When you’re ready to get away from it all for a weekend, Key West offers sun, fun, and enough activities to engage your Instagram followers completely. This small island city that bookends the Florida Keys at their southernmost point is full of charm and a relaxing vibe that can’t be beaten. And because it’s so easy to get to, a trip to Key West is within reach no matter where in the continental U.S. you live.
Your First Day: Get Acquainted with Key West
One of the best things about Key West is how it’s a crossroads of cultures, and there’s perhaps a no better way to begin exploring the global flavours you’ll find here than choosing La Creperie French Cafe to start your first day off right. The menu features a wonderful selection of savoury as well as the sweet crepes you’re already familiar with, and the patio dining is perfect for sharing selfies and shots of your breakfast plates with abundant natural light–no filters needed. Other dishes that look as good as they taste include omelettes, club sandwiches, Croque monsieur, and salads. The addition of homemade sangria elevates your meal and your mood!
The beaches of Key West are small but no less magnificent than any other seaside destination along the coastal U.S. Palm trees wave lazily in the breeze while gentle waves lap at the shore, and panoramic views can tempt you from ever wanting to leave. Rent beach chairs and umbrellas and snorkelling gear or bring your own. Each of the public beaches on Key West has a distinct personality, whether you’re visiting Dog Beach (where of course your pup is welcome, too), Smathers Beach (with a ribbon of white sand) or Higgs Beach (featuring tennis and volleyball courts).
When you’re ready for lunch, don’t miss Eaton Street Seafood Market and Restaurant. Freshly caught seafood is prepared to order, whether it’s a crab cake sandwich, grilled lobster roll or conch fritters. Take your meals-to-go or dine al fresco under spacious umbrellas. The art deco architecture stands out as some of the most distinctive you’ll see in Key West.
Make this first day in Key West one where you get an intimate look at the history of the island at the Key West Lighthouse and Keepers’ Quarters Museum. For generations, the lighthouse warned sailors of the rocky shores that threatened their ships; today, visitors can ascend the 88 steps to the top and see for themselves what early lighthouse keepers saw. The keepers’ home next door has an array of exhibits that show how serious of a job this was, along with the joys and sorrows of a traditional lighthouse keeper’s life.
Take it easy for dinner with a visit to DJ’s Clam Shack or Sloppy Joe’s Bar, both well-known casual restaurants in Key West. Wind down your evening with the Sunset Celebration held nightly at Mallory Square. This is the place to get your sunset photos, along with pictures of street performers and local food specialities.
Your Second Day: Explore the Most Popular Activities in Key West
Fishing just might be one of the top reasons that many people continue to visit Key West year after year. It’s also a great way to gather some of the best shots of the island from the sea, as well as stunning horizon and action photos. Fishing charters typically go out on half-or full-day tours. Tailor your excursion for the reef, deep water, wreck, and flats fishing. The type of fish in season varies throughout the year so there’s always something exciting to go out for. Don’t worry about packing fishing gear; the charter boat typically has everything you need, aside from lunch and sunscreen. And if you’re not an expert at fishing, the crew is always willing to offer advice and tips to novices.
After your excursion, return to Duval Street for some of the best shopping in Key West. The street is lined with boutiques, galleries, speciality, and souvenir shops, and tucked in between them are cafes, bars, and ice cream shops, and more. This is the place to score that one-of-a-kind piece of artwork, jewellery, clothing, spirits, and bakery goods, all of which will look great on your Instagram feed.
Say farewell to Key West with fine dining at Grand Cafe on Duval Street, a Victorian mansion transformed into an elegant restaurant. Treat yourself to the Chef’s Tasting Plate which features creatively prepared filet mignon, lobster, and shrimp. Follow this with a nightcap at the Little Room Jazz Club and some live music and candlelight to linger over.
Key West will leave you with dozens of great opportunities to take the kind of photos that are worthy of permanent placement in your Instagram feed. And as you skim back through these pictures, you’ll be reminded again what’s so inviting about this small sunny island city.