My wife and I, our idea of a fun vacation sounds a little dull to most people we know. We like to explore important locations in the country’s history. We still go out to nice restaurants and nightclubs while on vacation, but the original destination is chosen by wanting to learn more about its place in our country’s growth.
A few years ago, two items came to our attention that made us consider Key West as a possible destination vacation. One was the centennial celebration of Henry Flagler’s railroad across the ocean (now the Overseas Highway) and the second was the upcoming 500 year celebration of Ponce de Leon first discovering the Florida Keys. Neither my wife nor I knew much about Key West outside of its reputation as a party town, but the more research we did, the more we learned about its unique place in history.
For instance, even though Florida was a Confederate State, Key West managed to remain supportive of the Union. We also learned that at different times in its history, it was both the richest city in the country and one of the first to declare bankruptcy. It was home to some of the most influential artists and writers, and was one of the pioneering cities when it came to gay rights.
Seven days was not nearly enough to explore all of the history Key West had to offer. Part of that problem stemmed from all the great Key West restaurants we had to choose from, and their leisurely lunches and decadent dinners. In fact, much to the surprise of our friends, we’ve already booked a vacation back next year.
For as much as my husband and I have in common, the things that are different tend to be very different. When I think of a vacation, I’m thinking island vacations, lounging in a hammock, watching the waves go by and relaxing. My husband likes to relax as well, but if there’s anything he can be snobbish about, it’s eating. He is very particular about the restaurants he eats at. This can make for a tricky time planning a vacation, but a few years ago, we found the perfect compromise in Key West.
I had suggested it, saying that it was close enough to Miami that we could spend a few days there to satisfy his culinary needs. Well, he got online and started looking up Key West restaurants and quickly decided that the only reason we would need to go to Miami was to change planes. Even I was surprised by the level of fine dining – casual elegance, our server called it – that we experienced on the beautiful outdoor dining decks.
Just as surprising as the restaurants was watching my husband try not just new foods, but new styles of food as well. There is such a strong Cuban and Bahamian influence on the island, there were foods we had never heard of. Usually he turns his nose up at anything that doesn’t strike him as fancy enough, but he loved it. Soon we were joining locals at some of their favorite spots, and they helped us find amazing crab cakes and what they considered the best key lime pie on the island. Now when we go on vacation, Key West gives us each everything we want.
It’s funny. People who otherwise live fully immersed in the 21st century (hybrid cars, smart phones, Bluetooth) hear the phrase “island vacations” and immediately picture something from “Robinson Crusoe.” They expect to have to fend off angry native headhunters while eating coconuts and sleeping under palm trees. At best, they picture something like “Gilligan’s Island.” Let me tell you that the 21st century is alive and well when it comes to island vacations, and no place is that more evident than Key West, Florida.
Key West certainly has the added bonus of being an island you can drive to, which is helpful both in planning how you are going to get there, as well as if you discover you forgot to pack something important. Along with all of the unique shops and Key West restaurants that give the island its singular charm, there are also nationally recognized drug stores and shopping areas in case you forgot a prescription or break your suitcase. This road also helps bring other modern conveniences, so when you are out for a night of fine dining enjoying the fresh seafood, you can do so either under the gentle trade winds on an outdoor patio or in the cool comfort of an air-conditioned dining room.
As for the natives, well, they will certainly come after you, but only to make sure you try their signature Cuban coffee or the best key lime pie ever, or to help you find a charter for the afternoon so you can snorkel or fish (or both). Key West will give you a vacation from the past with all of the comforts of today.
Picking a great reception menu for your banquet, wedding reception or other big event isn’t so hard when you’re in sunny Key West, Florida. This island is known for its thriving fine dining culture and entertainment scene, and these venues and performers get plenty of practice. Unlike other regions where the wedding season is the only busy time of the year, Key West remains sunny and warm 365 days a year, meaning that there is a constant influx of tourists no matter what the season. With its cozy climate, beautiful architecture, rich literary history and food, it really is no surprise. This is the go-to spot for destination weddings and destination vacations in the United States, drawing people from diverse backgrounds to enjoy some fun in the sun.
Key West restaurants have a unique draw. Not only do they provide some of the best crab cakes in Florida and what is certainly the best key lime pie in the world, they also are in the midst of a revolution. New island cuisine, a cultural menu upheaval currently being undergone by some of the best restaurants and pioneers of Key West food culture, is on the rise. This menu is an attempt at accurately reflecting all the modern influences of the island’s culture, bringing a plethora of exciting new possibilities in terms of dishes and flavor combinations. When you are planning your great reception menu for your island wedding, consider giving your guests the most authentic experience possible. Look for the new island cuisine for seafood staples and the cuisine of Florida’s future.
Destination vacations are wonderful and unique experiences. You can vacation in Key West, Florida, Puerto Rico and The Bahamas and all of them would be vastly different and incredibly rewarding experiences. Vacationing on an island brings with it some general things you can plan for and look out for, including the best ways to take advantage of the local fine dining and entertainment culture, what different kinds of beaches can offer you as a tourist, and also how to access some of the more exciting, less touristy areas of a region.
Key West, Florida is a prime example of an island vacation destination that is full of both mainstream and hidden treasures. However, as we all know, some things are best learned by experience, like which Key West restaurant serves the best seafood salad or the best key lime pie? The research, in this case, can be quite rewarding! Restaurant review websites can give you a direct look into real customer reviews of fine dining establishments. Keep an eye out for a staple of island culture – outdoor dining and patio dining areas – when looking for places to eat. It might be a little warm outside, but nothing lets you experience the unique island culture like soaking up the atmosphere while enjoying some of the new island cuisine.
Make your next island vacation something to really write home about. A little bit of research and courage to try new things and get out of your comfort zone is sure to lead to a wonderful and memorable vacation experience.
Island vacations can be some of the most rewarding trips of your life, if well planned. Luckily, there are lots of articles that can help you figure out what it is you need to do to make your Key West vacation a success. One of the most important things to look into is the thriving entertainment and fine dining culture. Key West restaurants are part of a booming food economy, one that benefits all year round from the beautiful sunny weather. Weddings and wedding receptions, banquets, award ceremonies and destination vacations are constantly being hosted on our island, meaning that the region has a thriving and professional collection of fine dining establishments. Which Key West restaurant serves the best key lime pie? The answer might be a subjective and controversial subject among the thousands of satisfied visitors and tourists who cycle through our island yearly, but you can rest assured, restaurant review sites can help point you in the right direction. With so many seafood staples on the menu, you could make a game out of eating out on your next trip.
Key West. Florida is a popular destination vacation spot. It’s no wonder why. A rich architectural and literary history, combined with the stable and stunning weather, mixed with the fantastic food culture, means that there’s something for everyone who visits our island. Be sure to slow down and enjoy your next experience with us, taking time to kick back on the beach and soak up the sun. Happy vacationing!
Are you looking for tips on planning your island wedding? Look no further! There are all kinds of different ways to put together your island wedding in sunny Key West, Florida. One of the most important things when you’re considering putting your reception together is the modern island culture and new island cuisine. After all, one of the most exciting parts of any destination wedding is the destination! What are the unique things that the location brings to your event experience? Draw up a list of all the reasons Key West appeals to you as a location for your banquet. Then, you can investigate the items one by one. What does each one allow you to bring to your guests and the theme of your wedding? This is a chance to get really creative.
Sometimes, themes organically emerge. In The Keys, for example, you might go with a general beach or island theme, or focus more specifically on the ocean, oceanic creatures, fantastical mermaids, etc. Sea or sea-related themes seem natural in Florida, especially when it’s easily paired with fresh seafood. Our region has some of the best key lime pie in Florida, and taking advantage of that for your reception guarantees a special and unique treat for your guests.
There are a hundred wonderful and exciting reasons to plan your island wedding in Key West, Florida. The unique fine dining and entertainment culture, combined with the beautiful weather, are just some of the perks of spending one of the best days of your life on our island.