You are planning your Key West vacation – what do you need to know?

Key West is a beautiful and fun place to visit.   If you haven’t been before, then there is something you should know.  There are feral chickens everywhere.  Like thousands of them.   How they got there I don’t know and why they let them wander everywhere, again I don’t know.  There are also giant iguanas.  Not as many as the chickens but still quite a few.


Typical Key West feral chicken


This iguana liked to hang out by the pool


The beach at Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park.   They did have some sand that was probably trucked in.

Another thing you need to know is that Key West doesn’t have beaches.   Technically there are a couple, mostly very small in the southwest corner of the island.   The best of the bunch is at Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park and you have to pay to get in.   If you are wanting a “beach trip” though, this really isn’t it.    Well, if there are no beaches, then what do you do?   Here is a good list of things to do on your Key West trip.

  • By far the most popular thing to do in Key West is to drink alcohol and people watch on Duval Street.   Duval Street is the main drag through the island and there is a lot of, let’s say “interesting” people to watch.   Many people do a pub crawl up and down this strip.   If you like drinking and people watching then Key West will be right up your alley.   Just be careful not to over indulge or you may be the one people are watching!


Duval Street during the day


One of the more popular bars on Duval Street

  • Key West is also a great place for a foodie to visit.   Between the fresh seafood and the local Key Lime Pie there is a little of everything for you. Some of the better places I have eaten are DJ’s Clam Shack, Blue Macaw, Half Shell Raw Bar, and Blue Heaven.   Pretty much everywhere was good.   For desserts, I liked Cupcake Sushi, but my wife preferred Better than Sex. The Key Lime Pie seemed to be pretty good everywhere.


My cupcake sushi

  • Another of the most popular things to do in Key West is to leave.   That did not come out right.   What I mean is to take a boat tour away from the island to see the beautiful surroundings.   There is a lot of choices here for whatever you prefer to do.   There are boat trips to snorkel on the coral reefs, go deep sea fishing, and dolphin watching.   Also, you can take glass bottom boats and sunset tours as well.   I chose the boat tour to Dry Tortugas National Park which was a great experience that I recommend heartily.


The Yankee Freedom ferry to Dry Tortugas NP

  • When you get tired of drinking and sitting by the pool, there are a bunch of museums to visit.   I am not talking old, dry, dusty museums that take up all day.   These are quick, not too expensive, and lots of fun.   By far, my favorite was the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum.   I also enjoyed the Key West Lighthouse Museum and the Harry S. Truman Little White House.   Other popular spots include the Key West Shipwreck Museum and the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory.


The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum.   No chickens on the grounds, but probably 50 or 60 cats.


The view from the bottom of the Key West Lighthouse


The view from the top of the Key West Lighthouse


The Harry S. Truman Little White House

  • There are also several iconic Key West places to go take a picture and enjoy.   Number one in my book is watching the sunset from Mallory Square.   Grab a drink on the pier and enjoy watching the sunset.   Other popular spots are the Southernmost Point in the United States, Bahama Village, and the Historic Seaport Boardwalk.


This is by far the most popular place on the island to take a selfie picture.


Watching the sunset with a rum drink in hand from Mallory Square

Now that you are prepared for your trip, all you need to do is book your flight and hotel and go.   Have fun!    rk