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Key West Travel Tips

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Known for its liberal and easygoing vibe, its ever-shining sun, and its stunning tropical island scenery – think palm tree-dappled streets and sand-swathed shores – Key West is a tourist haven of two halves. Whether you’re here to chill out or to party it up , you’re bound to find a slice of island life to suit. Plus, when you fancy something more highbrow, there’s an abundance of art galleries and museums.

 

Best Time to Travel

 

As it’s a tropical island, winter’s actually the dry season here. Running from November to April, it’s also the coolest time of year, though this doesn’t mean the island’s cold by any means. Summer is generally hot and sticky with monsoon-like rainstorms pouring down on many mornings. Still, Key West is Florida’s driest city, so it shouldn’t impact your vacation too much. If you’re looking to save some dollars, stay away during Christmas and spring break periods when prices soar.

 

Not to Miss

 

If you’ve had enough of the poolside scene and fancy getting away from Key West’s popular beaches, pack a picnic for a day at Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park. The fort itself is interesting, and you might be lucky enough to catch a pirate battle put on by historical re-enactors, but the park’s real selling point is its pristine white sand beach with its clear tropical fish-filled water. If you fancy enjoying nature in a more controlled environment, Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory allows you to stroll among flitting butterflies, colorful birds, and tropical plants under a grand domed conservatory.

 

Getting around

 

If you’re flying from Atlanta, Floridian cities or the Bahamas, Key West International Airport is a very handy gateway. From there it’s a short taxi ride to anywhere in the city, or you can rent a car if you prefer to be independent. Visitors from further afield will likely fly to Miami or Fort Lauderdale Airports. Once on the island it’s very easy to get around, although parking can be tricky and expensive in town, so you might prefer to rent a bike, moped, or golf buggy for your stay.

 

Cuisine

 

Seafood’s the buzz word in Key West. From freshly grilled fish dished out by colorful street food wagons to high-end bistros serving up oysters, clams, and shrimps off raw food bars, you can try the day’s catch no matter what your budget. Caribbean cuisine’s also big in Key West, and you’ll find plenty of weatherboard shacks and eateries serving up conch soup and barbecued meat with rice and beans.

 

Customs and etiquette

 

Key West’s known for its liberal attitude, and is an openly gay-friendly city, so you shouldn’t be surprised to see public displays of affection from the LGBT community. Generally, Key West’s a safe place, though petty theft and vehicle break-ins are not uncommon. Make sure to park on well-lit streets and don’t leave valuables in your vehicle. You should also lock bicycles. Swimming is popular on Key West’s beaches but there aren’t always lifeguards so families with small children should be aware of this.

Fast Facts

 

Population: 24650

Spoken languages: English

Electrical: The USA runs on 120V, 60 Hz current

Phone Calling Code: +1 305911