Smathers Beach, Key West, FL

A Photo Essay: Key West, FL

Somehow, Key West continues to draw me in with a tighter grasp every time I set foot on its sizzling shores. I have visited this tiny island paradise more times than I can count (and yes, I can count into double digits, thank you very much), and each time I discover numerous new activities that I never knew existed, and my ever-growing “to do list” keeps getting longer by the mile. The laid back island is so much more than Duval Street, “90 miles to Cuba” and Cheeseburgers in Paradise. There is a different and slightly adventurous side to the island believe it or not, and the vast amount of history is sure to turn heads on any pirate loving individuals. This past July was surprisingly my first time visiting Key West since starting this site, so it was fun to hop around and view the island with fresh eyes again, and with that, here is our photo essay of Key West, FL, and I’m sure it won’t be the last!

Sloppy Joe's Bar, Key West, FL

Ernest Hemingway used to frequent Sloppy Joe’s bar when it was located down the street. Now, the bar holds an annual Hemingway look-alike contest.

Custom House, Key West, FL

The multitude of statues surrounding the Custom House Museum are always fun to strike a pose with.

Old Town Trolley Tours, Key West, FL

Old Town Trolley Tours and Conch Trains line the streets to give visitors a look into the past and current day Key West.

Antique Shop, Key West, FL

This antique shop near the Historic Seaport area felt more like a treasure trove with all it’s unique historic findings.

Key West, FL

Air conditioning is a welcome treat when basking in the glowing sun all day long.

Key West, FL

Knickknacks line the streets on the plentiful stands found throughout town.

Key West Conch Fritters, Key West, FL

Conch fritters are a popular treat that can be found throughout the island on most any menu.

Pirate Ship, Key West, FL

Pirates are an integral part of Key West’s history and you are sure to find numerous sightings of the town’s shady and exciting past when wandering.

Sunset Sail, Key West, FL

Getting out on the water is a great idea when visiting Key West. To date, our favorite vessel has been on a sailboat.

Sunset Sail, Key West, FL

Sailing is hard work, but it still looks like fun–we watched the crew climb up into the sails.

Sunset Sail, Key West, FL

Nautical rope adorns the side of the boat and looks quite nice against the setting sun.

Sunset Sail, Key West, FL

Watching this plane fly overhead while riding along a schooner sailboat made us feel like we stepped back into time.

Parasailing, Key West, FL

Parasails soar through the air as riders take in the beautiful, spanning views of the island.

Parasailing, Key West, FL

The views really are great from up in the clouds, and it’s so much more peaceful than I would have ever thought.

Jetpack, Key West, FL

Watching the jetpack adventures entertained us–maybe we can try it one of these days!

Beach at Fort Zachary Taylor State Historic Site, Key West, FL

Fort Zachary Taylor State Historic Site is located off the beaten path in Key West. If you didn’t know it was there, you wouldn’t happen upon it.

Beach at Fort Zachary Taylor State Historic Site, Key West, FL

At the park, you can find beautiful trees and great views of the ocean.

Beach at Fort Zachary Taylor State Historic Site, Key West, FL

There are also plenty of picnic tables and a generous amount of shade in case you need a break from the sun.

Beach at Fort Zachary Taylor State Historic Site, Key West, FL

The water at Fort Zachary was so clear–it makes a great spot for snorkeling if you don’t mind a rocky beach.

Key West, FL

How far are you from Key West?

Sunset Key, Key West, FL

Directly off the shore from Mallory Square, rests Sunset Key. If you want to visit, make sure to get out your checkbook–it’s a pretty penny. For a more affordable way to visit, book a reservation at the island’s restaurant.

Smathers Beach, Key West, FL

Even though Smathers Beach is man-made, it sure is paradise!

Historic Seaport, Key West, FL

Wander around the Historic Seaport of Key West to find shops, restaurants and boats galore.

Streets of Key West, FL

Despite the rundown look, the streets of Key West have an abundance of character.

Southernmost Point, Key West, FL

The infamous “Southernmost Point” of the United States–when standing here you are closer to Cuba than Miami.

Mile Marker 0, Key West, FL

Mile Marker 0 marks the end of US Route 1. This road runs all the way from Canada to Key West.

Key West, FL

This beautiful tree never escapes being photographed by us when we visit–it’s just so enchanting!

Cannons at Fort Zachary Taylor State Historic Site, Key West, FL

When visiting the beach at Fort Zachary Taylor, be sure to make a pit stop for a history lesson at the Fort. You will learn a bit about how the military protected the island many years ago.

Sunset Sail, Key West, FL

No trip to Key West is complete without watching the famous sunset dip below the horizon.

Sunset Sail, Key West, FL

Most visitors head to Mallory Square for the nightly Sunset Celebration, but a sunset cruise can be a peaceful and very enjoyable way to spend your last couple hours of daylight.

Street Food, Key West, FL

Street food perfect for those late nights out on Duval Street.

Duval Street, Key West, FL

After the sunset celebration, the crowds move to Duval Street for some late night trouble.

  • Heather
    Posted at 23:49h, 02 October Reply

    Thank you for this. I am from Miami, FL now living in San Diego, CA and it was wonderful to relive some of my wonderful memories from my times in Key West. Used to get there often and can’t wait to take my husband there. You’ve certainly motivated me! 🙂
    Heather recently posted…What the Hell is a Dependapotamus? The MilSpouse WarsMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 20:24h, 09 October Reply

      Thanks 🙂 Glad to hear–I love reliving old memories! Hope you and your husband have a great time when you get to go together!

  • Mike
    Posted at 15:25h, 04 October Reply

    These pictures are absolutely amazing, Jenna and Micah! I so would be curious and want to try a conch fritter. But, that parasailing adventure? Absolutely count me in! I have to get me one of those jetpacks so that Phoenix and I could go cruising around Reno!!! 🙂
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    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 20:31h, 09 October Reply

      Thanks, Mike! The conch fritters were pretty good, you will have to try them sometime. Parasailing is so much fun–we really want to go again sometime! And yes! Lol, that would be pretty amazing–you need a jet pack for Reno! 🙂

  • Les Petits Pas de Juls
    Posted at 17:36h, 06 October Reply

    I can’t wait to get to Florida and follow your advice and discover all those beauties!

    I’ve nominated you in my latest post for the Versatile Blogger Award! You may have a look if you’re interested!
    Have a great day!
    Les Petits Pas de Juls recently posted…I’m Versatile, didn’t you know?My Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 20:32h, 09 October Reply

      Thanks so much! Really hope you enjoy Florida 🙂 And thanks for the nomination–I will have to go check it out!

  • Vanessa
    Posted at 16:47h, 14 October Reply

    You really captured the fun, lively spirit of the area – I don’t know if I would ever be brave enough to try out that jet pack though!

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 00:45h, 15 October Reply

      Thanks, Vanessa! Yeah the jet pack looks a little scary–I’ve seen quite a few wipeouts on it! It would be fun once you get the hang of it, but the learning seems pretty rough!

  • Michael Huxley
    Posted at 04:14h, 15 October Reply

    This is a great post, thank you! I’ve never been to Florida but it is looking pretty appealing after seeing those pics! I definitely want a go on that jet pack!

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 17:20h, 20 October Reply

      Thanks! I really love Florida, it’s pretty and there are so many different things to do! Hope you can make a visit sometime!

  • Passport Dave
    Posted at 00:45h, 17 October Reply

    Those are some amazing photos. I just recently took a bike tour around Florida myself and I must say the drive out to Key West was absolutely breathtaking. As amazing as your pictures are, you can truly only grasp it by seeing it in person. Unfortunately, I was too mesmerized by the local scene to remember to pull my camera out. Very glad somebody was able to capture Key West for what it truly is. Great post!
    Passport Dave recently posted…Three Things I Didn’t Know About Florida… And One I Did!My Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 17:22h, 20 October Reply

      Thanks–appreciate it! A bike tour around Florida sounds great! I can see how the drive to the keys would be fun on a bike–so much pretty scenery! Hope it was great!

  • Penny Sadler
    Posted at 23:40h, 20 October Reply

    I was in Key West in August and did a couple of posts about it. I loved it and you’re right, Smathers Beach is pretty even if it is man-made. Are you guys living in Key West? Lucky!
    Penny Sadler recently posted…Postcard: Finding Peace in Bertinoro, ItalyMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 23:36h, 21 October Reply

      Fun! Glad to hear you enjoyed it! 🙂 We don’t live there but it’s about a 4.5 hour drive, so thankfully not that far away. It makes a nice weekend getaway since we enjoy the pretty drive, and we try to get there as much as possible!

  • Kashka
    Posted at 20:06h, 22 November Reply

    Really enjoying reading through your blog and looking through all of the pics. I live in Burlington Vermont with my two young daughters, and due to the lovely long winters here in our frozen tundra, I am planning on taking off right after Christmas and driving us down to the keys! What I’m having a tough time with is making a decision as far as where to stay in the keys. I don’t like a lot of people and partying is not what we’ll be doing so even though we will be down there for New Years Eve, what we’d prefer is somewhere that has beautiful beaches and lots of wildlife. Would you have any recommendations? Maybe Key Largo instead of Key West? I just don’t know.

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 00:10h, 04 December Reply

      Hi Kashka, thanks for stopping by! Key West will definitely be crowded around New Years–all of the other Keys will be busy, but not quite as bad. There aren’t a ton of gorgeous beaches in the Keys, as most are more natural and not very large or groomed. But the area is still pretty especially when getting out on the water. Key Largo has fireworks on NYE and John Pennekamp State Park is there as well–the park has beaches, wildlife, kayaking, great snorkeling, etc. There are quite a bit of water sports throughout all the islands too, so there should be a lot to do wherever you choose! We’ve spent most of our time in Key West and Key Largo so unfortunately I don’t have any other island recommendations, but we loved both of those islands. Hope you have a great time! Let me know if you have more questions.

  • Ricka
    Posted at 08:08h, 06 May Reply

    I want to use some of your pictures on a school project but I don’t know how? what should I do?

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