by Shayne Benowitz
I have made this island my home for the better part of three years. A strong attraction pulled me to Key West in the first place. It is a strong attraction that continues to sustain me here and draws me back whenever I wander away.
The most powerful attraction for me in Key West is the water, the boundless “shallow pleasure seas,” as Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Elizabeth Bishop described them. It was the water and the desire to become handy on a boat that initially attracted me to Key West. I consider myself very lucky to spend almost every day bikini-clad on the deck of a boat under the hot sun. On any given day, I’m either sailing out to snorkel at the coral reef or speeding around the harbor, harnessing customers in for a parasail voyage 300 feet above the infinite hues of the blue-green sea. As a mate at Fury Water Adventures, that’s my job description.
There is an abundance of pleasures in Key West in addition to the sea. The first thing that many visitors embrace is the feeling of complete relaxation. Lounging by the pool, watching the clouds float by is plenty productive for a day in Key West. And if you want to let loose and get a little crazy by nightfall, well, you’re on the right island for that, too.
Key West is an island of contradictions that somehow fuse together into a coherent come-as-you-are attitude. On Duval Street, you can guzzle beers listening to some of the best live music around, dance on bars all night long, and even test your rodeo skills on a mechanical bull. If you are looking for a more tranquil getaway, all it takes is a slight detour off of the bustling Duval Street and a whole other island awaits you with the quiet, peaceful chirpings of tree frogs and a night sky speckled with stars.
There is a wide variety of delicious gourmet restaurants and extraordinary designer shopping to partake in, as well as lots of yummy options for “cheeseburgers in paradise” and souvenir t-shirts.
The rich history that encompasses Key West is another attraction. Literary notables such as novelist Ernest Hemingway and playwright Tennessee Williams sought Key West out for inspiration and focus to complete some of their greatest work. Former president Harry Truman established his Little White House here after enjoying Key West’s laid-back lifestyle on vacation for many years. There is a unique spark to Key West that continues to attract interesting and creative people to the island today and the thriving community of local artists is a testament to this.
Come as you are, break the mold, become a walking contradiction, and decide for yourself what it is that attracts you to Key West. For the inside scoop on how to get the most out of your visit, be sure to check back into this Brand New Blog! I will keep you in-the-know on all things uniquely Key West: delicious restaurants, wild nightlife, fabulous shopping, interesting museums and sights of interest, and of course enumerable activities that come with a killer tan!
For more fun and adventure on the water, be sure to check out my Fury Girl Blog.
Shayne Benowitz is a Fury crewmember and freelance writer who is working on her debut novel. Shayne can be reached at [email protected]