Best Time To Visit Key West, Florida by Season & Month 2022
The best time to visit Key West is between March and May. The winter crowds will taper off, the hotel rates become reasonable, and the weather is remarkably similar to winter’s blissful 70s and 80s. Speaking of winter – that season is the island’s busiest and priciest.
Key West is the southernmost island in the United States, 90 miles from Cuba. Key West, I am sure, will be a lovely surprise for you, to see a real crush as for me.
You will then ask me, but why do we love this small town of 30,000 inhabitants so much?
This unique city is one of a kind! Spending a few days in Key West is so exotic that you will feel like traveling to another world.
The vegetation is lush; you will come across wild animals in the street, such as roosters, iguanas, or pelicans.
The colors, the Caribbean spirit, the joy, the music, the quirky and kitsch American style are all the charm of Key West.
Best Time To Visit Key West, Florida by Season & Month 2022
After that, don’t expect to find heavenly beaches in Key West (or on the entire road that leads you there) because you will have to go to the Bahamas in these cases.
So, you will find below the unmissable things to see and do in this beautiful city.
- What to see and do in Key West?
- How long should you stay in Key West?
- Rent a two-wheeler in Key West
- Hemingway’s House
- The Key West Lighthouse
- Little White House
- Watch the sunset over Mallory Square
- The beaches
- Stroll through Old Town Key West and Duval Street
- See the butterflies at The Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory
- Visit the Nancy Forrester Garden
- Taste the famous Key Lime Pie
- Visit Shipwreck Treasure Museum
- Key West Points of Interest Map
How long should you stay in Key West?
In Key West, life is good, and the general idea is to take your time. In my opinion, and if, in addition, you want to enjoy the route of the Keys, which is full of nuggets, the best is to stay at least two nights in Key West (see three depending on your schedule).
It will allow you to soak up the atmosphere and immerse yourself in this relaxed atmosphere.
Of course, it is possible to go back and forth during the day but know that you will already need 4 hours to go there and 4 hours to return without taking a break! So it’s a real shame.
So, it’s a lot of roads, and you won’t be able to enjoy the benefits of this lovely city.
Also, I recommend you to leave in the morning and enjoy the different “Keys” like Islamorada, Marathon, Big Pine Key and arrive in Key West for the sunset.
As a result, you can take advantage of the whole day the next day to discover all the activities you can do there. Please take a look at our article What to see and do on the Keys route to give you an idea.
Otherwise, another suggestion is to not combine a morning visit to the Everglades on the Homestead side ( on your way), take an airboat ride, and finally descend quietly towards Key West.
It can also save you time.
Rent a two-wheeler in Key West
Renting a bike or a scooter is the best way to visit the city!
It also gives you the freedom you want without worrying about parking! So leave your car at the hotel and go for a walk and discover the city’s hidden treasures. You will see it is super relaxed!
You will find 2-wheel rental companies all over the place. Go to ” We Cycle”; they are the cheapest in town at $ 10 for 24 hours. You can even book them directly on their site.
Otherwise, most hotels have them and will be happy to rent them to you.
Reserve your bike
The bikes in Key West are all backpedaled! It means that you will not have the brakes on the steering wheel, and you will break when backing up.
A little technique to take but no stress, you get used to it very quickly!
“The old man and the sea” indeed speaks to you? It is Ernest Hemingway’s most famous novel.
Ernest Hemingway fell in love with the city (and I understand why; -)) and decided to end his days there. He lived there from 1931 to 1940 with Pauline, his second wife.
There he owned a beautiful stone house with a superb swimming pool, one of the first on the island.
What you should know is that Mr. Hemingway had a real passion for cats! But above all, the particularity of these cats is that they had six fingers! You have to see it to believe it!
Since then, this famous cat has had descendants, and some of them still have this particularity. You can even cross and stroke them.
You can visit his house and gardens with an audio guide in your language if you wish. There is thus a booklet in French which describes each piece. Remember to ask for it at the entrance.
Hours: every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Price: $ 15
Address: 907 Whitehead Street
The Key West Lighthouse
For a breathtaking view of the sea and the city, I advise you to climb the narrow steps of this so typical lighthouse.
The Key West Lighthouse is located just south of Key West, in a garden adjacent to the Keeper’s Quarters Museum at 938 Whitehead Street (directly across from Hemingway’s house).
Top sights in Key West
- Art & Culture
From its 22 meters, you will have the best view of Key West and the surrounding islands.
Then, visit the former home of the lighthouse keepers. For more than a century (1848-1969), this lighthouse was indispensable for ships navigating the very shallow waters surrounding the Keys.
The lighthouse is open every day except Christmas (entrance fee of $ 15).
A must for all photographers who don’t have vertigo!
Little White House
An exciting visit than that of the little white house of Harry S. Truman. Indeed, Mr. Truman stayed here for 175 days during his presidential term. Guided tours of the house start every 20 minutes, and trained guides will introduce you to Truman and the politics of his day.
For the record, it is also here that the presidents stay during their visits to the city. So maybe you can run into Mr. President. Do not hesitate to stroll in this pretty district and admire the sublime houses surrounded by Banyans. It is splendid!
Watch the sunset over Mallory Square
If there is one place to go to see the sunset, it is in Mallory Square! It is “the place to be” to admire this fabulous spectacle and one of the favorite activities of tourists.
You can either land on board, but why not also take a cruise which is also a unique experience! Find all the information on the sunset cruise here: Take a catamaran cruise in Key West.
Best Time To Visit Key West, Florida by Season & Month 2022
So it doesn’t matter which medium you choose in the end, but sit down with your favorite drink and let nature do it …
On the square, you will see small traders scattered all around the square and musicians who make this moment exceptional.
I recommend the fresh lemonade ($ 5), the accras ($8), and the homemade guacamole; believe me, you will be at the top to contemplate this spectacle. 😉.
Otherwise, the other possibility, an aperitif at the Sunset Pier with its pretty colorful tables while eating nachos. The place is simply a call to joy 😉.
A word of advice, come in advance because places are expensive!
One thing is sure; the atmosphere is friendly and relaxed with its singers and acrobats.
Sure, it is touristy, but there is something magical here, and you will remember this moment for a long time! So as we say here “Enjoy” !!!
I’ll tell you one thing that will disappoint you, but I prefer to be honest… We don’t come to Key West for its heavenly beaches! Here, the water is not clear and limpid like in South Beach. Indeed, algae are not perfect, but that may be what makes its charm!
Also, you should know that the city of Key West wishes to protect the natural state of its coasts and its “mangrove,” which serves to stabilize the rising waters, especially during hurricanes.
Moreover, if you want to snorkel, I don’t necessarily recommend you, especially if you have already done it before! You might be disappointed like me! We went on an excursion with “Fury” which was full of promise, and in the end, we didn’t see much! I prefer to try it on the islands of Dry Tortugas opposite.
On the other hand, why not take a pleasant transparent-bottom Kayak excursion in the mangroves!
You are starting first with a cruise to reach the superb mangroves and their unique biodiversity. Then you will take a ride on a transparent-bottom kayak, allowing you to observe flora and fauna living in the shallow waters of the mangroves.
If you wish, you will even have the possibility of diving with a snorkel. Indeed, you will bring back unforgettable memories of this eco-tour in the heart of nature!
Fort Zachary Taylor Park
- It is the most beautiful beach in Key West! It is approximately 20 minutes by bike from Duval Street or 5 minutes by car. Honestly, the landscape is worthy of a postcard! You can do many nautical activities such as paddle boarding or canoeing, or even parasailing!
On the other hand, be careful because when you swim, you will have the strange impression of walking in quicksand, and especially in the summer with the heat. You will also have a lot of seaweed.
Stroll through Old Town Key West and Duval Street
The old town is located in the south of the island. You will also see the famous Southernmost Point, the furthest point from the US and the closest to Cuba (90 miles). It is also where Mile 0 is located, either the end of Us1 or the beginning; it depends on where you are.
The architecture of the houses on Duval Street is incredible. Indeed, the architecture has retained all its authenticity from 1886 to 1912 with a substantial Victorian influence.
All very colorful, they are decorated with cornices, balusters, and patterns. They are also often surrounded by a porch or veranda with a lot of vegetation.
We want only one thing to land on one of these rocking chairs with a good book and a homemade “lemonade” (or a beer depending on 😉).
Duval Street is the city’s heart and arguably the busiest street in Key West, so it’s a must-see for artists and revelers. The music is in full swing, and the atmosphere is joyful and typically American! Moreover, you will find a good number of souvenir shops of all kinds, bars, restaurants, and many art galleries.
It is also in this street that the iconic Sloppy Joe is located, Mr. Hemingway’s landmark.
So, let yourself be carried away by this crazy atmosphere for an evening!
We also recommend that you go for a beer at Captain Tony’s Saloon, so typical and quirky and quieter than the Sloppy.
But also eat a lobster roll at Lobster Shack and a key lime pie at Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shop.
See the butterflies at The Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory.
A magical and poetic place in Key West! You can admire hundreds of butterflies but also flamingos and birds.
The place is not very big, but we had a wonderful time there.
Visit the Nancy Forrester Garden
If you want to do a good deed, I suggest you visit Nancy Forrester! She will make you discover a place that you do not expect.
You will arrive in a small, lush garden, home to many beautiful parrots that you can hold in your arms and that you can try to communicate with (or not). Nancy is a woman of extreme kindness, very welcoming, passionate, and therefore, fascinating.
Do not hesitate to greet her if you find the time long because she is overflowing with anecdotes!
It’s a pretty cool activity with children.
Open every day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Entrance fees help support their work. $ 10 adults, $ 5 children (5-11).
Taste the famous Key Lime Pie
What would a visit to Key West be without having tasted the famous Key Lime pie ??? Quezako? It’s a cake between a cheesecake and a lime pie.
It is simply delicious! You can either taste it as a stick or a pie, served with or without whipped cream. The best is at Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe.
You will also find many good things with the aroma of key lime in this small shop located near the marina to bring back as a souvenir.
Visit Shipwreck Treasure Museum
You should know that the shipwrecks off Key West made it the richest city in the United States in the 19th century.
In the Shipwreck Treasure Museum , we find the history of these shipwrecks as well as objects found on the boats.
Kids love it, so make the most of it!
Like, I told you Key West is full of secrets so you won’t get bored there! So it’s up to you to select what you want to see or not according to your desires and your time on site.
But one thing is certain is that I am sure that you too will fall in love with it
When should you not go to Key West?
While Key West’s high season is between December and April, many tourists take advantage of the lower rates in the warmer, off-season. Warmer as in extremely hot. Key West has a tropical climate. In the summer, it can feel like it’s boiling outside with 100% humidity.
What is the cheapest time of year to go to Key West?
It’s not easy, but it is possible to visit Key West on a budget. The key strategies are: Go during the off-season, roughly June to November. (September and November are the cheapest of all.)
What is the rainy season in Key West?
The rainy season occurs from May through October, when visitors expect lots of showers and thunderstorms, particularly in the mornings. June through November is the hurricane season, with September being the most likely time for severe tropical storms to hit.
How many days do you need to see Key West?
Key West is worth a day trip, but the more time you have, the better! You could easily spend a week in Key West, but 3-4 days is optimal if you want to do it all and still have time to relax.
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