Long weekend in Key West
By Charlotte Flach
Located at the Florida Keys’ southern tip, Key West offers a rich history and access to stunning eco-systems. Inspire clients to complete their Florida Keys journey with a long weekend in the island city.
Day 1-2: Island city adventures
Day 1: Start the weekend by taking a tour of the island city to get your bearings. Catch a ride on an Old Town Trolley Tour, narrated by local guides with unlimited hop-on and hop-off opportunities, to explore at your own pace. Or use pedal power to discover Key West with Key Lime Bike Tours, with a complimentary slice of the eponymous pie at the end of the tour.
Make sure to explore the colourful architecture of Old Town and Bahama Village and stop by the Southernmost Point of the continental USA to snap a selfie, then head to Mallory Square for sundown street performers, local artisan stands and street food at the nightly Sunset Celebration.
Day 2: Now that you’ve scratched the surface, it’s time to brush up on local history and culture, of which there is plenty. For literature buffs, the Hemingway Home & Museum, former home of author Ernest Hemingway, is a must. Keep an eye out for the resident six-toed cats, some of which are descendants of Hemingway’s own pet Snow White. Artisan shops abound at the Historic Seaport, perfect for a pre-dinner browse. At night, drama performances, musicals and comedies keep audiences entertained, while sidewalk cafes and bars offer great live music. Embrace the nightlife on Duval Street and drop into Sloppy Joe’s Bar to channel your inner Hemingway.
Day 3-4: Get on the water
Day 3: Live life the Key West way by taking to the stunning waters around the island city. Head out fishing with a Blue Star charter boat captain, all of whom are committed to sustainable fishing and resource protection in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Tuna, grouper and yellowtail snapper are among the plentiful local species. Dive the Florida Reef or one of the many shipwreck sites around Key West with the help of professional charter services. Or combine sailing, kayaking, snorkelling and dolphin watching on a full day tour focusing on conservation, the eco-system and ethical wildlife viewing.
Day 4: Take aday trip to the secluded Dry Tortugas National Park on the charmingly-named Yankee Freedom ferry. Encompassing seven small islands 70 miles west of Key West, the park is one of the world’s most unique eco-attractions, offering some of the best snorkelling in North America. Sandy beaches, shoals and ocean waters span 100 square miles, with the depths providing sanctuary for coral and seagrass, as well as shipwrecks. More than 16 million bricks were used to build the park’s crowning jewel, Fort Jefferson – a giant 19th century military fort once used as a Civil War prison that stands alone surrounded by the ocean. •
Book it with... Abercrombie & Kent
Their eight-night Carry On Down The Keys itinerary includes four days in Key West exploring historic highlights and marine life. The Miami round-trip is priced from £1,635pp.