I visited Key West, FL for the first time in February 2017. It was nice to escape the harsh winter of mid west, even if it was only for a weekend.
I started off the day from Miami at 6am. It took me almost three and half hours to get to Key West. Keep in mind that Route 1 is a single lane for the most part – You are bound to hit some traffic, especially on the weekends! Start early and enjoy the island life of Florida keys on the way 😉
Parking will always be an issue in Key West. Dedicate some time to finding street parking. It’s a little annoying, but worth it! Paid garages are also an option for the impatient ones 😛 Once your car is tucked away, you won’t need it.. especially if you are going to be in the Mallory square area.
As an avid reader and crazy cat lady, my first stop had to be the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum. With $14 as an entry fee – it was worth the two hours I spend here with so much history and 50 odd cats!
“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”
Ernest Hemingway (Nobel Laureate – Literature, 1954)
This beautiful estate is the largest property on the island – Complete with a pool, outhouse, gardens and a gorgeous view of the lighthouse from the second floor! I recommend the guided tour to know more Hemingway, his second marriage and his love for cats!
Next stop was Lunch! I scored big time with a great recommendation on Yelp for The Cafe, which is at a walking distance from the Hemingway home. Absolutely loved everything we ordered. The service was excellent too.
Next on the agenda was some famous key lime desert – for which we walked to Kermit’s key lime shop on Duval Street. I’m so thankful that we walked into this place! Although not too impressed with their cheesecake, the key lime white chocolate chip cookies were AMAZING! I got some home for myself! 🙂
Walking around the Mallory Square was fun and I liked indulging in the island lifestyle, but I was only there for a few hours!
I headed to my next stop – Key West Garden Club. One of the most Instagrammed places in Key West. I’ll let the pictures tell you why. This place is not a walking distance, so we took our car. Make sure you keep the garden timings in mind – I just made it 15 minutes before closing. Beautiful gardens with a scenic backdrop of an old fort. A Key West must!
Next was the Southernmost Point. Something you must know – this is a major tourist attraction for obvious reasons! Be prepared to stand in long lines for a picture. Below is my customary picture 😀
Although a sunset over a beach is an ideal situation, I was still craving a little peace without any crowd. A perfect one such location was Smathers Beach. Pure heaven. This was the last place on my list. Even though I had 3.5 hours of Journey back to Miami waiting for me that night, I spend as much time as I could on this beach. Secluded, blissful and beautiful sunset colors that lit up the evening sky across the shoreline!
Other places to hit
- Route 1 mile O marker
- Fort Zachery
I’m sure there is much more to do in Key West. But for now, I cherish my memories from my few hours in Key West.