Introducing the city

£1.00 | $1.27

GBP | USD

Gasoline £0.52 | $0.66

One-way ticket £1.57 | $2.00

Beer £3.34 | $4.25

Main Course £15.71 | $20.00

About Key West

Located in Florida, this paradise island is the southernmost city in continental USA and the most visited city in the Florida Keys.

Brangelina, Kimye... the Floribbean; the merging of two names has never felt so right. Although this island city is part of Florida, it almost feels like it's separate given its isolated location 90 miles north of Cuba. Yet, pocket-size Key West - with a population of just over 25,000 - still attracts hundreds of thousands of international visitors every year.

Accessible via ferry, plane or road, Key West with its all year round warm weather is one of Florida's most popular destinations. It's both an island and a city with a touch of the Caribbean highlighted best by the laid-back vibes that sweep the streets lined with conch-style houses and tasty seafood restaurants. Sandy beaches are few and far between but Key West is better known for its bordering crystal blue waters and number of beautiful coral reefs which make for excellent snorkelling and diving opportunities.

The Keys are the best place to taste Floribbean culture. And if any city deserved 'Floribbean' status... it's Key West.

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Weather

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When Should You Visit?

March and April; these months experience little rainfall and follow the high season (winter) so crowds are fewer.

Key West has a mild tropical-maritime climate and experiences warm weather all year round given its close proximity to the Caribbean. In the summer months of July and August, the average high temperature is around 32 degrees Celsius where as the coldest months of January and February still get an average high of about 24. Hurricane season is between June and November so this should be considered when booking you're trip. As such the month of September is the wettest of the year, closely followed by June and then August. The months between December and April experience very little rainfall.

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Travioor top tips

Getting There
Sunset
Coastline

Insider Info

  • Key West has an international airport so travelling by plane is the best option if you're pushed for time, or even via ferry from Fort Myers if you're based along Florida's west coast. However, if you're heading to Key West from Miami, it may take a little longer but you can experience the beautifully scenic route along Highway 1 if you drive.
  • One of the best places to watch the sunset on the island is at Mallory Square where every night prior to sunset, a great atmosphere ignites thanks to an array of street performers, artists and exhibitors. Although, it can get very busy, especially at weekends.
  • If you're looking for beautiful sandy beaches, you're better off heading for Miami or mainland Florida's west coast; while Key West is known for its gorgeous bordering waters, coral reefs and excellent snorkelling and diving opportunities, there are very little sandy beaches here.

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Food and drink

Main Course £15.71 | $20.00

3-Course Meal £54.99 | $70.00

Cappuccino £3.54 | $4.50

Beer £3.34 | $4.25

The Scene

Key West is known for having some of the best food and restaurants in Florida. It draws on influences from the Caribbean given the island's close proximity to countries such as Cuba, and many Caribbean flavours are integrated into dishes coining the term 'Floribbean cuisine'. For example, one staple drawn from the Bahamas is the conch fritter which Key West does very well.

Some of the best seafood in the whole of America can be found here with lobster, snapper, shrimp, hogfish and stone crab all heavily featured on menus. And for dessert, you should most definitely try the Key Lime Pie.

There are a great number of watering holes to visit if you fancy a tipple. By no means is the nightlife anywhere near as vibrant as Miami's but Key West's scene is about as vibrant as it gets in the Keys with Duval Street the best place to be. Island staples to try while you're here include a rum runner and a Hemingway daiquiri. If you have a few too many, a Cuban coffee is sure to sort you out the morning after.

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History

Key West’s Story

Before the Spanish first made European contact with Key West in 1521, the island was inhabited by the Tequesta and Calusa peoples. As Florida became a Spanish Colony, Key West became predominantly a fishing village and it wasn't until 1822 when the US took the Keys as their own. During the rest of the 19th century, developers started building in Key West and it became the richest city in Florida in 1889.

In the 20th century, people began to talk of ways to help improve accessibility to the island given its isolated location and in 1912, Henry Flagler's Florida East Coast Railway connected the island to mainland Florida. However, just over 20 years later, a hurricane destroyed the railroad and a highway was built as a replacement. More recently, the international airport was almost doubled in size in 2009, increasing the level of tourism on the island further.

Language

English

The official language of Key West is English. You may also hear some people using Spanish given the isalnd's history and as a result some signs may also feature Spanish translations as well as English. Regardless, everyone speaks English here so you won't need to get to grips with a new language.

Need to know

+1 786 Dialling Code
911 Emergency Services

Get The Low-Down

  • Key West has an international airport.
  • People usually tip 15-20% in restaurants.
  • The island is fairly small so a bicycle is a great way to get around.
  • Key West has a strong gay community
     

VISA INFORMATION

Find out about the visa requirements for the US here.

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Travioor Recommends

1. National Park

Take in the beauty of this archipelago of seven reef islands that make up the Dry Tortugas National Park.

2. Duval Street

Shop, dine and take in the atmosphere along Key West's main tourist strip known as Duval Street.

3. Aquarium

Feed the sharks and view the range of other sea creatures at Key West Aquarium.

4. Southernmost Point

Visit the most southernmost point in USA where you can enjoy a beautiful point and the surrounding street vendors and performers.

5. Water Activities

Key West is great for watersports and snorkelling, as well as boat excursions for dolphin watching.


See What's On In Key West  


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