Did you all know that in the 80’s Key West became the “Conch Republic.” This super beautiful town is filled with such helpful locals willing to assist you in enjoying every part of the island.
If it’s one thing I LOVE about small towns, it’s how “home-y” it feels, how everyone is so helpful, so sweet, caring and willing to help you, even find your way if you’re lost, which YES it did happen to me (LOL). As you all know I live in Miami, and Key West is about a 3-hour drive from me, so I thought it would be a great place to take a spontaneous “one day trip” to explore in depth the island with no rigid schedule.
Take a sneak peak at my wonderful guide:
Left Miami at 7:30AM- Booked with Get your Guide. Miami: Full-Day Deluxe Key West Tour. We stopped in Islamorada for breakfast.
Arrived at 11:30. Drop off location was on Caroline St. Return by 5:30. This gave me a solid 6 hours to explore.
As the walker that I am, I was ready to take this island ON!
Coffee Plantation: If you are looking for a local coffee shop, this is your best bet. The staff was so welcoming. They had great variety on the menu- from an expresso, to your classic cappuccino to of course my FAV Cuban café con leche. The ambiance was on point. If you are the type to have your coffee while you read your favorite book in a peaceful and tranquil state, head to Coffee Plantation.
The Wall Street District: This was probably a 2-block radius, but my husband is in the Financial Industry, so this was a MUST-SEE. The intersection of Wall St and Exchange St.
Mallory Square: If you’re on the island and you are into “markets” and supporting local artisans, you must visit Mallory Square. It was super cute, carts all setup with locals selling their goods, great setup with friendly personnel. Great place to pick up a keepsake. Very true to Key West. Awesome Insta Photo-OP!
Southernmost Point: If you have heard anything or seen anyone with a traditional photo taken from Key West, you know this one is included, It’s the southernmost point from American soil to Cuba (90 miles). Intersections are South St and Whitehead St. Can I tell you there was a very long line for this photo-op, if you want to avoid the lines, there are ways around it, you can stand around the statute, it might be a struggle, but it does the deed. This was a check the box activity, it was quick and painless. Anything you do on the island all has panoramic views so it’s all worth it.
Seaside Café Ocean Bar: This little lunch place was about a few blocks down from the Southernmost point, it was right off a deck on the water. Such a cozy place, great seating area, food is cooked on a truck, and with the sound of the waves, there’s not much more needed. Can I tell you guys I had the best lobster pizza ever!!!! I mean to the point that it’s for sure a repeat on my list. The pizzas are “wood fire” style, so crunchy and tasty. Also, had a coconut mojito, frozen, very tasty! This is a highly recommended place from me to YOU!
Fort Zachary Taylor State Park: It was quite a busy day on the island on Sunday because they had boat races, so we figured to head to the state park where we could have a look by the water at the race and at the same time, the State Park has an open beach area for locals. Great place to go with the family, BBQ areas, tables, restrooms, a bit rocky, but beautiful turquoise waters. Anyone that truly knows me knows I can’t live without the beach. Although Miami has beautiful beaches, I wanted to have a taste for the Key West waters!
As I marked my travel post tradition, here are a few key learning’s for us to take away:
I always stress about time. I had 6 hours to enjoy Key West, and boy did I take it all in. It felt so good to be present in the now, to let go and not feel like I needed to control and own my itinerary. I purposely left the day open, didn’t schedule any excursions or tours throughout the island, I went with the flow, and it felt so peaceful to my soul.
Two things I experienced for the first time while I was in Key West. I am a bit of a picky eater, and not so open to trying new things, but I have learned together with enjoying the now, letting go and exploring that trying new things build character and makes you more relatable on so many levels. Key West is known for their Key LIME PIE- I mean to the point that everything you can think of from soap, candles, clothing to food everything has a key lime twist. It was so tasty!! The next was we decided to explore the island “on foot” I mean literally I walked miles and miles, from one end to the other. Felt good to get those steps in, but my legs are feeling it today.
Thank you to Key West, an island that left me in awe.
From the beautiful cottage homes, to the stunning scenery on every street, the people whom were so humble and genuine, the natural waters and the savory food and flavors, I will be back, next time for more!
Meet me at the beautiful intersection of natural beauty and profound history!- Key West