The Ultimate Girlfriends' Getaway to Key West

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You have your girlfriends and your car is packed and ready to hit the road to Key West. No matter where you’re coming from, once you’ve found your way to Miami, the rest is pretty easy since you’re just a few hours away from that glorious little island town where everyone is laid back, the drinks are flowing, and there’s music coming from every corner. 

As you head south and out of Miami, you must stop at Robert Is Here. It’s a roadside fruit stand that over the years has become a popular spot for milkshakes and smoothies made with fresh fruits in thousands of combinations. Sure, there’s probably going to be a line, but once your order is placed, feel free to stroll through the shop where you’ll find local jams, jellies, fruit and more, perfect for gifts to take home to family and friends or as snacks for your hotel room.

Now that your road trip milkshake is in hand, it’s time for the trip to really begin. There’s only one way to drive through the Keys, and that’s straight down US-1. This two-lane road’s speed limit tops out at 45 mph most of the way and is a nice reminder that you’re now on island time. Over the next three and a half hours, you’ll drive over 44 bridges and see roughly 42 different islands. If you get hungry along the way, there are tons of delicious restaurants you can pop into for a quick bite, and many of them are right on the water. Check out Snapper’s, M.E.A.T Eatery & Taproom, Morada Bay, or Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen.

Upon arrival, you’ll want to check into your hotel — consider Kimpton Key West, The Reach, Casa Marina, or The Perry. Once you’re checked in, leave those car keys behind. One of the joys of Key West is everything you want to do is walkable. For those who want to get around a little faster, you’ll quickly notice the preferred mode of transportation in the Conch Republic is a scooter or golf cart, and you can rent them all over the island.

"Snorkeling adventures are a blast, as the barrier reef along the coast is full of colorful fish and fun sea life. Go on a jet ski tour of the island, do paddleboard yoga, or just stroll down Duval and check out all the cute shops."

 

When it’s time for happy hour, make your way to Duval and grab a drink and some snacks. Popular spots include Sloppy Joe’s, Rick’s, Smokin’ Tuna Saloon, Captain Tony’s Saloon, but you really can’t go wrong anywhere. Afterward, head to Mallory Square for the legendary Sunset Celebration, which occurs every day for two hours before the sun sets. It’s a huge celebration that takes place on Wall Street, a pedestrian-only street where you’ll find vendors, street performers, and live music as everyone hangs out and watches the sun set in one of the most stunning locations in the country.

When it comes to dinner, you’re going to find a ton of fresh seafood nearly everywhere you go. Conch fritters and Key West pink shrimp are among some of the most popular dishes, and you’ll find them on every menu made in a variety of different ways. Hot spots for dinner include Little Pearl, Eaton Street Seafood Market, El Siboney, Blue Heaven, and The Lobster Shack. If you’re looking for a little late-night dessert action, check out Better Than Sex. Reservations are highly recommended, as this dessert destination is in high demand — the menu is full of over-the-top decadent desserts and chocolatey cocktails that are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.

When it comes to things to do in Key West, don’t expect too much actual beach time. Though it is an island, there’s not much beach with actual sand. The move here is to enjoy your hotel’s pool area or charter a boat for the day. Snorkeling adventures are a blast, as the barrier reef along the coast is full of colorful fish and fun sea life. Go on a jet ski tour of the island, do paddleboard yoga, or just stroll down Duval and check out all the cute shops. Get your inner book nerd on with a tour of Ernest Hemingway’s house that’s still home to many famous six-toed cats, or check out President Truman’s Little White House. Play treasure hunter for a day at Mel Fisher’s Maritime Museum, home to one of the world’s largest collections of sunken treasure. Channel your inner ghost hunter with a late-night ghost tour — yup, Key West is actually one of the most haunted cities in the country. 

Before you leave the vibrant island of Key West, it’s imperative that you make your way to Kermit’s Key West for some of his famous Key lime pie. This beloved shop offers Key lime pie in several forms, including frozen slices of pie covered in chocolate — on a stick, candies, jellies, cookies, and of course, traditional.

As you wrap up your Key West adventures, check out Bagatelle for one final brunch before hitting the road. If you’re looking for one last chance to soak in the Florida Keys on your way home, stop into Sundowners for a delicious meal on the water. If you time it just right, you might catch the sunset.


Read our other stories in our Travelpalooza series.


Tags: Friends, Travel

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Written By

Amber Love Bond

Amber Love Bond is a Miami-based hospitality and lifestyle writer who is always on the go and searching for her next adventure. See Full Bio

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