In your Key West vacations, you will find a tiny location that has a lot of charm. It is the southernmost town in the US and gives the feel of a Caribbean locale. This was the only place down south to stay with the Union during the period of the Civil War. You will get the same free-thinking people today during your Key West vacations. The location of the city causes a heady cultural mix. People roam about barefoot, chickens walk on the streets, and interesting epitaphs are present in the cemetery. The essence of the location lies in its Queen Anne and Victorian architecture and its fascinating residents.
1. When to Go for Your Key West Vacations
The best time to go on your Key West vacation is from March to May. The winter crowds will disperse, and the hotel rates also fall. The weather has become quite similar to the earlier decades. In the winter, the crowds are at their peak. The prices are also at their highest. The humid and rainy summer period gets fewer people and reasonable hotel rates. This can be quite lucrative for many people. It will also help you avoid the hurricane season from June to November. Remember that the rates increase during special occasions such as the Fantasy Fest and the Key West Pride.
2. Some Important Pointers for Your Key West Vacations
As we mentioned above, you can either be ready to pay a significant amount of money to visit during the winter or go when the rates are low during spring. Renting scooters and bicycles are popular options here. But they are quite costly. You can bring your transportation to reduce the costs. Also, make sure to carry a helmet. You do not want to take unnecessary risks in a new location. Further, it will bode well for you to heed the tide. Try to avoid some of the special events that happen during your Key West vacations. They pack the accommodations on the island. You will save a lot of money.
The crime rate in the area is not very high. But you should still stay alert when roaming around the area. This is especially true during the night and around the hectic Mallory Square and Duval Street. Take precautions while going into the water. Make sure to be careful about all the warnings that authorities have given. Pay attention when you are driving your bicycle through the roads. You have to use the bike lights if you are bicycling at night.
3. Culture & Customs on Your Key West Vacations
This location is situated farthest to the left in the area of the Florida Keys. It also tends to lean left on the political spectrum. There are large gay and Cuban communities here. The people are proud of their inclusive culture. There are plenty of attractions, bars, and museums in the area. Tennessee Williams and Ernest Hemingway have both spent time here in the past. The Key West Literary Seminar helps to put forth the area’s wordsmith heritage by celebrating the authors here annually.
The location is known for its diverse and vibrant people. Many of the residents are immigrants of European origin from the Bahamas. They refer to themselves as Conchs. People who are not born in this location but have lived for seven years are freshwater Conchs. The origin of this nomenclature is not known. But the theory comes from the American Revolution. The locals were called Conchs by the immigrants due to their shellfish—heavy dietary preferences. You will find many souvenirs around the island with the term Conch Republic. This was coined about 40 years ago when the location tried a mock secession from the US. This happened when the Border Patrol set up an inspection point to find illegal immigrants and drugs. But the resistance from the locals and the publicity gained from it increased the number of tourists to the area.
4. What to Eat During Your Key West Vacations
The dining in the area is casual and special. You can expect to see an animal walk by your dining table on some occasions. Seafood forms the basis of much of the food found here. But Cuban and Caribbean influences help to add a bit of zest to the usual fish food. Some guided food tours provide a more detailed analysis of how Cuban and Caribbean flavors have molded the dining scene. Travelers and critics agree that some of the top authentic Cuban fares during Key West vacations are El Siboney. For a more casual environment, you can also check out Frita’s Cuban Burger Café.
Blue Heaven is the place to be if you want some Florida-Caribbean food. It cannot be counted as a typical restaurant. It has a vibrant atmosphere that sees cats and roosters walk around freely between the outdoor tables. The Seven Fish restaurant gives you fare that is more focused on seafood. But you will have to keep a close watch lest you miss the restaurant itself. This is because the restaurant is quite tiny from the outside and can be missed easily during your Key West vacations. You may have spent a day of your Key West vacation on a fishing charter and now want to eat your catch for dinner. No worries. Some nearby restaurants, such as Dante’s, will prepare the dish for you for a small amount.
You will not have any issues in getting pocket-friendly outposts in the area. But finding a premium dining experience can take some time. Both tourists and food critics highly recommend Nine One Five. The premium eatery gives you a menu that has lots of steak and seafood. Further, you can go upstairs to the Point5 Lounge. Here, local jazz musicians play sometimes.
5. Getting Around Your Key West Vacations
The best way to navigate the area is through walking. Bicycles and mopeds are also available. But it can be risky to drive mopeds here. Cabs are present on the roads. They are also available in front of the international airport located in the middle of the island. The transport department also operates many public buses around the area. Ride-hailing apps are present on the island. Very few people drive their cars in the area. But doing the long haul from Miami is a very popular way of getting to the location. We also recommend you to do the same if you have the time.
You may be taking a flight to South Florida. Then you can save cash by flying to Miami. Then, book a car rental from Miami and drive to Key West. You can easily take a flight back home from this area after you are done with your Key West vacation. Parking in the area can be troublesome. This is especially valid when you are staying in the Old Town. This is another factor to consider when you are driving your car. There is minimal on-road parking present in the area. Some hotels or resorts may have a few parking spaces, but you will not find anything more than that. A car also becomes unnecessary when you are on the island. Renting bicycles or walking around during your Key West vacations will get you to whatever area you want to go to without having to face the hassles of parking the car.
You may want to go to Marco Island, Ft. Myers, or Naples. Then it is a good idea to take the Key West Express ferry from Key West to Fort Myers. The ferry leaves periodically from Marco Island and Fort Myers Beach. It will take you to Key West in less than four hours. After the boat docks, it is not too difficult to walk to the various lodgings present at this end of the island. Cabs are also present if you do not want to walk in the heat or have a lot of luggage with you.
Key West vacations transmit tourists to most of the gorgeous locales in Florida. The string of islands is located south of the mainland. Cuba is situated very near Key West. You may want to go on action-packed adventures or get away from the daily grind of life. Then, Key West vacations provide a lot of things for all budgets and interests.
Our private tours typically range from $500 - $1000 per person/per night depending on chosen hotels and room categories, vehicles used, types of tours, flight cost, time of year and other factors. Make an inquiry for a customized trip quote.