The Colorful Keys

Black and white aren't actually colors themselves. You see, the color black is the absence of color, whereas white is the exact opposite.

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That's what several years in a creative advertising environment taught me among other things! And it's a fun fact to know when it comes to the Florida Keys and Key West, some of the most colorful islands in all the world. Set against the white hot Florida sun and resulting backdrop of year-round aquamarine seas, the Keys glow according to the intensity of the sun. Partly sunny equates to "colorful", while the other two thirds of the year are sunny, and you're surrounded by the most intense tropical colors of the year. It's nearly impossible to be sad when you're here!

The artist palettes are as bright as their canvases throughout the Keys. Artists set up all around Old Town Key West painting the scenic views, which are quite plentiful...each one better than the next around every corner.  Or take time to stop in the many galleries and discover some unique works of art to brighten your home.

Even the local pub crawl, known in Key West as the Duval Crawl, can be colorful. The neon lights of the iconic Sloppy Joe's Bar light up Duval Street day and night.

It seems there's nothing the artist's brush doesn't touch - from coconut palms, picket fences, and conch houses, to Key West's most popular form of transportation, the bicycle.

The famous Whaling Wall in Key West, one of many throughout the Florida Keys and the world, was painted by marine life artist Wyland to promote ocean conservation. Follow your own Wyland tour and check out some of the most colorful art in the Keys!

You paint your houses pink, and orange, and neon yellow, when your pools are this blue!

The flora of the islands are as aromatic as they are colorful, like this pink and white frangipani, a gift on the ground each morning.

Good sunglasses are a must in the Keys and all of Florida. The white intensity of the sun is different than you may be used to in other parts of the US and the world. The lower Keys are closer to Cuba and the Caribbean than the mainland United States, so protect yourself from eye strain and headaches by investing in polarized sunglasses with UV blocking glass.

The summertime seas around the Florida Keys are sometimes hard to distinguish where the sea ends and the horizon begins. On this day in July, the water looked like satin sheets, as calm as could be and an absolutely perfect day for diving, snorkeling, and being out on the water. 

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It's not always this dead calm, but it's always this blue.

It goes without saying that the most colorful time of day in the Keys is often at sunset - the Keys are famous for them. No two are ever the same, and they all deliver the same dazzling evening performance, which is why it's customary to celebrate the sunset. It's a daily Rite of Passage.

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So grab your favorite cocktail and someone you love, and head to the closest joint on the water. In Key West, head down to Mallory Square. It's the place to say goodbye to the day with a sunset like nowhere else in the world.

Has your summer ended yet or do you have plans to keep the fun going a little while longer? 


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Florida Keys, Key West