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Key West Information - Things to Do, Places to Stay

Fishing isn’t the only thing to do in Key West!

Many visitors come not to fish the reef but to scuba dive or snorkel the coral that is part of North America’s only barrier reef. Locals and tourists alike are delighted by the many ways to enjoy the warm water that surrounds the island – parasailing, jetskis, sailing cruises and windsurfing – and one of the most popular water tours and attractions is dolphin watches – boat tours to see dolphins swimming in the wild.

Bird of Paradise in the Secret GardenTourists are also drawn to Key West’s picturesque Bahamian architecture, lush tropical gardens - such as Nancy Forrester's Secret Garden or the grounds of Hemingay House or the Audubon House and Gardens - its lively arts and music scene and other attractions. The Key West Information Center has local experts to help you decide what to do while you are here and where to stay and they can find you great deals on hotels and other accommodations – from a cozy bed and breakfast to a swank oceanfront resort. Key West also has a wide variety of condos and homes if you prefer to make a vacation rental house your home away from home.

Key West has also become a popular destination for weddings. Ceremonies on a Key West beach, aboard a private charter or in a romantic tropical garden settings make Key West a perfect location to get married.

Popular Local Attractions

Key West Trolley at Southernmost PointOne of the best ways to get an overview of Key West is on one of the conch train or trolley tours. Both give the visitor a great orientation to the southernmost town of the US and the guides are knowledgeable and friendly. The conch train has been showing Key West to visitors since the early 1950s, and it’s open air ride makes you feel part of the town. And while the trolley ride is a little shorter – you miss some of the newer areas of Key West, you can get off at any stop – to shop or have a bite to eat – and get on again to continue your tour later.

Key West to the Dry Tortugas

Aerial  of Fort Jefferson National ParkOne of the most popular day trips from Key West is aboard the Yankee Freedom Ferry to Fort Jefferson, the National Park in the Dry Tortugas. The sub tropical island is 70 miles from Key West, is called "Dry" because there is no fresh water on the island and Tortugas for the trtles that can still be found when snorkeling and diving the waters and coral reefs surrounding the fort.

The fort and the national monument are very popular with history buffs for the colorful military role itplayed in the Civil War as well as in the days of pirates and skullduggery. It is very popular area for fishing, camping and for birding.

Not to Miss Shopping

Duval is the main attraction for Key West shopping – and while some may note there are a few too many t-shirt shops, along with a fair selection of national chains, there is at least one very special gem:

Fast Buck Freddies – This self styled tropical island department store, founded in the late 70s to offer locals a place to buy clothing, furniture and furnishings that reflect their funky, colorful lifestyles, has lots of interesting furniture and home accessories in addition to upscale casual clothes. Fast Buck’s might be a little spendy for some – but at least check out the window displays - so original Fast Buck's has been dubbed the "Southernmost Bloomingdales." Now, head to Half Buck Freddie’s where they send merchandise that hasn’t sold on Duval. At the corner of Caroline and William streets, you'll find your bargain!

More MUST SHOP stores you won’t find anywhere but Key West:

Baby's Coffee Baby’s Gourmet Coffee – They roast Baby's Coffee the old-fashioned way: 7 days a week, so there’s no doubt your coffee is fresh. The Southernmost Coffee Roaster in America, grinds and ships true Key West flavor anywhere in the continental US. And soon, just like the locals, you'll be saying "I can't live without my Baby's Coffee," too!

Car Shaped like a Giant PepperIf you think the weather’s hot down here, check out the sauces at Peppers (602 Greene Street - just up the street from Sloppy Joe’) Truly the hottest spot in Key West.

A little too much sun at a Key West beach? Cool off your sunburn with Key West Aloe. This local manufacturer has been making skin care, cosmetics and body treatments with the tropical miracle plant for more than 35 years. Two locations: 540 Greene Street (between Sloppy’s and Peppers) & 431 Front Street. Another long time southernmost shop is Key West Hand Print Fabrics at 201 Simonton Street at the corner of Front and Simonton. Coloful hand made fabrics styled into clothes for men, women and children.

 

Vacation Rentals & Accommodations

Travel arrangements usually start with booking your flights and reserving a hotel room or rental home. If your destination is the Florida Keys, we can help you figure out where to stay. Short term rental homes are always a popular choice - they provide more space, comfort and convenience, and usually at a cost far lower than a budget hotel and eating all your meals out. Our recommendations for vacation rentals and accommodations in the keys:

 

Florida's Everglades

Wildlife lovers and anglers alike often include a side trip to the Everglades on their Keys vacation. See alligators, roseate spoonbills and other wildlife on the exciting Everglades Airboat Rides & Safaris with Airboat USA Tours.

 



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