No matter how much vacation time you’ve accrued, it’s still precious, which can make it hard to decide how to spend it. Build your Key West itinerary for an ideal mix of excitement and downtime. This island city in the Florida Keys offers plenty of opportunities for both, along with some great food and entertainment, as you can see.

Fresh and Creative Cuisine

The unique history of Key West provides a culinary backdrop that today delivers food that’s innovative and exciting. Using the abundant seafood from local waters along with international inspiration, discovering new flavors is part of the joy of visiting this place.

Check out Eaton Street Seafood Market, serving up the daily catch as fish sandwiches, fish tacos, lobster roll, conch fritters, and more. Orders are available to go or linger over your meal while dining outdoors.

Latitudes Restaurant offers fine dining, and Little Pearl has a real neighborhood feel, if you’d rather eat like a local. Don’t miss Duetto’s for pizza and gelato that’s out of this world. And get your key lime pie from Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe.

Your Pick of Hotels, Motels, and B&Bs

In Key West, you can find accommodations in any budget range suited to your preferences. From luxurious resorts with on-site spas and marinas to courtyard hotels, bed and breakfasts, and vacation home rentals, you can be confident that there’s a perfect spot for you.

Some offer continental breakfasts, free bicycles to borrow, and special happy hour events, as well as secluded pools and hot tubs, patios, and decks for relaxation. Check out the Marker Waterfront Resort, Pier House Resort and Spa, and Santa Maria Suites Hotel for total pampering and high-end service.

If you prefer national hotels, there’s a Marriott, Hyatt, and Waldorf Astoria. Popular bed and breakfasts include Avalon, the Truman Hotel, The Southernmost Inn, and Island City House Hotel. You can also find limited campgrounds and RV space if you prefer to keep things simple.

Island Excursions

It can be hard to narrow down your choices for activities in Key West because they’re so plentiful! Fans of American history will delight in visiting the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, President Harry S. Truman’s Little White House, the USCGC Ingrahm, the Key West Lighthouse Museum, and Mel Fisher’s Maritime Heritage Museum.

These venues offer tours, exhibits, artifacts, and art that informs and inspires. The Ernest Hemingway Home and Little White House have spacious grounds for outdoor walks, too, where you can marvel at the magnificent landscaping and greenery choices.

Book a visit to the Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden, where you can view tree and plant specimens found nowhere else in the continental U.S. Boardwalk paths make for a relaxing experience, and the native birds offer rare sights.

Get a little retail therapy in as you walk up and down Duval Street and check out Mallory Square. There is a wide range of shops and boutiques with exclusive, handmade or artisanal pottery, glassworks, housewares, jewelry, and clothing, plus antiques and sweets.

At Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe, be sure to browse the key lime-inspired health and wellness products, like lotions, lip balms, and fragrances. For more self-care experiences, book spa treatments at your resort or at a local spa like Prana for massages, facials, and body treatments to soothe away your stress.

Outdoor Adventures

Lots of visitors to Key West enjoy fishing and snorkeling the most. And even if you’ve never done either, Key West offers an ideal place to start. All In Fishing Charters offers full- and half-day excursions year-round for deep water, wreck, and reef fishing. You don’t need any experience or fishing gear–everything you need can be provided, including smart tips for beginners from a knowledgeable crew.

Catch the ferry to Dry Tortugas National Park for world-class snorkeling in shallow, clear waters that are calm enough for beginners to explore coral reefs and shipwrecks. If you’d rather not leave the island of Key West, there are numerous opportunities to snorkel right there, including several public beaches and Fort Zachary Taylor State Park.

Borrow or rent bicycles for a self-guided tour of the island’s charming neighborhoods or book a sunset cruise to nowhere. These sailboats and catamarans offer cocktails and live music with engaging tour guides and the most picturesque sunset views you can imagine.

For a more low-key outdoor excursion, consider booking a picnic with Key West Picnic Company. They’ll work with you to design the ideal event, from the basket full of goodies to comfortable seating, blankets, and portable music to set just the right mood. Whether you’re ready to just relax or you want to plan a memorable birthday, anniversary or engagement together, it’s truly personalized and unique.

These are just a few of the amazing experiences awaiting you in Key West. Come explore this welcoming community and enjoy the laid-back vibe. It’s the perfect vacation destination, no matter your travel style.

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