Key West: The Best of the Keys

Key West: the Best of the Keys!  It’s laid back, free-spirited, artistic, quirky, and scenic. Our Key West Florida Travel Guide will give you all the best there is for Key West.  It is the last island in the Florida Keys, is one of the most unique places in the United States. Here you will find a live-and-let-live attitude, tropical climate, and a continuous happy hour.  Visitors visit to fish, write, party, relax, and rejuvenate.  Key West has always been a place where you can be yourself, find yourself, or re-invent yourself.   Visit the beautiful beaches of the Florida Keys.

Key West Weather – When to Visit

Key West is a very popular tourist destination especially during the winter. At this time the city can be quite crowded and the hotel room rates are high, but many visitors come here to enjoy the warmth and sunshine. There are fewer tourists during the summer months and this means less crowds and lower room rates. However, the summer months are rainy and humid and hurricane season is between June and November. The best time to visit Key West is during the spring months between March and May. The winter crowds leave; hotel rates are affordable; and the weather is warm and pleasant.

Best Key West Tours & Activities

Best Key West Restaurants

Seven Fish  $31 – 60

Seven Fish is the restaurant you’d love to call your own. Seven Fish has exquisite and comforting dishes made with fresh, local fish. Call it a fish-style bistro, where mahi-mahi and sashimi mingle with meatloaf and steak.   Don’t miss a night at Seven Fish next time you visit Key West.  Telephone:  305-296-2777  Web:  Seven Fish

Garbo’s Grill  $11 – 30

With years of recipes and ideas behind them, they have found a way to make it work out of a 6×8 foot cart. All you have to do most of the days is look into the eyes of the thirty-plus people in line… there is wonder there, (along with mouths watering) at the magic happening…  So when you’re walking down Caroline St. Telephone:  305-304-3004  Web:  Garbo’s Grill.

Blue Heaven  $11 – 30

Blue Heaven is al-fresco dining, Key West style: canopies of tropical foliage, improvised art (a leopard-spotted mannequin, a rooster graveyard, jolly-colored coconuts and trap floats) and a sail strung between trees providing shade. But don’t let the whimsical décor mislead you: the food is taken seriously. One taste of the blueberry pancakes, carrot and curry soup, miso-marinated eggplant salad, or scallops provencale and you’ll have no doubt ingredients and the gentle time it takes to prepare fine food are the priorities. Telephone:  305-296-8666  Web:  Blue Heaven.

The Flaming Buoy Filet Co.  $31 – 60

Key West chefs pride themselves on a culinary philosophy of simple cooking and fresh ingredients. A perfect example is The Flaming Buoy Filet Co… The 10 rustic wood tables are hand-painted in orange and yellow; the lights are low and the crowd amiable… This is home cooking, island style. Favorites include a black bean soup, swirled with cheddar cheese, sour cream and cilantro, and the fresh catch of the day, which is served with a broccoli cake and tasty mashed potatoes.  Telephone:  305-295-7570  Web:  The Flaming Buoy Filet Co.

Santiago’s Bodega  $11 – 30

This bright and cozy restaurant tucked away behind lovely landscaping. Standout dishes include the Saganaki–haloumi cheese sprinkled with oregano flambeed with Brandy. Other faves have equally artful presentation like the Fresh Yellowfin Ceviche, which is marinated in spicy citrus juice and served with fresh avocado, mango and cilantro. Finish with their homemade bread pudding with caramel bourbon sauce.  Telephone:  305-296-7691  Web:  Santiago’s Bodega.

Beautiful Key West Beaches

Smather's Beach Key West Florida,Key West: The Best of the Keys, best Key West Tours & Activities, best time to visit Key West, Key West Weather, best Key West Hotels, best Key West Restaurants, best Key West BarsSmather’s Beach

Smathers Beach is the island’s longest and most tranquil beach, where you’ll find nearly 2 miles of white sand, palm trees, and calm waters.  You can swim, sunbathe, play volleyball, or snorkel. There are facilities and vending trucks where you can purchase snacks and drinks.


Higgs Beach Key West, Florida,Key West: The Best of the Keys, best Key West Tours & Activities, best time to visit Key West, Key West Weather, best Key West Hotels, best Key West Restaurants, best Key West BarsHiggs Beach

Higgs Beach has has fine, white sand and shallow waters. The park features the only shore-accessible underwater marina park in the United States and is the end point of the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail. Free parking a variety of water sports are available, as well as loungers and deck chairs.



Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park, Key West, Florida,Key West: The Best of the Keys, best Key West Tours & Activities, best time to visit Key West, Key West Weather, best Key West Hotels, best Key West Restaurants, best Key West BarsFort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park Beach

This beach is a paradise for divers and snorkelers. It’s made up of ground coral and is sandy and rocky, so make sure to take water shoes to this beach. Admission costs $6, but parking is free. There are also two trails that you might want to explore: the Sand Hog Trail and the Fort View Trail.

Rest Beach Key West Florida,Key West: The Best of the Keys, best Key West Tours & Activities, best time to visit Key West, Key West Weather, best Key West Hotels, best Key West Restaurants, best Key West BarsRest Beach

Rest Beach is one of the smaller beaches, rather narrow, with white find sand.  There are some picnic tables and benches, and the Edward B. Knight Pier, worth walking out on for a view of the Atlantic Ocean. The sunrises and sunsets from this beach are spectacular. If you don’t want the crowds of the daily sunset celebration at Mallory Square, head here instead.


South Beach Key West Florida,Key West: The Best of the Keys, best Key West Tours & Activities, best time to visit Key West, Key West Weather, best Key West Hotels, best Key West Restaurants, best Key West BarsSouth Beach

South Beach is not as long as Smather’s Beach but has very shallow water with fine, white sand.  South Beach is a place to relax, swim, and work on your Florida tan. There are a few beach bars and restaurants, but no facilities.



Best Key West Nightlife

Hog’s Breath Saloon
The drinks are strong; the food, including conch fritters and fish nuggets, is decent; and the crowd is dotted with locals — but really, patrons wrangle to converge here for epic events such as an annual Homemade Bikini Contest and the Hair of the Hog Leather & Lace Contest, featuring a bloody mary breakfast.   Telephone:  305-296-4222  Web:  Hogs Breath Saloon
Bourbon St. Pub

The Bourbon St. Pub opened in 1995 and morphed into a complex consisting of 4 bars, including the outdoor Garden Bar and pool area, which is men-only and clothing-optional. The pub hosts nightly entertainment and events, including male go-go dancers, pool parties and an annual Mr. Pride contest. If you’re visiting Key West on New Year’s Eve, head outside the pub to ring in the new year.  Telephone:  305-296-2680  Web:  The Rum Bar.

The Bull & Whistle Bar

On the ground floor of the Duval Street structure, you’ll enter the Bull, a dimly lit, open-air bar painted with murals of old Key West that is typically quite crowded. The Whistle Bar, located on the building’s second floor, has a quieter, breezy ambiance, featuring large windows and doors that open onto a wraparound balcony perfect for people-watching the crowds below on Duval Street. Finally, for the risque at heart, there’s the Garden of Eden, a coed, clothing-optional rooftop bar. A nightly roster of live music at the downstairs bar gets the crowd dancing, while pool tables can be found at the Whistle Bar. Telephone:  305-296-4545  Web:  The Bull & Whistle Bar

Durty Harry’s

Just past the Tree Bar is Key West’s favorite rock music venue, showcasing live performances every night from The DurtBags. Durty Harry’s is the place to go for a loud and lively good time. With 10 flat screen TV’s and specials on shots and drinks during big games, it’s the place to go to catch your must-see sports events. Durty Harry’s military discounts, making it a long-standing favorite for those who protect our freedom.  Telephone:  305-296-5513  Web:  Durty Harry’s.

Green Parrot Bar

Green Parrot, which is tucked away on Whitehead Street, just a block off Duval.  A jukebox keeps the mood lively with a variety of artists — from Van Morrison to the Temptations — though the bar also offers live music and an ever-changing schedule of funk, R&B, zydeco and blues bands. Grab a bite to eat before arriving; aside from doling out free popcorn, the Green Parrot is a drinks-only establishment. Telephone:  305-294-6133  Web:  Green Parrot Bar.

Top 10 Amazing Key West Hotels


  1. Rahye

    Though I’m still in my research phase, thanks for this awesome post and if any I will love to visit the Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park as I like a little bit is solitude, adventure and secrecy, also your site is a one stop for beach travelling with all ideas from where to go, things to do and where to stay,I love it. Thank you for sharing again

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are very welcome!  I am glad you enjoyed my Key West Florida Travel Guide.  Thanks for visiting beach travel destinations.

  2. BiboKid

    Me and my wife are planning to celebrate our 10 years in a unique place. This seems to be the perfect place especially as a winter getaway. Although Florida is famous for it’s famous beaches, I’m pretty sure that isn’t the only asset they have and I very much feel that there isn’t going to be a chance for us to get bored in Florida. We might actually go to Florida soon!

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I think you would really like it, and no you will not get bored. We have stayed in Orlando before and driven to both coasts very easily. There is so much to do and the weather is beautiful right now. Thank you for reading our Key West Florida Travel Guide.

  3. Iain

    After seeing many TV dramas such as CSI Miami and Dexter, I have always felt that Miami/Florida would be a great place to go. From the pictures I’ve seen it look a lot like the Gold Coast in Australia -where I’m from.
    From your post, my feeling have just been reinforced about wanting to go 🙂

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You need to go Iain 🙂 It really is amazing in Florida, I don’t live there but I frequent the beaches 4 or 5 times a year and am moving there because I like the area so much! The Gold Coast beaches of Australia are amazing, but Florida is America’s choice, in the top ten for years, for beaches. Thanks for visiting the Key West Florida Travel Guide.

  4. Anthony Little

    Key West has always been my favorite places to visit. I really love the atmosphere you have created on your website. You have truly provided some information for visitor who is looking for great discount prices travel expenses to Key West. Of course not to mention the great bar location around the area. I’ve never been to LagerHeads this something I will check them on my next visit to Key West. I can go on and on about the awesome resources that I found on your website, It has really been a pleasant reading your article on your website. Great Job,

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you so much Anthony and I am glad you enjoyed visiting Beach Travel Destinations 🙂 Key West is a place that every beach goer has to visit for sure!

  5. uphill1

    Hi Leahrae,
    first off thanks for the opportunity to comment on your web site. My first impression was that it is a very appealing site and totally applies to your niche.
    Home Page – Very good use of graphics here. It gives a calming effect that launches me into vacation mode. Love your clickable links.
    Airfares – You really bring up some excellent pointers for your visitors. After all, everyone looks for bargain vacation deals. Again, very good use of graphics.
    Air Fares – Excellent points. Pretty much everything I would need to capture that bargain price. Just as a suggestion, Maybe increase the font size on your header TIPS ON FINDING THE BEST FAIR PRICES. I think it would be more distinguishable from your topics. Just my thoughts.
    Package Deals – Again, excellent content and excellent use of graphic. All in line with your niche.
    Best Beach Gear – Excellent graphics and beach gear tips. I as a visitor consider you a subject matter expert.
    About Me – Great profile pic. Your content explains well your passion for your niche. This gives your visitors a sense of your personal touch.
    Privacy Policy – Covers all aspects pertaining to your web site.
    Thank you for allowing me to comment on your web site.


    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you Jerome for reading and taking the time to review my post and website as well. I am glad you enjoyed Beach Travel Destinations and I hope you come back for another visit!

  6. Louise

    Your post is very informative and certainly made me want to visit Key West. I enjoyed reading about the fact that all the animals wander freely through the restaurants! That made me giggle and I had a funny image in my head of a chicken wandering past whilst I was eating….

    I enjoyed your recommendations for hotels and restaurants as well – it’s good to have a variety of options when planning to go somewhere. Which are your particular favourites?

    Thank you!

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      The best is definitely the Reach. If I were to recommend a place to stay, that would be it! Yeah, it is a kind of cool place with the animals running around 🙂 Thanks for reading about Key West Louise!

  7. Peteni Kuzwayo

    Hi Leahrae

    This is lovely and comprehensive article.

    I’ve developed an interest for travel in recent times. And this is definitely going to be my regular go to resources for interesting destinations to visit.

    This is not a single thing you’ve left out in this article.

    This was a good read.

    Thank you.


    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are very welcome Peteni! I am glad you enjoyed and I hope you can use my site to find your next holiday beach destination! Thank you for reading 🙂

  8. Fatima

    Hi Mattysmom!

    Your website is awesome! This is the website that all beach goers must visit. it is a one stop shop for them. From airfare to gears all are in our site.
    But as a Filipino i would recommend that you feature the Philippine Beaches also. Alot of tourist visit the Philippines because of our beaches and many more tourist destinations.

    Keep it up!


    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Hi Fatima and thank you! Yes, I do plan on adding the Philippine beaches. I will cover all the beaches 🙂 It’s a passion of mine. I am very familiar to the Florida beaches, a favorite of mine, so can provide information for them easily 🙂

  9. louloublogger1980

    Right I’m off to Florida lol!
    What an amazing to do list, even though I would LOVE to do every single actively, that would be a dream come true, but if I have to choose i think I would really enjoy the Danger Charters as I’m quite an extreme sports freak and it sounds exhilarating.
    March sounds like the perfect time for me too as I cannot handle weather too hot (being from the UK). I’ve shared this article with my friends – thanks so much for the tips 🙂

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are very welcome. Yes, the Danger Charters is great for extreme sports. And in March, beaches are nice, water is still warm and weather great in Key West! Thanks for reading Lou.

  10. chase

    I’ve always been a West Coast/Las Vegas traveler but I might need to reconsider Florida as part of my travels. I went there many years ago with my family but never as an adult so I think I’d enjoy the experience with some friends. I thoroughly enjoyed and found all the information you had very helpful and informative. If I do decide to travel I will definitely use this article. Thanks!

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great Chase! Yeah, I used to live about an hour out of Vegas and don’t get me wrong, it is a great place to visit. I do love the desert scenery…it’s my favorite. But I really love having that same scenery and gorgeous beaches to splash around in as well 🙂

  11. James

    What time does the nightlife end in Florida?

    Here in the UK most bars and pubs close at 11pm with some bigger clubs staying open until 2am if they have an extended licence. Which is kinda lame really. When I went to Thailand most places stayed open until at least 2am and many kept going until 6am. Much better.

    What is it like in Florida? Boring and conservative like here in the UK or much more relaxed and fun like over in Thailand?

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I don’t think the night life ever ends in Key West, seriously. It is a great place to go if you want it all, good weather, great beaches and awesome nightlife.

  12. Rosa

    Hi Matty,

    I enjoyed your website. Never been to Key West. I’ve been in Florida but had not gone to Key West. Sounds like a place I certainly would want to go. I like the laid-back style and allowing cats, dogs or chickens roam freely in restaurants, wow, that’s great.

    The beaches looks awesome. The year I went to Florida, we went to the beach to spend the day and the beach (sand) was so amazingly clean.

    I would love to go back and visit again.

    Thank you for sharing.

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You would love Key West. It’s one place in Florida that everyone needs to visit. Very unique and fun! Thanks for visiting !

  13. Simon

    When would you say is the best time to visit Key West in Florida?
    We live in the UK and what looks like Florida’s coldest point is very close to the UK’s highest temperature.
    We don’t want too humid weather, just interested what time of year you prefer there.
    Hanging around the beach bars sounds so much fun whilst cruising around the Key West sightseeing the hotspots sounds idyllic.
    The Dolphin watch sounds right up Tracy’s, my wife’s street whilst Barefoot Billy’s jet ski tours sound superb fun for me.
    There’s endless things to do, sounds like a great holiday for us, thanks,

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You know it really depends on what type of weather you are looking for and if you want to play in the ocean. Anytime of year is great in Key West is going to be great. The summer months are probably going to be the most humid, so if you want to avoid the humidity, then go at any time except summer months. You will enjoy! Thanks for visiting the Key West Florida Travel Guide!


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