Key West Local Guide from Airbnb Hosts

Key West Local Guide from Airbnb Hosts

Welcome Your Guests to Key West

As an Airbnb host in Key West, you have the opportunity to provide your guests with an unforgettable experience in one of the most vibrant and picturesque locations in the United States. This Key West local guide from Airbnb hosts will help you offer valuable insights and recommendations to ensure your guests make the most of their stay.

Key West Local Guide from Airbnb Hosts

Helping Airbnb Guests Get to Key West

By Air

Inform your guests that the quickest and most convenient way to reach Key West is via Key West International Airport (EYW). The airport offers direct flights from major cities such as Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Atlanta, Charlotte, and Dallas. It’s a small airport, so guests can expect quick baggage claim and rental car pick-up. Mention that taxi and shuttle services are readily available at the airport, providing easy transfers to their accommodations.

By Car

For guests who prefer to drive, suggest renting a car from Miami International Airport (MIA) or Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL). The drive to Key West is approximately 160 miles from Miami and 190 miles from Fort Lauderdale. Encourage your guests to take the scenic Overseas Highway (US 1), which stretches across the Florida Keys, offering stunning ocean views, quaint towns, and unique stops along the way. Popular stops include Key Largo for its famous John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Islamorada for fresh seafood and water sports, and Bahia Honda State Park for its beautiful beaches.

By Ferry

Mention the high-speed ferries operated by Key West Express, which provide a relaxing and scenic route to Key West. The ferries depart daily from Fort Myers Beach and Marco Island, with travel times ranging from 3.5 to 4 hours. Highlight that the ferry experience includes comfortable seating, onboard refreshments, and the chance to spot dolphins and other marine life along the way. Suggest booking tickets in advance, especially during peak travel seasons, to secure a spot on the ferry.

Accommodation Recommendations

Highlighting Your Airbnb

Emphasize the unique features of your Airbnb that make it stand out from other accommodations. Mention its prime location, whether it’s close to popular attractions like Duval Street, Mallory Square, or the beach. Highlight any special amenities, such as a private pool, a hot tub, bicycles for guest use, or a well-equipped kitchen. If you provide extras like beach gear, complimentary snacks, or personalized local guides, be sure to mention these thoughtful touches that can enhance your guests’ stay.

Additional Options

For guests who may be traveling with larger groups or seeking additional amenities, provide information about nearby hotels and resorts. Mention notable options, such as:

Southernmost Beach Resort: A luxurious beachfront resort offering multiple pools, on-site dining, and spa services, perfect for guests looking for a full-service experience.

The Perry Hotel & Marina Key West: Located on Stock Island, this hotel offers a tranquil escape with modern rooms, marina views, and easy access to water activities.

Hyatt Centric Key West Resort & Spa: This resort provides upscale accommodations with waterfront views, a spa, and a prime location near the Historic Seaport.

Casa Marina Key West, A Waldorf Astoria Resort: A historic resort featuring elegant rooms, private beach access, and multiple pools, ideal for guests seeking luxury and history.

By offering a variety of accommodation options, you can ensure your guests have the perfect place to stay, whether they choose your Airbnb or another excellent choice nearby.

Key West Local Guide from Airbnb Hosts

Must-See Attractions in Key West

Mallory Square

Recommend Mallory Square for its nightly Sunset Celebration, where guests can enjoy stunning sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico. The celebration starts about two hours before sunset and features a festive atmosphere with street performers, musicians, local artisans, and food vendors. It’s a perfect spot for families, couples, and solo travelers alike to experience the vibrant culture of Key West.

Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum

Encourage a visit to the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum for a glimpse into the life of the legendary writer. Located in the heart of Old Town, the Spanish Colonial-style mansion is where Hemingway lived and wrote for over a decade. Guests can take guided tours to learn about Hemingway’s life and works and meet the famous six-toed cats that are descendants of Hemingway’s original pets. The lush gardens and historical artifacts make it a fascinating stop for literature and history enthusiasts.

Key West Lighthouse

Suggest climbing the Key West Lighthouse for panoramic views of the island. The lighthouse, built in 1848, stands at 73 feet tall and offers stunning views from the top. The adjacent museum provides historical insights into the lives of the lighthouse keepers and the maritime history of Key West. It’s an excellent spot for photography and learning about the island’s past.

Duval Street

Highlight Duval Street as the main hub of activity in Key West. This lively street stretches from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean and is lined with vibrant bars, eclectic restaurants, unique shops, and art galleries. Daytime visitors can enjoy shopping and exploring the many attractions, while nighttime transforms Duval Street into a bustling scene with live music, entertainment, and nightlife that caters to all tastes.

Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park

Recommend Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park for its blend of history and natural beauty. Guests can explore the historic Civil War-era fort, which offers daily guided tours. The park is also known for its picturesque beach, which is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling. Picnic tables and grills are available, making it an ideal spot for a relaxing day outdoors. The park’s scenic trails and abundant wildlife provide additional opportunities for nature lovers to explore.

Key West Local Guide from Airbnb Hosts

Key West Outdoor Activities to Suggest

Snorkeling and Diving

Promote snorkeling and diving at popular spots like Dry Tortugas National Park and Key West Marine Park for an unforgettable underwater experience. Dry Tortugas National Park, located about 70 miles west of Key West, offers some of the best snorkeling and diving in the region with its pristine coral reefs, diverse marine life, and historic shipwrecks. The park is accessible by ferry or seaplane, making it a unique day trip. Closer to Key West, the Key West Marine Park features vibrant coral reefs, tropical fish, and clear waters, perfect for both novice and experienced snorkelers and divers. Equipment rentals and guided tours are available from various local operators.

Fishing Charters

Encourage guests to book fishing charters for deep-sea, flats, or backcountry fishing, catering to both novice and experienced anglers. Key West is renowned for its world-class fishing opportunities. Deep-sea fishing charters target species like marlin, sailfish, and tuna in the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Flats fishing charters offer the chance to catch bonefish, tarpon, and permit in the shallow waters around the Keys. Backcountry fishing, also known as inshore fishing, allows anglers to explore the tranquil waters of the mangroves and shallow bays, targeting species like snapper, grouper, and redfish. Reputable charter companies provide all necessary gear, licenses, and expert guidance.

Kayaking and Paddleboarding

Suggest renting kayaks or paddleboards to explore the serene mangroves and clear waters, with guided tours available for a closer look at local wildlife. The calm, shallow waters around Key West are ideal for kayaking and paddleboarding, offering a peaceful way to experience the natural beauty of the area. Guided eco-tours take guests through mangrove tunnels and seagrass beds, where they can observe a variety of wildlife, including manatees, dolphins, sea turtles, and numerous bird species. Rental shops around the island provide high-quality equipment and can recommend the best routes for all skill levels.

Biking and Walking Tours

Recommend biking or walking tours to discover Key West’s charm, historical sites, and hidden gems at a leisurely pace. The flat terrain and compact size of Key West make it an ideal location for biking and walking. Numerous rental shops offer bicycles for exploring the island’s picturesque streets and scenic pathways. Self-guided or organized tours can take guests to historic sites such as the Ernest Hemingway Home, the Harry S. Truman Little White House, and the historic Seaport. Walking tours, often led by knowledgeable local guides, provide in-depth insights into Key West’s rich history, unique architecture, and vibrant culture. Specialty tours focusing on ghosts, food, or art are also available for a more tailored experience.

Key West Local Guide from Airbnb Hosts

Key West Dining and Nightlife Tips

Local Cuisine

Guide your guests to try local delicacies that capture the essence of Key West. Suggest iconic dishes such as Key Lime Pie, conch fritters, and fresh seafood. Key Lime Pie, a tart and sweet dessert made with local Key limes, is a must-try treat. Recommended spots include Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe and Blue Heaven. Conch fritters, a local favorite, can be enjoyed at places like Conch Republic Seafood Company and BO’s Fish Wagon. For fresh seafood, advise guests to visit Eaton Street Seafood Market or Half Shell Raw Bar, where they can savor the catch of the day, including grouper, snapper, and Key West pink shrimp.

Fine Dining

For guests seeking a gourmet experience, suggest fine dining restaurants that offer exquisite dishes and ocean views. Latitudes, located on Sunset Key, provides a luxurious dining experience with stunning waterfront views and a menu featuring locally sourced ingredients. Another top choice is Hot Tin Roof, offering elegant cuisine with a tropical twist and panoramic views of the Gulf of Mexico. For an intimate dining experience, recommend Café Marquesa, known for its creative dishes and sophisticated atmosphere. Make sure to advise guests to book reservations in advance, especially during peak seasons.

Bars and Nightclubs

Highlight the lively nightlife on Duval Street, known for its vibrant array of bars and nightclubs catering to different tastes and preferences. For a classic Key West experience, suggest Sloppy Joe’s Bar, a historic establishment once frequented by Ernest Hemingway. Another popular spot is Green Parrot Bar, famous for its live music and laid-back vibe. For those seeking a unique experience, recommend The Rum Bar at the Speakeasy Inn, which boasts an extensive selection of rums and craft cocktails. Dance enthusiasts can head to Rick’s Bar or Aqua Nightclub, both offering lively atmospheres and entertainment. Remind guests that many bars feature live music, open mic nights, and themed parties, ensuring there’s always something exciting happening on Duval Street.

Key West Local Guide from Airbnb Hosts

Key West Events and Festivals

Fantasy Fest

Inform guests about Fantasy Fest, held annually in October. This 10-day extravaganza transforms Key West into a vibrant celebration filled with parades, costume contests, themed parties, and street fairs. The highlight of the festival is the Fantasy Fest Parade, featuring elaborate floats, music, and dazzling costumes. Encourage guests to join the fun by dressing up and participating in the many themed events, such as the Masquerade March and the Headdress Ball. Emphasize the importance of booking accommodations early, as this popular event attracts visitors from all over the world.

Hemingway Days

Promote Hemingway Days, held every July, to celebrate the life and legacy of the renowned author Ernest Hemingway, who lived in Key West during the 1930s. The festival features a variety of events, including the famous Hemingway Look-Alike Contest at Sloppy Joe’s Bar, where participants compete to see who most resembles the author. Other activities include literary readings, book signings, and a three-day marlin fishing tournament that pays homage to Hemingway’s love for the sport. Guests can also enjoy a Key West-style running of the bulls, guided tours of Hemingway’s favorite haunts, and a street fair showcasing local artisans and food vendors.

Key West Food and Wine Festival

Encourage food enthusiasts to attend the Key West Food and Wine Festival, held every January. This event celebrates the island’s rich culinary scene with a series of tastings, wine dinners, and culinary demonstrations by top chefs and sommeliers. Highlights include the Sunset Grand Tasting, which offers a sampling of gourmet dishes and fine wines against the backdrop of a stunning Key West sunset, and the Key West Kitchen Tour, where guests can explore some of the island’s most beautiful homes and gardens while enjoying delicious food and wine pairings. Additionally, the festival features interactive cooking classes, wine tastings, and seminars on food and wine pairings, making it a must-visit event for culinary aficionados.

Other Notable Events

While Fantasy Fest, Hemingway Days, and the Key West Food and Wine Festival are among the most popular events, Key West hosts a variety of other notable festivals throughout the year. Encourage guests to check out the Key West Songwriters Festival in May, which brings together talented songwriters for live performances at various venues around the island. For seafood lovers, the Key West Lobsterfest in August celebrates the start of lobster season with a weekend of feasting, live music, and a street fair. Finally, the Key West Film Festival in November showcases independent films and offers guests the opportunity to meet filmmakers and attend special screenings and events. By highlighting these diverse events, you can help your guests plan an unforgettable visit to Key West.

Key West Local Guide from Airbnb Hosts

Suggested Itinerary for Key West Airbnb Guests

Day 1: Historical Exploration

Morning: Visit the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum

Start your day with a visit to the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum. Located in the heart of Old Town, this historic residence offers a fascinating glimpse into the life of the legendary author. Guests can take a guided tour to learn about Hemingway’s time in Key West, his famous works, and his love for cats. The lush gardens and the presence of the famous six-toed cats add to the charm of the visit.

Afternoon: Explore the Key West Lighthouse

In the afternoon, head over to the Key West Lighthouse and Keeper’s Quarters Museum. Climb the 88 steps to the top of the lighthouse for panoramic views of the island and the surrounding waters. The museum adjacent to the lighthouse provides insights into the history of Key West’s maritime heritage and the lives of the lighthouse keepers.

Evening: Enjoy the Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square

Finish the day at Mallory Square for the nightly Sunset Celebration. This vibrant event starts about two hours before sunset and features street performers, musicians, local artisans, and food vendors. Watching the sun set over the Gulf of Mexico is a breathtaking experience and the perfect way to end a day of exploration.

Day 2: Outdoor Adventures

Morning: Snorkeling Trip to Dry Tortugas National Park

Kick off your second day with an early morning snorkeling trip to Dry Tortugas National Park. Accessible by ferry or seaplane, this remote park is known for its crystal-clear waters, vibrant coral reefs, and diverse marine life. Guests can explore the underwater world, visit the historic Fort Jefferson, and enjoy the pristine beaches. Be sure to bring sunscreen, water, and snacks for a day of adventure.

Afternoon: Kayak Tour Through the Mangroves

After returning from Dry Tortugas, embark on a guided kayak tour through the mangroves. This serene and educational tour allows guests to paddle through the calm waters, navigate through mangrove tunnels, and observe local wildlife such as manatees, dolphins, and various bird species. Many local outfitters offer eco-friendly tours that highlight the importance of preserving these unique ecosystems.

Evening: Dinner at a Local Seafood Restaurant, Followed by a Stroll Along Duval Street

Conclude the day with a delicious dinner at a local seafood restaurant. Recommend places like A&B Lobster House for an upscale dining experience or Conch Republic Seafood Company for a more casual setting with waterfront views. After dinner, take a leisurely stroll along Duval Street, exploring the lively bars, shops, and galleries. The street comes alive at night, offering a vibrant atmosphere and plenty of entertainment options.

Day 3: Relaxation and Leisure

Morning: Relax on the Beach at Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park

Spend the morning relaxing on the beach at Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park. Known for its clear waters and beautiful sandy shores, it’s a great spot for swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling. Guests can also explore the historic fort, which played a role in the Civil War and Spanish-American War. The park’s picnic areas and scenic trails offer additional leisure activities.

Afternoon: Shopping and Sightseeing on Duval Street

In the afternoon, dive into some shopping and sightseeing on Duval Street. The street is lined with unique boutiques, art galleries, and souvenir shops. Guests can find everything from local artwork and handcrafted jewelry to quirky gifts and tropical clothing. Encourage them to visit the Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, where they can walk among hundreds of free-flying butterflies and exotic birds.

Evening: Experience the Local Nightlife and Live Music

End the final day by experiencing Key West’s renowned nightlife. Duval Street offers a wide range of bars and nightclubs to suit all tastes. Recommend Sloppy Joe’s Bar for a lively atmosphere with live music or The Green Parrot Bar for a more laid-back vibe with great drinks and local bands. For a unique experience, suggest a visit to the Sunset Pier, where guests can enjoy cocktails and live music with a beautiful ocean view.

By following this suggested itinerary, your guests will have a well-rounded experience of Key West, blending historical exploration, outdoor adventures, and leisure activities that showcase the best of what the island has to offer.

Key West Local Guide from Airbnb Hosts


By sharing this “Key West Local Guide from Airbnb Hosts” with your Airbnb guests, you can help ensure they have an unforgettable and enriching stay in one of the most scenic and lively destinations in the United States. From assisting them with travel arrangements to suggesting top-tier accommodations, must-visit attractions, outdoor adventures, dining, nightlife, and local events, this guide covers everything they need. Your personalized recommendations and insider tips will enhance their experience, allowing them to immerse themselves in the unique culture, history, and natural splendor of Key West. With this comprehensive guide, you will not only improve your hosting capabilities but also help your guests create lasting memories of their remarkable Key West getaway.