How to Spend a Day in Key West - Our Wander-Filled Life (2023)

At the southern tip of Florida, Key West is a quintessential island town. It’s full of history and quirky island flair. Spending at least a day in Key West is something that should be on everyone’s bucket list.

Of course, you could easily spend more than one day in Key West. But, we know that not everyone has unlimited vacation time. And, getting to Key West is not necessarily easy. So, we’ll focus on how to make the most of just one day.

How to Spend a Day in Key West - Our Wander-Filled Life (1)

(Disclaimer: When we link to places you can buy our stuff or places we stayed, we are using special codes which earn us commissions on the salesat no additional cost to you. Please see ourReview Policyfor more information.)

Planning Your Key West Trip

Let’s start with some of the logistics of planning a trip to Key West. Yes, you can fly straight to Key West. But, it’ll cost you. And, honestly, the drive through the Florida Keys from Miami to Key West is one of the best drives in the country.

Thus, our recommendation is to fly into Miami, rent a car and make the drive to Key West. In fact, this is exactly what we did when we visited in August 2021. Our long weekend was just enough time to enjoy the trip, though we easily could have enjoyed more time in Key West.

Read Grant’s article on the drive from Miami to Key West.

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Another thing to consider when planning your trip to Key West is the time of year. I’m going to be honest, August is just about the worst time to go. Not only is it hot but it is also hurricane season so your trip could easily get canceled or could be very rainy.

We knew booking this trip for August was risky. But, we were looking to use a couple of free night hotel certificates before they expired at the end of August. So, we rolled the dice.

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The day we arrived in Key West, Hurricane Ida was passing over Cuba, just 90 miles south. Yes, we did get the very tips of the rain bands and some high winds and waves. Overall, though, it wasn’t bad enough to ruin our day in Key West! Honestly, though, we got lucky.

It’s best to avoid visiting the Keys during hurricane season, if possible.

One Day in Key West

Once you make it to Key West, you’ll find much more to do than just sit on the beach. And, if you’ve only got one day in Key West, we suggest you spend that time exploring. Of course, if you have two or three days, then you should definitely plan to spend time soaking up the sun!

Southernmost Point

As you tour Key West, you’ll find many references to the fact that it is the southernmost city in the contiguous United States. And, of course, there is a marker noting the Southernmost Point. You’ll find it on the southeastern side of Key West, at the corner of South Street and Whitehead Street.

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I would suggest hitting the Southernmost Point early in the day to avoid the long lines of people waiting to get a picture. Or, just forgo the selfie and take a picture of the buoy between the other visitors, as we did!

US 1 Mile Marker 0

At 2,370 miles, US Highway 1 is the longest north-south road in the United States. It runs from Key West, FL to Fort Kent, ME connecting many major cities on the east coast. While it does not hug the coastline for its entire length, it is the only highway through the Florida Keys. As such, you’ll know you’ve arrived in the heart of Key West when you reach Mile Marker 0.

  • How to Spend a Day in Key West - Our Wander-Filled Life (5)
  • How to Spend a Day in Key West - Our Wander-Filled Life (6)

Yes, the location is clearly marked, at the corner of Whitehead Street and Fleming Street. Of course, there are plenty of souvenirs if you are looking for one.

Conch Tour Train

We usually find the tourist trains and trolleys in various towns a bit too, well, touristy. Not in Key West, though. In fact, we highly recommend you take a ride on the Conch Tour Train as one of your first activities in Key West.

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The Conch Train is an open-air tram that takes you through the streets of Key West. Along the way, you’ll pass many of Key West’s most popular attractions. Train engineers will narrate the journey, providing information on Old Town Key West and its history.

Tours depart daily from Front Street and make three stops on the 75-minute journey. While it may be a little hokey, we cannot think of a better way to start your day in Key West. It really is a great way to learn about the city.

Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum

One of Key West’s most famous residents was Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winner Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway initially arrived in Key West for a visit that ended up being longer than anticipated. It didn’t take long for him and his second wife to fall in love with the city and decide to make it a permanent home.

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The Hemingways bought an 1851 Spanish Colonial-style home, which they spent considerable time and money restoring. Here, Hemingway wrote and enjoyed life, particularly big game sport fishing. He also loved a six-toed cat named Snow White, who was gifted to him by a ship’s captain.

Today, you can visit the Hemingway Home, which is still home to approximately 60 six-toed cats. Some of the cats who live on the grounds are descendants of that original cat. In addition to seeing the cats, you will learn more about Hemingway’s personal and professional life.

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Allow 1-1.5 hours for a visit.

Harry S. Truman Little White House

Constructed in 1890 as naval officer’s housing, this building has housed several famous visitors over the years. Most notably, President Harry S. Truman spent 175 days of his presidency here. A visit to the Little White House is a step back in time and a glimpse into American history.

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A guided tour through the Little White House will take you through the house and will include the history of the building and some highlights of Truman’s presidency. Visitors can tour the grounds on their own, free of charge.

Allow about 1-1.5 hours for a visit.

Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park

Whether you are looking to explore a bit of American history or are just looking for a nice beach, head over to Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park. As you might suspect, the park is the southernmost state park in the contiguous United States.

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You can tour the brick fort on your own, past cannon and gun ports overlooking the water. Exhibit signs tell about the fort’s history and importance in the Civil War and the Spanish-American War.

After touring the fort, soak up some sun at one of Key West’s best beaches. With sandy shores, shady palm trees and a cafe, this is the perfect beach stop as you enjoy a day in Key West.

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Allow 30 minutes to an hour to tour the fort. Spend as much time as you want on the beach.

Mallory Square

Set on the western waterfront of historic Key West, Mallory Square is known as the best sunset celebration in Key West. But it is more than just a sunset. During the day, Mallory Square is a center of shopping, attractions and dining.

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Two hours before sunset, the party begins, complete with street performers and food vendors. As the sun dives towards the horizon, the sky fills with purples and pinks of sunset. Many consider this the best sunset in the Keys.

Duval Street

Of course, your day in Key West doesn’t end with sunset. Head on over to Duval Street for some of Key West’s best nightlife. Lined with restaurants, bars and shops, Duval Street is a great place to grab dinner, enjoy some after-dinner drinks or just people-watch.

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One warning: if you have young kids with you, it might be best to time your stroll along Duval Street for the daylight hours. While Duval isn’t quite as racy as Bourbon Street in New Orleans, it is certainly more appropriate for adults after dark.

Dry Tortugas National Park

If you only have one day in Key West, then you won’t have time to tour the city and visit Dry Tortugas National Park. But, if you have a second or third day, we highly suggest you spend a day visiting the park.

Dry Tortugas NP is located 70 miles west of Key West and is only accessible by boat or seaplane. The 100-square mile park consists of seven small islands and the surrounding shallow waters. The main island houses Fort Jefferson, a Civil War-era fort that was used as a prison.

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A ferry trip to Dry Tortugas NP will also include breakfast and lunch, entry into the national park, a narrated tour of Fort Jefferson, and complimentary snorkeling equipment. In addition to touring the fort or snorkeling, you can walk around the beach or just relax in the sun.

If you have the time, you can even spend a night camping at Dry Tortugas NP.

Check out our guide to visiting all the South Florida national parks.

Where to Eat and Drink in Key West

As you might suspect, there is no shortage of great places to eat and drink in Key West. Whether you are looking for a meal, a snack or the island’s famous Key Lime Pie, you certainly won’t go hungry here!

Garbo’s Grill

Garbo’s Grill started as a tiny little food cart on a street corner. Today, it’s a full-fledged food truck with a permanent location behind Hank’s Saloon on Caroline Street. The menu consists of tacos, burritos, burgers and dogs, all served with a Caribbean flair.

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The Korean BBQ and Cayo Fish tacos both consisted of the perfect mix of seasoning and toppings. Of course, we topped it off with a beer and a mixed drink from the bar.

There really isn’t a better lunch than this in Key West.

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Captain Tony’sSaloon

Captain Tony’s Saloon is easily Grant’s favorite dive bar in Key West. Located in the original spot of Sloppy Joe’s, this dingy bar has tasty drinks and live music.

The owner, Tony Tarracino, had lived a ton of lives. He started out working for the Mob in New Jersey, before moving to Key West, where he worked as a shrimper, charter boat captain and gunrunner before starting his saloon in 1961. He even ran for mayor of Key West several times before being elected in 1989.

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He saw countless musicians come through his bar but one caught his eye and later took off as a star. His name was Jimmy Buffett, who immortalized both Tony and his bar in the tune “Last Mango in Paris.”

I went down to Captain Tony’s
To get out of the heat
Then I heard a voice call out to me
‘Son, come have a seat’

I had to search my memory
As I looked into those eyes
Our lives change like the weather
But a legend never dies

He said I ate the last mango in Paris
Took the last plane out of Saigon
Took the first fast boat to China
And Jimmy there’s still so much to be done

Jimmy Buffett – “Last Mango in Paris”

Mangoes

For traditional Key West cuisine, we headed over to Mangoes on Duval Street. With a large open-air porch and bar, it really was the perfect setting for a late dinner. The fantastic food and drinks just topped off our evening.

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We started with Grant’s favorite Key West appetizer of Conch Fritters. For entrees, we chose the Yellowtail Snapper and Blackened Cobia. Of course, no dinner in Key West is complete without a slice of Key Lime Pie.

The mixed drinks were fantastic as well: the class Pilar Blonde mojito was perfect and Grant really enjoyed the Spicy Mexican Mule, made with Pineapple Jalapeño Tequila.

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If you’re looking for a good dinner on Duval Street, we recommend Mangoes for food, drinks and ambiance.

Clemente’s Trolley Pizzeria

If I’m being honest, I would not have had expected to eat at a pizza joint in Key West. We tend to choose more local flavors when traveling. But, we ended up at Clemente’s after arriving on our first night and were suitably impressed by our meal.

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We ordered the sausage pizza, which is dusted with pecorino. All I can say is YUM! The brick-oven fired pizza was cooked perfectly, with flavorful sausage and melty cheese. A Key Lime cannoli for dessert was a perfect finish to the meal.

The restaurant is fairly small but it is certainly worth the wait.

Where to Stay in Key West

Even if you only have one day in Key West, you certainly should plan to spend a night or two. The drive from Miami, or even the Upper Keys, is a nice one and you want to have time to enjoy it. Plus, one day is already not quite enough time to really enjoy all that Key West has to offer.

As you might expect, there is no lack of places to stay in Key West. You’ll find the major chain hotels, local hotels and resorts, bed & breakfasts and, of course, vacation rentals. There are even a few campgrounds if you are interested in taking your RV or a tent.

Casa Marina Key West

On our most recent visit to Key West, we made use of two free night certificates from Hilton. As such, we stayed at the Casa Marina Key West, A Waldorf Astoria Resort. Our goal when using a free night certificate is to find a hotel that we could not afford to pay cash for.

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I believe the room we booked was worth at least $500/night. And then we got upgraded to an Oceanview room. Yes, having automatic Diamond status with the Hilton Aspire credit card definitely has its perks!

The hotel is located right on the beach on the south side of Key West. In fact, it’s not far from the Southernmost Point. If you are interested in spending some time relaxing on the beach or by the pool, this is a great option!

Read more about getting the most out of a Hilton Free Night Certificate here.

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Dating back to 1920, the hotel was once a hideaway for Old Hollywood’s elite. Now, it houses Key West’s largest private beach. We stayed in the Historic Flagler Building and I have to admit, our room felt historic. Still, we enjoyed our stay and the outdoor space certainly made up for the lack of modern touches in our room.

Read TripAdvisor Reviews | Book the Hotel

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DoubleTree Resort by Hilton

On a previous trip, we spent one night at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton. This hotel is not waterfront but is certainly a more affordable option when staying in Key West. As a resort, you’ll find a nice outdoor space around the pool, including the Gumbo Limbo Tiki Bar.

Your resort fee includes internet access, shuttle service to the airport and downtown, access to Sunset Watersport Beach club and more.

Read TripAdvisor Reviews | Book the Hotel

Boyd’s Key West Campground

The first thing to know about camping in Key West is that it is not inexpensive. That is especially true if you are looking for a waterfront campsite. But, enjoying the warm salt air from the steps of your RV or tent is a great experience.

In terms of amenities and location, you can’t go wrong with Boyd’s Key West Campground. You can choose from waterfront, dockside, or inland campsites with full hookups. Tent campers can choose from primitive sites or water and electric hookups.

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Amenities include a pool and poolside tiki hut, game room, kayak and paddleboard rentals, and more. You are sure to enjoy the well-manicured landscaping and walking paths throughout the campground.

Yes, it’s pricey, with full hookup sites starting at about $100/night but it is an experience you are sure to enjoy. And, let’s honest, it’s still cheaper than most hotel rooms on the island.

Final Thoughts on Key West

Key West is one of those towns that everyone should visit at least once. Yes, it’s a tourist destination and a beach town but it’s also full of history. In fact, there’s much more to do in Key West than in most other beach towns.

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With one day in Key West, you can learn about its varied history, including why it’s called the Conch Republic, enjoy some fantastic food and drinks, soak up some sun and enjoy a fabulous sunset. If you have more time, check out more of the local attractions, such as the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, the Key West Lighthouse or the Aquarium. A day trip out to Dry Tortugas National Park will reward you with even more history and some great snorkeling.

Whatever your interests, you’re sure to find something to enjoy in Key West.

Travel Resources

What do you use to find a flight?

We use Skyscanner to find deals on flights. Skyscanner has a great interface and compares tons of airlines for the best pricing and routing. That said, it does not always have every airline and some airlines will have better deals on their website. Still, Skyscanner is a great place to start.
Click here to search for a flight.

What do you use to find a hotel?

We typically stay at Hilton properties, so we use the Hilton website. You can find good Hilton Honors discounts or AAA discounts for a hotel there. We make great use of our free night certificates from our Hilton Honors American Express.
Click here to book a Hilton property.

If there are no Hilton properties available, we use TripAdvisor to read reviews and book the hotel. We find we can get the best price that way.
Click here to search for a hotel.

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What if I need more space than I can get at a hotel?

We use Vrbo for the times when we have rented a cabin for a weekend getaway, like this cabin in Townsend, TN, or needed to rent a house for a large family vacation. We had a great experience with them in terms of refunding deposits when COVID hit and will continue to use them.
Click here to search for a vacation rental.

Who do you use for rental cars?

As a general rule, we book with Hertz for rental cars. We have had nothing but good experiences with them. Plus, we really like unlimited mileage and not worrying about crossing state lines. We have even rented from Hertz overseas in both Slovenia and Croatia.
Click here to book a rental car.

How about booking a cruise?

We have found some amazing prices booking a cruise through Cruise Direct. We have saved a lot of money on our cruises compared to what we found elsewhere, making a last-minute Bahamas cruise even cheaper.
Click here to book a cruise.

What if I want to rent an RV?

We highly recommend Outdoorsy for RV rentals. We rented a camper van for a week to visit Rocky Mountain National Park for the elk rut and Custer State Park for the Buffalo Round-Up and had a blast. The program was easy to use and we really enjoyed the freedom of having a camper van for that trip.
Click here to rent an RV.

What do you use for booking tours?

We don’t often book tours. Typically, we like to do stuff on our own. That said, there are some experiences you just can’t have any other way. So, when we do want to book a tour, we always check Viatour first.
Click here to book a tour.

Do you use anything to get discounts on the road?

We make extensive use of both Good Sam and AAA on the road. Good Sam is normally regarded as a discount card for RVers at campgrounds and Camping World but anyone can use the 5 cents off a gallon at the pump at both Pilot and Flying J.
Click here to get a Good Sam membership.

We have had AAA as long as we have been married and it has more than paid for itself in discounts at hotels, aside from the peace of mind of having roadside assistance. Add in paper maps and the ability to get an international driver’s license and it is more than worth it for any traveler out there.
Click here to get a AAA membership.

FAQs

Can Key West be a day trip? ›

The Florida Keys are made up of 1700 little islands, known as keys from the Spanish 'cayo', which means small island. The most southwesterly one, that's inhabited, is Key West. You can have a great day trip to Key West from Miami, and a brilliant day in Key West if you're on a passing cruise.

What should I do with one day in the Keys? ›

Things to do in Key West in one day
  1. Smathers Beach. Driving down the Florida Overseas Highway and finally getting to Key West… ...
  2. Mile marker 0. ...
  3. Southernmost Point of the Continental USA, Key West Historic District. ...
  4. Conch Tour Train or Old Town Trolley Tour. ...
  5. Key West Historic Seaport.
10 Jun 2022

How long do you need to explore Key West? ›

Key West is worth a day trip, but the more time you have, the better! You could easily spend a week in Key West, but 3-4 days is optimal if you want to do it all and still have time to relax.

What should you not do in Key West? ›

What NOT To Do On Your Key West Vacation
  • Don't Drive in Key West. ...
  • Don't Think Duval Street Has All the Restaurants. ...
  • Don't Let Prices Scare You Off. ...
  • Don't Forget These Key West Essentials: ...
  • Don't Feel Bad Taking a Trolley or Train Tour. ...
  • Don't Miss Sunset in Key West. ...
  • Don't Expect Sandy Beaches.
18 Dec 2021

What should I not miss in Key West? ›

Don't miss the two pink flamingos in the wading pool.
  • Key West Cemetery. Photo courtesy of Dale M. ...
  • Key West Lighthouse Museum. Old Town. ...
  • The Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum. Old Town. ...
  • Harry S. ...
  • Conch Tour Train. ...
  • Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center. ...
  • Mallory Square Sunset Celebration. ...
  • Dry Tortugas National Park.

How do you get around Key West without a car? ›

If you decide to not have a car in Old Town, be assured that there are many ways to get around Key West, including: walking, bicycling, taxis, electric rental cars, mopeds, pedi-cabs, city buses, trolleys, and hotel shuttles.

How do most people get around in Key West? ›

The best way to get around Key West is on foot. Mopeds and bicycles are also popular, though mopeds can be dangerous. Taxis are available on the street, as well as in front of the Key West International Airport (EYW) in the middle of the island.

Is Key West walkable? ›

Key West is a very walkable town. Many of the best things to do in Key West are located around Mallory Square, along Duval and Whitehead Streets, and down towards the Southernmost Point. The Key West Trolley can be used as a hop-on hop-off bus to get around Key West.

What is there to do in Key West besides drink? ›

  • Key West Aquarium.
  • Conch Train Tour.
  • Old Town Trolley Tours Key West.
  • Shipwreck Treasure Museum.
  • Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park.
  • Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory.
  • Truman Little White House.
  • Ernest Hemingway Home.
26 Jun 2022

What do locals do in Key West Florida? ›

While vacationing in Key West, Florida, parasailing is an adventure anyone should try. As one of the most popular activities in town for locals and tourists, it's easy to see why. Parasailing over the ocean is a gorgeous way to see everything there is to see on land and sea.

What is the busiest time at the Keys? ›

December through February is the busiest time in the Keys – the sub-tropical weather is a massive drawcard for people from colder parts of the US who want to escape the cold or go on vacation for Christmas and New Year.

What is the best month to go to Key West? ›

The best time to visit Key West is between March and May. The winter crowds will taper off, the hotel rates become reasonable and the weather is remarkably similar to winter's blissful 70s and 80s. Speaking of winter – that season is the island's busiest and priciest.

What is the cheapest month to go to Key West? ›

Go during the off season, roughly June to November. (September and November are the cheapest of all.) Shop around for accommodations and compromise on amenities or location. Seek out affordable, casual restaurants.

IS Key West worth the hype? ›

Is Key West worth visiting? If you're looking for a multi-purpose destination - lively nightlife, exceptional water-sports, Old Town atmosphere, plus plenty of literary and political history - then quirky Key West should suit you down to the ground.

When should you avoid Key West? ›

The worst time to visit Key West is August and especially September for a high risk of rain from the annual Caribbean hurricane season. Visitors who favor land activities will find that winter also is a good time to go. Visitors who favor water activities may want to go from late spring to early summer.

Do I need jeans in Key West? ›

Locals live in shorts. Unless, of course, there's a cold snap which typically happens in the fall months. Add a pair of jeans, sweater, and tennis shoes to your stacks of shorts and T-shirts to be safe. Winter in Key West is comfortable, with an average high of 75°F and average low of 65°F.

Are there pickpockets in Key West? ›

PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM

Looking at crime numbers based on the population of Key West, which is about 26,000, there is a one in 75 chance of being a theft victim. This is medium risk.

Why are there no beaches in Key West? ›

The lack of soft, white sand shoreline in Key West is the result of a beautiful live coral reef that extends from Key Largo to the Dry Tortugas National Park. The coral reef prevents natural beach formation because the waves don't crash onshore as you might see in Miami beach.

When should I avoid the Florida Keys? ›

Hurricane season in Key West runs from June 1- November 30 (a good thing to know before visiting). However, the heaviest storms are likely to occur in August- October. Obviously, devastating hurricanes don't happen every year, but hurricane season is definitely something to keep in mind.

What is the dress code for Key West? ›

The unofficial dress code in Key West is very casual, so you shouldn't worry about trying to fit those high heels in your suitcase. If you want to dress it down even more, go for it! A nicer pair of shorts or jeans won't make you feel out of place either.

Is there a free trolley in Key West? ›

This FREE hop-on hop-off bus service runs from the City's Park and Ride on Grinnell Street, along Caroline Street, right on Simonton Street, around Front Street, up the length of Whitehead, through Truman Waterfront, then returns down the length of Simonton to Fleming.

Is a rental car necessary in Key West? ›

Should You Rent A Car in Key West? You don't really need a car in Key West unless you're planning to do a lot of shopping or are heading out to multiple far-fetched points in the Keys. The island is only four miles long and about one mile wide, so almost everything is located within walking distance.

How much does the trolley cost in Key West? ›

Pricing is different for each tour. The Old Town Trolley, being the longer tour, is $44.95 for each adult passenger and $15.00 for children 4 to 12 with children under 4 riding free. The Conch Tour Train is $34.95 for each adult passenger and $15.00 for children 4-12 with children under 4 riding free.

How much do you tip a taxi in Key West? ›

Taking a taxi cab in Key West

The usual tipping for taxi cabs is around 15-20% of the fare. Credit cards are accepted by most taxi cab drivers.

Is there a shuttle around Key West? ›

Key West Transit Bus and Lower Keys Shuttle

The Key West Transit (KWT) North and South Lines connect throughout Key West and Stock Island. The Lower Keys Shuttle (LKS) connects Key West Old Town to Mile Marker 53.5 in Marathon, providing a safe and hassle-free way to enjoy yourself downtown.

What area of Key West is most popular? ›

The 8 Best Neighborhoods in Key West for Tourists
  • Duval Street.
  • Downtown/Historic Seaport.
  • Heart of Old Town.
  • Casa Marina.
  • Bahama Village.
  • Truman Annex.
  • New Town.
  • Sunset Key.
4 Oct 2022

What is the prettiest Key in Florida? ›

While Key Largo is undoubtedly the prettiest of all the Florida Keys, it's also one that's home to plenty of activities for the avid beachgoer.

How much money should I bring to Key West? ›

How much money will you need for your trip to Key West? You should plan to spend around $441 per day on your vacation in Key West, which is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors. Past travelers have spent, on average, $308 on meals for one day and $41 on local transportation.

How long is ferry ride from Fort Myers to Key West? ›

The Key West Express runs a daily ferry boat from Fort Myers to Key West. And it is worth it! It takes just a fraction of the time – about 4 hours – then it would be to drive and a fraction of the cost to fly.

What food is Key West famous? ›

Conch, pronounced “konk,” is the queen of all foods in Key West and was a staple food of early settlers. You've probably seen the pretty shell of the sea snail used for decorations but it's the meat that sends seafood aficionados across the globe into a spin.

What is the most popular drink in Key West? ›

Created in the 1950s at the Tiki Bar of Holiday Isle in Islamorada, the rum runner is the quintessential cocktail of the Florida Keys.

What dessert is Key West known for? ›

Key lime pie and Key West go hand in hand. While there are plenty of delicious varieties of this creamy, tart dessert, there are also a lot of other sweet treats to tempt your taste buds at restaurants, bakeries and ice cream shops across the island.

What famous people live in Key West? ›

Here is a short list of a few of the most famous Key West residents.
  • President Harry S. Truman. ...
  • Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway is perhaps Key West's most famous resident. ...
  • Judy Blume. Another famous author to have a home in Key West is Judy Blume. ...
  • Jimmy Buffett.
6 May 2019

Where do locals hangout in Key West? ›

Key West bars: The benches at the Courthouse Deli are across the street from the Green Parrot Bar. It's a popular place for locals to hang out. The “Bench” is Key West's version of Paris' Café de la Paix, where it is said if you hang out long enough, you'll see everyone in the world worth knowing pass by.

What is the best part of the Keys to go to? ›

Marathon's main beach, known to locals as Sombrero Beach, is one of the best in the Keys and a great free thing to do. Open to the public year-round, it's sprinkled with some of the archipelago's finest sand and it's also a protected nesting ground for turtles.

Is Key West too touristy? ›

While both Key Largo and Key West are fairly touristy, you'll find fewer tourist-centric spots in Key Largo than in Key West. Key West is a party town filled with nightlife and activity, while Key Largo is more laid-back and relaxed.

What is the cheapest month to go to the Florida Keys? ›

The fall (September–November) is the low season in Key West, and room rates can drop by 50 percent or more. The hot, storm-prone summer months also see lower prices, and you'll find decent discounts in April and May after the winter crowds thin out.

What months are hurricane season in Key West? ›

The Atlantic hurricane season formally begins June 1 and ends November 30. Historically, the chances of hurricane activity are greater between August 15 and October 15. Can I travel to the Florida Keys during hurricane season? Absolutely.

What is the rainy season in Key West? ›

December through April, referred to as the dry season, receives just shy of 25 percent of the annual rainfall, usually ahead of cold fronts. June through October is considered the wet season, receiving approximately 65 percent of the yearly total in showers and thunderstorms.

What is the coldest month in the Keys? ›

Average Temperature in Florida Keys

The cool season lasts for 3.0 months, from December 7 to March 6, with an average daily high temperature below 77°F. The coldest month of the year in Florida Keys is January, with an average low of 66°F and high of 74°F.

What is the best airport to fly into to go to Key West? ›

EYW — Key West International Airport — Visitors can fly to Key West International Airport via connections or direct flights from a host of Florida cities. The airport offers a host of ground transportation options, including local shuttle buses and rental cars. Getting around Key West is fun and easy!

How long is the ride from Miami to Key West? ›

A: The drive to Key West takes approximately 4 hours from Miami. The distance is 159 Miles (256 KM). Driving the Overseas Highway is a one-of-a-kind experience.

Is Key West nicer than Miami? ›

Compared to Miami Beach, Key West is much more laid back. The focus is less on looks, and much more on letting loose and enjoying life. In Key West, the evening's festivities begin nightly at sunset, when people gather in Mallory Square for the nightly sunset celebration.

Which is better Siesta Key or Key West? ›

Key West is fun and lively but Siesta Key by far has better beaches. I lived out on AMI on North Shore Dr. for a while and it was wonderful and quiet but not very much to do. So as everyone else already says it depends on what you want to do on your Honeymoon.

Can you see Cuba from Key West? ›

“ The problem is that the earth, being round, curves and Cuba, which is about 90 miles from Key West, falls below the horizon when you look towards it from Key West. It means that regardless of how great your eyesight is, and how clear the day is, there is no way you can see Cuba from anywhere in Key West.

Do you need a car when visiting Key West? ›

Unless you're planning on “Key hopping” from island to island, you likely won't need to rent a car when visiting Key West, Florida. The island is only four miles long and one-mile-wide, so walking and biking around is very doable.

Is everything walkable in Key West? ›

Key West is a very walkable town. Many of the best things to do in Key West are located around Mallory Square, along Duval and Whitehead Streets, and down towards the Southernmost Point. The Key West Trolley can be used as a hop-on hop-off bus to get around Key West.

What is the coldest month in Key West? ›

Key West's coldest month is January when the average temperature overnight is 65.2°F. In August, the warmest month, the average day time temperature rises to 89.5°F.

What is the smell in Key West? ›

That ubiquitous smell is decaying sargassum, islands of floating, brown sea algae that is piling up along the beaches of Key West, the Florida peninsula, Mexico and other Caribbean islands. Happens every summer when the winds and currents come from the south.

When should you not visit the Florida Keys? ›

The two worst times to visit Key West are the winter and during hurricane season. Key West is a winter hot spot since many people live in areas where season changes are significant.

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