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
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 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 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 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 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
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
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.
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