As part of my commitment to take advantage of my weekends and explore South Florida, I drove down to Key West with my roommate Francesca this weekend! Key West is the southernmost island of the Florida Keys, a string of islands on the southern tip of Florida. While we were only there for one night, it was a nice place for a mini getaway from Miami. Despite the Keys’ carefree and tropical vibe, there’s a lot to do, see, and eat!
Things to do in Key West:
1. Make stops on the way. The drive from Miami to Key West is about three hours, but the views are astonishing. For most of the drive, you’re driving from island to island, crossing bridges, which give for a super scenic ride.There are many places that you can stop along the way just to admire the view!
2. Go camping. Camping is a fun and cheap way to travel, plus you spend the night without breaking the bank (#winning). We stayed at KOA Campgrounds in Sugarloaf Keys, which is about a 30 minute drive from Key West. Luckily, Francesca already had all the camping supplies so we only had to pay for the ground to sleep on. While I am personally not much of a camper, it was a fun experience for the night. (Also note to self: bring smaller mattress next time…one that doesn’t take up 70% of the tent space.)
3. Try conch fritters. Besides Key Lime pie, the Keys are known for their conch fritters – a conch batter mix that’s deep fried. Conch fritters are sold all around Key West and impossible to miss, which begs the question: were you really in Key West if you didn’t eat conch fritters?
4. Watch the sunset. Gathering at Mallory Square to watch the sunset is one of the greatest attractions in Key West. People start gathering one or two hours before the sunset to snatch a good viewing spot or just to admire the spectacular ocean view.
5. Go to the beach. Key West (the Island itself) doesn’t really have any beaches. BUT, on the way back up to Miami, there are several different stops you could make to enjoy the sunny beaches. We decided to stop at the Bahia Honda State Park in Big Pine Keys (37 miles north of Key West). The State Park had pretty little beach coves plus a few walking trails to admire the great views.