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Key West, Florida lies near the end of the chain of islands known as the Florida Keys, and is the southern-most city in the continental United States. The island-community is located about 90 miles north of Cuba and 150 miles southwest of Miami.
The location of Key West serves as a gateway both to the Caribbean and between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.
Key West, Florida
Less than 90 miles from Cuba, less than 10 miles square in area, Key West is one of the hottest vacation destinations in the country. There's more packed into this small island than one would think possible, and visitors to the Florida Keys are never disappointed. Key West has a busy central tourist district, but it also has plentiful quiet, palm-lined streets with beautiful Spanish style houses. While the numerous beaches and resorts are primary focal points, there are lots of other family activities on this tiny island to keep one busy.
Key West's beaches lead visitors to clear blue waters that are perfect for swimming, jet skiing, snorkeling, and scuba diving. Several luxury resorts offer first-class accommodations and activities for the whole family. Visitors can stay close to shore, or they can take advantage of the many glass-bottom boat tours. Many also hire boats to take them scuba diving in the world-famous reefs. The Key West Aquarium highlights the local marine life in dozens of hands-on activities for children.
The island itself boasts some remarkable attractions for the entire family, yet the island is small enough that visitors can see them all. The Ernest Hemmingway House was home to the famous author when he penned some of his best-known novels. The Audubon House is an authentic home from the 19th century, fully restored and remodeled; authentic antiques and paintings by famed naturalist John James Audubon can be found inside. The Key West Historic Tour traverses the island -- be on the lookout for the best places to enjoy conch, the local specialty. The residents of Key West have devised innumerable ways of serving this sea creature, and all are worth at least a try.
While it is uncertain whether or not he ever sampled conch, President Truman often vacationed in a small house at the naval base located on Key West, and his reasons for visiting are the same as for today's visitors: sunshine, relaxation, and beach. Truman's hideaway is open for tours, adding one more item to the list of fun things to do in Key West. This small town is perfect for families looking for a great beach holiday in an interesting and manageable location.