If you think Florida is just for visiting Disney world, think again. Since living here the last few months, I have discovered what the sunshine state has to offer and I simply cannot get enough.
One of my favorite spots to explore is Key West, you do not need a passport when visiting this island paradise, but it will feel like you are in the Caribbean. Famous for its beautiful beaches, romantic venues, and spectacular views, Key West should be on everyone’s vacation list.
The best time to visit:
Key West has a ton of activities to do in all season but the best time to visit is generally between March and May. The weather is perfect with temperatures averaging in the 70’s and 80’s. The winter crowds have also tapered off and the hotel rates will be a lot reasonable, so make sure you take advantage of them.
Getting to Key West:
There are numerous ways of getting to Key West.
Getting to the southernmost point of the United States is a ton of fun if you decide to get there by car.
You will see the most scenic views of the other islands and go on bridges that stretch for miles. Maybe you will even be surprised by dolphins while on the bridge.
If you are coming from Miami, the drive will take approximately 3 hours and from Fort Lauderdale around 4 hours.
The easiest way to get to the Keys is through the Florida interstate, you will pay tolls along the way via ticketed booths. I suggest buying a Sun Pass to get a discount on the tolls. You can buy the passes in any Publix supermarket.
If you decide to stay in the Old town or historic district of Key West you will not be needing your car very often since everything is walking distance.
There is only one ferry option to Key West that leaves from Ft. Myers and is a full day sail with overnight options available.
You can check out the trip schedule at the Key West Express ferry.
If you want to get to Key West fast, you’re in luck cause there are numerous daily flights from major airlines that can get you to this island paradise.
The following airlines are currently flying to Key West:
- Delta has direct flights available to/from Atlanta (ATL)
- Silver Airways has direct flights to/from Orlando (MCO), Ft. Lauderdale (FLL), Tampa (TPA), Fort Myers (RSW)
- United has direct flights to/from Newark (EWR), Chicago (ORD)
- American has direct flights available to/from Miami (MIA), Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), Washington DC (DCA), Charlotte (CLT)
For most or all of your flights, you will likely be transferring to a smaller aircraft to get to your final leg to Key West.
Where to stay:
Luxury: Sunset Key Cottages
Want to get pampered and eat the most incredible seafood while feeling the ocean breeze? Take a short trip to Sunset Key, a private island that is only a short ferry ride from Key West.
Stay at Sunset Key Cottages to experience the luxury of island living. Be sure to reserve a cottage with an ocean view and be lulled to sleep by the sound of the waves.
Take advantage of the island by doing some star gazing at night and wake up to the beautiful sunrise while enjoying the private beach all to yourself. The water is so warm that it’ll be hard to get out!
Craving some amazing seafood? Make a reservation at Latitudes where every dish is mouth-wateringly delicious. Any seafood on the menu is a must try, when it comes to dessert make sure to order the mango creme brulee and the key lime pie, I guarantee they will be some of the best desserts you will ever eat!
If you are planning to visit the restaurant, be sure to make a reservation beforehand otherwise, you will not be permitted to go aboard the ferry (unless you are staying at Sunset Key Cottages). So plan ahead.
Ferry schedule to and from the island:
The ferry leaves Margaritaville Key West resort for Sunset Key at 15 minutes before and after the hour.
From Sunset Key to Margaritaville on the hour and the half hour. The ferry trip is approximately 10 minutes.
Resort: Margaritaville Key West Resort
If you are looking to stay in the historic district of Key West, then Margaritaville Key West Resort is the perfect place! You will be spoiled by the fresh margaritas they serve daily and be sure to take advantage of the luxurious pool on the property!
You do not need to go far to get some amazing dishes, just walk over to their restaurant Bistro 245. Try the Maine lobster Mac and Cheese, I guarantee you’ll be coming back for more.
You can experience the most epic sunset by heading to the Sunset Deck above Bistro 245, then order those margarita’s while you enjoy the view.
Margaritaville Key West Resort is conveniently located and walking distance to all the incredible shops and sites. So park that car and explore by foot.
6 best things to do on your next Key West holidays:
Going on Key west holidays is a must if you are a visitor or a local, so here are the top 7 things to do when you are on the island.
Go for a neighborhood Stroll
One of the best ways to see Key West is to go for a walk around the old town or the historic district of the island. You will see the most beautiful and colorful homes. Every single street corner is so photogenic that it’ll make you want to take photos for hours!
If you are looking for some history, make sure to check out Ernest Hemingway’s home. Find out more about this iconic writer and enjoy the beautiful gardens.
See a movie at Cinema Tropic
One of the hidden secrets of Key West is their vintage feel movie theaters. Our favorite is Cinema Tropic, an independent theater created with art deco design to represent old Hollywood and contemporary cinema.
Make sure to say hello to Marilyn Monroe before you enter the theater.
Swim with the sharks
Up for a little adventure? Try shark diving with Keys Shark diving. They will take you on a heart-stopping experience viewing and diving with sharks.
Don’t worry, they guarantee the cage to be 100% shark proof. It takes 10 minutes to an hour for the sharks to show and then they deploy hook-less baits which allows you to see the sharks up close and personal.
Make friends with the chickens:
This may sound strange but the Key West chickens and rosters are a staple in the island. You’ll find them roaming around while you shop and will even join you for lunch and dinner. Make friends with these charming creatures who will make your stay more fun and livelier with their morning and honestly all day crowing.
Enjoy live music:
Key West is not just a lot of fun in the sun, although there is a lot of that, the night-life is definitely something to experience. There are a ton of night clubs and amazing live events happening around downtown. You can check out a list of all the live performances here.
Enjoy a bar-hopping at Duval street where you will find the best music performances on the island and enjoy more of those margaritas!
Take a ghost tour:
Want a unique nightlife experience? Go on a haunted walking tour with Key West ghost and mysteries tours. Enjoy a night stroll around the neighborhood and visit spooky locations that will make your hair stand on end!
Your guide will take you off the beaten path and share the hidden side of the island that most visitors will never get to see.
Are you ready for your Key West holidays adventure? Tell us your favorite spots and any hidden gems that you discover while you are on the island.