Navigate Key West Like a Pro: Insider Tips from Local Experts

From the colorful architecture to the lively nightlife, Key West is a paradise waiting to be explored. But with so much to see and do, it can be overwhelming for visitors to know where to begin. That's why we've rounded up insider tips from local experts on how to navigate Key West like a pro - from hidden gems off the beaten path, to must-try restaurants and activities that will make your trip unforgettable. So sit back, grab a mojito, and get ready to discover all that this vibrant island has to offer!

best travel tips for Key West Florida

When you travel to a new place, it can be difficult to know how to best experience all it has to offer. This is especially true for Key West, which is full of hidden gems and unique attractions. That's why we've asked some local experts to share their tips for navigating Key West like a pro. From the best places to eat and drink, to insider secrets about what to see and do, this guide will help you make the most of your time in Key West.

What to Do in Key West

In Key West, there is no shortage of things to do. From world-class fishing and snorkeling to kayaking and exploring the island's many beaches, there is something for everyone in Key West.

For those looking to experience the best that Key West has to offer, we've put together a list of things to do that are sure to please. whether you're looking for a relaxing afternoon on the beach or an adventure-filled day of exploring, we've got you covered.

Check out our top picks for things to do in Key West:

1. Take a stroll down Duval Street: Duval Street is the heart and soul of Key West and is home to some of the island's best shops, restaurants, bars, and attractions. Be sure to stop by Mallory Square at sunset for some of the best people watching in town.

2. Visit the Hemingway House: The Hemingway House is one of Key West's most popular tourist destinations. Take a tour of the house and learn about the famous author's time spent living in Key West. Don't forget to say hello to the six-toed cats that call the property home.

3. Go snorkeling or diving: The waters around Key West are teeming with marine life and offer some of the best snorkeling and diving in Florida. Head out on a charter boat or rent some gear from

Must-See Attractions and locations

As the southernmost city in the continental United States, Key West is a popular destination for travelers from all over the world. With its sunny weather, beautiful beaches, and abundance of activities, it’s no wonder that people flock to this small island year-round.

While Key West may be best known for its party atmosphere and Duval Street bar scene, there is much more to this island than meets the eye. Here are some must-see attractions and locations that locals love.

1. The Southernmost Point of the Continental US

No trip to Key West is complete without a photo at the Southernmost Point of the continental US. Located at the end of South Street, this monument marks the spot where Key West is closest to Cuba. It’s also a great place to take in sweeping views of the island and watch the boats go by.

2. Fort Zachary Taylor State Park

Fort Zachary Taylor State Park is one of Key West’s hidden gems. This historic site was once a military fort and is now home to beautiful beaches, walking trails, and an abundance of wildlife. It’s a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of Key West and enjoy some peace and quiet.

3. The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum

For literary fans, a visit to Ernest Hemingway’s former home is a must-do while in Key West. This museum

Local Restaurants and Bars Recommendations

In a town with as much character as Key West, you can bet there are some great local restaurants and bars worth checking out. Here are some recommendations from locals in the know:

  • -The Conch Republic Seafood Company is a must for fresh seafood. The conch fritters are a must-try!
  • -For Cuban fare, El Siboney is the place to go. Their Cuban sandwiches are mouthwatering.
  • -A local favorite for breakfast is Blue Heaven. They have an extensive menu with something for everyone, plus live chickens roaming around the property!
  • -If you want to catch a sunset with a cocktail in hand, head to Smathers Beach and grab a drink at one of the beach bars.
  • -For live music and dancing, check out Bourbon Street Pub or Sloppy Joe's Bar. Both places always have a good time going on.

Best Beaches and Outdoor Activities

There are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy in Key West, and the best way to experience them is by exploring the island's many beaches. From secluded coves to crowded party beaches, there's something for everyone. And since Key West is located at the southernmost point of the continental U.S., you can bet that the sun and sand are plentiful.

Here are some of our top picks for the best beaches and outdoor activities in Key West:

  • Smathers Beach: This is Key West's largest public beach and it boasts over a mile of shoreline. It's perfect for swimming, sunbathing, picnicking, windsurfing, and more. There's also a playground, pavilions, and BBQ grills available for use.
  • Higgs Beach: This beautiful beach is located along the Atlantic Ocean side of Key West and it offers stunning views of the Gulf Stream. It's a great spot for swimming, fishing, snorkeling, and picnicking. There's also a dog park nearby if you want to bring your furry friend along.
  • Fort Zachary Taylor State Park: This state park features two gorgeous beaches as well as historic fort ruins that date back to 1845. It's a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, fishing, snorkeling, picnicking, and kayaking.
  • Dry Tortugas National Park: This national park is located about 70 miles west of Key West, with some of the most awesome diving and snorkeling you could ever experience. 

best travel tips for Key West Florida

Insider Sightseeing Tips from Locals

If you're looking for insider tips on how to navigate Key West like a pro, then you've come to the right place! Our local experts have put together some great advice on what to see and do in this beautiful Florida Keys destination.

One of the best ways to see Key West is from the water. There are numerous charter companies that offer everything from snorkeling and scuba diving trips to fishing excursions and sunset cruises. No matter what your interests are, there's sure to be a charter company that can accommodate you.

Another great way to experience Key West is by taking a walking tour of the historic Old Town district. This area is home to some of the island's most iconic landmarks, including the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, Duval Street, and the Southernmost Point buoy. There are also plenty of great shops and restaurants located in Old Town, so be sure to leave some time for exploring!

If you're looking for a more active vacation, then you'll want to check out Key West's many outdoor activities. Kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and bike riding are all popular things to do on the island. And if you love being in the water, don't forget about swimming with the dolphins at Dolphin Cove!

No matter how you choose to spend your time in Key West, following these insider tips will help you make the most of your trip.

Accommodation Options for All Types of Budget

There are many accommodation options available in Key West to suit all budgets. For those on a tight budget, there are a number of hostels and camping sites available. For those wanting something a little more comfortable, there are hotels, motels, and vacation rentals to choose from. For those wanting the ultimate in luxury, there are also a number of high-end resorts. No matter what your budget is, there is an accommodation option to suit you in Key West.

Shopping Areas Not to Miss Out On

There are a few shopping areas in Key West that you definitely don’t want to miss out on during your visit. Duval Street is the most popular shopping area and is home to a variety of shops, boutiques, and galleries. For souvenirs, head to the Cubby Shop or the Conch Republic Seafood Company. If you’re looking for beachwear, check out Sunrise Sunset or Salty Dancer. And for unique gifts, stop by Southernmost Point Gallery or Blue Heaven.

To sum up, there are so many incredible things to explore and discover in Key West. Navigating your way around this vibrant island can be a daunting prospect for first-timers, however these insider tips will make your stay more enjoyable and help you get the most out of your trip. So before you embark on your journey down to paradise, remember: download those handy apps, seek local advice from experts along the way and don't forget to soak it all in!


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