Key West is one of Florida’s most enjoyable cities, and it’s easy to see why. Year after year, people discover the rich history, culture, and adventure you’ll find here, and resolve to return again. If you’re tired of the usual vacation spots or simply looking for something that’s easily accessible and affordable practically any time of year, consider these four reasons why what’s affectionately known as the Conch Republic is well worth it.
One of America’s newer national parks, Dry Tortugas National Park is perhaps the greatest place in the U.S. to go snorkeling. The waters are shallow and clear, giving you a high level of visibility to explore the historic shipwrecks, vibrant coral reefs, and abundant undersea life you’ll encounter there. Of note is the coral reef called Little Africa because it is shaped like the continent of the same name and Windjammer, which is the 1907 wreck of the Norwegian Avanti. The park is mostly underwater and includes a small number of tiny islands. On Garden Key, the largest of these islands, sign up for tours of a Civil War-era fort, plus check out the opportunities for swimming, kayaking, and birdwatching. It’s important to know that the park is accessible by boat only, and there is a ferry that runs between Dry Tortugas and Key West. This makes it an ideal part of your Key West vacation. Be sure to book your ticket on the ferry well in advance of your trip. Space is limited and typically fills up quickly.
Delicious, Fresh-Caught Seafood
There is a wide range of seafood restaurants available to you in Key West, and they all showcase the plentiful fish, shellfish, and other delicacies that live in the waters surrounding the Florida Keys. Among the best is Eaton Street Seafood Market in Old Key West. Get your lobster, shrimp, stone crab, and more to take home and prepare in your vacation rental if you have a kitchen. Or, dine on-site and enjoy lobster rolls, shrimp baskets, fish tacos, conch fritters, and salads made to order for you. The spacious outdoor seating offers great views, too. Many of the area’s resorts offer high-end seafood dining, and you’ll find plenty of places along Duval Street to dine on seafood, too. Other options include D.J.’s Clam Shack, Little Pearl, Boat House Bar & Grill, and Conch Republic Seafood Company.
Charming Boutique Shopping
In addition to some well-known and upscale shops, Key West is home to dozens of local boutiques selling everything from housewares to clothes, jewelry, art, and pottery. If you have never been to Key West, consider exploring Duval Street from the Southernmost Point to Mallory Square. This is the equivalent of Key West’s Main Street and is a prime location for shops, art galleries, and other opportunities to support the artisan community of makers. Shop for footwear, apparel and accessories, handcrafted items, glassware, and even cigars. Along the route, there are many places to stop for a light meal or a drink. Don’t forget about the key lime pie, either! It’s a staple of Key West desserts and included in nearly every restaurant’s dessert menu, and it’s definitely worth it.
Fishing for All Ages and Abilities
While in Key West, be sure to book a charter fishing trip with All In Fishing Charters. People come from all over the world to go fishing here, and with good reason. This part of Florida is home to more than a dozen kinds of fish. Even though it changes throughout the year, there is always something in season. You can fish for grouper, snapper, tuna, marlin, tarpon, and more. Experienced anglers will find world-class fishing here; however, those who are total novices will also find themselves warmly welcomed. The crew of the fishing charter will offer all of the fishing gear you need and pointers on how to fish if needed. This is ideal if you’ve never been fishing before. And if you catch some great fish, you can find plenty of Key West restaurants willing to cook your catch. You can typically choose to have your fish blackened, baked or fried and have it served family-style so you and your friends or family can enjoy the results of your hard work.
Everything You Need for an Amazing Island Vacation
Key West has a well-earned reputation as a vacation spot where people are warmly welcomed any time of year. You’ll discover these most popular activities offer you a great way to explore the best the island has to offer, from adventure to shopping and great food. Whether you’re a solo traveler or visiting Key West with a partner, your friends or your family, each of these activities can be tailored to your preferences and needs for a truly relaxing trip you’ll remember fondly for a long time.