Smathers Beach-Key West is the largest beach on Key West, spanning 2 miles. You can lay on the beach and work on your tan, like I did, or rent a paddle board or kayak and get a little exercise in. There are plenty of food/drink vendors lining the streets, but no alcohol or pets allowed on the beach. Pro’s: shady coconut trees and shallow swimming water; Con’s- No Alcoholic Beverages allowed. Also, we rented scooters, so parking was easy!
Restaurant Recommendations: We had a fabulous dinner at Blackfin Bistro (Duval Street) on our first night. There is indoor seating, but the place to sit is on the outdoor patio area –they have heaters in case it is cool. I had a really yummy spinach salad (after eating junk all day), but everyone loved their fresh seafood dishes and the burgers are to-die-for! We also loved the Waterfront Brewery, which boasts a large local craft beer selection and fresh seafood specials, such as pan-seared snapper and grouper.
Brunch/Lunch Spot- The Sunset Pier is a great spot for a drink & a light-bite or casual lunch –the views are breath-taking; it is adjacent to Mallory Square and Key West Harbor. Also, we had a great brunch at the Southernmost Beach Cafe, which literally sits on the beach – it is open for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner with a special Happy Hour on Sunday-Thursday from 4-6 p.m. Lastly, before you leave, you have to try the Lobster Benedict at the Six Toed Cat, which is adjacent to the Ernest Hemingway Home.
Visit the Key West Lighthouse for gorgeous 360′ views…there is a bit of a climb to the top, so wear comfy walking shoes! If you ask nicely, you can climb an extra few feet up to the very top for a really spectacular view!
Take a tour of the Hemingway Home, which belonged to famed author, Ernest Hemingway. It is home to 54 very sweet cats and Hemingway’s “writing studio.”
Activities & Attractions
-Sunset Cruise through the Fury Cat Water Adventures; we went on the 2-hour sunset cruise with free drinks (beer, wine) and light-bites. There was a 3-person band and plenty of seating- gorgeous sunset views. Great for couples and groups! We went in February and it was a little chilly/windy, so you may need a jacket!
-Take a trolley tour via Old Town Trolley Tours to get an overview of Key West and some special sightseeing! You can hop on and off in different locations as you please.
-Visit the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, which contains 50-60 different butterfly species, waterfalls, and 20 exotic bird species in a climate-controlled environemnt.
-Take a Tour through the Ernest Hemingway Home to see where the author lived and wrote for 10 years; this is a “must see” attraction!
-Lastly, just walk up and down Duval Street –there are plenty of shops, restaurants, and bars to wander into! You will not be bored here. We rented scooters, which is really the perfect way to get around Key West.
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