How to Spend a Day at Key West

May 18, 2017

Key West is one of the islands of Florida Keys archipelago. Key west is also Florida’s southernmost point and known for it’s coral reefs, adventure sports like diving and snorkeling than for its beaches. It was one of the top attractions on my Florida bucket list. This was also my first time visit to US, staying in Miami was surely a dream come true. Those three-month vacation I got from my job to stay with Praveen, is something I will always be thankful for. If you have been wondering where I was, I was in India and I was not willing my marriage to jeopardize my career.

Key West
Driving on US 1 was amazing beyond words!

Praveen was living here since 3.5 years and has been so many times to Key West. I was all excited to see these tropical islands. We started off on US 1 highway driving 127 miles to our destination.

Key West
Much needed coffee break in Key Largo

For us both, in those 3 months, we never ever wasted a weekend at home, Praveen always made sure I visited almost all places as much as I could in those 3 month limit. Only thing we regret not visiting is St. Augustine. We just ran out of time to visit this beautiful city.

Key West
This was some place in Key Largo !

1. Duval Street

Key West
The vibrant Duval Street

With vibrant shops, endless bars, this is a must visit place in Key West. Go on an endless shopping spree and relax in one of the bars.

2. Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park

Key West
Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park

Explore this fort constructed during the times of Civil War. It was built in the mid-1800s to defend the nation’s southeastern coastline. It boosts of stone walls and cannons. There is a beach with picnic tables and grills perfect for a family outing.

Quick Notes –

  • Entrance Fees: 7$ I think so (I visited in 2015)
  • Hike type: Not much to hike. The paths are well maintained, easy and flat. More of a stroll I would say.
  • Pets: Allowed in designated areas but on leash.
  • Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
  • Parking: Free parking

3. Mile Marker 0 Sign – End of US 1

Key West
I finally found it!

The mile marker zero sign can be found at the corner of Fleming Street and Whitehead Street. It is also one of the most frequently photographed landmarks in Key West. US 1 is and interstate highway connecting most of the major cities of eastern US.

4. Southernmost Point Buoy

Key West
After waiting in the never ending queue, it’s our chance to get photographed.

The southern most tip of continental USA is just 90 miles (rounded number) to Cuba. There is a concrete buoy constructed here to mark the same. This is one of the iconic spots and a photo at this point is a must. It is also one of the main attractions in Key West.

5. Key West Beaches

The beaches aren’t so impressive as you would find in Miami. They are just fine, but definitely not great. I would suggest don’t spend too much time in the beaches here. You will find a lot of seaweed which I dislike. we had our lunch here in this beach on one of the picnic tables.

Key West

6. Adventure Sports in Key West

Key West
On the top at 900ft above sea level!

There are many adventure sports done in Key West like snorkelling, parasailing, water sports etc. We just tried parasailing. It was a fun experience and I would totally recommend it. I don’t actually remember with which company we went. I do remember we got it half the price of the tickets they were selling at the counter. We had booked online through Groupon app.

We got to see so many star fishes, a few dolphins and so many different types of fishes.
Key West

7. Mallory Square

 

Key West

Mallory Square is the best place to chase sunsets in Key West. However, it was a gloomy day and hence we had to wait for a while for some great shots. There would be many street plays to entertain you, you would not get bored at Mallory Square. They have some nice restaurants and shops. It’s  really a very cool place to spend some nice peaceful time.  Dont miss trying out the famous dessert – Key Lime Pie.

Key West

 

Soon after sunset, we started our journey back to home. I enjoyed Key West so much.

Other Attractions to see if you are spending more than a day:

1. Key West Aquarium

This is located close to Mallory Square. We usually skip museums and aquariums.

2. Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum

The Ernest Hemingway Home is the residence of author Ernest Hemingway in Key West, Florida. We usually skip museums and so we skipped this one too.

3. Key West Lighthouse

Key West

There is a 65 foot lighthouse. We had visited a lighthouse in Key Biscayne National Park. This is also located in one of the Florida Keys known as Biscayne Bay.

4. Key West Cemetery

The Key west Cemetery is located at the foot of Solares Hill in Key West. It is estimated that some 100,000 people are buried in this cemetery.

5. Dry Tortugas National Park

This is one of the remotest national parks in US. It is accessible by boat or a helicopter and it is located some 70 miles west of Key West. It is beautiful, so if you are planning to spend more than a day in Key West, then do not miss this place.

6. Fantasy Fest

Fantasy Fest is an adult fest (street party) celebrated every year in Key West during Fall. This event is a ten-day celebration that includes parades, body painting, costume competitions, AIDS fundraisers, costume parties, drag queen contests and alcohol. Fantasy Fest is like a rival to New Orlean’s Mardi Gras. I have not shared the pictures of this fest as it can violate someone’s privacy and they might also contain nudity.

Things to Know –

  • Wear a sunscreen at all times. The weather is tropical and always sunny.
  • Best time to visit would be during fall or winter time as the weather gets cooler.
  • If you want to try any of the adventure sports, check on Groupon for deals, you might just get lucky!
  • If you are vegetarian, please get your own food. I personally do not depend on any place to go hunting for vegan or vegetarian food.
  • Key West is best accessible by driving. So plan at least one full day for visiting this place.
  • Look out for sea animals, birds and wildlife. You  will find plenty of dolphins, jelly fishes, star fishes, sea birds etc.
Key West
Sunset from Mallory Square when Praveen visited during one of his previous visits.
Happy and safe travels!

Thank you for visiting! If you have any questions / suggestions / feedback you can comment below or send me an email. I would love to hear back from you.

Have a nice day!

 

8 Comments on “How to Spend a Day at Key West

  1. Looks like you had a terrific day, but I’ not sure I could get it all in in such a short period. I have always wanted to go and it looks like an amazing trip, starting even with the drive across the bridge to get there. There is so much history and odd things (and people) to see.

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