Key West Florida Posts Record Numbers Of Travelers By Air, Boat And Car

As the only Caribbean island that a person can drive to, it is no surprise that Key West, Florida continues to grow year after year as one of the top choices for people looking for a tropical getaway.

Eighty years ago, it was a desolate piece of coral rock, one of the poorest cities in the United States, with a government plan to abandon it. Today, Key West, Florida is one of the number one vacation destinations for people from across the country. Every year, more and more people discover its natural charms and legendary nightlife, and 2013 was no exception. For the fifth year in a row, more people have visited Key West than ever before.

"We are fortunate in that there are more ways to get to our island paradise than any other Caribbean island can boast," replied Chamber of Commerce spokesperson, Ernie Williams, when asked about the record numbers. "Our airport is offering more flights than ever before, including direct flights to New York City and Washington, DC. Being able to have four cruise ships in port at once makes us one of the most attractive ports of call for the industry. Last, but certainly not least, we have the only island vacations you can actually drive to."

Just as important as how to get there is why to go there, and Key West, Florida offers more options than almost any other vacation destination in the United States. Most people are familiar with the world famous bars that line Duval Street, Key West's answer to Bourbon Street, and it is well known as a watery paradise, with fishing, snorkeling and scuba diving. It also has an award-winning eighteen hole golf course, over one hundred miles of bicycle trails up and down the Florida Keys, the Key West restaurants are regarded as some of the best in the country and, probably best of all, it is one of the world's most famous places to watch the sunset.

"People come here for island weddings, they come here for honeymoons, reunions, weekend getaways or month long vacations," Mr. Williams said. "We used to like to say that there are as many reasons for visiting Key West, Florida as there are people who come here. If we keep hitting these record numbers, however, we are going to have to come up with some new reasons just to keep that statement true."

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Jack Terry is a travel and lifestyle writer who lived in Key West for several years.