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Visiting Key West on a Budget

By: Karrie Carnes

Want to visit Key West without breaking your budget? Here are some sites, activities and lodging to ensure that your vacation is both memorable and affordable.

Explore a Tropical Oasis in a Historic Fort
Take a relaxing stroll through the serene gardens of seaside West Martello Tower, home of the Key West Garden Club. Here, giant banyan trees engulf brick archways while exotic orchids and bromeliads beg to have their pictures taken.
Cost: Free

Gain a Greater Appreciation for Local Wildlife
The Key West Wildlife Center, inside the eight-acre Sonny McCoy Indigenous Park, rescues and rehabilitates hundreds of animals each year, many of which are birds. Take the shaded nature walk to the pond or quietly admire some of the center’s recovering “patients” in the aviary.
Cost: Free

End Your Day With a Sunset Celebration
Whether you’re traveling with family or have snuck away for a romantic weekend with your special someone, the Key West sunset is sure to impress. Head over to Mallory Square for an experience that only Key West can provide. Watch as the sun dips below the horizon in a dazzling display of pink and red light. Be sure to stick around for a stroll along the waterfront where multiple vendors and live entertainers set up shop. This unique celebration takes place nightly.
Cost: Free

Experience the Coral Reef Without Getting Wet
Image of Fury Sand Key Coral Reef
Explore the wonders of the underwater world at the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center on the Truman Waterfront. Interactive exhibits highlight marine habitats, and a 2,500-gallon aquarium showcases native reef fish. Be sure to check out the film “Reflections of the Florida Keys” in the theater!
Cost: Free

Get Some Sand Between Your Toes
Pack a cooler and head to Fort Zachary Taylor State Park for a day at the beach! The 54-acre park includes a historic fort, shaded picnic tables, a cafe, snorkeling and incredible ocean views.
Cost: Pedestrians & bicycles $2, vehicle (one person) $4.50, vehicle (two to eight people) $6.50

Explore the Island’s Charming Neighborhoods
Want to see Key West at your own leisurely pace? Rent a bike from Fury Water Adventures and explore the island without having to worry about parking a car. You can easily spend an entire day admiring the historic architecture, charming neighborhoods and lush landscapes that have made Key West famous.
Cost: $18 for 24 hours, multi-day and weekly rates available

Get a Birds’ Eye View of Key West
Key West Lighthouse Exterior
The best view to truly appreciate the beauty of the entire island is at the top of the Key West Lighthouse. The 88 steps aren’t for the faint of heart, but the view makes the climb well worth it as the island unfolds before you in 360 degrees!
Cost: Adults $10, children 6 and up $5, students $5, seniors $9

Literary Lodgings
Authors of Key West Guesthouse, located in the quiet neighborhood of The Meadows, is within biking distance from the historic seaport and Duval Street. Choose from cottages with full kitchens or rooms in the two-story main house, each named after an author who called Key West home. Enjoy the pool, free Wi-Fi, cable TV and continental breakfast.
Cost: Varies on room and time of year

The Southernmost Hostel in the US
The Seashell Motel is both an affordable motel with private rooms and the island’s only hostel featuring 10-bed dorm style rooms. Located only a few blocks from the end of Duval Street and the Southernmost Point, guests can enjoy free street parking, free Wi-Fi and even free bicycles (first come first served).
Cost: Varies on room and time of year

In the Heart of Old Town
From poolside honeymoon suites to rooms with shared bathrooms, the Angelina Guest House located two blocks from Duval Street is a great option for those on a budget who want to be close to the action. Their rooms have no televisions or telephones, but the pool is heated and continental breakfast is served daily.
Cost: Varies on room and time of year

Take the stress out of planning your value-priced vacation to paradise and contact the Key West Information Center at (888) 222-5590. Our experienced agents are dedicated to providing you with the best Key West vacation packages at the best prices, guaranteed!