A weekend in Key West may not seem like a lot of time but with careful planning, there’s a lot you can do in 48 hours. Check out the upscale hotel accommodations, exciting activities, and creative dining opportunities open to you. Because it’s so easy to get to, a weekend trip to Key West is a great choice for any time of year. Start building your vacation itinerary with these ideas today.
Where to Stay
You can choose a resort hotel in Key West for an elegant and upscale experience. Many offer on-site fine dining, private beach and marina access, and multiple pools, as well as lounges, spa services, and additional amenities. Some of the most popular choices include the Pier House Resort and Spa, Santa Maria Suites Hotel, and The Marker Waterfront Resort. If you prefer to stay at one of the national brands, you can find Marriott, Waldorf Astoria, and Hyatt properties, too. Some properties, like 24 North Hotel, offer special packages that include perks like excursions or discounts for in-state residents. If the big hotel experience isn’t your thing, there are plenty of more cozy options to choose from. Key West is dotted with lots of bed and breakfasts and smaller hotels. The Avalon, Island City House Hotel, The Southernmost Inn, and the Truman Hotel get rave reviews. They are often known for being more quiet and secluded, with courtyard pools and gardens, well-appointed breakfasts, and eclectic room decor. Many times, visitors can borrow or rent bicycles from whatever hotel they’re staying at to cruise Key West on their own, which makes for an ideal self-guided exploration of the island.
What to Do
Whether you enjoy shopping, nature or pure adventure, you’ll find it in Key West. The areas around Duval Street and Mallory Square offer plenty of opportunities for a little retail therapy. Boutiques and shops offer clothing, housewares, artwork, jewelry, handcrafted items, pottery, glassworks, and more. Take a break for a light lunch, glass of wine or ice cream treat at one of the restaurants, bars, and cafes located here. If your hotel doesn’t include a spa on-site, there are several in Key West where you can book massages, facials, nail care, and more. Try Bodhi Spa and Wellness, Prana Spa Key West, and Solar Spa of Key West. It’s one of the best ways to achieve total relaxation on your vacation.
If getting in touch with nature is more soothing to you, take a trip to the Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden. Discover trees, flowers, and shrubs that are native only to Key West, along with the tropical birds that call these habitats home. Other popular sites to visit include the Key West Lighthouse and Keeper’s Quarters, which even allows you to climb to the top of the lighthouse; the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum; Mel Fisher’s Maritime Museum; and the USCGC Ingham. These specialty museums offer visitors the chance to explore life as it was in Key West, celebrating the history and culture of this vibrant island.
Have an Adventure
Some of the most popular reasons that travelers return to Key West again and again are snorkeling and fishing. Reserve your tickets on the ferry to Dry Tortugas National Park for world-class snorkeling on coral reefs and shipwrecks in crystal blue waters with maximum visibility. You can also tour the historic fort here, kayak around the small islands that make up the park, swim at the beach, and picnic on-site. Book a charter fishing trip with All In Fishing Charters for an easy way to enjoy the excitement of deep water, reef or flats fishing. The best part is, all you need to bring is your lunch and your sunscreen; all of the gear and supplies you need are provided, and the captain and crew’s expert assistance ensures everyone has a good time, no matter your experience level.
Sunset schooner rides around Key West are a great way to experience the beauty of the city against the backdrop of the setting sun; it’s a great alternative to the nightly Sunset Celebration in Mallory Square. Guests typically enjoy light hors d’oeuvres and drinks, as well as live music or engaging tour guides that share the highlights of local culture. For beach days, enjoy your pick of local beaches. You can rent snorkeling gear, beach chairs, and umbrellas, in most cases; amenities often include food vendors, too.
Where to Eat
At Eaton Street Seafood Market, indulge in local favorites like fish tacos and conch fritters. The menu includes perennial favorites like lobster roll and fish sandwiches, too. All of their dishes are prepared with the freshest seafood from local fishermen, ensuring that you have an optimal dining experience, whether you take your order to go or dine on-site at their shady outdoor tables. Restaurants like Little Pearl and Latitudes offer great meals in a warm and inviting atmosphere. Add Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe as a stop on your list for the perfect key lime pie; and if pizza is one of your favorite meals, be sure to visit Duetto’s for hand-tossed pies that are legendary. Can’t decide? Join a Key West food tour and sample the stand-out dishes from restaurants around the city, guided by informative and entertaining guides.
As you can see, there is lots to do in Key West for a weekend. By planning your itinerary in advance, you can be sure to include all of the things that matter most, ensuring that your 48 hours here are full of sun, fun, and adventure, complemented by delicious food and drink, and plenty of opportunities to relax. So the next time you’re thinking about a quick getaway, make it Key West.
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