Florida’s southernmost point, Key West, is arguably the most famous of all the Florida Keys and a top tourist destination year after year. With its pastel houses, fishing and diving opportunities, and fun shopping and dining spots, Key West is like no other part of the country. If you plan to look at Key West real estate for a primary or vacation home, you’ll want to take advantage of all the area has to offer when you’re in town.
Here are some ways to stay active in Key West either while you’re there to look at homes or after you’ve chosen one of the homes for sale in Key West and settled in.
1. Walk to the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum
Photo courtesy of Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum
With its year-round beautiful weather, it’s always a good day for a walk in Key West. If you want to walk to a fun destination, make sure you put the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum on your list. This Spanish Colonial home was built in 1851 and was briefly the home of Ernest and his wife Pauline and was where the famed author wrote To Have and Have Not. The home still contains many of the couple’s personal effects and is also the home to various descendants of Hemingway’s beloved six-toed cat Snow White.
2. Take a tropical bike tour
Want to experience Key West like a local? Lloyds, the original bike tour stop in Key West, has been serving tourists and locals since 1991. You can either book a public bike tour and learn about homes of famous authors and secrets of Key West or you can reserve a private tour for up to 15 people with Lloyd. Some of your stops may include the Key West Wildlife Center, a historic fort, and a beautiful botanical garden. This is the perfect way to get up and personal with Key West real estate and can help you decide if buying a home here is right for you.
3. Play a round at Key West Golf Club
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There’s nothing like getting out on the links in the warm Florida Keys sun! If your idea of staying active is chasing a golf ball around, you’ll need to book a round at Rees Jones Champion course Key West Golf Club. Set on 200 acres of land, the golf club features challenging holes set amid beautiful foliage and is likely one of the only courses to feature a hole where you’re required to hit over an entire field of tropical mangroves. It’s also the only Caribbean golf course in the United States, making this a must for any golfer.
4. Rent a kayak or paddleboard
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If you’re considering buying one of the homes for sale in Key West, you’ve likely already fallen in love with the gorgeous turquoise water surrounding the island. Staying active is easy when you venture out onto the water in a rented kayak or paddle board. Both activities allow you to explore the waters of Key West at your own pace and check out the mangrove creeks, seagrass beds, and variety of birds and fish that live in the area. If you do choose to buy a home and relocate to Key West, keep in mind that one rental company—Lazy Dog—allows you to bring your furry friend with you on your adventures.
5. Go fishing
Key West is the home to the third largest barrier reef in the world, which means it has tons of fish species including grouper, yellowtail snapper, mahi-mahi, snook, and tarpon. While you can easily rent a boat and go out in search of fish on your own, you’ll likely have more success (and fun!) if you do a guided fishing trip. You can choose from offshore, wreck and reef, backcountry, or even shark fishing depending on the type of experience you want.
6. Explore on a jet ski
Photo courtesy of Pexels
Renting jet skis is a must if you enjoy adventure and being out on the open water. One of the most popular jet ski tours in the area features a 90-minute rental that takes you through the Gulf of Mexico and into the Atlantic on a 28-mile trip that will introduce you to Mallory Square, the Southernmost Point Buoy, and a sandbar where you can stop and take a swim. If you decide to buy one of the homes for sale in Key West, you’ll likely want to buy a jet ski of your own, but a rental is the perfect way to get a taste of all that awaits you when you become a resident of this tropical paradise.
7. Go scuba diving or snorkeling
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You won’t find many better places in the world to snorkel or scuba dive than Key West! Though it’s not the scuba diving capital of the world (that title belongs to nearby Key Largo), you’ll still be able to take in an amazing array of fish and other sea creatures when you explore The Vandenberg shipwreck, Sand Key Lighthouse Reef, or Ten-Fathom Ledge. On your underwater adventure, you’ll likely encounter conch shells, sea turtles, harmless sharks, stingrays, tropical fish, and maybe even a dolphin or two.
Key West is a diverse and friendly community that is always ready to welcome new residents. With its picturesque homes, highly rated schools, easily accessible airport, and wide range of activities, it’s the perfect place for those who want a vacation home and those who plan to live there full-time. If you want to start your search for property, it’s important that you work with an experienced Key West real estate agent who has worked in the local community for years and knows the ins and outs of the market. Ready to take the next step? Reach out to one of the experienced agents at Ocean SIR for guidance and to see what’s on the market.
*Header photo courtesy of Unsplash