Key West is slightly nook of Florida that transports you to the islands. We will not be overseas, but it surely does really feel like we’re vacationing within the Caribbean.
It is sensible contemplating Key West is nearer to Cuba than the US mainland.
This was our third go to to The Florida Keys, and now that we have completely explored it, we really feel assured sharing the easiest to do in Key West and past.
This is not only a listing of the standard Mallory Sq. and Jimmy Buffets experiences, we take you out to nature and share hidden gems too. Take pleasure in!
Greatest to do in Key West
1. Picture Cease on the Southernmost Level
It is in all probability probably the most iconic pictures of Key West and a visit to the island would not be full with out the compulsory selfie on the southernmost level.
The cement marker is positioned on the southernmost level of the continental US. With colourful painted strains and writings it lets simply how shut you’re to Cuba.
2. Dry Tortugas Cruise
Situated 70 miles (113km) off the coast, the Dry Tortugas is without doubt one of the most distant nationwide parks in the USA.
The Dry Tortugas was used as a fort between 1845 and 1876. Fort Jefferson was a large army fort used to defend throughout the Spanish American Conflict. It takes up nearly all the Backyard Key.
You possibly can take a day journey out to discover the island and exquisite sandy seashores and you may even camp in a single day on Backyard Key.
3. Trustworthy Eco Key West Tour
That is probably the most spectacular tour we have ever taken in the USA.
Billy Litnmer based Trustworthy Eco Excursions with a imaginative and prescient of sustainability. We designed and created the primary electrical catamaran of its variety in the USA and takes passengers out on the journey of a lifetime.
Our day started with handing out reusable water bottles for every passenger to replenish at their leisure and a serving to of contemporary fruit.
As we made our means out to the open seas, we had been proven a map of the place we might be going and what we might be doing.
4. Dolphin Watching
The tour begins with dolphin watching.
Captain Billy has a eager eye for recognizing dolphins and we watched them from a secure distance for 30 minutes earlier than shifting on to our kayaking vacation spot.
200 bottlenose dolphins dwell within the heat waters off the Florida Keys, and having by no means been fed or skilled, it’s the excellent approach to watch dolphins swim and play of their pure habitat.
We by no means tire of seeing dolphins within the wild.
5. Sea Kayaking
The day continued with Sea Kayaking via the Key West Wildlife Refuge. This is without doubt one of the oldest wildlife refuges within the nation established by Teddy Roosevelt in 1908.
It is a phenomenal place to paddle via calm waters watching cormorants, frigate birds, pelicans, and herons fly from the timber.
We paddled via tiny openings of mangrove forests to enter into a wholly new ecosystem of quiet coves and nonetheless waters.
We noticed jellyfish, stingrays, sharks and different fish from our vessels.
Lots of people go scuba diving within the keys as there are many shipwrecks within the space.
We have not finished scuba diving, however we have been snorkeling within the John Pennekamp State Park twice now.
Whereas John Pennekamp is the one remaining coral reef in the USA, it is not nice.
In the event you’ve by no means been snorkeling earlier than, this is perhaps a great introduction because the waters are calm and shallow however the reef lacks colour and life.
You must hand it to the Florida Keys although, they’re working arduous to carry the reefs again to life with conservation and planting loads of shipwrecks to assist the coral develop.
With today on Trustworthy Eco Excursions, we had the possibility to do many of the greatest Key West water sports activities. We extremely suggest this tour.
7. Mojito Making Session at Key West First Authorized Rum
The Key West First Authorized Rum Distillery dates again to 1900 when it was Jack’s Saloon.
After that, it was became a Coca Cola Bottling heart and there are many antiques and memorabilia relationship again to the flip of the 20th century on this constructing.
We went to the distillery to make mojitos and it was probably the most enjoyable we had on the island.
Proprietor and founder Paul Menta and his spouse Crystal are rum aficionados. A lot in order that they boarded a schooner just a few years in the past and set sail for Cuba with a ship filled with rum.
Cuba is named one of the best rum makers on the planet, so this was a daring transfer. However they had been welcomed with open arms they usually even made the Guinness Ebook of World Data as the primary rumrunners that really introduced rum to Cuba. (not the opposite means round!)
They discovered learn how to make the right Cuban Mojito and introduced their recipe again for everybody to get pleasure from.
We had been in Havana final winter, and we are able to attest, their mojitos tasted precisely just like the traditional Cuban Mojito and it’ll make a rum lover out of you!
Whenever you e-book this expertise, you get to carry residence your glass and instruments to make your personal mojitos at residence.
Ensure you purchase a bottle of rum too, it is scrumptious!
Learn their story right here. It is a good one!
8. Mallory Glow Tour with Key West Hydrobikes
Most individuals head to Mallory Sq. for sundown however if you wish to see a phenomenal sundown e-book this tour.
The Hydrobikes are loads of enjoyable to scoot out to Sundown Key simply earlier than sundown.
You possibly can carry two drinks with you. The town has an open drink coverage so seize a few rum cocktails to place into the drink holders.
By the point the solar goes down, you’re again close to the dock watching the sundown free from crowds and heads in the way in which.
If paddling a waterbike is not your factor, make sure you hop on one of many many sundown cruises.
There are floating bars, schooners and catamarans that can take you out to observe the beautiful sunsets.
9. Mallory Sq.
Effectively, since we have talked about this just a few instances, we should suggest Mallory Sq.. That is the favored place for sundown in Key West.
Every evening a sundown celebration takes place overlooking the Harbor from Mallory Sq.. Avenue performers placed on some dazzling exhibits as crowds kind alongside the big sq..
It is a enjoyable place to hang around, however make sure you carry some small payments or change to tip the performers, they work arduous for his or her cash.
to see at Mallory Sq.
When you are at Mallory Sq., there are some things to see like:
The Maritime MuseumThe Waterfront PlayhouseShipwreck MuseumsThe memorial sculpture backyard is positioned immediately in entrance paying tribute to well-known patrons of the theatre and residents.
Busts embrace sculptures of Heminway, Truman, Tennessee Williams, and plenty of different essential folks.
10. Ernest Hemingway House
Ernest Hemingway has been in every single place. We have visited his outdated haunts in Kenya, Cuba, Michigan, Paris, and Pamplona to call just a few. And also you guessed it, Hemingway lived right here too!
From 1931 to 1939 Hemingway referred to as Key West residence. It is no surprise he spent a lot time in Cuba.
The spotlight of visiting the Ernest Hemingway home is spying the Hemmingway cats. They’re in every single place and every cat is claimed to be a descendant of the six-toed cats that Hemmingway had as pets. Take a look at their paws, they actually do have six toes!
11. Excessive Viewpoint
It is enjoyable to rise up within the air and see the island from above. Most individuals stroll up the Key West Lighthouse to see the island.
We stayed on the Crown Plaza Concha Resort that gave us loads of overhead views too!
12. Butterfly Conservatory
Dave and I’ve visited many a butterfly conservatory in our lives and when listening to folks on our resort shuttle and our pal Lauren from Justin and Lauren, the butterfly conservatory was a spotlight of their journey!
We agree, if you have not been to at least one, be sure you go, there’s something magical a few butterfly touchdown in your shoulder.
13. Duval Avenue Nightlife
Key West was made for partying. As soon as the solar goes down, you will be hard-pressed to discover a sober vacationer.
Duval Avenue is the primary bar and nightlife avenue and barhopping is a lifestyle when visiting the Keys.
From upscale wine bars to dive bars, it has all of it. When strolling by the numerous choices you will hear dwell music blaring from the bars.
That is how we selected the place to go, we regarded for the extra mellow choices.
There are the staples like Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, (which Dave and I needed to go to on our first journey) and the Arduous Rock Cafe.
However just a few different solutions are Lucy’s Retired Surf Bar, Sloppy Joes, Virgillios, Rick’s Café and our private favourite The Wine O Bar and Lounge.
14. Fantasy Fest
If you wish to take partying up a notch, go to Key West on the finish of October for Fantasy Fest.
Throughout our first go to right here, we drove down and did not even understand it was happening.
Boy, what a shock we had after we walked into our resort and noticed loads of pained, bare folks strolling round.
Fantasy Fest is like Mardi Gras on steroids. Folks parade down Duval Avenue nightly displaying off their physique paint and artworks.
Since it’s Key West, there’s loads of alcohol concerned too!
15. Key West Roosters
When strolling round maintain a watch out for the numerous roosters roaming the streets.
These roosters got here from Cuba and had been as soon as used for cockfighting. At this time they rule the roost and dwell a lifetime of leisure.
16. Conch Prepare
If you’re on the lookout for guided excursions to provide the lay of the land, you might wish to hop on the Conch Prepare.
This wasn’t precisely for us, however we do admit it provides you a great overview of Key West neighborhoods and highlights.
17. President Harry S. Truman Little Whitehouse
We visited Washington DC for the primary time two years in the past and noticed the Whitehouse, so why not see the little Whitehouse of Key West.
This was President Truman’s winter, Whitehouse.
This historic landmark has been used as a retreat for different Presidents as lately as President Clinton.
18. Key West Historic Sea Port
We love strolling alongside the water and the Historic Sea Port has a phenomenal boardwalk to soak up the yachts and boat charters.
There are many eating places alongside the boardwalk. Remember to pop into one for a slice of Key Lime Pie.
And get your self a Cuban Espresso at Fisherman Cafe. It was one of the best espresso we had on the island and it was low cost too!
19. Key Lime Pie
Do not go away with out having Key Lime Pie!
It was invented right here and you will by no means have one which tastes so good as in Key West itself.
Kermits is without doubt one of the hottest locations to seize a slice and you will typically discover Kermit himself standing exterior on the nook.
We have been to Key West twice now looking for Seashores. I believe many of the greatest seashores have to be positioned inside the resorts.
There aren’t loads of public seashores.
Fort Zachary Tailor has in all probability one of the best seashore to go to from downtown. There’s a small park entrance payment, however if you’re on the lookout for some sand, that is the place to go.
Smather’s Seaside is the biggest public seashore on Key West at a half a mile lengthy.
There are lounge chairs umbrellas, and watersports provided.
The place to Keep in Key West
If you’re on the lookout for a spot away from the loud music and chaos, the Perry Resort Key West is a quiet retreat on the marina.
This boutique resort has elegant rooms overlooking the waterfront. What we cherished about it was the native vibe. Many individuals from the marina cease into the pool bar for lunch and snacks.
Dinner was excellent with contemporary seafood caught by native fishermen. Remember to strive the oysters.
It provides a free shuttle to downtown on the hour.
Test for Evaluations and pricing on TripAdvisor / Reserving.com
La Concha Crown Plaza
If you’re trying to keep within the coronary heart of the motion, La Concha Crown Plaza is positioned immediately on Duval Avenue.
You simply should step out of your door to be close to all the high sights.
The foyer is busy, however it’s peaceable inside. There is a pool for friends solely. There’s a luxurious rooftop spa and beautiful sundown views.
Test for Evaluations and pricing on TripAdvisor / Reserving.com
If you’re on the lookout for a substitute for a Caribbean Island trip, Key West could possibly be the selection for you.
With Freeway 1 connecting it to the mainland, it is a straightforward approach to get to the center of the Caribbean with out having to hop on a flight.