Best Time to Visit: Summer, duh.
Reasons to Visit:
- Sun, Sand & Sea: The Florida Keys (named so because they are a coral cay archipelago) are home to some of the best beaches not only in Florida but in the continental USA. Key West is the largest town at the very south an indeed has the Southernmost point in the US. It’s a great base to explore the Keys mostly due to the airport access and accommodation options. A few buses also run from Key West that take you to better beaches such as the Bahia Honda state park.
- Tip: Key West somewhat of a party town during spring break and peak summer. Hence we prefer to spend weekdays there over weekend.
- Tip: Book your summer accommodation as early as possible to get a good deal otherwise rooms get a tad expensive or far from Duval Street. We recommend Angelina Guesthouse (No children allowed, 18+ only). We’d found this on short notice but it provided a great location, price point and southern hospitality.
- Snorkeling / Watersports: Snorkeling is a must-do activity in Key West even if you cannot swim (like us). All equipment is easy to use and for folk who can’t swim, they can stay near the boat. Looking at the wide variety of marine life from up close is a lot of fun. For adept swimmers, there is an opportunity to swim up to coral reefs and back. Plus the sunset on the way back is amazing. Apart from that a few tour companies also run watersport boats an water scooters.
- Ernest Hemingway’s Home: Compared to a lot of the US, Key West has a higher amount of history and character in it. One of the mainstays of the historical aspect of Key West is a tour of Ernest Hemingway’s house and seeing the famous six toed cats. Apart from that, walking around the old school downtown is quite charming.
- Getting There: If you are driving to Key West, taking a bus down from Miami or flying in, traveling to and from Key West is a great experience. The 7 mile bridge over the ocean is exactly what you’d imagine.
Weather: Warm and sunny for a lot of the year. Avoid the Florida hurricane season and you’re good to go. Max temperatures in summer range from 25-30C.
Getting In & Around:
- Again, like most of the US, it’s best to drive in and around.
- Key West airport provides airlinks from different parts of FL and select other destinations like ATL. Check out the destinations wiki. Greyhound runs a few buses from MIA airport in Miami as well. The Greyhound station in Miami is in the middle of nowhere so the airport is the best place to find connections to South Beach.
- The whole town is pretty walkable. However for the sunny days, Key West Transit runs buses quite infrequently around town that cost $2 a day.
- Key West transit also runs the Lower Keys shuttle that we have taken to reach the beautiful Bahia Honda state park.
Food & Drink:
- Lots of great Seafood to be had from Crabcakes, lobsters and many more to choose from. There is a lot of Carribean / Cuban influence in the food here based on the location which we are fans of.
- Our top meal recommendations are Blue Heaven (great Carribean influence food) and Latitudes (restaurant with the best views as it’s on a private island, pic above) for dine-in experiences.
- For quick an inexpensive bites that are delicious, check out Bien (formerly Paseo that also existed in Seattle) and the Eaton Street seafood market.
- Finally, do not leave Key West without having the sweet and tart Key Lime Pie (Yoda isn’t a big fan but Dalek is).
N.B. Unfortunately, no food pics at all due to the phase of life we were in 2.5 years ago where we did not believe in the concept of photographing our food.