Travel Guide: Key West in 24 Hours

A margarita overlooking the ocean in Key West.

A few weeks ago, I arrived at work on a Tuesday sunburnt. I can’t remember the last time I had a sunburn… it was probably the week after I graduated college, when to reward myself for four years of hard work, I spent every day at Gainesville pool parties sans sunscreen. (Smart, right?)

But earlier this month I was branded once again by an offensive, itchy red, sunburn. It was a battle scar of one of the best things I’ve done so far in 2012… a spontaneous, 24-hour trip to Key West.

My roommate and I are all talk. We talk all the time about being spontaneous adrenaline junkies, and then when we’re done talking, we watch TV. Which is why I’m so proud to say that on a random Saturday, we decided to go to Key West the next morning. We booked our overnight stay while were on the road at a cute little boutique hotel called the Truman Hotel and took Monday off from work. And now, a photo tour of our adventure…

I took pictures out the car window during the whole 4-hour drive down to Key West. Not that easy, because it was pretty windy and we were driving so fast. (Notice the hair in my face?)

We stopped along the road at a random seaside restaurant in Key Largo. The food wasn’t that great (I had a chicken salad sandwich and my roommate had lobster), but the view was amazing… we were basically sitting in the water.

After a long car ride full of loud singing and girl talk, we finally arrived in Key West! This is one of my ghetto out-the-window photos.

We immediately walked toward the pier over by the Westin, overlooking the ocean so we could watch the sunset. A huge crowd surrounded this guy, who was doing all sorts of elaborate flame-throwing tricks.

On the subject of this guy… the most interesting people live in Key West. And by interesting, I mean weird. Like the 50-year-old guy who wears skimpy track shorts and jogs all over town at 1 a.m. Or the man who walks around with a parrot on his shoulder. o.O

The sunset in Key West.

My roommate and me, watching the sunset. The photo’s not that great because we had to get a passerby to take it, and my camera wasn’t on auto settings.

The best drink I had in Key West, called the “Green Thing,” sold at a margarita stand on the pier near the Westin hotel. It’s a sort of sherberty, Key Limey frozen drink. I think it was 10 bucks and we waited 30 minutes in line to get one…. but oh-so worth it.

We chose to eat dinner at Fogarty’s, mainly because we had coupons for key lime pie if we ordered an entree and I haddd to have my key lime pie.

After dinner we went on a ghost tour. I love that kind of stuff, but I really had to coerce my roommate to do it because it’s not her thing. It ended up her favorite thing on the whole trip! Our tour guide kept referring to the island as “Key Weird,” almost as if the eeriness of the island was just a fact. We got to hear lots of history and stories, like about a man who kept the body of his dead teenage fiance, stuffed it and kept it for years in his house. This is a cellphone picture I took of one of the houses that’s supposedly haunted. It’s actually an inn you can stay at  now. #yikes

On Monday morning we did a Fury adventure tour, a package that included jet skiing, snorkeling, activities on a water playground (pictured here) and parasailing. We went out on an enormous catamaran with a group of about 30 other people and spent a good six hours doing the water activities. Hence the sunburn.

Parasailing… my favorite activity on the fury tour! This was the second time I’ve been parasailing, and I actually enjoyed it a lot more than the first because I felt much more confident we wouldn’t drop 600 feet into the ocean this time. Plus, my favorite thing in the world is speedy boat rides so I loved the boat ride we took to launch the parasail.

Before we left, we stopped at Kino Sandal Factory literally 30 minutes before they closed. It’s this amazing leather goods store where they hand-make everything right there in the store. I got three pairs of leather sandals for between $10-$15 each and they are the comfiest things in the world. My roommate got a beautiful leather purse for $30!

The moral of the story… sometimes you just have to take a spontaneous trip to Key West. We only spent 24 hours on the island, but we went parasailing, snorkeling, jet skiing, on a ghost tour, watched the sunset, dined, and even went out on Duvall Street for an hour.


    • Jennifer Tormo says:

      Absolutely! I think we spent a little under $200 for the night we stayed, which was about the going rate for the motels on the island that aren’t nearly as nice. Everything at the Truman was super modern, clean and sleek – the photos on the website are a really accurate depiction of what the hotel looks like. There was also a continental breakfast.

      It’s really close to Duvall Street, too, however I do think at night the path you have to take to get to Duvall is a little sketchy. I would say that’s the only downside of the hotel.

      Have so much fun!

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