The southernmost island in the Florida Keys, Key West is known for its eclectic culture, bar scene and island perks. The island also has quite a few famous residents on its roster, once lending land to author Ernest Hemingway and “Margaritaville” musician Jimmy Buffett, just to name a couple.
With Key West International Airport (EYW) an 80-minute flight from Ridge Landing, you can transport to island time swiftly and accessibly. And what better way to wash away your worries than to spend a day on an island, cutting off from reality and letting the laidback lifestyle soothe you.
Many Florida residents surprisingly have never been to Key West, though it is a popular tourist destination. But that doesn’t have to be the case for Ridge Landing residents, because the trip is too easy not to take! Whether you’ve been to Key West before or you’re finally ready to fly in for the first time, there is quite an abundance of activities on this island despite its approximate 1-by-3-mile size.
Since Key West is a destination with much to do, we recommend a possible weekend trip, since you’ll want to experience all that the island has to offer, and just one day is not enough!
Popular Points of Interest
Being the tourist destination that it is, Key West has a notable list of “must-do” to-dos that it touts to its visitors. Since we’ve been able to check these out ourselves, we can attest that the below popular points of interest are definitely worth doing during your weekend trip!
Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square
Any Key West local will tell you that catching the sunset at Mallory Square is one of the top things to do. Mallory Square rests along the waterfront in Old Town and features all kinds of entertaining local street performers, food vendors and arts and crafts exhibitors. It’s free to attend, so there’s no reason not to go!
Image credits: http://luxetravel.com
Head Out to Sea
You can’t be on an island without enjoying the waters surrounding you. If you’re adventurous and want to get up close and personal with the marine life, snorkel the coral reef. Namaste Sailing is a higher-end choice that will take out a private excursion for only you and your spouse. But if you’d rather stay onboard, many deep-sea fishing charters are available to give you the true angler’s experience.
Duval Street is the famous bar scene in downtown Key West that offers all kinds of entertainment for every type of patron. You can enjoy interactive live music at Irish Kevin’s, visit island landmark Sloppy Joe’s, hang a dollar bill at iconic Willie T’s restaurant, or indulge at relaxed cigar bar, Cork & Stogie. There is no shortage of bars on Duval, so pace yourself if you want to sample a good bunch!
Rent a Ride
Not feeling the bar scene? See downtown Duval in a whole new way – on a pair of rented wheels like a bicycle or scooter. There are plenty of shops along the street, so finding the best fit shouldn’t be a problem. You can ride like the locals do and explore areas off the beaten path. Stop at the Kinos shop to pick up a pair of made-to-order sandals or enjoy an authentic Key Lime Pie on a stick, a tangy and delicious treat unique to Key West.
Soak up the Sun at Smathers
If relaxation is on your itinerary, head over to Smathers Beach to enjoy the calming shoreline and shining sands for a little while. Smathers is located on the south end of the island off of S Roosevelt Boulevard.
Image via expedia.com
Stop at the Southernmost Point
You’ve likely seen photos of the famous Southernmost Point. The large red and black buoy marks Mile 0, the point of the island closest to Cuba – just 90 miles away. Beware, though: There is often a long line for photos with the buoy, so prepare to wait for a picture. Otherwise, a snapshot from the street can be just as satisfying!
Spend Time in Old Town
Exploring Old Town Key West is a history honcho’s paradise. Here, you can check out the Ernest Hemingway House, Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum, and even visit the Harry S. Truman Little White House, which initially served as the U.S. Navy’s command center during the Spanish-American War, World War I and World War II, and then went on to house President Truman during winters. Simply stroll the sidewalks to marvel at the iconic island architecture of the historic homes lining the streets.
Ernest Hemingway House / via hemingwayhome.com
Stay the Weekend
Even with these seven popular points of interest, you’ll be busy enjoying Florida’s (and the United States’!) southernmost destination, but there is so much more to do in Key West. That’s why we suggest a weekend trip – the flight home will be quick, so you can have plenty of time to enjoy a meal at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville restaurant. Book a night at a bed-and-breakfast or a vacation rental to get a feel for the local lifestyle, and you won’t be disappointed.