What Is Included in a Key West Visitor Guide?

A Key West visitor's guide gives insider tips on water activities, nightlife, beaches, boat cruises, art galleries and unique cultural events, such as the nightly sunset celebration at Mallory Square and the annual Fantasy Fest extravaganza that draws thousands of revelers to party in the streets. Key West travel guides often focus on haunts of famous former residents as well as Duval Street, the city's main tourist attraction, packed with bars, galleries, souvenir shops and restaurants.

A big attraction for Key West visitors is the home of Ernest Hemingway, who lived in Key West and wrote many of his famous novels in the home studio on the grounds. Hemingway is big here, with an annual Hemingway look-alike contest and the chance to eat and drink in the Nobel-prize winning author's favorite bars and cafes, such as the infamous Sloppy Joe's. Other famous dining and drinking spots include the original Margaritaville, founded by former island resident Jimmy Buffet.

Sunset cruises and fishing expeditions depart from docks along the waterfront, and various other water activities include snorkeling, sailing, jet-skiing, parasailing and "snuba" excursions to hunt for buried treasure and explore the protected living coral reef expanding outward along the Florida Keys.

Other points of interest include the AIDS tribute at Holmes Beach; the Audubon House Gallery, featuring originals by John James Audubon; and the Studios of Key West, which presents work from the island's prominent artists and designers.