If Mel Fisher could find Spanish gold off Key West, it could happen to you, right? And sure enough, when you come across a pair of coral-encrusted anchors from 18th-century sailing vessels on the reef at Kedge Ledge, it’s hard not to let your imagination take flight. For treasures of another kind, explore the ten miles of coral reefs at Sand Key; rich with corals and other sea life, they’re fine for snorkeling and scuba diving.
Deep-sea fishing for marlin and sailfish is the main hook, but for a very different kind of Keys experience, hire a guide to take you to the shallow-water flats of the “backcountry” to cast for bonefish, permit, and huge tarpon. Or head up into the Everglades to fish for snook, redfish, and more tarpon.
Several Key West bars are more than bars; they’re historical sites. Three landmarks not to miss are Captain Tony’s on Greene Street, (Hemingway used to lean on the old wooden bar) the Hog’s Breath Saloon on Front Street (probably the locals’ favorite); and the Green Parrot Bar on Whitehead Street (note the legendary jukebox in the building, which dates to 1890).