Florida-tourist-in-October-key-west

Floridian Tourist in October: Key West

Written By, Chloe Lykes

Title:Where do Floridian's go for a vacation in the Sunshine State in October?

The cooler weather that comes to Florida in October makes Key West one of the “hottest” places for fellow Floridians to vacation. Not only is October’s weather perfect, but at the end of month is the crazy annual antics of Fantasy Fest. Oh, and the Southernmost City is also filled with spooky spirits, so Key West is very festive in October.

L O C A L E

Key West is unlike any other city in Florida or the United States. It is the southernmost city in the continental U.S. and it is home to a melting pot of cultures and flavors. Whether looking for a serene and rejuvenating tropical vacation on a tiny island or a couple crazy nights out in a quirky town, Key West is the spot.

Despite what many people imagine Key West to be, it is not a beach destination, but it is known for its waters. Everyday thousands snorkel and dive the coral reefs and fishermen head out for the daily catch hiding below the turquoise cerulean seas.  After everyone has feasted on their helping of local fresh fish, shellfish and Key lime pie for dinner, there’s always a place to go, whether to get views of the starry night sky or a bar to keep the party going.

D R I V E

Though there is an airport in Key West, many people choose to make the drive because it is beautiful and there is no other road in America quite like the Overseas Highway, which is the only road all the way down to Key West. The Overseas Highway is the only All-American Road in Florida and all 113 miles of it are scenic, both for beautiful views of water and the assortment of eclectic diving, fishing, and art shops and buildings.

Though  the drive to Key West can be a little longer for Floridians leaving from northern or central Florida, like Jacksonville, Tampa or Orlando, an excellent way to break up the drive is by making an overnight stop in Fort Lauderdale or Miami. But don’t worry, the drive is worth it.

** Do drive with caution. The Florida Keys are known to be heavily patrolled. Additionally, once in Big Pine and the Lower Keys, the speed limit drops because Key deer (deer that are native to the Florida Keys and are smaller than other deer) frequent the streets during the day and at night.

E A T

Must-Do

Blue Heaven is an amazing restaurant for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. It’s a favorite spot for brunch by locals and visitors and there is almost always a wait, but the food is divine.

Seafood

Truthfully, you almost can’t go wrong anywhere because seafood is a staple in Key West. However, Half Shell Raw Bar and the Conch Republic Seafood Co. always has the freshest menu and excellent choices with a great atmosphere. Hogfish Bar and Grill is located on Stock Island, which is the neighboring island to Key West, and they have a delicious menu with a to-die-for hogfish sandwich. For those looking for a more upscale seafood restaurant, Louie’s Backyard is a delicious restaurant with Carribean flavors a great selection of wines.

Like a Local

El Siboney is a small yet very authentic Cuban restaurant. Not familiar with Cuban food? Try the Ropa Vieja or the Vaca Frita. Pepe’s is another local favorite off the beaten path. Established in 1909, Pepe’s in the oldest “joint” in Key West.

S T A Y

Key West has a variety of lodging options ranging from quaint B&Bs to large hotels.

The Gates

In the last few years, a few new properties have opened on Key West and The Gates is one of them. The Gates  has successfully merged the laid-back feel and style of Key West into the property’s modern design and amenities.

Key Lime Inn

Key Lime Inn is located on Duval Street, which is one of the main veins of Key West. Key Lime Inn is a boutique hotel that has historic charm and updated amenities.

D O

Sunset Sails

Sunset sails are offered by several companies and include everything from large schooners to mid-size sailboats. Typically wine, beer and drinks are included for the duration of the ride. Danger Charters are one of the top-rated companies that offer nightly sunset sails.

Hemingway Home

The beloved Ernest Hemingway once lived in Key West and his house is now a museum that is crawling with adorable six-toed cats.

Get Weird!

Key West is full of quirky characters - befriend one of them!

Do in October

Sloan’s Ghost Hunt

Key West is a very old town that has a lot of charm, and according to David Sloan, a famed local ghost hunter, there are also a lot of ghosts. Key West is one of the most haunted cities in the U.S. and there are many spirits that linger there. Sloan is the creator of the original ghost tour in Key West and now operates three ghost tours year-round. We recommend the tours any time of the year, but there is something that seems a little more “spooky” about doing one in October.  

Fantasy Fest

Every year, Key West hosts Fantasy Fest, which is sometimes likened to Mardi Gras. To put it simply, Fantasy Fest is a 10-day festival filled with costumes, body paint, wild themed parties, body paint, special events and body paint. Fantasy Fest generally brings in more than 100,000 people to the island, which has a population of 25,000 people.

L I S T E N

List of local FM radio stations by genre:

NPR: 91.5 WLRN

Country: 98.7

Classics: 93.7


Photo source: Shutterstock 

 

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