Now,this little island we call Key West, is more than just a party! This 126-mile drive from Miami that skips across an archipelago of 1,700-plus keys, islets and islands; vistas of breathtaking blue water, crossing from more than 40 bridge and osprey’s-eye view of coral reefs and tidal flats. Toss in kayaks, conch fritters, quirky diners, secret hot spots, unique characters and opulent hotels, and we can only be in one place—the Key West, Florida! With only one weekend and so much to do…
For many Florida Keys road-trippers, there are quite a few questions that arise; Where’s the beach? Who has the best Rum Runner or Key Lime Pie? Where do the locals hang out? Well, here is a weekend plan that will make your trip to Key West fulfilling and leave you for wanting so much more!
BEACHES: Key West
Key West, itself, isn’t known so much for our beaches as some of the places
in the Upper Keys, but we do have a few nice ones. Such as Smather’s Beach, SouthBeachor Higg’s Beach. Some are serene outposts of solitude, shaded by coconut palms. Some are thronged with snorkelers and windsurfers. A few are long enough for a serious stroll, while others are pocket-sized slivers of sand just begging for your beach towel. Just three blocks from the “Duval Crawl,” respite comes in the form of FortZacharyTaylorHistoricState Park. Its beach is fronted by a rock breakwater that calms the ocean enough for even the smallest swimmers. For a bit more excitement, check out SmathersBeach, where you can rent a sailboard, parasail, kite board, a small sailboat or snorkel gear and work off the amazing Key West cuisine that will be awaiting you at the end of your day.
Back to beaches…(and a little side note), if you’re looking for an amazing beach, that’s relatively close to Key West, head back up the Keys, toward Miami, and just as you cross the Seven Mile Bridge from Marathon to Big Pine Key, you will have arrived at your beach haven! Here, U.S. 1 hops, skips and jumps along the most undeveloped portions of the Keys, anchored by the famous beaches of Bahia Honda State Park.
PARTY CENTRAL: Key West After spending a few days hunting for hidden beaches, it’s time to let your hair down and embrace the outrageousness of the ConchRepublic’s capital, Key West, FL.For most, Key West means OldTown’s Duval Street, crowded with shopping and big-name bars like Sloppy Joe’s, Hog’s Breath, the Bull & Whistle and JimmyBuffett’s Margaritaville. Can you try to hit all of these famous bars in the photo? If you do, it’s called the Duval Crawl!
SUNSET: Key West
One show you don’t want to miss is the nightly sunset celebration on the Key West waterfront. As the sun dips low over the Gulf of Mexico, crowds fill Mallory Square, once the anchorage of Keys’ pirates. Today the wharf is a scuttle of vendors, jugglers, escape artists, gymnasts, psychics and magicians, each holding their own spellbound audiences – all for the price of an applause (or tip).
Here, you’re really at the end of the road. But for Florida Keysroad-trippers, that’s not a bad place to be. After all, you get to experience it all over again on the way back.
PLAY: Key West Things To Do
DAY-TRIP THE DRY TORTUGAS: Really get away from it all on these seven islands, 70 miles west of Key West. Snorkel the coral reefs and check out an historic fort. Day trips from Key West. Call (305)294-7009 for Reservations & Booking. 240 Margaret St, Key West, FL33040
Going to Key West without seeing its legendary sunsets is like missing the Eiffel Tower on a trip to Paris. Sure, you can get plenty of pictures and time to ooh and aah at the Mallory Square sunset celebration, but why not get up close and personal with a sunset sail? Watching the Key West sun slide gently below the horizon is a beautiful experience, especially with your friends, family or sweetie by your side. Visit: http://partyinkeywest.com/key-west-things-to-do.html for more information.
Cafe Marquesa For a memorable Key Westdining experience, CaféMarquesa’s “Contemporary American Cuisine” does not disappoint. Specialties include grilled meats and fresh, local seafood, complemented by inventive appetizers and salads as well as fresh baked breads and desserts made daily. Call (305)292-1244 for reservations.
Blue Heaven An artist, a writer and a renowned chef team up in a house where Hemingway once refereed boxing fights.729 Thomas St., Key West; Call 305-296-8666 for reservations.
Conch Republic Seafood Co. Huge bar for adults, huge fish tank for kids, huge views of the harbor.631 Greene St., Key West; 305-294-4403 No reservations needed.
WHERE TO STAY: HOTELS IN KEY WEST
There are so many Hotels, Motels, Guesthouses, and Bed and Breakfast’s in Key West to choose from. How do you choose, you as? First decide what you’re looking for; price, elegance, or location and then go from there. We suggest:
The Marquesa guest rooms will enchant you. This high-rating hotel has amazing rooms that are immaculate, light and airy, equipped with all amenities to make you feel at home…only more pampered. The finest small Key West hotel and restaurant near famed Duval Street, is set in the center of the historic district in Old Town Key West, is surrounded by a lush interior garden and two swimming pools. For the best of Key West, the Marquesa Hotel and Café Marquesa offer a quiet retreat for those wanting luxury, privacy, great food and excellent service. http://Marquesa.com Call for Reservations (305)292-1919
The TrumanHotelis Key West‘s newest boutique hotel. The room decor is SouthBeach hip with Key West flair. Secluded garden setting with pool and large hot tub. Fine dining, steakhouse, deli just a few steps from property. Blocks from it all! http://TrumanHotel.comCall (305)296-6700 for reservations. Key West Marriott Beachside Hotel The Key West Marriott Beachside Hotel is one of the highest rated Key West hotels in the Florida Keys. With it’s own private beach, pool, and restaurant, it’s a romantic stay away from the Duval St. hussle. Stay with us and enjoy all inclusive Key West vacation packages and special deals. http://www.Marriott.com/EYWMC Call for Reservations at 800.546.0885
Blue Marlin Motel
Blue Marlin Motel is One Block from Duval, the Atlantic Ocean, and the beach. In the ‘Heart’ of ‘Old Key West’, a short walk to most attractions. The Blue Marlin Motel is one short block from the Atlantic Ocean and centrally located to the island’s beaches and various watersports. http://BlueMarlinMotel.comCall (305)294-2585 for reservations.
Best Western Hibiscus Motel
Their charming motel, close to SouthBeach, is only one block away from Duval Street! All rooms non-smoking. Tropical setting with heated pool and jacuzzi. Complimentary continental breakfast. http://www.bestwestern.com/plushibiscusmotelCall (305)294-3763 for reservations.
KEY LIME PIE Did you think we would forget to tell you where to get the best Key Lime Pie in Key West? Never fear! Your trip would not be complete without tasting a piece of Kermit’s Key Lime Pie! Visit the store at 200 Elizabeth Street or call (800)376-0806.
Party in Key West is a Key West, Florida destination island guide to find anything and everything to do in Key West. Marjorie Spoto has worked in the Key West advertising and sales market for over 17 years and knows about the tropical island we call Key West.