Tips for a Relaxing Key West Vacation

With world-class restaurants, famous attractions, and an impressive array of live music, it’s no wonder visitors flock to the excitement of Duval Street. While the famous stretch of perpetual entertainment is a definite must-see, an often overlooked Key West experience lies just steps away in the quaint surrounding neighborhoods. So take a stroll along leafy, less-crowded streets to slow down, take it all in, and truly relax in paradise.  

Escape into Nature

Enjoying the beauty of Key West is a peaceful way to spend the day. Nature and animal lovers can find a hidden gem at Nancy Forrester’s Secret Garden. Tucked off Elizabeth Street, the magical outdoor space is a sanctuary for rescued parrots - many endangered - where they are trained and rehomed. Interact with beautiful exotic birds and enjoy the eccentric and quiet garden setting. Have a chat with Nancy, a friendly environmental artist and activist who has been welcoming visitors into her home since 1994. Wind down with a dip in the ocean and bask in the sun at the sandy swimming beach of Lagerhead’s Beach Bar at the end of Simonton Street. Grab a refreshing beer and tasty bite to eat and settle into a seaside lounge chair under a shade umbrella for the perfect beach day. 

Immerse into Mind and Body Wellness

On the corner of Eaton and Simonton streets stands a 3-story concrete modern anomaly among the surrounding wood structures. Built in 1949 as a Masonic Temple, today the first floor houses Books and Books, a bookstore owned and operated by Judy Blume. Art and community center The Studios of Key West are located upstairs and offer classes, exhibitions and other events. Stop in and take a moment to browse the shelves for the perfect story or head upstairs to explore art and creativity. The Sugar Apple is an organic market & cafe near the corner of Truman and Simonton. A local favorite since 1993, the bright and airy market offers a selection of organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, and vegan foods and products. Visit the bright and airy space to stock up on healthy snacks and wholesome products. Or enjoy refreshing smoothies, savory sandwiches, and satisfying salads at the adorable adjoining all-natural cafe.  

Dine Off Duval

On the corner of Southard and Simonton streets sits Sarabeth’s, serving fresh upscale dishes in  a former church built in the late 1800s. Sit inside the tropically decorated interior and appreciate the building’s history or enjoy the weather in a casual atmosphere on the relaxing outdoor patio for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Another great dining experience can be found just a few blocks away on Simonton at Lola’s Bistro. Cozy up to an intimate dinner inside a bounty of eclectic and bohemian ambiance awaits behind the tiny and unassuming storefront. Reserve a table and look on over a glass of wine while Chef Richard crafts creative and delicious dishes as the world outside goes by. Take a few steps off the beaten path to enjoy more than the typical visitor and discover a different side of Key West.
Check out our unique vacation rentals in Old Town to start planning your relaxing Key West vacation!