Key West in Style: Your Mini-Guide to Big Fun in Florida.
If you have a weekend or some vacation time coming up, why not take a trip down to Key West, Florida? The peaceful atmosphere, the wonderful food, and the exciting nightlife are sure to make it a trip to remember.
It's the perfect place for singles and families alike!
For starters, be sure not to miss the Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Gardens, over on 5210 College RD, in the 33040 zip code. This beautiful park features trails, butterfly gardens, and a sense of allure. If you've brought children, this is a great spot that doubles as educational!
If you want to see more wild, wild life, you must be looking for the Key West Wildlife Center and Aviary, at 1801 White St. You might also be interested in the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, found on 1316 Duval St. This beautiful location was voted the number one attraction by the local People's Choice Awards. You'll be surrounded by hundreds if not thousands of butterflies and colorful, exotic birds from the entire planet.
If you really want to round out the educational aspect of the trip, then the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center is the place to go. You need to call these guys at 305-292-0311 for directions. There are over 6,000 square feet of interactive exhibits and dynamic displays. There's even a scale mock-up of Aquarius, the world's one and only underwater ocean laboratory.
If you're looking for more excitement, why not try snuba? Unlike scuba diving, snuba diving doesn't require a dive certificate, so you won't spend the majority of your precious vacation in school. If you hate getting water in your snorkel, this is for you. It's family safe, too!
When you get hungry, a big draw is Pat Croce's Rum Barrel, on 528 Front St. The decor is intended to bring you to the 17th century, in Old Town Key West. This restaurant features over 100 rums, a rooftop quarterdeck, and live music nightly. It also features an exclusive menu by Chef Patrick Dunn!
If you're looking for a more relaxed, low-key restaurant, try Camille's Key West Restaurant, over on 1202 Simonton St. This is constant the standard by locals, and a favorite of them as well! This place will make you feel like you've been coming there for years.
For a more adult atmosphere, try Conch Republic Seafood Company, on 631 Greene St. With a breathtaking view and heart stopping atmosphere, you can't go wrong! This restaurant overlooks the historic seaport, with amazing dining on the water.
It was voted "Best Happy Hour", so be ready!
You can't leave any vacation without shopping, so be sure not to leave without an original Key West hammock! This store also carried porch swings and unusual patio furniture, made using only the finest materials. Hand woven from some the softest polyester, these hammocks will sway you to sleep.
Don't forget that special someone; Whitfield Jack Jewelry Genius, on 200 Elizabeth St., is the perfect place for that something for Her. The 14K gold conch is the ultimate vacation souvenir of Key West, sure to be a conversation piece for decades to come. Whitfield Jack's also features hundreds of original designs, all with themes using the sea and the topical forest.
When you stay in Key West, it's important to blend in with the locals. Always make sure to wear sunscreen, even on cloudy days. Always check the weather before heading out of your hotel room, as some weather patterns can be dangerous, such as too much heat or an oncoming storm. Lastly, make sure to dress appropriately; This means shorts and short sleeves.
Another important aspect is sun glasses. Sun glasses protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, along with glare. Believe it or not, sun glasses are sometimes safer than not, in the case of polarized lenses, which allow you to see into water.
The culture in Key West is very similar to most beach towns; The locals are laid back and relaxed, live music plays nightly, and the nights are perfect for a stroll. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes--especially the ladies--because it's likely you'll be walking from bar to bar, enjoying the night air and drifting in on the notes of music and the thirst for fun. If you must wear uncomfortable shoes, make sure to plan ahead of time for a cab ride back to your hotel.
Most importantly, don't drink yourself into a hangover---stop when you suspect you should. It's never fun to spend a day of vacation in bed, sick, and unable to enjoy yourself. Drinking water between drinks, and snacking, should help reduce your chances of a hang over.
Also, it's never a good idea to go anywhere private with a stranger, on vacation or not. If you do decide to do this, try to make this decision sober. Never, ever go anywhere without someone knowing where that somewhere is. Having told someone, one single person, where you'd be is the difference between potential rescue and death. All the more, stories of people disappearing with strangers one night on the beach are becoming a new horror. Try to avoid being a victim.
If you have a keen sense of adventure, this is definitely the vacation spot for you. If it's more of a singles night-life you're interested in, Key West has some of the most active night life on the east coast!
No matter what you're looking for, you're sure to find it in Key West.
Hotels and Resorts in Key West:
- Ocean Key Resort & Spa
4-Star Resort with Spa overlooking the Guld of Mexico. Private pier, at the end of Duval Street and adjacent to Mallory Square. Liquid lounge with ocean view. Romantic. Free Wi-Fi. Top-end Deluxe lodging.
Our score: 4.45/5.00
- Santa Maria Suites Resort
4-Star at one block from the Ocean. Each suite equipped with a full kitchen. Two outdoor heated pools. On site japanese cuisine restaurant. Free Wi-Fi. Free parking. Trendy rooms. Amazing view. Poolside lounge. Non-Smoking Rooms. Fitness Centre. Top-end Deluxe lodging.
Our score: 4.45/5.00
- Paradise Inn
3-Star in Caribbean style with jacuzzi. All suites include a sitting area. Hot Tub – Outdoor Swimming Pool. Free Wi-Fi and Parking. Non-Smoking Rooms. Garden. 1 mile from Key West Aquarium. Average-range lodging.
Our score: 4.20/5.00
- Casa Marina Beach & Resort
4 Star, 2 miles from Key West Airport. Private beach. Historical resort with private beach and three restaurants. Mac friendly rooms. Oceanfront pools. Fitness Centre. Fishing. Massage. Diving. Snorkelling. ATM/Cash Machine on site. Wi-Fi with charge. Parking with charge. All Public and Private spaces non-smoking. Breakfast in the Room. Classic Rooms. Some with terrace. Top-end Deluxe lodging.
Our score: 4.15/5.00
- The Grand Guesthouse
Bed and Breakfast at 10 minute from Duval Street and Ocean. Good rates, friendly with free Wi-Fi. Rooms with private entrances. Bicycle Rental. Free parking. Designated Smoking Area. Rooms without frills. Family hotels. Budget savvy Inns:
Our score: 3.98/5.00
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