I've been on the road half my life, and looking back, it was harder in those days. When I was playing baseball, we'd catch a train bus, boat, whatever, to get there. We'd be on a bus for hours, and there were a few white knuckle-flights and prop planes. Now, after all these years, I look forward to going on a trip.
If you go
Travelers can fly from BWI-Marshall to Miami or Tampa and then connect to Key West. Carriers include American Airlines, United, Delta and AirTran.
Hyatt Key West Resort and Spa, 601 Front St., Key West, 305- 809-1234, keywest.hyatt.com. The 118-room resort is on the Gulf of Mexico and within walking distance of Key West's famed Duval Street. Amenities include Jala Spa, a 24-hour gym, an outdoor swimming pool and small beach. The hotel's fine-dining restaurant, SHOR American Seafood Grill, is known for its Key lime dessert, fresh lobster and Key West pink shrimp. The casual Blue Mojito Pool Bar and Grill serves up fresh fish tacos, burgers and tropical drinks.
Conch House, 625 Truman Ave., Key West. 305-293-0020, conchhouse.com. Owned by descendants of Key West settlers, this historic B&B in "Old Town Key West" has 10 rooms with pretty decor and names that pay homage to Ernest Hemingway and the island's Cuban connections.
The Hemingway Home and Museum is where the famous novelist wrote several books. Descendants of Hemingway's equally famous six-toed cats live on the grounds. Go to hemingwayhome.com.
The Conch Train Tour hits the town's favorite bars, eateries and shops on Duval Street, and historic sites such as Harry S. Truman's winter White House.
The Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square is a nightly Key West ritual, complete with music, vendors and revelry, including jugglers and stilt-walkers. The square features an aquarium, shipwreck museum and a memorial sculpture garden. Don't miss a small section with engraved "Baltimore" bricks.
For more info on Key West, visit fla-keys.com