Rather than being repositories of great works of art or world-class collections of artifacts, Key West museums, just like the eccentric island itself, are diverse, unusual, and intriguing. By global standards, their holdings are not impressive, however, they are places of multiple layers, each reflecting the colorful history and past of the island. The house museums, Ernest Hemingway Home, Truman Little White House, Audubon House, for example, are important on two counts: as historic buildings and for their associations with the legendary figures who resided or visited. The Customs House, East Martello Museum, Mel Fisher Museum, Lighthouse Museum too, each important historical structures in their own right also house interesting and diverse exhibits.
Sunsets everywhere are spectacular phenomena of color and light in motion, all beautiful events with a universal resonance. But in Key West, they are all this and more. On this speck of an island at the southernmost point in the U.S., sunset watching is a ritual. Here, sunsets are celebratory gatherings. Watching the sun dip down where the horizon meets the sea in the company of friends, family and perfect strangers is ritual shared. There is a mystique to sunsets, especially here. No one tires of the experience. Locals, old timers and visitors alike are moved by the supernatural beauty of them. Sunsets are best seen from the Gulf, or west, side of the island. An hour or so before sunset, the westward gathering begins. Spent and now relaxed after a day in the sun, people begin drifting towards favorite watching spots around the island to share the experience. What evolves out of sun, sky, water and air is never the same twice. At times, the sky fires up in broad sweeps of pink orange or crimson gold; other times it’s moody and melancholy in greys and silvers; yet others, it’s soft calming purple blue, edges shaded in pink. The unknown is the beautiful part. How it turns out is totally unpredictable. Who knows, you might even be the one to see the elusive green flash!
Image courtesy of Fury Water Adventures
Summertime weather calls for sunshine and warm temperatures, and the living in Key West is tropical. Translation: hot and humid. However, Key West has great ways to cool off while still enjoying the island’s natural beauty. Summer is considered by many to be the best time to visit. It’s not as crowded as during the winter season and the crowd that does head to the southernmost city is laid-back and mellow. Breezes are balmy, seas calm, water clear and just-right warm; fishing is great, snorkeling perfect, lobster season starts, fun festivals happen throughout.
Every summer a multi-day celebration is held in honor of Mel Fisher, a man who pursued his dreams and discovered a fortune in treasure in the seas off Key West, inspiring millions to follow their own dreams and earning him the title of The World’s Greatest Treasure Hunter. The 2015 Mel Fisher Days are set for July 9-12 and will celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the historic Atocha Mother Lode find with treasure-trove of events ranging from the educational to the adventurous.
There is no better time to explore the eerie side of Old Town Key West than during the run up to Halloween. Visitors to America’s most southern city should climb aboard the “Trolley of the Doomed” and let a gravedigger guide them along a Ghosts & Gravestones tour of Key West, America’s fourth most haunted city. These evening adventures offer guests an opportunity to explore the macabre past of this eclectic city when the restless souls and spirits of the past begin to stir. Patrons will hear the sinister tales of creepy Count Karl von Cosel and Elena Mesa, his dearly departed wife. Visitors will be spell bound by the web of intrigue created by stories of lynchings, murder, mayhem, clandestine burials and the island’s many superstitions.