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Key West has a lot of tourist attractions, but they're not to miss. I would say the biggest tourist traps are the bars along Duval St. (see nightlife tips), Mallory Square (see things to do tips) and the Southernmost Point, where you're literally at the end of the continental USA.
Unique Suggestions: I would say the 2 biggest things you MUST do in Key West are:
1) southernmost point--have your picture taken with the bouy. Go early, there will be a line!
2) mallory square--this is the best place to go and see the famous Key West sunset and the street performers who do the "sunset celebration" each night. Just so you know, it will be hard to get in along the water because everyone lines up along the rails. You may also want to bring a few singles on hand, as the street performers put on a fun show and work on tips.
Fun Alternatives: If this type of stuff doesn't appeal to you, I suggest sitting in a bar or restaurant somewhere, have a few drinks or maybe dessert and mingle with the locals and other tourists while listening to live music. Otherwise you can just walk around the historic old town area and take in the sights.
Key West from an "Insider's Perspective"
tpangelinan, you are so right!
The place is crowded with drifters and "druggies ".
Many of the Keys people live off innocent victims of various kinds.
Spend your money elsewhere where you are not getting ripped off.
I am a Keys resident for the past 14 years and I got ripped off four times - more than my book (to be published soon) can describe........
If you still come to the Keys on vacation, chances are you will be disappointed and the local businesses are out for your money.
Key West is a tourist trap in...
Key West is a tourist trap in itself. If you are looking for a caribbean type get-away, this is definatley not the place. There are too many people, high prices and NO BEACH to speak of. Spend the extra money and go to the caribbean!
Buyer Beware - Don't go on Danger Charters!!!
Their website and advertisement promises more than they deliver. My sister and I went on the half day excursion for $75 a person. If you are expecting a clean boat, small amount of people, great sailing experience, DO NOT GO. If you are expecting great snorkeling (great fish life, etc.) and watersports other than kayaking, DO NOT GO. This charter outfit is more 'homegrown and local' than 'experienced and professional', the opposite of what their website and advertisements suggests. The boat was not very clean, the sails were tattered, the fruit, chips, and salsa all came out of an Albertsons bag and hand cut for us by a not so clean looking crew member (1 of 4), definitely more 'local' than professional. I also learned, unfortunately not until later, that they take you to the 'backcountry'. This means you don't get to experience the living coral reef but muddy, sponges and dead mangroves by Mule Key. The beer and wine were kept flowing so the other tourists didn't seem to mind. But if you're just planning to get drunk and sail, you can do that in Key West for much, much cheaper than $75 a person! In fact, one sailing charter will take you out for $35!! Don't waste your money, book another charter.
Unique Suggestions: If you don't mind wasting $75 bucks when you can spend $35 and get a better experience.....um...feel free to go.
Fun Alternatives: 2 stop Reef Express --- great snorkeling
They also offer a sunset sail for $35, all the beer and wine you want.
- Diving and Snorkeling
- Water Sports
- Family Travel
Stay away of Key West, unless you like...
1. Tourist traps (everywhere)
2. Overpriced Chinese souvenirs
3. Kitsch museums and shops
4. Rude locals (restaurants)
5. Endless lines for making pictures
6. Overall very expensive, but cheap looking places
Unique Suggestions: Try to find (very difficult) local artists shops and side streets for architecture photographs
Fun Alternatives: Eat in Marathon, Islamorada, etc.
Beware of the pedi cab people!
Its hotttt! Your tired! You want to walk but ... Oh hey, theres a guy pulling a cart and he can give you a ride !
Dont do it! The pedi cab drivers are a DOLLAR 60 A MINUTE, AND THEY PEDDEL S L O W
We were on one for less than 15 mins... 20 bucks---
Its a rip off- Get a scooter! They are fun and they dealers are willing to go down on price---
Unique Suggestions: Get a scooter! or rent a peddel bike!
Do not get a pedi cab and warn others of this too~
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Key West Travel Guide
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