Key West Florida Travel Guide

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.

Key West International Airport

Florida Keys Marathon Airport

Car Rental

With, 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

rum-barThe 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.

lagerheadslogo2Lagerheads 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.

logoThe Porch

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.

durty-harrysDurty 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.   Call for more information at 305-296-5513 or visit them at Durty Harry’s.

green-parrotGreen 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

dangerDanger Charters

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.

dolphin-watchDolphin Watch

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.

barefoot-billysBarefoot Billy’s

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-tortugasDry 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.

Truman Hotel

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.



  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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 🙂

  7. 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 🙂

  8. 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.

  9. 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 🙂

  10. 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.

  11. 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 !

  12. 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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