Great Escapes: Our guide to Key West, FL

Planning a getaway? Check out Key West, Florida, an island paradise full of creativity, history, and sunshine.

An island off of Key West, FL with a clear sea and blue sky

Be surrounded by the crystal clear oceans of the Florida Keys.

Photo by LALtoday

City Editor Connor here. When my family moved to Key West a few years ago, it became my favorite place to vacation. No matter how you like to spend a day, it’s the perfect place to get away from it all. Just watch out for iguanas.

The pool and backyard foliage of the historic Hemingway House in Key West, FL

Learn local literary history by visiting Ernest Hemingway’s home.

Photo by LALtoday

Why go?

  • Want to feel like you’re visiting a different country? Here, everyone’s on island time.
  • Key West is the southernmost point of the continental US (read: It gets pretty hot). Visit in the fall or winter to avoid summer crowds and temperatures.
  • Stay in the know about things to do with this tour company’s updates and this travel guide.
Sunset over the Gulf of Mexico seen from Mallory Square in Key West, FL

Don’t miss watching the sunset from Mallory Square.

Photo by LALtoday

Act like a local:

  • Food: You can’t go to the Keys and not try a slice of Key lime pie. Every restaurant has its own twist on this classic, but I’m partial to the one at Blue Heaven topped with sky-high layers of meringue.
  • Drink: Visit the Conch Republic Seafood Company for nine flavors of mojitos, including Key lime.
  • Outdoors: See the island from under the sea. Book a snorkeling tour to get up close to tropical sea creatures.
  • Learn: Key West was discovered in the 1500s, so it’s got a long, spooky history. Learn about its past with a ghost tour on a trolley — and say hello to Robert the Doll.
  • Listen: The streets are filled with live music. Head to Mallory Square nightly to enjoy music from buskers while watching the sun set over the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Explore: Hop on a boat to Dry Tortugas National Park, which is 99% water. This small, remote island is the perfect place to snorkel, scuba dive, or camp.
Patio on rental vacation house in Key West, FL with pool and palm trees

This patio is perfect for eating a slice of Key lime pie for breakfast.

Photo via Vrbo

Where to stay:

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