36 Hours In: Key West, FL
Key West, an island city, is part of the Florida Keys and the southernmost point in the United States. This small town lying roughly 90 miles north of Cuba; is famous for watersports, lively nightlife, beaches and historic sites. You'll instantly be captivated by the pastel colored conch-style homes, and laid-back attitude. It's even hard to believe that this paradise oasis is part of the United States, though the locals will tell you that it's part of the Conch Republic. Key West was home to former residents as Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams and past presidents. It will make you realize why President Harry Truman once said, "I've a notion to move the capital to Key West and just stay."
Blue Heaven | Breakfast
Opened by Suanne and Richard, Blue Heaven has become a well-known destination in key west. Their whimsical decor, and wild roaming chickens and cats only adds to its allure. They are located in the historic Bahama village; and are one of the more casual key west restaurants featuring indoor & outdoor dining, live entertainment and american, Caribbean and vegetarian cuisine.
Old Town Trolley | Tour
After having a delicious breakfast... and maybe some key-lime pie, hop on the famous Old Town Trolley. These orange and green trolleys are the best way to experience Key West, allowing you to take in its best sites at your own pace. If something catches your eye during the 90-minute tour; you can get off at one of their numerous stops and jump back on whenever you're ready for the next adventure. During the tour, their knowledgeable and humorous trolley conductors recount historical facts of the most well-known Key West events and sights.
The Cafe | Lunch
This wonderful restaurant and cafe serves mouth-watering food; from the classic sandwich to stir frys. Most of the menu caters to vegetarian and vegan needs, which makes the food nonetheless appetizing. If you don't regularly eat vegetarian, or vegan food, I suggest to give this place a try... it might just have you never eating meat again. It's that good.
Key West Aquarium | Feed the Sharks
Located in Mallory Square, the Key West Aquarium has been one of the island’s most popular attractions since it first opened during the mid-1930's. Not only does this aquarium play a historical role in improving the economic situation of Key West during the Great Depression, but it was also the first of its kind to use the "open air concept." It's currently home to alligators, jellyfish, sharks and many other marine animals. Guests are able to enjoy guided aquarium tours as well as animal feedings.
Sunset Pier | Dinner and Drinks
Sill in awe after feeding the sharks? Try to unwind as you sip a cocktail... or two, to the sound of a live band as the sun begins to set. Sunset Pier is nestled between Key West Harbor and Mallory Square, where you and your guests can enjoy breathtaking views and indulge in fresh seafood, Caribbean specialties, and exotic drinks.
Duval St. | Debauchery
No visit to Key West is complete without a visit to its famed Duval Street. Young or old, this particular corner of town has plenty of character for anyone to appreciate. With famous restaurants and bars such as Sloppy Joe’s, Fogarty’s, The Bull and Whistle, and Rick’s Cafe, it’s the place to be, hang out, and to have a great time!
Banana Café | Breakfast
Start your morning off right with some delicious homemade crepes. The Banana Café offers a wide variety of enormous and filling crepes, the only hard part is choosing between sweet or savory! There can sometimes be a line, so be prepared for a bit of a wait.
Truman's Little White House | History
Since 1890, Truman's Little White House served as the naval station’s command headquarters during the Spanish-American War, World War I and World War II. Then in 1946 this historic building served as the winter White House of President Harry S. Truman and the site used by later presidents during the Cold War. Today, the Truman Little White House is a public, living, Key West museum as well as a retreat and place of government business by our nation's leaders.
Smatter's Beach | Tan
Smatter's is Key West's largest public beach, and it's loaded with activities. It's located right next to Roosevelt Boulevard, which keeps the sidewalk packed with bikers, rollerbladers and people out for a stroll. On the water you can windsurf, kite surf, kayak or jet ski, and if you want to stay on the beach you can play volleyball or just people watch. There's no shortage of vendors up and down the beach renting out beach chairs, umbrellas and any type of activity equipment you might need.
Kermit's Key Lime Pie | Sugar Overload
Kermit's Key West Key Lime Shoppe has been named one of National Geographic's "Food Journeys of a Lifetime" and features not only key lime pie, cookies, candies and ice cream, but plenty of other delicious treats as well. Stop by to try samples of their specialty key lime sauces, ranging from wing sauce to curry sauce, or try the famous Key Lime on a stick that's dipped in Belgian chocolate! Your taste-buds will thank you later.
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About The Author
In 2015, Founder of TMDE Paul Martinez left a career in sales for a life of exploring. In just a matter of months he had visited over 10 countries, 30 cities, 10 states, countless national parks, taken thousands of photographs, and did a ton of soul-searching. His search uncovered a deep passion for exploration; which he now believes to be the essence of the human spirit, and led to the birth of The Modern Day Explorer. You can follow him on his personal journey by visiting his Instagram, and hopefully continue to support TMDE by following us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.