Summer Vacation Ideas for Key West, Florida

Summer Vacation Ideas for Key West, Florida

As the southernmost city in the continental United States, Key West, Florida packs a big punch when it comes to prime destination locations for eager travelers. If you’ve heard of Jimmy Buffett or Ernest Hemingway, you may know a thing or two about Key West. Its pristine beaches, lively cultural vibe and tropical climate make it a premier spot for a variety of vacationers – from adventurers vying for exciting exploits to families with kids in tow. So, no matter why you’re making the venture to this little city, kick back, relax and enjoy a frozen concoction in Margaritaville.

Summer Vacation Ideas for Families in Key West, Florida

Families: It may come as a surprise to many that Key West has so much more to offer than bar hopping and parties. If making the trek south, be sure to visit between Spring Break and the early summer months to avoid the rainy season. Families on a budget will appreciate the affordability of the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott, which offers a private pool, free breakfast buffet and bike rentals. Get your key lime fix with a key lime jelly donut from Glazed Donuts & Red Buoy Coffee to start out the day.

Then, to really take in all the sights and sounds of Key West, take the kids on an Old Town Trolley Tour, which has 13 stops at more than 100 area attractions and points of interest. Visit the Key West Aquarium, a popular spot for little ones and a good excuse to get out of the sun for an hour or two. The Aquarium offers a touch tank full of starfish and urchins, and opportunities to feed the fish, making this stop full of family fun.

Kids will also enjoy the Key West Shipwreck Museum and the tall lookout tower that’ll give the best views of the old city. For dinner, check out Frita’s Cuban Burger Café. Their menu covers the basics with a little bit of Latin fare for little eaters, like tacos and burgers, with a lively atmosphere complete with a mariachi band.

Summer Vacation Ideas for Adventurers in Key West, Florida

Adventurers: Surrounded by water and beaches, Key West is quite literally a paradise for adventure seekers. For a unique lodging experience, visit the Heron House on Simonton Street. With only 23 rooms, noise will be kept at a minimum as you enjoy the beautiful grounds complete with a courtyard and pool for guests to relax in.

For breakfast, make an early stop over at Banana Café for a delectable crepe with key lime or strawberry shortcake filling. To really capitalize on the beauty of the beaches, set up an excursion with Fury Water Adventures. They offer snorkeling and parasailing, amongst other exciting adventures, which shows off breathtaking views of this beautiful island.

For lunch, eat at Key West’s oldest restaurant, Pepe’s. Established in 1909, this local favorite is a must-visit with no-frills options ranging from a grilled cheese sandwich to their White Collar Burger.

After lunch, hop back onto a boat with Key West Eco Tours and see popular predators up close, as well as the more docile species like turtles, stingrays and dolphins. When the sun sets, take a haunted ride through town with Ghosts and Gravestones. This spooky adventure will show you why Key West is consistently named one of the most haunted cities in the United States.

End the evening with a freshly brewed beer and some fried calamari at The Waterfront Brewery on Williams Street. If you stop by early enough, catch the brewery tour at 5 p.m. on Fridays and explore how Waterfront crafts their perfect drafts.

Summer Vacation Ideas for Couples in Key West, Florida

Couples: You simply cannot go wrong when planning a romantic getaway to a pure slice of paradise. With beautiful sandy beaches and the blue ocean as a backdrop to the vacation, you and your partner will surely feel the romance no matter the time of day.

Book a room at the Ocean Key Resort & Spa and stay close to nearby attractions yet enjoy your own piece of serenity. Each room boasts a private balcony overlooking the ocean or historic Duval Street, a jetted tub and enchanting furniture. Throw in poolside covered cabanas and an on-site restaurant, Sunset Pier, and you’ll almost want to stay at the resort the entire vacation.

To start the day, head over to Sugarloaf Marina and hop on a private boat to get an up-close-and-personal tour of the surrounding waterways together. If you decide not to pack a lunch for the boat ride, grab lunch at Blue Heaven, a quaint but popular restaurant with a courtyard for charming outdoor seating.

Spend the rest of the afternoon talking a walk through Key West’s Historic Seaport and enjoy the sunset from the most famous viewing spot in town, Mallory Square. Grab a cocktail, shop unique boutiques, enjoy live music and relax with your partner by your side in one of the most beautiful seaside locales in the country.

Finish the evening at Latitudes, which is only a 10-minute ferry ride away from Key West. Don’t let the trek deter you – this beautiful restaurant is part of the Sunset Key Cottages and offers breathtaking views of the ocean while you dine on exquisite, locally-caught seafood dishes or fresh pasta.

Summer Vacation Ideas that are Local Favorites in Key West, Florida

Hidden Gems/Local Favorites: With roughly eight square miles to explore, it may be hard to imagine finding local gems. But, rest assured, there are plenty of local favorites spread across the island that you won’t want to miss.

Drop your belongings off at the Southernmost House, which is worth the visit just because of its history. Five presidents have slept in this bed and breakfast. And, according to residents, they make some of the best margaritas in town.

Begin the day with a shot of espresso or a Tropical Macchiato at Coffee Plantation in Historic Seaport. This café doubles as an art gallery and will help jumpstart the morning after a long bout of traveling. If you’re up for another short ride, consider a day trip to Fort Jefferson and Dry Tortugas National Park. While it’s about 70 miles west of Key West, you’ll pass deserted islands on your way to this beautiful and non-crowded piece of history. Spend the day snorkeling and exploring.

After you return and rest, hop over to the Bahama Village for a unique, local shopping experience with resident crafters and vendors.

Finally, trek off the beaten path to Garbo’s Grill at Grunts Bar on Caroline Street. This establishment looks like a private home, but is instead a quaint bar and restaurant. Feast on fish tacos or Korean BBQ and end a busy day with a cold beer in a frosty mug.

Check out more vacation ideas and deals in Key West, Florida.  Also, check out other Florida vacation ideas.

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