Monday, August 19, 2013

Key West Travel Recomendation

Just yesterday I had an old high school friend ask me my recommendation on a few hotels in Key West.  I am pretty sure I gave her more information than she needed or even desired, but here it is. 

"First if you are planning a trip to Key West I recommend you check out our tourism pages and www.keywestchamber.orgThe chamber has a “Shell out less” link on their home page for coupons and deals.  Next decide how you want to get here.  Flying into Miami or Fort Lauderdale from Baltimore is most likely a more affordable option.  You can rent a car and drive your way through the Florida Keys to Key West stopping at some great places along the way.  All of the Florida Keys have something great to offer.  It takes about 3.5 to 4.5 depending on which you choose (MIA is a little closer than FLL), traffic and how many times you decide to stop of course.  You can also get some good deals flying in and out of Key West on occasion (EYW).  Check one way tickets as well.   Sometimes it is a little depressing driving 3 hours to leave the Keys so you can also rent a car one way, return at Key West airport (Dollar, Budget and Avis) and fly out of Key West if you can find a decent return flight.  You may know this but best day to book and check process is Wednesday (at midnight I’m told), best price days to fly are usually Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.  “Season” in Key West is late fall early winter (it really kicks into high gear around Christmas) to Feb./March.  Summer months is “off-season” and you will find lower rates, as long as there are no big events going on.  Event calendars are available on both sites I gave you earlier.  Unless it’s your cup of tea I recommend avoiding Fantasy Fest…last week of October…rates are HIGH and it’s a big party.  

Now on to hotels.  My favorite place to stay is Coconut Beach Resort.  Great views, beautiful rooms/Suites with kitchenettes (save money by not eating out every day and night), pool, hot tub, small private beach, walking distance to attractions and Duval Street.  Budget wise I would say it is middle of the road.  If you are traveling with a group a great budget friendly idea is to do a weekly rental.  Like this one – Mike and I stayed here with my cousin and her boyfriend a couple years ago in August it was $1000 for the week. No pool, but perfect walking distance to Duval Street (shopping, restaurants, attractions). And one block from Starbucks! Some other places in town to check out are ; or 

Outside of the downtown area you have some other great options as well.  They will be more budget friendly as well because they are a little further from the downtown area.  There is currently road construction going on by these hotels, but they are still a great oasis.  Ibis Bay, Parrot Key and The Inn at Key West.  On the other side of the Island closer to Smathers Beach is a Sheraton and Best Western (Key Ambassador).  If all else fails we do have a Days Inn right when you come into town, not high on my recommendation list. 

Key West has some great attractions!  If you love being on the water there are many options for snorkeling, fishing, sightseeing, jet-skiing and sunset cruises.  A must do is the Sunset Celebration on Mallory Square every evening…at you guessed it…Sunset!  Free, but bring some dollars to tip your favorite performers!  Plenty of museums to explore.  Also, some low-to-no cost options.  Ft. Zachary Taylor State Park (beaches, hiking, nature trails and visit the old Fort).  Nearby is the ECO-Discovery Center (FREE) and the USCG Cutter Ingram.  On the outside of town is the West Martello Towers (Garden), Higgs Beach and the Wildlife Refuge.  (ALL FREE, donations accepted for the Garden and Wildlife Refuge).  Just outside of Key West at MM4ish, Stock Island is the Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden for just $7 dollars per person you support a non-profit Garden and get to explore several acres of hardwood hammock and tropical forest.  Bring a picnic to eat in the courtyard by the Orchid Waterfall!  If you have time make the trip up to Bahia Honda state park, beach, trails and walk up over the old railroad bridge. "
There is so much more to see and do in the Florida Keys and I didn't even touch on Restaurants.  From date night fine dining and a night to remember to culinary treats or even take-out, we have it all!  Even a desert bar called Better than Sex!  I really could continue on with all the wonderful things to see and do in Key West and the Florida Keys, but to do that would take a book, but if you check out the tourism information pages I referred to you will get a lot of useful information. 

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