Key West The Essential
Closer to Havana, Cuba than to the American city of Miami, this small island at the southernmost tip of the continent cultivates an atmosphere of sublime laissez-faire that encourages an eclectic mix of residents, from old-time "conch families" (descended from the island's original settlers) to a more recently arrived gay community. Well established in its natural tropical landscape, Key West is undeniably commercial. Yet it possesses a quirky charm and independent spirit that appeal to the writers and artists who make their homes here as well as to droves of tourists. Duval Street is Key West's main commerical artery; the Old Town area boasts diverse 19C and early 20C architecture.
One of the largest National Historic