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School me on my Key West...

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School me on my Key West...

Old 06-15-15, 12:49 PM
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School me on my Key West...

Who here has been to Key West? What can you tell me about it?

We decided to not take that road trip this year...and we are looking at other options..
Old 06-15-15, 12:59 PM
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Re: School me on my Key West...

Beaches are pretty horrible unless you go to a resort that trucks the sand in. If you hit it at the right time you can get the smell of sulfur/rotting eggs blowing in off of the water.
Old 06-15-15, 01:07 PM
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Re: School me on my Key West...

Kim and Kanye's new kid? Has it even been born yet?

Just a guess, but it's a spoiled monster who will be super famous for no reason.
Old 06-15-15, 01:18 PM
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Re: School me on my Key West...

I was in Key West just about 2 years ago for a bachelor party. Very fun place if you're into the whole crazy party scene.

There's a long strip of bars/clubs on one street (the name of the street escapes me, I'm sure another poster knows it). Pretty standard fare for the most part. There's a rooftop bar named Eden (I believe) that is clothing optional. Sounded awesome to us and worth checking out, first time we went there was some topless girls there and it seemed awesome. We go back two nights later and it's all a bunch of naked old dudes. It was like being in a gym locker room.

We also rented a boat and did some deep sea fishing. That was great. We took our catch to one of those restaurants that cooks it for you. That was a fun way to spend the day.

The beaches are ok. If you want to get cultural you can visit Hemmingway's house where he blew his head off. For the most part though, Key West is a party city.

When I went there I flew into Ft. Lauderdale (I believe) and drove from there to Key West. I didn't want to hit traffic and miss my flight on the way home so I took a flight right from Key West on the way back.
Old 06-15-15, 01:25 PM
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Re: School me on my Key West...

Are the beaches really that bad? I was looking at staying right on Smethers Beach
Old 06-15-15, 01:31 PM
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Re: School me on my Key West...

You guys are changing my opinion of the place..
I was planning on going with the family... Just wanted to relax, sit at the beach, do some snorkeling, etc..

Does anyone have any other ideas? We don't have passports... what about SanJuan?


The street is Duval st
Old 06-15-15, 01:44 PM
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Re: School me on my Key West...

Originally Posted by ANDREMIKE View Post
Are the beaches really that bad? I was looking at staying right on Smethers Beach
No they're not that bad, they're just rocky. Not what you would think of when you think of a tropical beach. There are hardly any waves because it's surrounded by barrier islands so that leads to the rocky beaches and rotting vegetation in the water. The water is ridiculously warm though and the calm water makes for excellent snorkeling.
Old 06-15-15, 01:45 PM
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Re: School me on my Key West...

I've been to Key West a few times. Going again next month, actually. It's a fun place, but like others have said, the beaches are not good. Smathers is okay, but nothing special. If you're into being out on the water in a boat/kayak and like to party at night, then it is a great place to be. People-watching in Key West is top notch.
Old 06-15-15, 01:52 PM
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Re: School me on my Key West...

where are other beaches in key west?

I was looking at staying in the La Brisa complex for the view of the water. Or should I stay closer to Duval and the southern most point? Again, the beach is important.
Old 06-15-15, 01:53 PM
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Re: School me on my Key West...

People watching is first class in Key West. Mallory Square at sundown is pretty good.

I think it's a good mash up of things to do. You have the beaches and water activities during the day and the partying at night.
Old 06-15-15, 01:55 PM
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Re: School me on my Key West...

I too am interested in what there is to do in Key West. We'll be spending an afternoon there this September as part of a cruise. We'll have a 6yo in tow that is a very good swimmer.

Specifically what is there to do that is a reasonable walking distance from where the cruise ships come in?
Old 06-15-15, 01:56 PM
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Re: School me on my Key West...

Originally Posted by ANDREMIKE View Post
where are other beaches in key west?

I was looking at staying in the La Brisa complex for the view of the water. Or should I stay closer to Duval and the southern most point? Again, the beach is important.
If you can afford it stay at one of the resorts with a private beach. Last time I went we stayed at the Waldorf Astoria. Not you're typical Waldorf (not that I've ever stayed at one) but they charge like your typical Waldorf. It's on the other side of the island opposite Duval but it's only a 20-30 minute walk down there and really you don't want to drive down there anyway.
Old 06-15-15, 01:59 PM
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Re: School me on my Key West...

It's just a bunch of Yogurt and T-Shirt shops crammed with tourists on scooters. Some of the surrounding keys are very nice and not as crowded - Big Pine Key and Little Torch Key are okay. Not sure if there are any places to stay there though.
Old 06-15-15, 02:35 PM
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Re: School me on my Key West...

Smathers beach was the best beach I saw when I went to Key West. The sand is nothing like the West Coast of FL beaches were I live, but it's a decent beach. The other Key West beaches I saw where rock filled land mines. Duval Street is the party scene. Sunsets are big there. Everybody comes out for the sunsets. Goto the Southern Most point and take a picture. It's a big nothing, but enjoy. Take a plane to the Dry Tortugas national park. That's something I want to do if I go back.

I didn't see a lot of good snorkeling when I was at Key West, but Pennekamp State park in Key Largo was amazing for snorkeling.
Old 06-15-15, 02:37 PM
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Re: School me on my Key West...

Can you snorkel near the beaches? or do you need to take a boat out to the reef?
Old 06-15-15, 02:42 PM
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Re: School me on my Key West...

How is the snd different then the west coast.. I'm pretty familiar with Ft Myers/Sanibel so how would it compare? I imagine the water is a lot clearer in Key West though..
Old 06-15-15, 02:44 PM
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Re: School me on my Key West...

Sand is like night and day compared to Sanibel. Think white sand vs rocks. The water is clearer because it's a lot calmer.
Old 06-15-15, 02:46 PM
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Re: School me on my Key West...

As someone mentioned, the water is very warm. We stayed at the Southernmost Hotel. Very nice place.
Old 06-15-15, 02:50 PM
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Re: School me on my Key West...

I generally tell people to skip Key West altogether. It's just as, if not more, expensive than most Caribbean Islands that are much nicer. But if you're set on going, as mentioned above ,the beaches leave a considerable amount to be desired. Most are quite cluttered with debris especially that you can now rent sections out. It's a great spot to depart from if your into deep sea fishing though.
Old 06-15-15, 03:01 PM
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Re: School me on my Key West...

We stayed with my bro and sis-in-law, but swam at the beach at Casa Marina. We were there in February, and I definitely wouldn't describe the water as 'warm' at that time. It was also pretty murky.

Still, it was a beautiful beach, with great service!

Overall we enjoyed the visit. Good food, decent beer (Sierra Nevada Pale was plentiful) and beautiful weather.
Old 06-15-15, 03:13 PM
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Re: School me on my Key West...

You guys are really turning me off to Key West. This is going to be a $$$ vacation so I want it to be right.. What about Puerto Rico? Or do I Wait until next year and try to go to the Caribbean?
Old 06-15-15, 03:29 PM
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Re: School me on my Key West...

Originally Posted by ANDREMIKE View Post
How is the snd different then the west coast.. I'm pretty familiar with Ft Myers/Sanibel so how would it compare? I imagine the water is a lot clearer in Key West though..
Sand is grainier at Key West. Sanibel has the nice sugar powdery sand. There was a lot of sea weed when I went to Smathers beach, so I don't know how clear it normally is. I went at the end of Nov. I think the snorkeling would be off shore a bit where the reefs are, but I didn't try reef snorkeling at Key West, only Pennekamp, but we were driving, so we had time to stop there.
Old 06-15-15, 04:09 PM
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Re: School me on my Key West...

I mean I guess we could stop at Pennekamp for the snorkeling.. We were planning on driving in from Miami.

You think staying in Key Largo for the week would be better?
Old 06-15-15, 04:20 PM
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Re: School me on my Key West...

We drove down there a few years ago:

The drive is something to do - we rented a convertible. (driving down is a blast, going home is a drag)

Once you are down there you don't need your car, you can walk everywhere you need to go. The place is not that big at all.

There is not much of a beach scene.. but as others have said stay at a "resort" that has sand / a beach.

We were down when the "red tide" was in -- it did smell bad.

Best thing to do is to party at night at the bars - they are very tourist friendly and have tons of entertainment, bands, drink specials, you can drink on the street, etc.

If you are staying on the island - mind the times the cruise ships come in and go out. Try to eat before they let the herd off of the ship, and at night the bars will clear out when all the cruise people have to be back before the boat heads out.

We had a great time and would go back to hang out, drink, people watch, etc.
Old 06-15-15, 05:45 PM
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Re: School me on my Key West...

Originally Posted by Goat3001 View Post
The beaches are ok. If you want to get cultural you can visit Hemmingway's house where he blew his head off. For the most part though, Key West is a party city.
Hemmingway had a famous house in Key West, but he didn't kill himself there. He died in Idaho.

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