Do you only think of the bar crawl along Duval Street when you think of Key West? Thank again!
Key West is one of my favorite destinations in Florida, and I have been there more than a dozen times. Only on our first visit there did we do a lot of the touristy things- which are wonderful! We did a snorkeling day trip out into the gulf, and a catamaran sunset cruise- which you MUST do if you have never done one. The nightly sunset parties at Mallory Square are a rite of passage for any Key West visitor. The street performers are amazing- look for the dog in the board shorts- and the local artisan’s booths will be sure to provide a much-loved keepsake for your visit.
Let me tell you about a few off Duval gems you can look for. There is the Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory which is delightful way to spend a relaxing afternoon, and it is right near the lighthouse that you can take a climb up into. If you are a literature or cat lover, don’t miss the Historic Hemingway House across the street from the lighthouse. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1968.
Now, lets talk food! Head up Fleming Street to the Marquesa Hotel and its restaurant which is right on the corner. We have enjoyed many fresh seafood dishes there, and most recently I had the vegetarian plate just to try and, and I would eat that every day if I could! A little further up Fleming is Azur, a contemporary Mediterranean place with a nice shaded outdoor dining option. One of the top picks here is the Braised Beef Gnocchi. They also do Brunch!
My last favorite tip is a visit to the Key West Legal Rum Distillery on Simonton Street. Even if you are not a drinker, the free tour is very entertaining and informative. It is such a cool place, and seeing a small batch business like theirs is inspiring!
So, don’t think you have to just go to Duval Street to see Key West- actually experience Key West off of Duval!