paradise at the southernmost tip of the USA. The first is “One Human Family” and the second is “Almost Perfect – Never Normal.”
There is no community on earth that socializes as well as Key West, mixing straight and gay into one fabulous cocktail of fun and frolic. Although Spain ceded Florida to the United States in 1819, and Henry Flagler built a railroad that linked Key West to the mainland in 1912, the city has never became fused – at heart – with the rest of the United States. Flagler’s railroad was swept away by the Great Hurricane of 1935, and, in 1982, Key West proclaimed its independence as “The Conch Republic.” This was a brief effort, mostly in jest, yet expressive of the pride it takes in its unique personality. Over the decades, Key West business has evolved from shipwreck scavenging, to military installations, and finally, to tourism, without overly glorifying the workday. Key West continues its constant desire to embrace and enjoy its visitors.
Having dodged the brunt of Hurricane Irma, Key West is up, running and ready to receive you. Pack lightly and get ready to relax on the beach, by a pool, on a Duval Street bar stool or pausing on a sidewalk to banter with the dazzling drag performers luring you into their venues. Jump on a bicycle or scooter, take a boat tour, paddle a kayak or go snorkeling or parasailing. Peruse the many fine shops and galleries, and finally, make the most difficult decision of your Key West day, selecting a restaurant from among so many delicious offerings.