Key West, Florida actually maintains a cooler temperature during the summer than mainland Florida. This summer, local businesses are banding together to help get people out of the heat.
It seems illogical to people who have never been there before, but the further south you go, the cooler you are actually going to find it during the summer. With its subtropical location on the edge of the Caribbean Sea, many people simply assume Key West, Florida is going to be one of the hottest places in the country. It may not be exactly welcoming to polar bears and penguins, but thanks to its location and the restriction on large construction projects, it manages to remain one of the cooler spots in Florida all summer long.
"There are two parts, one natural and one manmade, that work together to help keep the island cooler than places like Miami and Orlando during the summer," meteorologist Stan Becker said recently when explaining this phenomenon. "The natural aspect is the trade winds which blow pretty consistently all summer long west to east across the island. Places like Miami and Orlando are too far removed from the west coast so the winds have long since diminished before they get there. The manmade aspect can be better described as 'man not-made.' All these other cities have large steel and concrete infrastructures that trap the heat. In Key West, there is no building over six stories, and most of the neighborhoods are low lying houses surrounded by natural vegetation."
It is this combination that has helped turn Key West into the number one destination for island weddings, and the number two overall choice for destination weddings. Once word got out how tolerable it can still be during the summer, the wedding season continued to grow until now there are weddings happening all twelve months of the year.
Still, the local merchants are working harder than ever to get the word out about how special island vacations in the summertime can be. That's why many Key West restaurants, resorts and charter businesses are coming together to offer package deals. Imagine spending several nights in a beautiful resort right on the Gulf of Mexico, spending an afternoon snorkeling the only barrier reef in North America, and then having a romantic dinner at the Roof Top Cafe, all at a fraction of what it would cost in the winter time. This summer, cool down by saving money and heading as far south as you can go.
Jack Terry is a freelance travel and lifestyle writer who lived in key West for several years.