Key West City Guide

Welcome to Key West, Florida! Known for its laid-back atmosphere, vibrant culture, and stunning sunsets, Key West is the southernmost point in the continental United States and a popular destination for tourists. Here’s a quick guide to help you explore the best that the island has to offer.

  1. Attractions:
    • Duval Street: The main street in Key West, lined with shops, galleries, restaurants, and lively bars.
    • Mallory Square: A popular waterfront plaza, known for its nightly Sunset Celebration featuring street performers, artists, and food vendors.
    • Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum: The former residence of the famous author, is now a museum showcasing his life and work.
    • The Southernmost Point Buoy: An iconic landmark marking the southernmost point in the continental United States, just 90 miles from Cuba.
  2. Food and Dining:
    • Conch Fritters: A local delicacy made from the native conch mollusk, fried and served with dipping sauces. Try them at places like Conch Republic Seafood Company or BO’s Fish Wagon.
    • Key Lime Pie: A classic dessert made with key lime juice, condensed milk, and egg yolks, served on a graham cracker crust. Sample it at Blue Heaven or Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe.
    • Fresh Seafood: Enjoy locally caught fish, shrimp, and lobster at restaurants like Half Shell Raw Bar, Louie’s Backyard, or Latitudes.
  3. Nightlife:
    • Duval Street: The heart of Key West’s nightlife, featuring popular bars like Sloppy Joe’s, Hog’s Breath Saloon, and The Green Parrot.
    • Sunset Pier: A lively waterfront spot with live music, tropical drinks, and beautiful sunset views.
    • Smallest Bar: A quirky, tiny bar located on Duval Street, offering a unique and intimate drinking experience.
  4. Outdoor Activities:
    • Fort Zachary Taylor State Park: A historic fort and park with a beautiful beach, picnic areas, and opportunities for snorkeling and swimming.
    • Dry Tortugas National Park: Accessible by ferry or seaplane, this remote park features Fort Jefferson, pristine beaches, and excellent snorkeling and birdwatching.
    • Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory: A peaceful, lush conservatory housing a variety of butterfly species and exotic birds.
  5. Shopping and Markets:
    • Duval Street: Home to numerous shops and boutiques offering souvenirs, clothing, and local artwork.
    • Mallory Square: A hub for artists and craftspeople, perfect for picking up unique, handmade items.
    • Clinton Square Market: A shopping center housed in a former cigar factory, featuring a variety of shops and eateries.
  6. Events and Festivals:
    • Key West Fantasy Fest (October): A 10-day event featuring elaborate costumes, parades, and street parties, culminating in the Masquerade March and Fantasy Fest Parade.
    • Key West Songwriters Festival (May): A five-day music event showcasing over 200 songwriters performing at various venues throughout the island.
    • Hemingway Days (July): A celebration of Ernest Hemingway’s life and legacy, featuring literary events, a look-alike contest, and a marlin fishing tournament.

Be sure to check local event calendars for additional activities and festivals during your visit. Enjoy your stay in the charming and eccentric island city of Key West!