The self-proclaimed "Conch Republic" is one of Florida's most unique and colorful escapes, with a long and fascinating history to match. Here's where to eat, drink, play, and stay in the land of Buffett and Hemingway.
It's touristy and totally worth it: Catch a ride on the Conch Tour Train (800-868-7482 or conchtourtrain.com). Since it first starting giving tours in 1958, the train has offered insights―mostly true―into Key West’s past.
As you roll past blazing bougainvillea cloaking gracious clapboard houses, you’ll learn about the Overseas Railway (completed in 1912 at a cost of $30 million), the sponge trade (destroyed by a 1939 blight), and former Mayor Sonny McCoy’s 1978 feat (waterskiing all the way to Havana).