When I found out that we were going to spend a few days in Miami, my first thought was to get to Key West, which I had read about some time ago. Being the southernmost point of the United States and only a stone’s throw from Cuba, Key West stands out from all the other islands through its relaxing and lively atmosphere.
Well, let’s go! But, because time did not allow us to stay several days, we opted for a day trip.
As mentioned in the Miami article, there are many ways to get to Key West: by plane, car or bus. Because we wanted to relax on the way, we chose a bus trip. We did a little searching on Expedia’s site and found the perfect option with the Miami Tour Company, Key West Express. The cost for two people is 148 euros.
We started on the road early in the morning, looking forward to a day spent walking on the fine sand.
The road was not tiring at all, if you like to watch miles of water, with the Gulf of Mexico on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other, dreaming of the next vacation. Maybe the Bahamas 🙂
Even though we started the day with a typical Floridian downpour, Key West welcomed us with a bright, sunny day, albeit slightly hotter than we had expected for December.
Key West is renowned for water sports, so if you enjoy scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, jet skiing, or just like to be on a boat cruising around the keys, this is the perfect place for it. Unfortunately, I thought that the water would be too cold and I didn’t choose any of these activities. It turned out not to be very cold at all, so next time I will definitely not miss it.
We began our adventure by stopping in at the first store for a pair of shorts 🙂
I knew we didn’t have much time available, so we chose only a few places to see, so we could relax a bit on the beach as well.
Most of the time we choose to walk because you can feel the atmosphere better, being able to stop at any corner you like, even if it is not on the list of objectives. And here you really have to stop at every little house, street, place or person, if only to gawk at their extravagant dress. I was thinking to compare the atmosphere in Key West to old-school Vama Veche, a hippie village on the Black Sea coast of Romania, but I admit that the vibration of this island is one that I have not encountered before. They say a picture is worth a 1000 words:
A colorful market, souvenirs of all kinds and numerous statues waiting for you to photograph them.
If you are not in a hurry here is the perfect place to watch the sunset.
Not very wide but a lively street. Here you will find shops, restaurants, pubs with live music, people full of energy or those that are very relaxed (think rasta).
Ernest Hemingway House and Museum
Unfortunately, we only reached the gates of the house, because it was a big line and we didn’t have enough time to visit. I’ll leave ticket details here: https://www.hemingwayhome.com/rates/
Southernmost Point of the Continental US
It is definitely the most photographed place on this island, judging by the large number of people who are lined up for a photo with this cute sign. I admit that I didn’t have the patience to wait in the sun, drink in hand, and chose to take a picture from further back 😉
I could hardly wait to relax in the sun and test the water so we headed to Smathers Beach. We were surprised that we couldn’t find any stores at all near the beach, let alone one that sold sunscreen or beach towels. We were lucky that the guy who rented the sunbeds lent us his cream after some puppy-dog eyes.
Prices for sunbeds with an umbrella vary from one beach to another and were between 20 and 35 euros per day.
I loved the fine white sand, but not so much the water. It lacked color, and the overgrown grass on the shore really stole its beauty. Nevertheless, we enjoyed the sun rays and the classic rock music emanating from a portable speaker of the nonconformist couple near us.
We ended the day with the promise to return so that we could spend an entire weekend to fully enjoy all that this little island has to offer.
Important to know:
- During the Christmas and New Years holidays hotel prices double;
- Don’t forget sunscreen even if it doesn’t look very hot;
- Key West has never had temperatures below 0 degrees;
- Try the famous local Key lime pie, piña colada and conch fritters.