What you to need to know about Key West
Updated: Jun 14
Changes in latitude equals changes in attitude. After 2021 you are probably like me and in need of a quick domestic escape to forget all your problems. Welcome to the home of the original Margaretville and the city that started it all. Like Kenny Chesney sings, "No shoes, no shirt, no problems". There is so much to see and do here. Hey, it's 5 o'clock somewhere! So, pack your bags and meet me at the beach. Oh, and don't forget the Rum!
I have partnered with The Florida Keys & Key West Tourism for this post. The best part for me, is they had zero restrictions when it came to my blog post. This is my honest opinion, with no constraints. For the record, I pick locations that I want to personally go to.
Rent a bike, moped, or golf cart
Be aware, there is hardly any parking around Key West. Therefore, almost everyone gets around town via bike, moped, or golf cart. Do not make the same mistake we made. We wasted our money on a beautiful mustang convertible that sat in the hotel parking lot the entire trip. Worst of all, the hotel charged us $35 a day for parking. Bikes, mopeds, and golf carts sell out fast so book your transportation in advance. We loved biking around town, and even biking to all our sea excursions. I honestly think this laidback way to get around town is the reason Key West is one of my favorite domestic vacation spots.
You can even park your bikes at the hotel for free. Look everyone is doing it!
The Cuban settlers brought chickens to the island for food and fighting, so the story is told by the locals. Now you will find these adorable roosters all over the island. There is no alarm needed while at Key West, these early morning roosters will gladly wake you up. Overall Key West roosters are what make Key West unique and different. I personally enjoyed seeing them walking the streets, and it wouldn't feel like Key West without them. As of January 2021, it is now illegal to feed the roosters.
It's 90 miles from Cuba
Since the 1860's Cubans have been migrating to Key West by the hundreds, bringing the Havana cigar business, amazing food, and their culture with them. Again, this is what makes Key West...Key West.
Stay at a hotel with a good beach
The Reach Key West
Be aware, the majority of the Key West hotels are older, BUT they have an amazing Cuban feel to them. For us, it was important to find a hotel that had easy access to a beach with sand. However, this luxury does come with a heavy price tag. Who wouldn't want a hotel bartender on the beach along with beach chairs and umbrellas? The price tag was well worth it for us! If the price tag isn't worth it to you, no worries there are so many other amazing hotels to pick from on the island.
My view with coffee every morning. I love waking up to this!
Do a Trolly Tour to learn the city
I cannot express enough how important it is to take a trolly tour around the city. This should be done on day 1. This will help you learn everything you need to know about the island, and it will help you come up with an itinerary for your vacation. We felt like experts after the tour and it made it easy to get around the island on our bikes. Once you learn the layout of the island you can get anywhere you want without a map.
Go on a Key West excursion
Check out these excursions!
Truman's Little White House
This place should be on every liberal's bucket-list. If you lean more to the right, then just be mentally prepared before you go. That is a "hint, hint". Also, if you want to learn more about this house, then I suggest you take a tour. A cool fact, no cameras are allowed inside during the tour, per the Secret Service, because a president can show up at any time.
Shipwreck Treasure Meseum
If you are a history buff, you will love this place. I do not want to give away too much, but it tells you the history behind shipwrecked treasure and how it was important to the locals in Key West.
Key West Aquarium
The Key West Aquarium is next to the Shipwreck Treasure Museum and not too far away from the Truman's Little White House. It's a small aquarium and what you see in the picture below is about all there is. You complete the entire building in under 30 minutes.
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