Key West, a fabled palm-fringed 2-by-4-mile island town in the Florida Keys, is a magically scenic, exotic destination for families. Just 90 miles from Cuba, Key West is closer to that island nation than to Miami.
Poised at the end of the Florida Keys chain -- first discovered by Ponce de Leon in 1513 -- Key West has long been a destination for artists and adventurers. A town that's easy to get around on foot and on bike, Key West has plenty to offer to families who love the sea. The island, rich with pirate history, is surrounded by both the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, framing it with poetic natural beauty. Just getting there can be an adventure, driving south from Miami on the Overseas Highway, or flying over clear azure waters.
I've had the incredible gift of living in Key West for six years. We moved there with an 18-month-old daughter and go back as often as we can. Here are some of my tips for the perfect family vacation day with kids in Key West, Fla.: