“It’s the best place I’ve ever been any time, anywhere,” Ernest Hemingway wrote of Key West. “Flowers, tamarind trees, guava trees, coconut palms. … Got tight last night on absinthe and did knife tricks.” Now as then, Florida’s southernmost key offers the delights of a tropical paradise matched by spectacular night life. The writer’s favorite pastimes in the 1930s — catching big fish, eating well and drinking hard — still define the island’s appeal today. This historic allure persists in the decades of memorabilia on saloon walls, “conch-style” homes inhabited by famous writers and the never-ending diversion of the omnipresent pale-blue sea. Dip beneath the surface in the Conch Republic, and you’ll find something for everyone in the family. You may also find that, in Key West, everyone feels like a kid.