Where To Stay In Key West? – Travel Guide

Are you planning a trip to the city located on the southernmost tip of the U.S. in 2022? But if you haven’t been to the United States before, how will you know where to stay in key west? But don’t you worry because I’m here to tell you all that you need to know about staying alternatives in Key West.

The city of Key West blends culture, some much-needed positivity, and lots of sun with an off-the-grid vibe – yes, basically everything that you were looking for! So without wasting any more time, let’s find out a little more about the island of Key West and all the popular neighborhoods in the region that you must consider for staying!.

Keep reading to find out all that you need to know about the same.

Exploring Key West: Your Dream Destination For This Summer

Before finding out where to stay in key west, let’s talk about the major attractions of the island and the places you simply can’t miss checking out! Key West is a small island, to be honest, even less than 8 square miles of area.

In fact, I found the island pretty easy to navigate since its entirely divided into two areas,

  1. Residential, contemporary New Town, and
  2. Historic, character-rich Old Town.

The historic Old Town area is precisely where a majority of tourists spend most of their time exploring a myriad of neighborhoods blending borders together, making it nearly impossible to identify borders.

Keeping such considerations in mind, finding out where is the best place to stay in key west wasn’t an easy task, but once I did, there was no turning back – I had to share will everyone what I found out. But the best part? I am not just here to tell you about the areas you can reside in but also a few hotels where you can stay if you are visiting Key West for a few days!

I mean, simply put, I found the Old Town the best place to reside on my visit to Key West – from finding the most charming B&B to coming across a luxurious hotel in the downtown region known as Casa Marina or even the Historic Seaport.

It doesn’t matter where you end up staying – from navigating the entire city on foot to exploring the same on the free bus shuttle service by Duval Loop or the Old Town Trolley Tours that provides unlimited reboarding services throughout the day.

Since parking services are a little tight in the region, it is best that you either don’t take your car or leave it wherever you are staying. After all, the island is the perfect blend of history, art, as well as a crazy waterside vibe. Locals take pride in several things the island is famous for, including the yummy Key Lime Pie!

It’s best to be ready to witness epic debates on what toppings are to be used for the famous Key Lime Pie? Are you supporting whipped cream, or are you on the side of meringue? That my friend is the question!

Living In Sun-City: Where To Stay In Key West?

If you are still here, so it’s only fair that you want to know all that you can about living in Key West. So without wasting any further time, let’s find out where to stay in Key West. But before that, let’s check out the top hotels in Key West that you can consider if you are visiting the island for a short time period! 

Thus, the best hotels in Key West are as follows,

Luxury Hotels:

The best luxury hotels in Key West are as follows,

  • H20 Suites
  • Casa Marina, and
  • Hyatt Residence Club.

Boutique Hotels:

The best boutique hotels in Key West are as follows,

  • Southernmost House,
  • Orchid Key Inn,
  • Gardens Hotel,
  • Weatherstation Inn, and
  • Kimpton Lighthouse Hotel.

Budget-Friendly Hotels:

The best budget-friendly hotels in Key West are as follows,

  • Seashell Motel,
  • NYAH, and
  • Fairfield Inn.

Family Hotels:

The best family hotels in Key West are as follows,

  • Oceans Edge Key West, and
  • Santa Maria Suites Resort.

The pull of attractive key west beaches and casual, laid-back lifestyle is not the only thing that matters if you are going to stay at Key West for months or even years in some cases. In that case, if you are wondering where to stay in Key West, check out the most popular residential areas on this small island!

The Heart Of Old Town:

If you love walking around the neighborhood, then you must check out the residential block in the center of the Old Town. Unfortunately, this is also the area where the guidelines for preservation happen to be really strict since the area is known for its colorful wooden structures, all dating back to the 1800s.

If you were wondering where to stay in key west with family, then the heart of the Old Town area is kinda perfect with its quaint B&Bs, vintage homes, and overall charming neighborhood. Ernest Hemingway would agree with me, considering his former home is located in the same area, although it has been converted into a museum.

You can easily explore the museum on your own or even take a guide’s help to do the same. Fun fact? The local cemetery happens to be quite cheerful, and even though it is in full operation, tourists are allowed to visit the same!

Historic Seaport:

One of the most popular neighborhoods for all boating enthusiasts, Historic Seaport is a must-visit! From sailboat schooners to yachts, you can opt for any vehicle for planning exciting day trips and sunset cruises – go for a swim or snorkel with your family or just have fun spotting dolphins.

In fact, the strangest thing had happened to me while I was walking along the docks. I had never been to Key West before, and I hadn’t even done proper research (it was an impulse trip, really). So I was completely off guard when I realized I hadn’t booked any activity in advance, but then I was offered discounts, and that too on spot!

You could also check out Key West’s all-electric charter at the Honest Eco. You can not just enjoy a quiet ride but also benefit from fruit platters that have been hand-carved. In fact, rides on the Key West Express are also something to consider, especially for navigating along the western coast of the island to as well as from the Marco Island and Ft. Meyers.

Casa Marina:

Casa Marina is one of my favorite spots in Key West. Naturally, you are wondering why is it so! If the breathtakingly beautiful landscape and Casa Marina, a historic hotel, are not enough to attract you, then the fact that this area happens to be the southernmost point of not just Florida but the entire continental U.S. should just do the trick, instead!

Moreover, the area happens to be pretty close to beaches on the southern end like the vast Smathers Beach or smaller beaches like the Higgs Beach or the Dog Beach. So instead of wondering where to stay in Key West on the beach, you can always stay in this region.

In fact, Dog Beach is also perfect for people with pets – visit the deck located at Louie’s and sip on cocktails when you visit Dog Beach! Don’t forget to check out the western coast that is dominated by Ft. Zachary Taylor State Park Beach, which happens to be relatively more locals-friendly and isolated as compared to Smather’s Beach.

Bahama Village:

There are high possibilities that you might miss out on this hidden gem of Key West known as the Bahama Village. I was almost missing it out too, but something probed me to keep exploring until I found someplace that’s low-key but vibrant! And Bahama Village was just the answer!

Bahama Village is not just a colorful place you must check out, but it also happens to be one of the most popular neighborhoods for having any kind of gastronomical affair! Check out Blue Heaven while you are looking for a place where you can have brunch or breakfast – from the fantastic Key Lime Pie to the equally tasty BLT Benedict, everything tastes so good!

If you love Cuban culture, you can also check out El Meson de Pepe’s, located near the seaport along with the Old Town – enjoy Cuban food, celebrate Cuban art, and groove to Cuban music in this popular joint! Finally, if you love small cafés with adjoining gift shops, then you must visit Kermit’s. The theme? “key lime everything!” – from key lime pies to cookies, the options are many!

Safety Is Always A Priority: Unsafe Areas In Key West

One of the primary concerns that I have while traveling alone is the safety factor – if it’s not safe, then is there any point in risking your life? I don’t think so. Key West happens to be a pretty safe city for tourists or other visitors, but it’s best to stay away from the areas mentioned below,

  1. Avoid residential blocs located between Duval Street and the cemetery.
  2. Avoid the neighborhoods located between Casa Marina and the cemetery.

In fact, if you don’t wanna walk around, then you can always avail the available means of transportation since these happen to be both affordable and easy to find!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

1. Where Should I Stay In Key West For The First Time?

If it’s your first time on the Key West island, you have to check out Duval Street as an alternative for taking up residence. Located in the Old Town part of the island, Duval Street is one of the best places to stay in Key West.

The area is close to all major landmarks, bars, and even shops. The best hotels in this region are as follows,

Duval Gardens, and
Santa Maria Suites.

2. How Do I Decide Where To Stay In Key West?

The best way you can decide where to stay in Key West is by taking into consideration four relevant factors. These factors are as follows,

• Location,
• Property Type,
• Price, and
• Design


Although the island can be easily explored either on a cycle or bike or even by walking yet, it is smarter to find out what suits you best. Of course, this involves what you technically prefer – do you want to reside in isolated areas or in the middle of the more happening Duval Street region.

3. Is Key West A Walkable City?

Key West is one island city that can be pretty much explored by walking! A pretty walkable city, Key West offers several activities for visitors – check out popular tourist spots like Whitehead Street, Mallory Square, and even Duval Street. You can also hop onto the Key West Trolley to move around the region!

4. Is Staying In Key West Worth It?

The very last amongst the Florida Keys region, the island of Key West is a great place to visit! Whether you are planning to stay for an entire year or just a week, the main factor is how the place happens to be a crazy place for not just enjoying yourself but also relaxing.

This southernmost city in the United States is popular for its coral reefs, beaches, and cool, laid-back vibes. 

Summer Of ‘69 In Key West: Are You In?

The moment I landed at Key West, I couldn’t stop humming to the tunes of Bryan Adams’ famous song, Summer Of ‘69. The beautiful beaches, the stunning landscape, and the laid-back atmosphere of the island made me forget all about finding out where to stay in key west, Florida.

While Bryan Adams kept singing at the back of my head, I wandered across the island, taking in the view, the people, the society! There was nothing that bothered me, and I realized this was one vacation I was going to enjoy deeply. What about you?

Don’t forget to let us know your thoughts on the same in the comments section below!

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Barsha Bhattacharya is a senior content writing executive. As a marketing enthusiast and professional for the past 4 years, writing is new to Barsha. And she is loving every bit of it. Her niches are marketing, lifestyle, wellness, travel and entertainment. Apart from writing, Barsha loves to travel, binge-watch, research conspiracy theories, Instagram and overthink.

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BY Debamalya MukherjeeMar 6, 2024

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BY Nabamita SinhaOct 19, 2022

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