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Can You Visit Billy Currington’s 23 Degrees and South?

While 23 Degrees and South is a sweet ballad to an old flame, it’s also a love letter to a special place. Country star Billy Currington made it a hit in 2013, and we bet his passion for the city still burns strong.

The Florida town has attracted celebrities, artists, and business tycoons for decades. It’s more than a tropical getaway. In fact, it’s chock full of history, art, and a fascinating blend of cultures.

Join us as we explore 23 Degrees and South.

Let’s dive in!

Beautiful tiki hut bar on the beach. Where is the beachside bar Billy Currington sang about in 23 Degrees and South?
Billy Currington crooned, “Gonna play this old guitar, for beer and tips at a beachside bar.”

About 23 Degrees and South

Billy Currington’s 23 Degrees and South is a quiet, tender love song on his 2013 album We Are Tonight. The tune follows a couple who still enjoy spontaneity and adventure, despite the passing of time. Currington tells his sweetie to join him “23 degrees south,” a place they know so well they can get there without a map.

So where is 23 degrees and south? It refers to the map coordinates of Key West, Florida. As it turns out, Currington loves this area. The singer says he visits frequently to fish, paddleboard, and soak up the sun. It makes perfect sense that this romantic tune’s setting is in one of Currington’s favorite places.

Where Is Key West?

As the southernmost city in the continental U.S., Key West has a fascinating identity. Many famous artists, musicians, writers, and entrepreneurs have called this island home.

Key West is the final link in the Florida Keys chain, and it sits 105 miles from Havana, Cuba. It’s easy to see the Cuban and Bahamian influence on the island’s culture. Palm trees and tropical plants are also abundant, as is the colorful Latin and African-influenced architecture.

Known for its nightlife, Key West’s bars, restaurants, and music venues come alive when the sun goes down. But it’s also home to renowned theater troupes, art galleries, and orchestras. Whether you’re in the mood for a night on the town or a day at a museum, the city has plenty to offer.

You could spend days exploring every corner of Key West. But your stay in this island paradise won’t be complete without a trip to Duval Street.

Located in the Old Town neighborhood, Duval Street was once the city center. In some ways, it still is. You won’t find this unique combination of entertainment, history, and adventure anywhere else in Key West.

Check out world-renowned Sloppy Joe’s Bar for cocktails, or spend some time at Rick’s, a watering hole containing eight distinct bars. The Ripley’s Believe it Or Not! Odditorium and the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservancy are also nearby. 

Plan a visit to the Little White House, President Harry Truman’s secret haven in Key West. And don’t forget to stop by Kermit’s for an authentic slice of Key Lime Pie!

Try some unique foods while you’re in Key West: Where Can You Eat Conch in the USA?

Other Fun Things To Do in Key West

After checking Duval Street off your bucket list, what comes next? The simple answer is just about anything. You won’t have any trouble finding adventure on this island.

Here are a few fun ways to spend a day in Key West.

Visit the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum

The famous American novelist Ernest Hemingway lived in Key West for nearly a decade before he died in 1961. Now you can visit his home, a French colonial-style estate built in 1848.

The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum displays mementos, furniture, and artifacts from the writer’s life. Explore the lush gardens and see the swimming pool, one of his biggest projects and the first one built on the island. Hemingway was also a cat lover, and your tour includes a meet-and-greet with some of the felines still living on the property.

Explore Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park

Want the best sun, sand, and surf in Key West? You might be surprised to learn you can find all three at Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park.

The park’s beach has crystal-clear water, making it the perfect place for snorkeling and swimming. Bring your fishing gear and paddleboard, or grill up some grub on the beach’s built-in barbecues. For a change of pace, you can tour Fort Taylor with a group or via the interpretive trail.

Check Out the Key West Lighthouse and Keeper’s Quarters Museum

The Key West Lighthouse was built in the 1840s to guide military and commercial ships safely to shore. Today the lighthouse is defunct, but you can explore the museum that sits on the original grounds.

Climb the winding staircase and take in one of the island’s best views. Then explore the Keeper’s Quarters, a late 19th-century house displaying artifacts, photographs, and lighthouse history. Located across the street from the Hemingway House, you can tour both in the same afternoon.

Ernest Hemingway's house in Key West, Florida, is a popular tourist spot
Ernest Hemingway’s house in Key West, Florida, is a popular tourist spot

Best Places to Stay in Key West

Key West offers plenty of accommodations, from campsites to luxury hotels. Here are a few ideas to help you begin planning your trip.

Boyd’s Key West Campground

Boyd’s is a true slice of paradise with dozens of waterfront campsites. Bring your RV or pitch a tent and enjoy amenities like full hookups, showers, free WiFi, a swimming pool, and laundry facilities. In addition, you can grab supplies at the general store and use your beach access privileges to work on your tan.

Rates vary but start around $160 per night for RVs and travel trailers.

Looking for more options? We’ve got the 9 Best Florida Keys Campgrounds.

The Garden House

Book a few nights at the Garden House for an island-vibe experience. This boutique hotel in Old Town has historic charm and modern amenities like cable TV, in-room mini-fridges, high-quality linens, and spacious walk-in showers. Relax by the pool or snooze in a chaise lounge on the sun deck.

Rates start around $139 per night.

Key West Marriott Beachside

While the Key West Marriott Beachside may lack tropical decor, it more than makes up for it in luxury. This hotel sits on seven acres and offers marble floors, gourmet suite kitchens, garden tubs, and fine linens. You’ll also have access to a heated pool, outdoor bar, and on-site restaurant to round out the experience.

Nightly rates start around $459.

Add a few of these to your own bucket list: The New Key West Bucket List – 100 Offbeat Adventures In The Southernmost City.

Feel the Island Vibe in Key West

It’s easy to see how Key West inspired Billy Currington’s hit track. With so much fun and adventure, it’s hard not to be smitten with the place.

Key West is the perfect location to escape the grind and unwind. With a mix of history, nightlife, nature, and culture, you’ll have plenty of activities to entertain yourself. Now might be the time to plan your journey to 23 degrees and south!

Discover the Best Free Camping Across the USA

To be honest with you, we hate paying for camping. There are so many free campsites in America (with complete privacy).

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