Having lived in Florida for almost 12 years, it’s crazy that I had never made it down to the keys. People usually come to the sunshine place to visit 3 places: Orlando (or more specifically, Walt Disney World), Miami Beach aaaaand Key West. Well, I finally took the 8-hour road trip with my friend Alexis and had a great time! Here’s the breakdown of my sun-filled weekend:
How To Get There:
If you live in Florida then driving is the most economical option. If you’re not, I recommend flying into Miami and heading from there. Key West does have an airport but it’s fairly small and expensive to fly into. Plus, if you land in Miami you have the option to explore Miami Beach for a few days. We made a pit stop there during our road-trip in order to go see the famous Wynwood Walls.
Where To Stay:
Alexis and I stayed at the 24 North Hotel. It’s beautiful property with a Cuban flair and the best mojitos I’ve ever tasted. They do pool-side yoga classes every morning, which I took full advantage of, and even rent out bikes. I borrowed one of their beach cruises one afternoon and rode it down to the beach, finally fulfilling that Californian dream of mine.
What To Do:
Duval Street & Mallory Square
These are the two points in Key West where people seem to gather. Duval Street is the main street for local vendors, restaurants and live entertainment. It’s a little over a mile long and is great for night outings. Mallory Square is this super picturesque part of Old Town where they have classic Florida houses from the 1920’s and a ton of huge statues to take pictures with. The reenactment statue from the famous sailor kiss was my favorite!
Pretty straight-forward – the most southern point of the United States! It’s a iconic picture spot and the view is beautiful.
Rodriguez Cigar Factory
Key West is alllllll about their cigars – they’re everywhere! Alexis and I got to tour the Rodriguez Cigar Factory which is the oldest cigar company in the city. Danny, the owner, gave us a super personalized tour of the place and even let us roll our own cigars. It was a super neat way to spend our afternoon.
Ernest Hemingway House
One thing that really surprised me about Key West as the abundance of history. I had no clue that it was such an important part of Florida history! Key West was home to Ernest Hemingway for over ten years, where he wrote most of his famous literature. There’s daily tours of the house and my favorite - the gardens.
Nightlife | Garden of Eden
Also surprising about Key West was their nightlife! There’s a ton of places to go have a drink at night – most of them located on Duval Street. They have your typical Señor Frogs and places like that, but they also have hole-in-the-wall pubs that have great deals. By far the most unique place that we went into was Garden of Eden. AS YOU PROBABLY HAVE GUESSED FROM THE NAME, Garden of Eden is a nude bar. Now, you don’t HAVE to be nude to go in but you will see plenty of naked people. It’s not as sketchy of an atmosphere as it sounds like (lol), it’s literally a normal-looking bar that just happens to have naked people drinking there. Phones are a big no-no, and they provide towels to use as seat covers. Is anyone else as intrigued as I was when I read about it?
Snorkeling & Parasailing
Last but not least, Key West is great for snorkeling and parasailing. I didn’t partake in either because they’re both pretty expensive BUT if you are interested in either then Key West is a great place to do it. The water is turquoise blue and the views are as tropical as they get in Florida.
And that’s basically it. If you go to Key West and check out any of these places, send me some pictures! I love seeing them. If you’re interested in seeing some of my Key West pictures (sorry, no Garden of Eden pictures ) follow me on Instagram at @globetrottingblonde. ☀️