Gay Travel Guide to Key West, Florida
Key West lays claim to be the southernmost tip USA. Situated at the souther tip of Forida and just 90km north of Cuba Key West is the final island at the end of The Keys and has been a homo holiday haunt for many years.
We originally Key West back in 1994 as part of a two week holiday when we took in Orlando, Disneyland and Miami, South Beach on our return. We hired a car and drove all the way south from Orlando (8 hours in one day). Felt like Thelma and Louise at the time and remember arriving tired and knackered after the long journey. This year having spent a week partying in Miami we decided to fly down which is much quicker. We once again booked into the Oasis Hotel (822 Fleming Street Tel: 305 296 2131). As before a beautiful hotel, smarter than even before and now with the luxury of a 24 man heated jacuzzi. Several nights of gay entertainment followed, lying in the pool drinking wine around midnight in a balmy climate with good company. A million miles away from the dreadful cold and wet weather back at home.
If flying from the UK you will probably go via Miami. (We booked our flights via Ebookers flying British airways were offering a free internal flights in the States. This enabled us to have a week in Miami and then fly onto Key West for 4 days at the end of the holiday). If you are flying in Orlando or Miami you can hire a car and drive south from Miami (4 Hours) or Orlanda (8 hours non stop). Flying from Miami to Key West takes just 30 minutes). If you're spending two weeks in Florida possibly seeing Orlando, or Miami it is worth taking some time out to travel down to the Keys, not least for the fantastic views as you drive from island to island along The Keys.
We hired scooters/motorbikes to get round the island. There are excellent coral reefs off the coast of Key West and regular boat trips. Jet Skiing, Scuba Diving and Paracending are also readily available.
Gay Bar and Clubs:
Although not in same league as Miami for nite life, Key West has several gay bars and one or two small clubs. There is a nightly drag show at 11pm at 801 Duval Street. If you fancy GoGo boys try Dukes.
Peak season for Key West is the winter months (November - April) when Florida is still warm whereas northern America is probably freezing. Given the uncertain nature of the summer weather/ hurricane it might be worth avoiding the summer months. We still managed to get a day of rain although the following day was back to glorious sunshine.
is a man made beach on the east side of Key West. Most people perfer
to sun themselves round the hotel pool amongst the palm trees.
Shopping and Eating Out.
Duval Street has many gay bars and restaurants worth checking out. With around 300 gay owned businesses in the town it is not surprising to see rainbow flags in many shop windows.
If you avoid the many shops selling tatty tee-shirts there are many pretty shops selling a range of ornaments and gifts. If you're after a new top then try . Huge range of queeny tops, swinwear and accessories. Puts clone zone to shame.
If you fancy a good holiday read there try "Flaming Maggie's" Bookshop (830 Fleming Street Tel: 305 294 3931). The shop has a huge range of gay books, art as well as coffee and soft drinks.
Eating out. We can recommend Antonios (615 Duval Street. Tel: 305 294 6565). Delicious italian cuisine and excellent service. If you want a filling snack during the day try Sloppy Joes. Not gay but part of the history of Key West and their "Sloppy Chips" should keep any growing lad happy.
Gay Friendly Accommodation:
Key West has a plethora of gay friendly hotels and guesthouses. There are a number situated along Fleming Street and thoroughout the centre of the old town. Click here or use the search facility at the top of this page for a list of Key West hotels and guesthouses.
We have fond memories of Key West. We found the place very relaxing, certainly compared to the hustle and bustle of Orlando and Miami. It is certainly gay friendly with numerous gay hotels, and gay owned shops, bars and restaurants. The town is very beautiful, with some gorgeous hotels and guesthouses. Although these days catering more and more for the mainstream tourist, cruise ships etc, Key West still retains its charm and many attractions for the gay tourist.
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