Best Areas to Stay in Key West Pin 4

Going to the Southernmost U.S. City and wondering where to stay in Key West?

On this list, you’ll find the 7 best places to stay in Key West for first-timers, partygoers, culture vultures, families, solo travelers, and anyone in between.

No matter whether you want to stay close to the beach, party the night away, or wake up next to the city’s most famous attractions, these are the best hotels in Key West.

Ready to explore?

Let’s discover where to stay in Key West for an unforgettable vacation.

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The Best Hotels to Stay in Key West

Key West offers posh beach resorts, exquisite boutique hotels, quaint bed-and-breakfast guesthouses, and unique apartments in historic mansions.

You can even find accommodation on private boats and yachts.

To make your search for the best places to stay in Key West easier, we’ve selected several great properties that you should explore. And by the way, don’t let a few negative reviews sway you from booking the perfect accommodation. Sometimes haters and competitors leave bad reviews – read through them and decide for yourself whether to trust them.

In a nutshell, these are the best hotels in Key West that we highly recommend checking out:

🏨 💲💲💲 Ocean Key Resort & Spa: The best luxurious spa hotel in Key West offers an exquisite wellness area and quirky rooms in bright colors that will spellbind you.

🏨 💲💲 Casa Marina: The best beach resort in Key West boasts a private white-sand beach and spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean. It also offers oceanside massages and two oceanfront pools for your ultimate relaxation.

🏨 💲 Silver Palms Inn: The coziest and budget-friendliest Key West hotel will enchant you with its tropical garden, cooling swimming pool, and spacious, stylish rooms.

The Best Places to Stay in Key West

The town of Key West is divided into 13 neighborhoods. Note that not all of them are exciting for travelers.

Below, you’ll find the best places to stay in Key West on your next Florida vacation.

1. Historic District: The Best Place to Stay in Key West for Victorian Mansions

Hemingway House and Museum
Stay in the Historic District for the Victorian mansions, such as the Hemingway House and Museum

The Historic District or Key West’s Old Town covers most of the city’s area.

Between the seashore and the streets Angela, White, and Whitehead, you’ll find almost 200 historic buildings and structures.

Stay in this area if you fancy Victorian architecture with a touch of Spanish and Bahamian influences.

In the Old Town, you’ll find The Hemingway Home and Museum, the historic Key West Lighthouse, and the Key West Cemetery.

Don’t miss a chance to count all the chickens you encounter. A funny fact about Key West is that there are more hens roaming its streets than humans.

The best hotels in Key West Historic District:

🏨 Silver Palms Inn: The cozy 3* Key West hotel will pamper you with its tropical garden, cooling swimming pool, and spacious, stylish rooms.

🏨 Kimpton Winslow’s Bungalows: The cute bungalows offer the comfort of a three-star hotel. It features an inviting tropical garden, a chill swimming pool, and comfortable rooms.

2. Mallory Square and Key West Bight Marina: The Best Place in Key West for Sunsets, Boats, and Museums

Key West Sunset at Mallory Square
The stunning Key West Sunset viewed from Mallory Square

The area around Mallory Square houses most of the city’s museums. The square itself proudly hosts one of the coolest sunset celebrations you’ll ever experience.

In this neighborhood, you can explore several attractions and quirky museums, such as:

  • The Key West Aquarium;
  • The Shipwreck Treasures Museum;
  • The Mel Fisher Maritime Museum;
  • Truman’s Little White House; and
  • The Key West Museum of Art and History.

Further down the coastline, you’ll also find the historic Key West Bight Marina. Next to it, you’ll discover the interactive Sails To Rails Museum at Flagler Station and the ferry to the Dry Tortugas National Park. Apart from a day trip to the park, you can also hop on a snorkeling tour or a sunset cruise from the pier.

Stay in the area if you wish to watch the boats sail from the historic port or to experience the sunset celebrations.

The best hotels in Key West Bight Marina:

🏨 Sunset at Harbour Place: Pick this exceptional, spacious holiday home for the fantastic views, huge living area, fully equipped kitchen, and outdoor pool.

🏨 Ocean Key Resort & Spa: If you prefer luxurious resorts, this 4* gem with its exquisite wellness area and quirky rooms in bright colors will enchant you.

3. Duval Street: The Best Area in Key West for Pub Crawls and Night Life

Duval Street Bar
Bars and pubs line Duval Street and invite for drinks till the wee hours

The 1.25-mile-long Duval Street is the heart of the nightlife in Key West. The road runs from coast to coast. Victorian mansions featuring Bahamian and Spanish influences line its sides.

Most of the travelers who visit the town for more than a day spend at least one evening bar hopping.

Even if you decide to book your lodging away from the hustle of the party mile, you should still visit some of the iconic Key West bars and pubs.

The most famous establishments are:

  • The historic Sloppy Joe’s, Hemingway’s favorite bar in Key West, serving great rums and cocktails.
  • The original Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville Café playing nightly live music shows.
  • The lively Flying Monkeys bar which makes arguably the best frozen cocktails in Key West.

Tip: You can also find great locales in Whitehead Street, which runs parallel to Duval Street. For example, check out the Green Parrot Bar, established in 1890.  

If you wish to fall from your chair right into your bed, pick one of the accommodations below.

The best hotels in Duval Street:

🏨 Duval House Bed and Breakfast: If you’re looking for a cozy, unpretentious, and affordable stay, choose this cute B&B. You can relax in its gorgeous tropical garden after a long day of exploration or an endless night of partying.

🏨 Orchid Key Inn: If you prefer more luxurious accommodation, check out the Orchid Key Inn. The modern, spacious rooms, the refreshing swimming pool, and the happy hour at the inn’s bar will make your stay exceptional.

4. Bahama Village: The Best Place in Key West for Caribbean Flairs

Bahama Village
The colorful sign which welcomes visitors to the Bahama Village

The residential Bahama Village seduces with its radiant Caribbean architecture and laid-back vibe. 

After arriving in the area in the 19th century, the Bahamian settlers opened shops, bars, and restaurants in the area. Locals have always loved hanging up there. Even Hemingway has often visited and watched arm wrestling and boxing matches.

Nowadays, open-air restaurants line Petronia Street. Treat yourself to their mouthwatering seafood dishes and coconut-rich cocktails. Many will entertain you with live music sessions as well.

The charming area stretches for 12 blocks. If you enjoy vibrant colors and Caribbean flavors, book your accommodation in Bahama Village.

The best hotels in Bahama Village:

🏨 The Galleria – Salvador’s Suite #4: The cozy apartment is located in a typical Caribbean house in the heart of Bahama Village, close to all of Key West’s attractions. You’ll have access to a kitchenette, a patio, and a small, refreshing swimming pool.

5. Casa Marina: The Best Place in Key West for a Perfect Beach Vacation

Southernmost Point
The Southernmost Point is probably the most famous photo op in Key West

An island vacation is (mostly) about the beach.

In Key West, the best beaches are in an area called Casa Marina. The tiny neighborhood boasts the best Key West beaches. These include:

  • Rest Beach: a white-sand stretch, great for sunbathing, picnicking, and gathering seashells.
  • Higgs Beach: a small sandy beach with clear waters, perfect for surfing, kayaking, and snorkeling.
  • Straw Hat Beach: the most secluded Key West beach, great for escaping the crowds.
  • Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park: the beach in the park is arguably the best Key West beach. We’ll leave finding out if that’s true to you.

One of the most surprising facts about Key West is that the sand on its beaches comes from the Bahamas.

In Casa Marina, you’ll also find the Southernmost Point of the Continental U.S.A. The buoy is the most popular photo spot in town and one of the things Key West is most famous for.

If you’re looking for the perfect resort for your beach vacation, here are the hotels with the best beach in Key West.

The best hotels in Key West Casa Marina:

🏨 Casa Marina: Adjacent to Higgs Beach, you’ll find Casa Marina. It boasts a private white-sand beach and spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean. Located in a 1920s resort, it offers oceanside massages and two oceanfront pools for your ultimate relaxation.

🏨 The Reach: This is another great resort with private beach access. The funky design of the outdoor areas, the refreshing swimming pool, and the spacious rooms with fantastic ocean vistas make The Reach one of the best hotels in Key West.

6. Smathers Beach: The Best Key West Area for Sunbathing

Smathers Beach
Smathers Beach – the largest public beach in Key West

The only other “beach area” in Key West is around Smathers Beach.

It’s located next to the Key West Airport. Some might find the airplanes taking off over their heads bothersome, while others might think them fascinating. If you’re in the second group, you’ll love your stay at Smathers Beach.

The sand on the most popular and largest Key West beach also came from the Bahamas. Smathers Beach is perfect for volleyball, jet skiing, and windsurfing.

The best hotels in Key West near Smathers Beach:

🏨 Margaritaville Beach House Key West: Stay at this gorgeous establishment for the peaceful location a few steps from the beach. You can take advantage of the free water activities, the large swimming pool, and the luxurious amenities.

7. Stock Island: The Best Place in Key West for Budget-Friendly Family Accommodations

Stock Island
The bridge that connects Key West and Stock Island

If you prefer to stay a bit further from the partying crowds in Key West, then Stock Island is the best place for you.

The island is even smaller than the southernmost inhabited island of the Florida Keys. The establishments you’ll find here aren’t as crowded and pricy as the ones in the City of Key West.

Situated just 3 mi (4.8 km) from the Old Town, you can choose from several great, affordable resorts here.

Crossing one bridge is all it takes to get from Stock Island to Key West. If you’re traveling by car, this will only take a couple of minutes. And if you don’t have a vehicle at your disposal, you can ride the Key West bus for just $2.

The best hotels in Key West Stock Island:

🏨 Perry Hotel & Marina Key West: The fabulous hotel seduces with luxury accommodations, two waterfront pools, three dockside restaurants, and a complimentary shuttle service to the Old Town.

Now You Know Where To Stay in Key West Next Time You Visit

Victorian Mansions in Key West
No more wondering where to stay in Key West – now you know the best places to stay in the southernmost U.S. city

There you have it – the 7 best areas to stay in Key West on your trip to the southernmost U.S. city.

Despite its compact size, the town offers a wide variety of accommodations.

Sure, prices aren’t cheap, even in the off-season. However, the interesting designs, the luxurious amenities, and the great service make the experience worth your money.

So, regardless of whether you want to soak in history and culture, party the night away, or relax at the beach, you’ll find the best Key West hotel for you.

And if you need inspiration on things to do during your visit, check out our Key West travel guide.

Now, we’d like to hear from you:

Where will you stay in Key West next time you visit?

Tell us in the comments below!

Where to Stay in Key West Pin 2
Where to Stay in Key West Pin 1
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Naddya has been road tripping on four continents in altitudes from 0 to 4,655 m. She spent 12 years in Germany studying, working, and partying. In this time, she visited approximately 253 European cities by planes, trains, and automobiles. Her favorite activity is to get lost and then find her way again. Fun fact: Naddya has a love for islands and a hatred for tan-lines.

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