On a recent December cruise out of the Port of Tampa, we were fortunate to be able to dock in Key West and see for ourselves it’s resilient post-Irma come-back.

Key West is alive and well and wants the world to know that its world-class beaches, fun-loving locals, spectacular fishing, and legendary sunsets are as fabulous as ever.

Key West was devastated on September 11, 2017, when Category 4 Hurricane Irma blew in. Locals were evacuated from the Keys, and many were unable to return for at least a month as a result of Irma’s wrath. Three months later, the majority of restaurants, shops, and hotels are open for business and operating at full-speed.

We rented bikes from Island Bike Rental at the Port exit and proceeded to peddle around the island. The downtown, including Duval St, is a bustling thoroughfare which exhibits no visible scars from the storm. Restaurants and bars are humming. The shops were open and filled with wares, the beaches were as beautiful as ever, the pristine turquoise water inviting sunbathers, swimmers, boaters, and fishermen.

We biked to the inner part of the island and stopped at Shanna Key Irish Pub for a libation. We spoke to several of the locals who revealed an anxiousness to see visitors return to their beautiful island. They said that tourism has slowly increased but not yet to pre-Irma levels.

The residents of Key West are exceedingly proud of their island and all it has to offer. Resilient, they have worked very hard to get “things back to normal.”

We had a spectacular time in Key West and encourage others to do the same and not shy away. Key West is alive and thriving and awaiting your visit!

KRISTA GALLATY is an influential coach, trainer, and consultant who has enjoyed a highly successful 20+ year career in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries, all the while traveling extensively for both business and pleasure. Combining her vast business experience and her passion for helping others, she’s an extraordinary facilitator, coach, and trainer aimed at improving performance outcomes by aligning people strategies with their goals.

As a Midlife Road trip correspondent, she shares her experiences on land and sea from multigenerational travel, to where to find the best eats in the French Quarter and much, much more.

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