36 Hours in Key West – Where to Stay, Eat, and Play

My 1st Impression of Key West 10

One of the most well-known islands in the Florida Keys, Key West is a uniquely positioned vacation spot that’s one of the most tropical in the U.S. A long-time favourite among those who enjoy fishing, snorkelling, and the seafood dishes on the Eastern seaboard, it’s easily accessible by both car and air, and of course the sea. If you’ve only a weekend in Key West, here are the best ways 36 hours in Key West.

A Brief Stay in Paradise

Options for accommodations abound in Key West. There are beachfront condos available, as well as traditional hotel rooms and suites, bed and breakfasts, and vacation rental apartments and homes. Amenities may include private courtyards and pools, patio bars, bicycle rentals, and on-site dining.

For a traditional Florida feel, book a stay at the Margaritaville Key West Resort & Marina near Mallory Square. Enjoy panoramic views from your balcony, deck-side dining, and a soothing massage at this popular luxury resort. At DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Grand Key Resort – Key West, guests can swim in the zero-entry pool, sip tropical drinks at the Tiki Bar, and dine at the on-site Palm Haven Restaurant. Its proximity to the airport will have guests lounging in luxury practically on arrival in Key West.

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Worldly Cuisine

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The food in Key West is truly representative of all of the cultures that have crisscrossed in this storied island, and visitors will enjoy flavours from Latin American, Caribbean, French, Asian, and of course, all-American dishes. For some of the best pizza in Key West, don’t miss Duetto Pizza and Gelato. Located near Mallory Square, it, of course, serves traditional cheese pizza and pepperoni pizza as well as speciality pies like Capricciosa, Con Carne, Con Pollo, Caprese, and La Margherita. Feeling adventurous? Try the white pizzas and the stuffed pizzas, too. For dessert, savour more than a dozen flavours of gelato, made fresh daily.

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Latitudes Restaurant offers a more upscale dining experience with Gulf of Mexico views for that special celebration. This award-winning restaurant is known for its romantic ambience. Dine on lobster and crab cakes, carpaccio spiced ahi tuna, and freshly prepared snapper, grouper, cobia, scallops, and lobster tail; the menu also includes steaks, pasta, and chicken dishes. Blue Heaven, another Key West staple, offers laid back dining in a casual atmosphere. The menu features Jamaican Jerk Chicken, vegetable stir fry, plantains, Caribbean BBQ shrimp, and more, plus a full children’s menu.

Things to Do

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Snorkelling is by far one of the most popular things to do in Key West. After all, the water is crystal clear and there’s an abundance of sea life to view. Dry Tortugas National Park is a short ferry ride away from Key West and several sites there are perfect for both novice and experienced snorkelers. Many visitors also book fishing charters, such as those offered by Fish All In. Hiring a local captain who knows the waters well and can provide a custom charter means visitors get to do more of the fishing they love, whether that’s a reef, wreck, deep-sea or other fishing for snapper, grouper, tarpon, and more.

Key West also offers several landmarks of interest to American literature and history buffs. The homes of writer Ernest Hemingway, playwright Tennessee Williams, and American President Harry S. Truman are all museums and historic sites now that welcome visitors.

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Is 36 Hours in Key West Enough?

A long weekend in Key West can feel like a real getaway for visitors. While it is so close to home, it really does seem like a world away, with its warm and sunny weather, one-of-a-kind restaurants, and world-class snorkelling and fishing. It’s no wonder that Key West is a destination that travellers return to again and again.

Author: Floyd Davis is a fishing Captain and longtime resident of Key West Florida. He fishes for key-west-fishing.link where he is not too busy drinking.


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