This past weekend, I decided to go on a quick weekend get-away to Key West. Living in Miami, KW is only short of a 4 hr drive. The drive down is actually smooth sailing if you encounter no traffic, and is actually so visually appealing! Once you drive past Miami, you’re stuck driving through all the small beautiful islands before you get to KW. We drove down pretty early in the morning and got to KW at around 9AM – our first stop was breakfast.
Just kidding, my first stop was to take a picture with the “Greetings from Key West” sign which just so happens to be on the side of a cute coffee cafe (can I get a hell yes for knocking out two birds with one picture? LOL).
We ordered the grilled cheese, turkey club, and a cafe con leche. I am not a coffee person AT ALL, shocker i know. My boyfriend is, and he really enjoyed the cafe. Parking is relatively cheap at around $1.50 per hour and in most parking lots $20 for 24 hours (which compared to south beach prices, is a steal).
If you’re on a budget, don’t worry because the island is so small you can walk most of it. We walked from Caroline St to the Southernmost point which are on complete opposite sides of the island, and it took us 30 minutes! If the heat overtakes you like it did us, you may want to use the Duval Loop instead of your own two feet to walk back. The Duval Loop is a bus system and is completely free! Walking around KW, I got major Charleston, SC vibes but on a much smaller scale. It’s friendly, quaint, and super cozy!
There are a ton of little shops in every corner where you’re able to buy souvenirs with all the quirky charm of KW.
Okay, so I have a small confession… Key West was uncomfortably HOT. Now, you’re probably thinking this girl lives in Miami, she should be used to it. Yes, that’s true but Miami hasn’t been THAT hot over the last couple of months. The heat completely took us by surprise but it definitely reassured us that we were on an island.
I went on this trip a bit on a budget but wanting to do as much as I could while on the island. So as I was researching things to do for free, I ran across Key West First Legal Rum Distillery. They offer free tours at 1PM and 3PM with a free tasting of one of their housemade rums.
Now, if you don’t know much about Key West – it’s literally the southernmost city in the U.S.A, duh. Which means it’s super close to other caribbean countries especially CUBA. It is only 90 miles from Cuba, and still has heavy cuban influences on the island, from restaurants, statues, and even the locals.
As I was researching places to have dinner at, I ran across “Sloppy Joe’s Bar”, which is a staple in the community and a “tourist must”. I decided to check it out because the first time I visit a new place, I like to play a typical tourist. Now, I don’t know about you, but I haven’t ate a sloppy joe since probably middle school. Sloppy Joes are definitely a guilty pleasure of mine and the one at Sloppy Joe’s did not disappoint! Sloppy Joe’s also has more of a chill loungy feel with a band playing.
Not to mention, IT’S CHEAP 😉
The time difference between these two photos was a total of 5 minutes, lol jk… but not really. Also, what’s a sloppy joe sandwich without a “sloppy rita” – which is their rendition of the margarita & with enough of those you’ll definitely be sloppy for the rest of the night!
To have a successful end of the day visiting Mallory Square for their sunset festival is a must. Watching the sunset at Mallory Square is incredibly beautiful and unlike anywhere else in Florida. If you walk around Mallory Square, you will come across magicians, psychics, tight-rope walkers, and everything in-between. These attractions will make your sunset viewing fun and festive, but the sunset definitely steals the show.
I mean….if you love island life and don’t have a passport or if you live in Florida and want a quick get away that doesn’t take too much effort? Key West should be your go to. It’s quirk and charm is more than enough to have me yearning to go back ASAP!