Key West: A PeaceBang Review

I have spent the past five days vacationing in Key West and I give it an enthusiastic thumbs up.

PeaceBang’s Top 6 Reasons To Vacation in Key West, Florida:

1. Although it has a reputation as a party town, Key West is relaxed and friendly. Duval Street is the only place where you’re going to see rowdy, obnoxious tourists stumbling around drunk, and even that isn’t out of control.  There’s a good mix of outdoorsy types, families, retirees and party kids. Everyone seems to get along.

2. Unlike many other tropical destinations, Key West doesn’t try to hustle you for every last dollar. Things are expensive but not insanely so, and since it’s an island, even the locals are paying more for their necessities. That they pass along the cost to the tourist seems fair enough.

3. There are a lot of local businesses to support, and I like that. The bars and restaurants aren’t chains, and lots of people came down here from the mainland U.S. to live their dream by opening a little shop or cafe. They’re friendly and eager to share their enthusiasm for good food or drink or frozen yogurt with you.

4. When I take a winter vacation I look for a few things: good weather, the opportunity to swim, some sort of cultural and educational dimension, safety and affordability. Key West had glorious weather all week, I spent hours every day in either the pool or the ocean, I enjoyed the Hemingway house, live music, a drag show and karaoke, and I appreciated learning more about Cuban boat people and what happens when they reach the islands out here. I felt very safe as a single, female traveler and I paid $119 a night for a large room with a kitchenette.

5. Key West is known for its live-and-let-live attitude, and that seems to attract a more free-spirited kind of person to live and vacation here. I felt very comfortable everywhere, even with the naked guests at my clothing-optional hotel pool. The atmosphere isn’t ridiculously sexually charged the way one finds in, for instance, New Orleans. It’s just open, free, relaxed, sunny and happy.

6. You don’t need a car. It’s a perfect island to bike around, and you can rent scooters or little carts.


3 Replies to “Key West: A PeaceBang Review”

  1. Glad you enjoyed your stay there! My husband’s grandfather owns some property there, and he has two uncles who live in the Keys (one who is an artist) because of the reasons you cite. It’s a really neat place. I’m glad to hear you had a great vacation!

  2. I spent several days down there in January of 2010 and can definitely see what you’re saying. I went down for a break after sitting my General Ordination Exams. I was exhausted and burnt out and so looking forward to lots of sun, sand, and fruity drinks w/ umbrellas. Unfortunately the week I was there was *the coldest week the Keys had experienced in over a decade.* Literally. I have photos of myself lying in a beachside hammock reading a novel, *dressed in every piece of clothing I’d brought with me, layered on all at once*, including the coat I’d brought just b/c I’d needed it to get to the airport in Va., where there had been lots of snow on the ground. I looked like a bag lady. My first morning there I had a few mimosas and then went swim-suit shopping (the mimosas really helped that process be nearly painless!), but I never actually wore the suit I purchased b/c it was too cold to wear less than 2 sweaters and a jacket. Too cold for fruity drinks, or swimming, or any water sports, or even extensive walking. So hopefully some day I’ll get back down there and enjoy the real Key West experience, such as you had. W/o either my previous visit’s cold weather, or the exams ahead of time!

  3. Great travel review! My husband and I are more adventurous and independent travellers, and we enjoy things a bit off the beaten path. All inclusive? No thanks! I plan to take my son to see the ocean some day, and Key West sounds like a lovely place.

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