We recently flew out to Key West for a few days to try out some of the local attractions, and we've put together a list of what to do (and what not to do) in Key West!
1.) Southpoint Divers
Since no trip to the (almost) Caribbean is complete without a nice scuba dive, we decided to check out Southpoint Divers, located on the very west of Key West. We went on an afternoon dive and explored a fairly shallow coral reef, although the dive lasted for hours and we even got to see a trumpetfish, alongside a magnificent school of blue tang. The captain was very friendly and the staff were quite helpful, as most of us hadn't been scuba diving before. This is a can't-miss for any trip to Key West. See our little video below:
2.) The Gates Hotel
We stayed at two different hotels during the trip, and one of them was the magnificent Gates Hotel. After a terrible day of traveling (a story for another time) we were welcomed with a delicious rum colada and given a little gift envelope full of free drinks and food to their local bars. We were also invited to check out their partner Rodriguez Cigar Factory along with Key West First Legal Rum Distillery. As a huge Hemingway fan, I enjoyed touring one of this great American author's houses as part of our stay. The beautiful beachside room, the welcoming and friendly staff, and the excellent drinks at their bar made this a five star stay. The pool was beautifully designed and the building itself was in a great location. Highly recommended for any Key West trip!
3.) Key West Marriott Beachside Hotel
The other hotel at which we stayed during our trip was the beachside Marriott hotel. Although the staff were friendly and the hotel was beyond clean, the atmosphere felt too "Martha's Vineyard" and not enough tropical resort. The architecture and general spirit among the staff felt made us feel more like tourists or someone on a business trip than like actual Key West regulars. A good stay, not as recommended as the Gates Hotel.
4.) Dry Tortugas State Park
Although we had to take a fairly lengthy ferry ride to reach Dry Tortugas, the awe-inspiring Fort Jefferson alone made up for that. 70 miles off of Key West, pristine marine life seemed to parade around for us as we snorkeled around. Although the ocean section of our visit at Dry Tortugas did not compare to our scuba trip with the Southpoint Divers, the essential beauty of the Key West ocean life remained present.