best of key west florida

Key West – Cheap Beer, Cool Cats & Heavenly Food

It’s only 150 miles from Miami and 90 miles from Havana, but the Florida Keys, and especially Key West, are not like anywhere else.  Yes, life in the Conch Republic is different, to say the least, but it doesn’t take long to get in the swing of things.

key west florida

This is our second visit to The Keys and I can say without a doubt…it won’t be our last.  We didn’t shoot a video last time because we were unsuspecting first timers who came down with a serious case of Keys Disease. I’m not sure we’ll escape it this time either but at least it won’t catch us off guard.

We’re surrounded by pastel-hued houses and an eclectic mix of fishermen, spongers, cigar makers, and Parrot Heads.  It’s truly the end of the road and there’s nowhere else to go, so people take it easy here.  The attitude is a laid back and it’s one of those no shirt, no shoes, no problem kinda places.

Key West is a destination that needs to be experienced. So, grab your sunglasses, a cold beverage and kick your feet up for this one.

Pretty interesting place right!?! We’re no Keys experts by any stretch of the imagination but we do have local friends who have turned us onto some fantastic places and given us some great tips.  Here is our unofficial and incomplete guide to Key West.

key west florida

Avoiding Cruise Ship Traffic

Key West can get overwhelmingly busy for a 4-mile x 1-mile-wide island but if you want to avoid some of the chaos…go on a day with no or few cruise ships.  We didn’t check and just went off of hearsay about the cruise ship schedule.  Turns out is super easy to check and see if a ship is docked here:

Sips and Bites

Much like any popular destination there are some overpriced tourist traps and then there are some seriously good eats.  Here are some of our favorites:

  • Blue Heaven – 729 Thomas St.
  • Nine One Five – 915 Duval
  • B.O.’s Fish Wagon – 801 Caroline St
  • Square Grouper – 22658 Overseas Hwy
  • Conch Republic – 16699 Gulf Blvd (4-6 pm Happy Hour with by one get one free craft beer)
  • Fanci Seafood – 22290 Overseas Hwy (spot to pick up local seafood and cook back at camp)

RV Florida Keys

Keys Camping

There are plenty of options for camping in the Keys (with or without an RV), but one thing is for certain: Sites are expensive and hard to come by, especially if you don’t plan in advance.  That said if you don’t mind staying a few days here and a few days there it is doable without reservations…but I won’t say it’s easy.  Here are a few recommendations that we like.

  • State Parks – These are the best and least expensive ($38.50 per night) but you will have to plan in advance or check the website daily waiting on someone to cancel…which does happen all the time.
  • Bluewater Key – This is a pricey option at about $120 per night but it is the swankiest spot in The Keys and close to Key West.
  • KOA – This is the only campground we’ve stayed at and it was a great location and a non stop party (in a good way).  As far as price goes it was average at about $95 per night.

Get On The Water

If there is one BIG piece of advice we can offer from our few experiences down here it would be GET OUT ON THE WATER! Sandy beaches are far and few between but the water is everywhere.  No trip to the keys is complete without a little time spent on the beautifully scenic shores or deep in the ocean catching, diving or just floating around.

Our Other Keys Experiences


Hello there! I honestly don’t know what to say, so I am going to tell you a bunch of random facts instead. I'm a fish eating vegetarian who hates spiders and loves snakes. I almost never took vacations growing up. I wanted to be Pippi Longstocking (still do). I misspell about every other word I write and still struggle with grammar. I love splurging on a good high tea (which is really hard to find these days). And whatever you do, don’t tell me I can’t do something, because then I'll HAVE to do it!

Comments (28)

  • Diane

    Love your videos! Nikki I would love to know where you got your very cute sundress in this episode. If you don’t mind sharing 🙂 Looking forward to your travels on the open water.

  • Robert Loken

    Loved it, been in Florida since 79 and have never been to the Keys, want to go so bad, thank you for helping quench my thirst till I can finally get there.

  • Randy Palmer

    We did Key West on our Goldwing motorcycle, from Tucson AZ, with an attached tent trailer (camped at Bahia Honda – loved it). Seeing the huge tourist buoy in your video brought back the memory of us getting our picture taken there while sitting on the Goldwing in front of it. The other tourists were real nice and got out of our way. One other benefit of the Goldwing was finding a place to park in town was easy. Your videos are very entertaining and educational, thanks.

  • Just got back into enough civilization (Sydney) to get some bandwidth and catch up with a little binge-watching us some J&N! Looks like you guys are having your usual blast. Thanks for sharing. Miss ya.

  • Key West sure grows on you. We used to stay at Sunshine Key Rv park just past the 7 mile bridge. It was a bit of a drive to KW, (especially if you had been drinking) so we didn’t go very often. A few years ago we bought a rv lot about 20 miles from KW, so we are able to spend a lot of time in Key West now. It has such a fun vibe and you can’t help but have a great time. If you like frozen beverages, try the 5 Monkeys Bar on Duval. They have the best frozen margaritas, as well as many other “frozen concoctions.”

  • Joe the computer guy

    Key west is great. Was there back in January this year and try to get there each year. You really should try Fantasyfest at least once if you want to see crazy. Thanks for all you do

  • Thank you for taking me to Key West with you!!

  • Hi Nikki & Jason – I enjoy all your videos — they’re fun to watch and have helped a lot as my wife and I are getting to travel more in our motorhome. We’ll be in Bahia Honda most of next week and would love to buy you a beer or cocktail if you have the time!

  • Robert

    We just left Key West, we stayed at Boyd’s Campground on Stock Island in our RV. We had a great time and will probably do it again. We’ve been going to Key West for over 18 years, but have always stayed in guest houses for major bucks. Boyd’s was a little over $100/night. Our favorite restaurants in Key West are: Blue Heaven which you already found. If you like Italian, try Mangia Mangia on Southard and Margaret. A few blocks north at Southard and Grinnell is 5 brothers grocery. They have the best cuban sandwiches for lunch. Also Cuban coffee. La Trattoria is another Italian place on Duval, a little pricey but delicious. Jack Flats is decently priced and not bad food. I wish we never had to leave, I love Key West.

  • Check out the Green Parrot and you might want to look at Maya Adventures. Ask for Brett Kaull. He was a student at a school where I was school nurse in the 70s. Great guy. BTW did you guys see the big cat burn on the 15th or weren’t you there yet?

  • Barbara Stackewicz

    Love coming with you guys on your adventures. My husband and I just bought our first MotorHome, a 34 ft. Fleetwood Bounder, 2013. We should have it in a couple of weeks. So in addition to learning the RV, we (I) am learning where to go, and what to do and not do. You’re a big HELP. We’ve been to Key West several times and if I hit the lotto we’d move there. Keep those video’s coming! MWAH

  • Great video you two. Key West really is awesome fun. less for kids though more an adult playground. ??? our kids found it quite boring…

  • I’m curious if you know of the best island/area in the Keys for a more family-friendly experience? I’m not sure if we’d bring our kids (10 & 14), but we aren’t party people, so low key is more our style.


  • Gayle Cooper

    Try El Siboney on Catherine St. for home-cooked Cuban food. Not a tourist trap. And key lime pie most anywhere! Seeing Hemingway’s house was worth it, we thought. It’s magical to see where famous artists create, and his writer’s studio is interesting. How about them 5-toe kitties, Sinja?!!

  • Deb

    Jason, what was the Andrew Applepie music in the background, especially the music at the end. I didn’t hear it on any of the tracks on Soundcloud.

    Loved this video, was just there a couple weeks back. Stayed at the KOA. You hit all the highlights of my visit.

  • Michael Rice

    I could not find the ‘like’ thumb up to click on, but this vid. is a wondermous visit to that fun-est of places–the Key West. I love seeing Nikki footloose & fancy-free, dancing in the streets. Je, je. My Key West escapades were too naughty to share. Je, je. Luv you’s muchly!

  • Sandra

    Hello, I sent a previous email about a previous adventure or pit stop you had already, haha…not sure if you’ve seen it yet but we’re hoping to hear from you within the next four days. We were curious where you stayed in California at a Vineyard? Thanks 🙂 Sandra

  • carl newton

    Love the Andrew Applepie soundtrack.. what songs you using off which album..

    great show of key west. having never been there it a interesting place we much visit at least once.

    Thanks for the ride.

    like to know who you use so we can get the music. song and album. 🙂

  • Hey Jason.

    Hope everything is going great.

    Love Ya,


  • Hi I guys!
    I think this was one of your best experience tyke videos I’ve ever seen!
    fabulous job:)
    I lived for 7 years on The Florida keys and didn’t quite make it down to see the fun!
    Now- I would go to experience it all in a heartbeat-
    Thanks so much for your showcasing video:)

  • William (Bill) Weaver

    You hit all of the things that I remember about Key West. A unique place. Just remember the next time that you walk the docks looking at boats, all of the boats are for sale just some have signs on them. Keep living the life.

  • Jan

    Blue Heaven had great french roast last breakfast I had there.
    Maybe check it out to see if they still do.

  • Corkboulder

    Another great video, thanks Wynns.

    Can’t wait to see you run up to places on the dinghy and show the ports o’ call.

  • John S.

    Thanks for the whole blog but I really appreciate the Sips & Bites information.

    Saw the gleam in your eye when walking past those huge Cat’s. One day, one will be yours. One day……

    John S.

  • Thank you, that was my first trip to Key West. I lived it vicariously through you two and now I am satiated. No need to fight the crowds. I live in Maryland and we have our share wonderful crabs, seafood, sailing and beaches. I think I will stay around home. I do really appreciate your travels, delightful spirit, creativity, and freedom to do what you want (mostly). Best to you. I am looking forward to the boat buying. As a kid I raced sail boats and owned one for a few years. Delightfully fun but again, it’s out of my system. You two will have a blast on the water, I guarantee it. Fair winds and following seas. John

  • illya

    First comment? Woohoo i win! Awesome place! Thanks for sharing 🙂 you guy really do live a life in like a dream world. Can’t wait for the boat..

  • Sarah

    Thanks for the tips! We’re super excited about spending some time in the keys. Trying to figure out how to spend an extended amount of time in the keys, is actually what prompted us to start thinking about fulltime rving (which we will start doing this summer… Yay)! But I’ve been getting up at 4:45 (yes, that’s am) trying to book a state park in the keys for 11 months from now, and it’s tough! We haven’t been able to snag a spot yet 🙁 I’m sleep deprived and a little delirious, but I hope and will keep trying! Thanks again for all of your great tips!


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