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The Best of Key West

[ 0 ] September 11, 2013 |

The southernmost city of the US, Key West is famous for its combination of sunshine, great beaches, excellent nightlife and wealth of attractions. This little island is a popular stop on cruise itineraries (which you can find out more about through and it has, I think, something to offer pretty much everyone.

However, today I’ll be focusing on the creme de la creme of the island’s attractions. So, if you’re planning a trip to Key West in the future, read on for some great tips on where to go, what to do and what to see.

Water sports and charters

Since Key West has got such a great reputation for its sun-drenched shores, it’ll come as no surprise to hear that trying a water sport or two is an essential part of holidays here. What I think is great about this destination is that there are just so many things you can have a go at, from a spot of tranquil snorkelling to a thrill a second with kitesurfing.

Other popular water sports here include paddle boarding, parasailing and deep sea fishing. While these are all very exciting, for me it’s the dolphin safari charters that really stand out, just because seeing these creatures up close is so memorable.

Key West Snorkeling

Dolphin Safari is one of the companies you can do this with, and your trip should include snorkelling equipment, soft drinks and snacks. Typically, three trips a day leave from the Banana Bay Resort Marina, although this drops down to two per day in the winter months.

Sloppy Joe’s

Having opened its doors back in 1933, Sloppy Joe’s is a Key West institution. This slice of history can be found on Duval Street, where it has been since 1937.

Serving up hearty food, crisp cocktails and cool craft beers, Sloppy Joe’s had a helping hand to fame in the form of Ernest Hemingway. The celebrated author lived in Key West for around a decade and regularly frequented the watering hole, which was then known as Sloppy Joe’s Bar. In fact, Hemingway was the person who encouraged the owner to tweak the name to Sloppy Joe’s, which it has been known as ever since.

Sloppy Joe's, Key West

By the way, there’s also a shop here where you can buy Sloppy Joe’s merchandise and souvenirs. So, it’s possible to pick up some presents for friends and family back home, enjoy a cool drink and soak up a slice of history all in one go!

Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden

Key West is known for its gorgeous climate, and while you can certainly appreciate it by sunning yourself on the sand, I reckon it’s worth heading to the Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden to see the natural wonders it makes possible.

This is the US’s only frost-free botanical garden, which essentially means it’s the only one with the necessary tropical environment to result in most trees keeping their lush leaves in the dry season. When visiting, you can learn more about the endangered and threatened flora and fauna that lives here with a short film, before going out for a stroll among the towering trees and pretty plants.

bromeliad at Botanical Garden Key West

Keep an eye out for the two freshwater lakes in the grounds, as these are the last two in the Florida Keys. What’s more, they’re a crucial stopping point for neo-migratory birds.

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About onurwaytravel: Colin has been travelling the world with his young family for the past 2 and half years. He runs a couple of websites all revolve around travel, family travel and digital nomadism. His websites include,, and now View author profile.

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