I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about where we stayed and what we did during out trip to Key West, FL last weekend, so I thought it would make sense to share a travel guide with you for many of you who plan to travel there this year. I was pleasantly surprised with our visit to Key West. Growing up my family spent a lot of vacations in the Caribbean (specifically St. Thomas and St. John), and I thought nothing would ever compare to those since I put those destinations on a pedestal. If you’re looking for an affordable domestic vacation destination, with short travel time, it is definitely an easy trip I would put on your to-do list. I fell in love with all the color, and the food was absolutely amazing, some of the freshest seafood you will find in the U.S. Here are some of the details of where to stay and what to do while visiting Key West, FL.
Where We Stayed: Our hotel was called Parrot Key Resort. It was a quaint hotel located in the midtown area of Key West with a “beachy” Caribbean vibe. The hotel is laid out in a rectangle with four pools located in the center of a “forest” of palm trees. The rooms appear to be town homes, but each level is actually its own individual cottage. Located just out your backdoor is your own personal man made beach that you can enjoy a few steps from your patio. Drew and I had a wonderful time visiting this hotel. The rooms were very clean and the service was outstanding. We spent a couple of evenings listening to live music by the main pool and drinking one (or three) key lime pina coladas. It was so nice having the hotel cafe because it was easy to grab a quick breakfast before heading out to tour the city each morning. The hotel is located about 7-10 minutes from the downtown area of Key West (Duval Street area), but we didn’t mind taking the short cab to visit that area, and in fact appreciated that the hotel was a distance away from the loud/party area of Key West. Make sure to check out my Instagram to see more photos of this hotel!
What to do: Many of these items are some of the popular tourist destinations in Key West. Drew and I like to do these types of things occasionally, especially when traveling to new places, but I have to admit that our favorite thing to do is sit on the beach and watch the sunset with a drink in our hands. After all, vacation is for relaxing, right?
- Take a photo in front of the southern most point buoy. Don’t do it in the lightest part of the day like we did (major fail), but at least we got our photo.
- Grab at beer at Waterfront Brewery and walk the boardwalk – Drew and I always check out a local brewery on each of our trips. We were complete nerds and brought our yahtzee game with us, too. I’m sure people were looking at us like we are crazy, but we didn’t care. 🙂
- Take a walk down Duval Street, perhaps even grab a drink and people watch. This is the main party street of Key West, famous for its open air bars and street entertainment. I loved walking down the street and checking out each restaurants live entertainment of the night. You can find live music just about anywhere in Key West.
- Check out Mallory Square- this is where all the cruise ships dock. Famous for its live entertainment and shops. We didn’t have time to check this out, but everyone raves about watching the sunset and enjoying the experience.
- Take a sunset champagne cruise – because who doesn’t love the ocean at sunset with a glass of champagne in hand?
- Eat some incredible seafood – lobster, stoned crab, hogfish – you won’t find a better place to eat fresh seafood. Which brings me to my next point… food!
Where to eat: If you like seafood, then Key West is your ultimate vacation destination. We had some of the freshest seafood just off the boat during our trip. Below are some of the restaurants I’d recommend you give a try:
- The Stoned Crab (close to Parrot Key Resort)- Stoned Crab is very popular in Florida and known to the Key West. They’re hugeeee crab where the fishermen crack off the claws and the crabs survive and regrow their claws once a year. The cold stoned crab appetizer is a must-have. It’s pricey, but totally worth it.
- Seven Fish- amazing dinner spot. The three fish features are always the best items on the menu. It changes nightly, but you honestly can’t go wrong with anything on the menu.
- Blue Heaven- This was recommended to us by a friend, but unfortunately we had a very short trip so didn’t have time to get there. She said it is quintesssential Key West and has an amazing brunch. Will definitely be on our list for next time.
- Bagatelle- this is a restaurant located on the northside of Duval Street. We went here for brunch one morning and splurged on the lobster mac n’ cheese, and it was so worth it… OMG. I also splurged on the southern breakfast benedict, which was pulled pork on a corn bread biscuit. Best thing on the menu… don’t forget to order a bloody mary, so good!
- Sunset Pier- great lunch spot with a wonderful view, and even better for dinner at sunset, but keep in mind it gets reallyyyyy busy. It is a restaurant on a pier with rainbow colored furniture. Makes for a great photo spot and beautiful views of the water.
- Hogfish Bar & Grill- The locals call this the restaurant of “old Key West” before it got too commercialized and overcrowded. Popular with the locals, everyone recommends the hogfish sandwich. We didn’t have a chance to get here but it will be top of our list during our next visit.
- Better Than Sex Dessert Bar- this is a must-do, especially if followed after Seven Fish for dinner because it is very close by. They dip their wine glasses and coffee cups in different kinds of chocolate and their desserts are to DIE FOR! I had the cookie dough pie and drew had the salted popcorn cheesecake, both with Kahlua coffee dipped in chocolate. If you aren’t already drooling then check out their website. Make a reservation!
- Other restaurants of notable mention that were recommended to us and we plan to try next time: Tavern N Town, Key Plaza Creperie, DJs Clam Shack, Sarabeth’s and El Siboney.
Hopefully that gives you some thought starters on planning your trip to Key West. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out through the contact form on my blog! If you have any questions about the outfits I wore on my trip, don’t forget to check out my SHOP page where you can see all my Instagram posts with direct-to-shop links.
Hope you have a wonderful weekend!
Some photos courtesy of Parrot Key Resort. Thank you to Parrot Key Resort for a discounted hotel stay.