Lazy days in Key West
Sunset in Key West
Key West is such a lovely place with a very charming atmosphere. We wanted to go here for years and it was definately one of the highlights of our roundtrip in Florida. Even though there are a lot of tourists this relaxing place still has a lot of bohemian charm.
How to get to Key West from Miami?
Key West is the most southern of the Florida Keys islands 256 kilometres southwest from Miami.
Starting in Miami you have three lovely hours by car passing across 42 bridges and the five Florida key islands: Key Largo (the first island) where you can swim with dolphins, Islamorada, Marathon, Big Pine Key and then finally the most famous one of the islands, Key West. Seven Mile Bridge connects the island of Marathon with Big Pine Key. The Overseas Highway is 170 kilometres in total.
"Starting in Miami you have three lovely hours
by car, passing across 42 bridges and
the five Florida Keys Islands"
Even if 256 kilometres might not sound a lot it will take you well above three hours even if there is no traffic. Forget everything about multi-lane highways! This is a small road passing through all the little villages along the way.
Top 10 things to do in Key West
1. Walk along Duval Street
Walk along Duval street and admire the lovely colonial style houses, visit the cafés and rstaurants. Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and chat with the friendly locals.
2. Eat Key Lime Pie
The Key Lime Pie is the signature desert of Key west. It is like a cheesecake with lime. Superb!
3. Visit the Ernest Hemingway museum
There used to be a lot of painters and writers going to Key West. One of the more famous writers who lived here was Ernest Hemingway. His house is open to the public and you can go on guded tours there. It is well worth the time and money!
We had a really fun guide who gave us the feeling that it was Hemingway himself that gave us a tour around the house and garden.
Hemingway loved cats and had a lot of them. They all had six toes. When they died he buried them in a special cat cemetary in the garden!
4. Visit the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory
This place is beautiful and you find the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory along Duval street.
5. Water sports
One of the world´s third largest coral reef is outside The Keys. You can also go deep sea fishing.
6. Fort Zachary Taylor
A little further from the city center you find the nature reserve Fort Zachary Taylor. There you find a restaurant and larger beaches. Perfect for snorkling.
7. Rent a bike and go around Key West
There are a lot of really nice houses in Key West and the atmosphere is very friendly and relaxed. Bike along the smaller streets stopping by to talk to the locals
8. Visit the photo and art galleries
There are some amazing photo and art galleries along Duval Street to visit.
9. Get up early to see the sunrise
This is a really big thing in Key West. Lots of tourist were up at 7 a.m. to take photos of the sunrise. So did we!
10. Celebrate the sunset
Sunsets is one of the main attractions in Key West. We were stunned by all the people waiting for the sunset, bells ringing, people applauding it and that there were special sunset boat trips. In Sweden the sunset lasts for hours so you don´t stand waiting for it this way.
How long to stay in Key West?
Most people visit Key West just for the day. Don´t! We stayed in Key West for five nights and four days and it was perfect.
Where to stay in Key West?
Key West is a very popular destination and the hotels are expensive. You can probably rent a really nice apartment or cottage through AirBnb since a lot of houses seemed to be holiday homes only.
We chose to stay at Southernmost Beach Resort lovely situated by the Atlantic and right at the starting point of the main street Duval. The hotel has own of Key West´s beaches just by, a apool and a really nice garden with hammocks between the palm trees.
Parking is complementary. You can have breakfast in the hotel, at the beach restaurant or in one of the lovely restaurants along Duval Street.
Some of the rooms come with two queen sized beds so if the kids are younger you can very well fit in a family of four. Our kids were 12 and 14 at the time of our visit.
The hotel also has some lovely villas and guest houses but those are for adults only.
Where to eat in Key West?
There are a lot of restaurants along Duval Street. Most of them are really good. This time we did not book in advance but just popped in at different restaurants and got great food everytime. The portions are huge so my daughter and I ended up sharing for dinner.
Once here you have to try the Key Lime Pie, a cheese cake with lime.
Weather in Key West
The climate in Key West differs from Miami. We visited Key West around Christmas and by then it was really cold in Miami and snow in northern Florida. Yet, in Key West it was around 23-25 degrees Celsius. And sunny every day. It can be windy though from what we have been told.
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