Key West is 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 come here 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. Key Westers pride themselves on their tolerance of all peoples, all sexual orientations, and even all animals. Most restaurants allow pets, and it’s not surprising to see stray cats, dogs, and chickens roaming freely through the dining rooms. As a tourist destination, Key West has a lot to sell—an average temperature of 79°F, 19th-century architecture, and a laid-back lifestyle. Cruise ships dwarf the town’s skyline and fill the streets with day-trippers gawking at the hippies with dogs in their bike baskets, gay couples walking down the street holding hands, and the oddball lot of locals, some of whom bark louder than the dogs. Visit the beautiful beaches of the Florida Keys.
Over the course of a year, the temperature typically varies from 64°F to 89°F and is rarely below 55°F or above 91°F. The warm season lasts from May 30 to October 3 with an average daily high temperature above 86°F. The hottest day of the year is August 4, with an average high of 89°F and low of 81°F. The cold season lasts from December 8 to March 5 with an average daily high temperature below 77°F. The coldest day of the year is January 19, with an average low of 64°F and high of 74°F.
Key West International Airport is going to be the closest airport and easiest to fly into. You can also fly into the smaller airport, Florida Keys Marathon Airport. The Florida Keys Marathon Airport is about 50 miles away from Key West. To create a fair watch, go to AirFareWatchDog which will alert you when the flights are going down in price. Also check my airfare tips on how to make sure you are getting the lowest fare. For finding the lowest fare, go to CheapFlights. I find them to be the best for flight comparison, and getting the best deal if you are ready to purchase. Once you have your airfare, make sure you reserve your airport parking ahead of time. You can Save On Airport Parking and not have the last minute hassle (been there) of trying to get parking reserved.
With CarRentals.com, you have flexibility when you reserve your next vehicle, which allows you to build in your own savings. Prepay for your rental and get some of the cheapest rates, or book in advance with no credit card needed—you simply pay at pickup. Want to be notified when prices fall? Set a price drop alert and get an email when prices are low for your location. Whether you’re cruising in an economy, SUV, luxury vehicle, or minivan, there’s nothing holding you back from finding the perfect car for your needs. With no booking or credit card fees, you get great deals, too.
Bars & Nightlife
The Rum Bar
The Speakeasy Inn and Rum Bar is the former home of rum-runner Raul Vasquez, born in Tampa on August 21, 1890, died in Key West December 10, 1957. Raul left an enduring symbol of his occupation on his residence at 1117 Duval Street; and one of the “sights” of Key West today are the palings on the upper porch depicting bottles and the spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs of the Spanish playing card deck. (The “club” designation looks like a three-lobed spot familiar to most American card-players.) Today, visitors can relax in their reasonably-priced, airy tropical rooms and enjoy any of over 250 kinds of rum (and other beverages) in the Rum Bar on the first floor. Call for more information at 305-296-2680 or visit them at The Rum Bar.
Lagerheads Beach Bar
Key West is known for the amazing Old Town Key West and the adventures available to you just off the shoreline. Whether you are looking to view or catch some of Key West’s flair, Lagerheads can make it happen for you. Nothing says island time like a rum boat! Enjoy a fun cruise around Key West and view some of the most popular spots on the island from the water. Enjoy an hour boat ride to see Sunset Key, Fort Zachary, the fabulous Southernmost Point, and Key West’s Historic Harbor while learning more about the history and fun spots in Key West from your local Captain. A maximum of 6 people are allowed on the boat at once, giving your group the private and personable tour of Key West you deserve. Combine history, the outdoors, and a even dinner with a bucket of beer from Lagerheads Beach Bar for the ride! This tour is your ticket to paradise! Finish your tour and enjoy the fun activities at Lagerheads to create the perfect day in the Conch Republic. Lagerheads also offers Cornhole Boards, beer pong tables, and additional watersports rentals/excursions. Enjoy their Island Fair Grub menu. Call for more information at 305-509-7444 or visit them at Lagerheads Beach Bar.
The Porch is a craft beer and wine bar located in the downtown area of Old Town Key West. They can be found in the historic Porter Mansion on 429 Caroline street. When you walk up the steps and go through door number 2, you will be transported into a world of awesomeness full of beer, wine, and bubbly. They’ve got all sorts of cool artwork and photography adorning the walls. Most people feel right at home as soon as they walk in. They hope you will too. Call for more information at 305-517-6358 or visit The Porch.
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. Call for more information at 305-296-5513 or visit them at Durty Harry’s.
Green Parrot Bar
The Parrot is a jury of non-judging peers, a rugged and ragged council of friends. It is a place of hi-jinks and misadventures, of understated kindnesses, and everyday miracles. It has seen all manner of human exploits, from poetry slams to divorce celebrations, from memorial services to hurricane parties and pet birthday bashes, from tattoo contests to fundraising benefits. The Green Parrot is more than a bar; it is a Key West icon; it is Key West. It has been so many things, to so many people, for so many years. And that spirit will never change. Call for more information at 305-294-6133 or visit the Green Parrot Bar.
$-Inexpensive $$-Moderate $$$-Pricey $$$$-Ultra High End
$$ Seven Fish
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. Seven Fish embodies the Key West spirit with its off-beat, yet elegant architecture and its tastefully accessorized space. Reservations are always recommended. Call for more information at 305-296-2777 or visit Seven Fish
$ Garbo’s Grill
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. And you see their Attack-Van parked in front of the Silver Bullet, stop by and say hello – even if you have already eaten!! They love to meet new people. Call for more information at 305-304-3004 or visit Garbo’s Grill.
$$ Blue Heaven
Opened by a pair of free spirits, Suanne and Richard, Blue Heaven has become its own well-known destination in key west. The chickens and cats roaming the premises are almost as famous as the food. Blue Heaven is al fresco dining, Key West style: canopies of tropical foliage, improvised art (a leopard-spotted mannequin, a rooster graveyard, jolly-colored coconuts and trap floats) and a sail strung between trees providing shade. But don’t let the whimsical décor mislead you: the food is taken seriously. One taste of the blueberry pancakes, carrot and curry soup, miso-marinated eggplant salad, or scallops provencale and you’ll have no doubt ingredients and the gentle time it takes to prepare fine food are the priorities. Call for more information at 305-296-8666 or visit Blue Heaven.
$$$ The Flaming Buoy Filet Co.
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. Call for more information at 305-295-7570 or visit The Flaming Buoy Filet Co.
$$ Santiago’s Bodega
Please take a moment to look around you and note the love and dedication that goes into creating each Bodega. Creative Director, artist Robert Henry Thompson, is responsible for not only the remarkable artwork, but also for the look and feel that so acutely defines Santiago’s Bodega. Under Robert’s leadership, the tables and bar have been built using reclaimed wood, the stained-glass doors have been uniquely pieced together, and the floors have been hand laid. Even the outdoor signs are handcrafted, built by family out of wood harvested from an old barn at Jason’s childhood home. As with his food, Jason believes that building each restaurant from scratch provides a quality not attainable with ordering pre-assembled product. Stained glass and extraordinary flooring may help set a tone, but the staff at Santiago’s Bodega is, without a doubt, the number one reason for success. These team members are here to welcome you to their house, and to throw the best party each and every evening. Thank you for enjoying our neighborhood restaurant. The entire team wishes you good health and great food. For more information call 305-296-7691 or visit Santiago’s Bodega.
Things to Do
Danger Charters sets sail where others can’t, and without the huge crowds. Their daily sunset sails, sail/snorkel/kayak trips are limited to 25 guests, and their captains and staff go above and beyond to make sure your trip is the highlight of your Key West adventure. Danger Charters is one of Key West’s top-rated charter companies. Sunset sails, Snorkeling, and Day sails. Ask any local who their favorite fleet is, and the answer is Danger Charters The only dangerous part about the tours is a possible sunburn! For information call 305-304-7999 or visit Danger Charters.
They’ve been providing 6 passenger maximum Dolphin Watch Eco Tours aboard Patty C., theirr spacious catamaran, since 1986, and as the largest boat in her class, she offers plenty of space for taking in the sun, the shade, and the expansive views. For the trip, they take four hours, so that you can fully experience the resident wild dolphins as they play, sleep, hunt and mate, all in the tranquil, turquoise waters and still be left with plenty of time for a snorkel at one of the protected snorkel spots. Join them, and you’ll walk away with a Key West Eco Tour experience to remember for a lifetime. For information call 305-294-6306 or visit Dolphin Watch.
Make the most of your Key West vacation with a Barefoot Billy’s adventure on the water. Circle Key West on their famous Island Jet Ski Tour. Go on a dolphin watch and snorkel tropical waters. Relax on their dazzling Key West sunset sail. Or fly through the air on their water-jet powered Flyboard experience. Barefoot Billy’s also rents top-notch toys for getting around Key West on land and sea. For more information call 305-900-3088 or visit Barefoot Billy’s.
Dry Tortugas National Park
Almost 70 miles (113 km) west of Key West lies the remote Dry Tortugas National Park. The 100-square mile park is mostly open water with seven small islands. Accessible only by boat or seaplane, the park is known the world over as the home of magnificent Fort Jefferson, picturesque blue waters, superlative coral reefs and marine life, and the vast assortment of bird life that frequent the area. You can go snorkeling, as Dry Tortugas National Park is home to history and natural wonders above and below the water’s’ surface. Go swimming, with less than 1% of Dry Tortugas National Park being dry ground, the best way to see this is by swimming. Take your boat and get the most out of the opportunities to explore this remarkable national treasure. Also camp at Garden Key which is an incredible experience. In Dry Tortugas you will find amazing star gazing, snorkeling, sunsets and more! For more information call 305-242-7700 or visit Dry Tortugas National Park.
Key West Pro Guides
The largest and finest equipped professional fishing guide team ever in Key West. Their renowned guides are full time, “owner-operator” fishing professionals with safety and your enjoyable experience on the water as their top priorities. Their proven history of success and superior customer service has set the standard in Key West for years! Give them a call or drop them an email, they’d love to personally talk about your upcoming adventure on the water. For more information call 1-866-259-4205 or visit Key West Pro Guides.
Top Key West Hotels
Paradise Inn – Adults Only
This adult-only inn is located in Key West and features landscaped grounds with brick paths and a lotus pond with koi and tropical turtles. A complimentary continental breakfast is served in the lobby. Enjoy complimentary wine and cheese hour on site at Paradise Inn. Additional amenities include an outdoor pool with a fountain feature and an outdoor hot tub. The hotel is happy to arrange sightseeing tours. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Paradise Inn.
Hyatt Residence Club Key West, Beach House
Hyatt Beach House Resort is located in Key West 4 miles from Duval Street. An outdoor pool and hot tub are featured. You can engage in various activities, such as snorkeling, windsurfing and fishing. The resort also offers bike hire and a small bar on site called Jimmy’s Ocean Blue, which serves lite fare. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Hyatt Residence Club Key West, Beach House.
This property is a 13-minute walk from the beach. This trendy Key West boutique hotel features an outdoor pool and modern rooms equipped with iPod docking stations and flat-screen TVs. South Beach – Key West is half a mile from the property. This hotel has a daily continental breakfast, and poolside sitting is available on the deck. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Truman Hotel.
The Perry Hotel Key West
Featuring free WiFi, a restaurant and an outdoor pool, The Perry Hotel Key West offers pet-friendly accommodations in Key West, just 1.4 miles from Key West International Airport. The hotel has a sun terrace and fitness center, and guests can enjoy a meal at the restaurant or a drink at the bar. Free private parking is available on site. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit The Perry Hotel Key West.
Little Palm Island Resort & Spa, a Noble House Resort
This property is located on an island off Little Torch Key, Florida. It offers a marina, full-service spa, and gourmet dining. Every suite features ocean views and free Wi-Fi. Little Palm Island Resort boasts a sandy beach and outdoor swimming pool. A relaxing garden and library are on-site. Yoga classes and kayak rentals are also available. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Little Palm Island Resort & Spa, a Noble House Resort.