So, you’re heading to Key West for a weekend getaway? No other beach destination could be as unique or relaxing. There are so many things to do and see, from water sports and beach activities to historic points of interest and local attractions. Choosing may just be the hardest part, but you can make it easy on yourself by planning ahead. Read on for tips on how to plan the perfect Key West vacation.
Stay Near the Action
If you’re one who likes to be close to the excitement, book a room at a hotel, resort or one of the many bed and breakfasts near Duval Street, the main drag of downtown. It’s on famous Duval Street and its side that you’ll find well-known watering holes like Sloppy Joe’s Bar, Margaritaville, Captain Tony’s Saloon, the Green Parrot Bar, Smokin’ Tuna Saloon and more. You’ll be footsteps away from the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, the Key West Aquarium, John James Audubon House, the Ernest Hemingway House and many other local attractions.
Visit a Remote National Park
Make your Key West vacation unforgettable by booking your seat aboard the Yankee Freedom, the official ferry of the Dry Tortugas and Fort Jefferson. This incredible eco-treasure will simply astound you with its natural beauty, exotic wildlife and massive Civil War fortress. The Yankee Freedom will transport you to this secluded cluster of islands in comfort and treat you to a complimentary breakfast, lunch, cold beverages and top-of-the-line snorkel gear. After a leisurely sail across the Gulf of Mexico, you’ll be able to explore the pristine beach, snorkel in the warm shallow waters and tour the fort that was once home to soldiers, war prisoners and the infamous Samuel Mudd. A day at the Dry Tortugas is unlike any other Key West experience, and one not to be missed.
Embark on a Tour
If you’ve never been to Key West, or even if you’ve visited before, tours are a great way to see all the sights and learn the history of the southernmost city. The Old Town Trolley makes stops at 13 locations, covers more than 100 different points of interest and is fully narrated by a local historian. You’ll be able to get off at any of the 13 stops, hang out and explore the surrounding area and hop back on when you’re ready. This is especially great because you can spend as much time as you want in any given location without feeling rushed. Some of the more popular stops include Mel Fisher’s Maritime Museum, the West Martello Fort, Ripley’s Believe it or Not!, the Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden and the Harry Truman Little White House.
Splash Around in the Water
Shimmering, crystal blue waters that offer a myriad of fun and adventure surround the island of Key West. Stop by any of the Fury Water Adventures kiosks, located all over the island, or visit their website and book your seat onboard an exciting day trip. Trip offerings include parasailing, jet skiing, snorkeling, sunset cruises, glass bottom boat rides, dolphin watch tours and much more. Fury has the largest fleet on the island, a professional crew and years of experience to ensure you have the most exhilarating Key West water adventure.
Celebrate the Sunset
You’ve heard about it, you’ve probably seen pictures of it, but until you’ve experienced a Key West sunset in person, nothing compares. For the perfect view and to celebrate it properly, head to Mallory Square for the nightly sunset celebration. Get there early so you can sample homemade conch fritters and an icy mojito while viewing arts and crafts by local artists. Then walk along the seawall to witness the many street performances that have made this celebration famous. There are sword swallowers, tightrope walkers, jugglers, magicians, musicians, comedians and more. As the sun begins its dramatic departure off of the horizon, watch in wonder as you discover why there’s nothing quite like a Key West sunset. Make sure you capture the moment with a photograph!