Aqua Nightclub is one of the most popular nightlife haunts in the city. Known for its live music events, karaoke and other entertaining events; the club has amassed a large fan following. The place with its fun vibe, is known to be among the best for singles as well as LGBT, making it a convivial place to visit. If you are one of those people who love to tap their feet to dance numbers, Aqua Nightclub is your place to be. So when you are in the city and want to ring in the night with fun, frolic and laughter, head to Aqua Nightclub.
Delve deep into the marine blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico, and learn about out underwater counterparts, albeit virtually. This spectacular discovery center located at the edge of the land in Key West takes visitors on a fascinating journey where they can explore the mysterious ecosystem of the Everglades, marvel at the world's only underwater ocean laboratory, participate in exciting virtual dives that take them 1,600 feet (487.68 meters) under the sea, admire the Living Reef exhibit with actual corals and fish, and get questions answered by expert marine biologists. The Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center also conducts group visits, and admission to the center is free.
Named "The Best Professional Theater in Florida" by Florida Monthly Magazine in 2010 and 2011, The Waterfront Playhouse is a not-for-profit, professional theater located on historic Mallory Square in Old Town Key West. The theater attracts locals and tourists alike with a wide range of comedies, dramas, musicals, concerts, and world premieres. The Playhouse utilizes Key West's rich talent pool of actors, directors and designers, as well as attracting internationally known luminaries.
The Hemingway Home & Museum was the residence of the renowned author Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway was known both for his grander-than-life personality and his amazing writing, including the books The Sun Also Rises and Farewell to Arms. The rooms and the collections on display give you an insight into the life of this famous writer. Keep a look out for the museum's many polydactyl (six-toed) cats that are rumored to be descendants of Hemingway's pet cat Snow White.
If you're a fan of the delicate winged creatures, then this is definitely the place for you. The Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, which treats visitors to amazing sights and smells of mother earth, has a climate controlled enclosure for about 60 species of butterflies. The colors, size, shape, history and lifespan can be studied at the Learning Center - a great experience for children and adults alike. The gallery and gift shop have lots more in store.
Once a morgue and later an ice-house, this lively spot is one of the city's most popular bars and is said to have been the original Sloppy Joe's, entertaining author Ernest Hemingway. Jimmy Buffet sang here for a while in the beginning of his career and now live bands play nightly, who knows, perhaps you will hear the next Buffet. Stop by for a drink, or just to take a look at the "Hanging Tree," located inside the bar.
This strip of sand is one of the best-known beaches in Key West. Named after a former governor, it is just west of the airport and, at two miles long, it is the island's longest strip of sand. This beach is an excellent choice if you have children. With plenty of parking, restrooms, concession stands, chair rentals, picnic tables, watersport rentals and more, everything you need to have a great day in the sun is right at hand. The beach was hit hard by a hurricane in 1998, but it has recovered well and is flourishing once again.
The Key West Garden Club is housed in this Civil War-era fort tower. The club maintains a handsome garden featuring native tropical plants. Art shows and flower shows take place here regularly. An orchid show is a particular lure for connoisseurs and the like. March and November are the prime time for shows. Also in March, the club operates a tour of private gardens in the city, which gives you a chance to look at houses you'd never see otherwise. Donations are welcomed but there's no official charge.
To check out the creative talents in the fields of art and music in Key West, then head to this magnificent and longstanding cultural center known as The Studios of Key West. The bright yellow colored structure, which once served as the armory building, stands out from the rest of the structures on White Street. Walk in here to watch live music events by prominent artists/ bands or admire the artworks on display.
One of the only catholic churches on the island, The Basilica of St. Mary Star of the Sea was built in the year 1905 in the American Victorian style of architecture. Romanesque and early Renaissance elements can also be found in the interiors of the church. The church also features a Lourdes grotto, a replica of a grotto in Lourdes, France, established in the early 1900s, which as legend goes is claimed to be the reason why Key West has never been direct witness to a hurricane since the early 20th century. If you decide to visit, know that 45 minute tours of the church are conducted on a frequent basis. Mass also takes place everyday in English, Spanish and even Polish. If you are in the mood to glimpse at a slice of history, see an example of American Victorian style of architecture or simply attend mass, then a visit to The Basilica of St. Mary Star of the Sea won't let you down.
It may sound morbid to go strolling through cemeteries, but Key West City Cemetery is also a historical landmark. Established in 1847 and covering nearly 20 acres, the cemetery includes the graves of sailors killed in the sinking of the USS Maine in 1898. You will see unique headstones, like a ship's mast or the famous one reading, "I told you I was sick." Admission is free to tour the site on your own.
Located right in the middle of crowded Old Town Key West, this place is an "island in the stream." Owner Nancy Forrester has somehow managed to face down the pressure of development and the tree-tearing fury of hurricanes in order to keep this 30-year-old garden pristine and magnificent. Here you will see the tropics in all its foliage glory with exotics such as orchids nestling in branches, huge ferns, bromeliads, red ginger, pink heliconias and a "sunburn" gumbo-limbo tree. Bring a picnic lunch and tour the onsite art gallery, as well. Admission is USD6.