The leaves are changing and the weather is getting colder. You’ve packed your shorts and swimsuits away for next summer. As you turn up the heat in your house, you fondly reminisce about those sunny days on the beach. You picture warm nights eating fresh seafood on a balcony overlooking the water. It sounds like you need a winter sun getaway!
My favorite place for a break from the winter doldrums is Key West, Florida. This tiny island is packed with excitement and beautiful weather. I do have to admit, the island is a little pricey, but if you can somehow get free travel or accommodations (something like alpharooms winter sun competition), you can make it very affordable.
I’ve spent a significant amount of time here and have composed a list of the best things to do to make the most of a winter sun getaway.
Making the Most of out Your Key West Getaway
Walk to the end of White Street Pier during sunset. While Malory Square is the usual tourist go-to for the daily sunset celebration, White Street Pier is much quieter and you can really enjoy watching the sunset.
The best beach in Key West is Fort Zachary Taylor. It’s not a free beach, unfortunately, but it is very affordable. I think the last time we were there, we paid $9 to bring our car in. In addition to the gorgeous beach, you also can explore the old fort too.
Walk up and down Duval Street around 9 or 10 PM. This is when the nightlife really starts to pick up, but still early enough to avoid all the drunken idiots.
If you enjoy Thai food, Thai Life is a restaurant on a houseboat! At night they illuminate it, it’s a really cool experience.
For people who like to live a little on the wild side, there are quite a few places that allow nudity. Garden of Eden on Duval Street is clothing optional. The bouncers are very thorough about not allowing photography/cellphones to be used while up on the roof deck, which alleviates many of the guests concerns. The Garden Bar at Bourbon Street Pub on Duval is a men’s only area that allows nudity and has a pool.
Be sure to try the frozen Key Lime pie on a stick. You can get them from any convenience store or souvenir shop, I like these even more than normal Key Lime pie.
Take a snorkeling and kayaking boat tour of the island. We did one of these through Danger Charters and it was absolutely amazing! You go out on this little sailboat with about 8 or 9 other people. The first half of the tour takes you out west to a shallow area near uninhabited Keys. They give you all the gear and show you how to snorkel. When we were out there we got to see dolphins, which, the instructors told us, was really rare. The next half was kayaking through the mangroves, which was just as fun as snorkeling.
And finally, a trip to Key West is not complete until you check out the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory on Duval Street. It’s a great excursion for adults and kids alike; it features over 40 different species of butterflies and over 20 species of exotic birds, all housed under a glass enclosure.
These are some of my favorite things to do during my winter sun escapes to Key West. What are yours? Comment below and let me know.