Key West

The Dryftwell Guide to

Key West

Introduction

Located at the southernmost point in the US, Key West is a small city having an interesting assortment of different American and Caribbean cultures. As it is geographically placed at the tip of the Atlantic Ocean, the entire city encapsulates a stunning ocean persona. Because Key West’s different regions are submerged as a combination of different neighborhoods, tourists can explore multiple cultures, lifestyles, traditions, and heritage, all at once. If you have an interest in exploring the city’s famous locations and nightlife, make sure to get sightseeing tours and experience the local food and art scene. 

In this guide to Key West, learn about different places to visit and the best activities to do. Get knowledge about the best time to visit and things to do in different seasons in this guide to Key West. Moreover, experience how the neighborhoods of this region of the US function and their transportation details briefly.


When to go

March, April, and May are regarded as the best months to visit Key West because of the remarkable weather. As there are plenty of activities to do during these months, it remains mostly crowded. The rates of hotels and local transportation are also at their peak during this time. In this guide to Key West, the complete details regarding different seasons are given below.   

Winter

The winter season in Key West starts in December and lasts till the end of February; however, it does not reach the extreme level because of the subtropical climatic conditions. The average winter temperature during this time is 16 degrees Celsius so a lot of festivals and events take place from time to time. If you are traveling in the city during this time, we recommend you to visit Key West Holiday Parade and Mile O Fest. You can also relish by taking local garden tours and sunset cruise tours with your family or friends. 

Spring

March, April, and May are spring months in Key West and surrounding regions, bringing cool ocean breeze and a huge influx of tourists from all over the world. During this time, the water-based activities are enjoyed the most. If you like water sports, you can participate in games like diving, snorkelling, surfing, etc. Moreover, to explore the local culture and taste of the region, you can visit Taste of Key West, Afro Roots World Festival, and 7 Mile Bridge Run. Overall, it is a great time to explore the city because of an immense number of recreational activities and festive events. 

Summer

The months of June, July, and August bring the summer heat in this sub-tropical region therefore not a lot of tourists can be seen around. As the weather mostly remains humid during this time, beach and other outdoor activities are less preferred. If you want to get the best of Key West during this time, make sure to hop on the Sunset Cruise to enjoy the live music and food scene with splendid views. Moreover, the city’s ghost tour, mysterious tour, and food tours are popular among first-timers so you can participate in that as well. 

Fall

September to November is the fall season in Key West during which, the average temperature varies between 22 to 27 degrees Celsius. During this time, the weather mostly remains humid and the rainfall is at its extreme. If you’re lucky enough to avoid the rainfall disaster, you can enjoy activities like BBQ festival, Music Fest, Snorkeling Trip, and much more. This time is also an ultimate place for all age groups so you can take kids with you too. Overall, Key West is the ultimate party place and it has something to offer no matter in which season you visit.


Neighborhoods

Old Town

Old Town neighborhood is the strategic location that attracts tourists from different regions to visit Key West. As the name depicts, this area is the historical hub and locus point as there are many culturally essential locations and monuments such as Lighthouse, Hemingway House, Mile Marker 0 Sign, Mallory Square, and Sunset Pier. If you like to get a complete idea of the history and architecture of this neighborhood, hop on the Conch Tour Train that will take you to all the best points. Also, this neighborhood offers fantastic nightlife because of the tradition-style restaurants, theatres, galleries, and shops. 

Bahama Village

Bahama Village is a significant region of Key West because of its rich history and famous eateries. It is mostly inhabited by the people of the Caribbean so the overlook outlook matches that of the native islands. Because of the well-known restaurants like Hemingway and Santiago Bodega, it is included as an essential section in this guide to Key West. If you want to learn about the local traditions, you can participate in The Bahama Village Goombay Fest where you can party, dance, and enjoy local food. Overall, it is an enjoyable place for newcomers because of its eclectic vibe. 

Historic Seaport

Historic Seaport District is home to people whose livelihood depends upon marine life. This region acted as the economic center for fishermen in the past; however, it has become a gathering area for locals and tourists alike. From theatres to shopping centers and art galleries to food places, you will be able to find everything here to entertainment. Head to the Yankee Freedom for an amazing Cruise Tour and explore the tradition and culture of the city by visiting Sails to Rails Museum. You can also enjoy the Turtle Museum and Sebago Watersports if you hold an interest in them. Overall, it is the ultimate fun place for tourists and offers a chilling atmosphere so it is added in this guide to Key West.


Map

Transportation

Getting around in Key West is quite convenient because the island is extremely small. If you do not plan to use your car to travel to different neighborhoods, you can use bicycles, taxis, pedicabs, and buses. In this guide to Key West, we have provided the complete getting around details below.  

Driving/Parking

It is not necessary to opt for a personal vehicle to get around in Key West because of the closeness of different neighborhoods. Although you may use a personal car if you want to travel to distant neighborhoods frequently, you can easily book a car from multiple locations near Old Town. The parking rates in touristy places are extremely high therefore most people travel using the public transportation system. Although there are plenty of car renting services as mentioned, you can use Uber and Lyft for ease.  

 Public Transit

Key West offers a diverse range of public transportation networks to travel to all the popular and top-rated locations within the region. The public system covers buses, pedicabs, trolleys, and shuttles to provide ease to both locals and tourists. The bus fare is around $2 for a one-way trip and $4 for a one-day pass. Moreover, there are plans for the entire week and months at affordable rates. From the airports or hotels, you can use the shuttle or pedicab service but their rate may vary depending upon the location.  

Biking/Walking

Key West is regarded as an excellent place to bike and walk around because of the bike and walk-friendly culture. Most of the locals and tourists prefer to use bikes because of the excellent biking trails. There are numerous racks to lock up bikes. Moreover, a number of bikes renting services are available onsite and online. Participate in the island’s bike and walking tours to get insights and experience like a local.