There’s nothing like the open road, and what better destination than sunny Key West, Florida? Prep for a perfect spring or summer vacation to the Keys with these sights and reading recommendations.
Meagan Cahuasqui is an avid book reader and frequent contributor for Cultura Colectiva. If you also want to be part of our growing pool of contributors, click on this link and send a 400-word article for the chance to be featured in our website.
The word vacation, for many people, is synonymous with reading. But what to read? You need a book that is well suited to the time you actually have to read, and the place you are going. Sunny Florida calls for certain types of reading: invigorating and strong. So here we give you our top picks for your next Florida vacation!
Robbie’s in Islamorada
Get into the spirit of fishing with a stop at the famous Robbie’s in Islamorada. For just a few bucks, you can feed the large tarpon. Just watch out for the pesky pelicans.
Take a look into the mindset of sea life with The Hungry Ocean: A Swordboat Captain’s Journey by Linda Greenlaw.
Best known as the captain of the Hannah Boden, featured in the film The Perfect Storm, this memoir gives the adventurous accounts of a woman succeeding in a dangerous and male-dominated profession.
Key Largo Conch House
You can’t have a road trip without sampling the local cuisine. Get the best slice of key lime pie from this restaurant and try the fresh seafood dishes while you’re there.
Follow the characters of Key Lime Pie & Murder by Lori Woods, a Sweet Treats Cozy Mystery, as they solve the murder of a ship captain before the protagonist debuts her new, special recipe.
To get into Key West, you must cross the famous Seven-Mile Bridge.
Though the old bridge’s park is closed until 2021, you can still get a sense of adventure by reading The Road to Key West by Michael Reisig.
This story takes places in the 1970s and follows its characters from the Caribbean to Central America, making stops along the way in the Keys. Romance, adventure, and thrills abound in this wacky novel, the perfect companion to a Keys trip.
You can’t take a trip to Key West without visiting the house of one of its most famous residents: Ernest Hemingway.
Get the history of the writer and his love of the city. While you’re there, visit the bookstore and pick up a copy of To Have and Have Not.
Though Hemingway wrote many of his novels while living in the Keys, this is the one that most features the city he made his home.
Tennessee Williams Key West Exhibit
Another famous writer in residence, Tennessee Williams lived and worked in Key West, producing some of his most famous writings there. He loved Key West because it was the only place where he could write and swim every day.
Sample his most famous work, A Streetcar Named Desire, to prepare for your visit to the museum.
Key West Lighthouse
Visit one of Key West’s most beautiful historic sights, the lighthouse. Part of its history is the many women lighthouse keepers, a job usually associated with men.
Dive into the life of a keeper’s family with The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter by Hazel Gaynor. Though the novel does not take place in Key West, it offers a brilliant, fictional telling of how women can shape nautical history.
The Beaches of Key West
From Smathers to Southernmost Point to Fort Zachary Taylor, Key West has beaches in abundance.
What better way to enjoy your lazy days in the sun than with a good book? Try out The Veins of the Ocean by Patricia Engel. Taking place across Miami, the Keys, Cuba, and Colombia, this novel offers a vast setting with a deep story that will keep you turning the page.
Cover photo @inga.dybur
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