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First timers need advice

Ewing VA
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54 posts
4 reviews
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First timers need advice

This year will be our first time to Key West. We want to stay at a nice hotel that is centrally located. Price is negotiatable. We do prefer a hotel over a cottage or a b and b. Also, do we need to rent a car, or can we get around without one with ease?

Please someone tell me what we can do and what we need to see in four nights, five days in August. Thanks.

Lancaster, PA
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303 posts
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1. Re: First timers need advice

the problem with renting a car is that you will spend a lot of time searching for parking spaces...i'd suggest renting either mopeds or bikes,

As far as what to see/do, you need to give us a clue what you are interested in. The Hemmingway House is a crowdpleaser.

arkansas
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2. Re: First timers need advice

You definitely won't need a car and if you enjoy walking you won't need any other form of transportation. Key West is only 2 miles by 4 miles!

If you prefer hotels and want a good location you should probably consider the hotels on the Gulf: the Hilton, the Hyatt, the Pier House, the Ocean Key, and the Galleon, which is a timeshare that rents to non-owners. Of those, the Galleon is best for long-term renters, the Ocean Key is the nicest, and the Hyatt gets pretty consistent good reviews.

It's virtually impossible to recommend activities that might appeal to you...they range from sunset cruises to Hemingway House tours to the Butterfly Conservatory. What interests you?

Ewing VA
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54 posts
4 reviews
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3. Re: First timers need advice

Our interest are varied, but we tend to like things that have to do with local history, ocean tours, shopping. My husband thought he might like to try deep sea fishing. Any suggestions?

Orlando, FL
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2,941 posts
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4. Re: First timers need advice

Suggest you also go back through the Keys and Key West forum postings as there is a wealth of information on virtually everything these areas have to offer...

Useful web sites:

www.Fla-Keys.com

www.KeyWest.com

arkansas
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3,454 posts
1 review
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5. Re: First timers need advice

Overboard - there are lots of options that'll give you a sense of local history. One that's seldom mentioned is Fort Zachary Taylor, but I'd recommend that you tour the fort...it's really interesting. More predictably there's the Truman Little White House (sadly, our tour guide there was a crashing bore) and the Hemingway House. As corny as it might sound, the Conch Train Tour can really be valuable in getting an overview of Key West.

I'm not a shopper, but there are lots of shops on Duval, including some remarkable glass. Hopefully, someone else can give you an idea who to speak with about a fishing charter. I know there are lots of charter boats in Key West Bight, but I have no personal experience with any of them. I'd also suggest you take a sunset sail with one of the tall ships...the America, if she's in port now.

Pjk
New Jersey
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for Key West
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37,060 posts
117 reviews
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6. Re: First timers need advice

>Our interest are varied, but we tend to like things that have >to do with local history, ocean tours, shopping. My husband >thought he might like to try deep sea fishing. Any >suggestions?

IMO the best things to do on the ocean are the combination snorkel/sunset sails. The Sebago and Fury and Caribbean Spirit catarmaran do these, and they are a lot of fun. They usually go out about 5:00 and sail to the reef and spend maybe an hour there. Then they break out the drinks and sail slowly back so as to catch the sunset as you get back to Key West.

Or (and?) the so-called all-day trips that go out about 9:00 and come in at 3:00 or so. They either have two snorkeling places, a snorkel and kayak, or a snorkel and jet ski. The Sebago cat does both of the latter, the Danger Charters does the snorkel/kayay, and the Starts& Stripes does a two snorkel trip. All of these serve continental breakfast and a great lunch.

And there is the trip to the Dry Tortugas and Fort Jefferson. There are two ships that motor out there, and there is Seplanes of key West that fly out. The seaplane is the most expensive but you get more time at the fort. The ships serve lunch and all three provide snorkeling equip.

Since your husband is a singleton, try leaving his name with one of the activity desks at one of the hotels - the Pier House or the Hyatt or Ocean Key, e.g. The captains of fishing boats will book a foursome then leave word that they can take one or two additional people (for cheap). He may be able to hook up with a group. Otherwise it is very expensive. He may be able to go directly to the Key West bight where the boats moor and talk to the captains directly a few days in advance.

Pjk

Mentioned in this post
Danger Charters
Danger Charters
4,195 Reviews
Key West, FL
North Metro ATL, GA
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795 posts
4 reviews
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7. Re: First timers need advice

For the local history angle, the Sharon Wells Walking and Biking Guide can be very useful. Not only will you get information about many of the more high profile properties, but you'll get history regarding many other old buildings in town. There is also a nice section on the cemetary, which can be an interesting place to visit.

http://www.seekeywest.com/guide.htm

You can order one online to bone up before you go, or pick one up free at various places around town. Maybe you could even ask the innkeeper at wherever you end up staying to rustle one up for you and have it waiting when you arrive.

kansas city, mo
4 posts
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8. Re: First timers need advice

I want to start by saying that a car is almost useless we take a car out of ft. lauderdale almost every year and don't use it down there.

If you want to stay at a hotel that located in the heart of things we stay at the southernmost hotel. The rooms are nothing fancy but the pools and the bar are great if that is what you are into. You are at the end of Duval street which is at heart of everything with a short walk. The cost is about 150 a night

We rent a scooter from the hotel for the whole time we are down and that will get us to all parts of the island. Not the most comfortable for two people but it gets the job done.

When you get down there you will never want to go anywhere else!

Ewing VA
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54 posts
4 reviews
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9. Re: First timers need advice

Thanks to everyone that responded. Just booked the trip and chose the Pier House because of its location. Hope I made a good choice. Can't wait to see a KW sunset!!!!

Pjk
New Jersey
Destination Expert
for Key West
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37,060 posts
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10. Re: First timers need advice

O - If you can, see what room they gave you. If you specified a harbor view it's OK. Otherwise, tell them specifically that you want a garden view, 2nd floor. Something in the 424 - 444 range. These are the nicest rooms and cost the same.

Pjk