Ramble the artistic capital of the Conch Republic
Spend years in Key West, and you’ll still discover daily surprises. Look for them tucked along island streets— the corners of which are attended by crowing rooster sentries that amble around the place—or hidden behind thick tapestries of tropical trees decked with vibrant blooms drooping in the humid air.
All these wonders are accessible from a room at the exquisite Marquesa Hotel, which is nestled on Fleming Street and painted in an aquamarine echo of the sea. Its facades encircle quiet courtyards and shimmering pools. The hotel is within walking distance of the bustle of busy Duval Street—of everything, really—but it feels miles away.
The lures of Old Town Key West are manifold: They’re buoyed by the island’s thriving creative spirit and bolstered by the vibrant artistic and literary communities that call it home.
The intersection of Key West’s originality and tropical beauty can be found in the Gallery on Greene, an art hub that’s home to works by many makers, including artists Peter Vey, Mario Sanchez, and Wayne Garcia, lauded painters of Key West scenes, whose canvases are filled with the colors and character of the town. “Their work captures the spirit of the island,” explains owner Nance Frank, an esteemed art dealer and collector. “It’s unlike any other place on Earth.”
Frank, a lifelong resident of The Keys, sees the area’s appeal reflected in the works hanging in her gallery, paintings with blue skies, waving palms, and the brightly colored landmarks that locals and visitors alike have come to love. It’s the town that inspired countless artists and writers to linger and to create. Frank explains the island’s allure: “There’s so much to discover here. Ask anyone—we’d never dream of leaving.”