Friday, January 1, 2016

top 10 things to do in key west

I've been fortunate to travel to key west three times in the past fifteen months or so, including two trips with stephen's family and one girls' trip. key west is such a manageable destination, you can walk almost anywhere and on the off chance that you need to cab somewhere, there are pink cabs everywhere. if you're atlanta based, it's a quick plane hop away and the airport is about 5 miles from anywhere you could stay on the island.

since I just got back from my most recent trip, I feel compelled to share my list of top things to do in key west. I've done most of these things myself but I also leaned on stephen a bit since he's had other experiences such as parasailing. from duval street to casa coladas, and sunset views to butterfly watching - this list is in no particular order, enjoy!

1. bar hop on duval street
there are so many places to see and people to watch. irish kevin's for live music, the porch for craft cocktails, la te da for great ambiance. it does tend to get old after a while though, so plan to check it out early and be done if it's not your scene.

2. walk around mallory square at sunset
mallory square is full of attractions - from sword swallowing to guacamole trucks. get there early to walk around and then grab a table at a waterside restaurant like bistro 245 to watch the boats and sunset.

3. soak in the view with sunset cocktails at latitudes
this is one of my favorites about key west. you must make a reservation since you have to take a ferry over to sunset key. I suggest making a bar reservation and having a few appetizers at the outside bar, turn your tables toward the water and relax. hint, the ferry picks up just outside of the westin hotel on the dock.

4. explore the butterfly conservatory
another one of my favorites! read more here.

5. visit the hemingway house
explore the home of ernest hemingway and be on the lookout for six-toed cats. I haven't done this personally, but stephen has. I have been to hemingway's home in cuba.

6. check out the beaches
key west has many different beaches, my favorite is fort zachary. bring a few dollars as it costs a small amount to get in. get there relatively early to claim a good spot! there's no alcohol allowed so be sure to bring solo cups if you're inconspicuously drinking. bonus points if you grab a cuban sandwich to go from courthouse deli to enjoy on the beach.

7. frolick at the pool of the casa marina, waldorf astoria
the pool here is beautiful, they often bring complimentary ice towels and popsicles. enjoy a casa colada and you can also dine with your toes in the sand at their restaurant, I highly recommend it.

8. visit the southernmost point
take an obligatory photo, but be prepared to wait in line!

9. adventure into watersports or a glass bottom boat tour
I can't say too much about this since it's stephen's experience I'm drawing from - he recommends a company called fury for parasailing and sabago for watersports. let me know how it goes! he had a blast.

10. indulge in some fresh florida seafood: mahi, shrimp, crab cakes, all of it! delicious.
duh. if you aren't eating seafood every day, you are doing it wrong. whether you make it yourself using local fish from the market or you grab a fish sandwich out, you can't go wrong. unless of course you don't like seafood, then skip this one :)

if you're planning a trip to key west, feel free to email me with any questions! is there anything you love about the keys that I missed? let me know!

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