Fly To Key West
Most people know the Florida Keys and Key West as great getaways, and some of the most unique places on earth.
The island is calm, serene and laidback, just the right setting to recharge your batteries and rejuvenate the soul.
Having been the home of several creative legends such as John Audubon, Tennessee Williams and Ernest Hemingway, you can be sure there’s a lot more to Key West after the ice has melted in your margarita.
The diving here is phenomenal, as is the kid-friendly Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center, and magnificent ocean sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico.
Strolling on Duval Street, dolphin and whale watching, parasailing, jet skiing, windsurfing, and scuba diving, one thing’s for sure when it comes to this island city of palm-lined streets: there’s simply no place quite like it.
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Why visit Key West
- Explore the treasures of Key West, with more bars per capita than anywhere else in the United States it would only be right to start-off with Virgillo’s, a swanky martini lounge, or The Porch which are local favourites!
- The best place to start your sightseeing experience through Key West is by visiting Duval Street. It is filled with the most vibrant restaurants, bars and some of the top tourist attractions!
- Embark on an historic journey through Key West with the centuries-old treasure of the Spanish galleon Nuestra Señora de Atocha, and the plethora of art galleries that would leave you memorised!
The best time to visit Key West would be between March and May.
During this time the crowds begin to fade out and the hotel prices are more affordable.
The languages that are spoken in Key West include English, Spanish, Italian, French, and German.
- Cayo Hueso was the original name for Key West which means “Island of Bones”.
- Key West has the highest average temperature of any city in the United States, and it never freezes.
- The first international commercial passenger flight left from Key West on January 16, 1928.
To appreciate the history and museums of Key West, a ride on one of the tour trains or trolleys is a good starting point where you are regaled with colourful stories by the conductors.
The Ernest Hemingway Museum is a key attraction on the island.
The Nobel laureate spent more than a decade here during a prolific period in his writing career and the Spanish styled house built in 1851, is now a National Historic Landmark which draws thousands of visitors to Key West.
The Key West Aquarium, an active conservation facility, is where visitors can view sharks, turtles, stingrays, tropical and other various fish found in the azure waters surrounding Key West.
The Aquarium is the first of its kind to use an ‘open air’ concept. Touch a live shark’s tail and see hand feedings of sharks and stingrays on a guided tour of the Aquarium.
The Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory is home to hundreds of butterflies of different varieties, exotic birds and indigenous plants.
Visitors can see the transformation process of butterflies from cocoons to fully-fledged butterflies.
Dry Tortugas National Park comprises of 100 square miles of seven small islands.
Its striking clear blue waters are legendary, as well as its reputation for being home to unrivalled coral reefs, marine and bird life.
This sunny and beautiful island haven is home to some of the best crispy conch fritters that rival the ones found in the Bahamas.
When visiting, there are dishes like the key lime pie which should be tried more than once in your life because it is just too good to only try once.
Some of the best restaurants on this island include:
- Thai Cuisine
- El Siboney Resturant
- Mo’s Restaurant
- Louies’s Backyard
The most followed religion in Key West is Christianity, with many locals affiliating themselves with the Catholic faith.
There are other religions like Judaism and Islamic faiths that are still practiced here as well.
It is a very diverse place, any religion is generally welcomed and accepted by locals.
Violent crime is extremely rare, but vehicle break-ins and pick-pocketing are not uncommon. Key West is home to a large homeless population.
Most are harmless, but many suffer from drug and/or alcohol addiction and resort to aggressive manhandling and petty crime to finance their addictions.
Use the same level of common sense you would use elsewhere in the USA...keep valuables out of plain view, park your vehicle in a well-lit, heavy traffic area and if you get lost try not to make it too obvious.
Pay attention to the weather. The Keys are a narrow band of islands that offer little protection from tropical storms.
South Africans need a visa in order to visit Key West, or any other city in the USA.
Leave plenty of time for Visa processing, and remember to check that your passport is valid for 6 months after your return date, and that you have 2 blank pages available for entry stamps.
Contact the Embassy of America (Telephone:012 431 4000) for more information, in addition to visa applications.
Address: 3051 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington DC, 20008.
Telephone: +1 202 232 4400
Fax: (+1) 202 265 1607
|Item||Cape Town||Johannesburg||Key West|
|Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant||R 90.00||R 100.00||R 174.28|
|Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught)||R 22.00||R 20.00||R 60.33|
|Cappuccino (regular)||R 19.00||R 20.00||R 53.41|
|Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff)||R 10.00||R 12.00||R 20.83|
|Pack of Cigarettes (Marlboro)||R 35.00||R 35.00||R 93.84|
Key West International Airport (code EYW)
Key West International Airport (code EYW) is the United States’ southernmost airport, located 3km from Key West’s CBD.
Food and beverages:A number of fast-food outlets and vending machines can be found at the airport.
Currency Exchange:A Bureau de change operates from Key West Airport.
Lost luggage:Lost hold luggage should be handled by your individual airline’s help desk. Report items lost or found within the airport terminal to Key West International Airport authorities. Phone: (305) 296 5439.
Car hire:Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National Car Rental, Thrifty.
The information on this page is correct as of August 2016. While every effort is made to keep information as fresh as possible, Travelstart.co.za takes no responsibility for any of the information being out of date or incorrectly noted.