Key West is approached easily from the Gulf or Hawk Channel on the Atlantic side. Called “Cayo Hueso” (Island of Bones) by Spanish explorers for its dismal Indian history, the English mottled the name into Key West. A melting pot for Cubans and Bahamians, the town has had its highs and lows as a center for wrecking, cigar-making and sponging. Today, tourism rules, and while the crowd can be overwhelming, it’s still my favorite spot in Florida. To find old Key West, avoid the temptations of Duval Street. Be a noob and buy a ticket on the conch train to get your bearings. There is something in this town for everybody, and I mean everybody, so check the local events calendar for the right fit! Good food is a short walk away. You can’t miss at the A&B Lobster House (upstairs), the Roof Top Café or the bar at Bagatelle. For decent music try the Hog’s Breath Saloon. We have stayed at most of the marinas and they’re all about the same: pricey. If you have a skiff, be sure to visit Woman Cay (11 nautical miles west) — the water is better than in the Bahamas!