The Ultimate Vacation Destination for Boaters
Known for its live-and-let-live attitude, tropical climate, and seemingly continuous happy hour, Key West has been welcoming visitors seeking a vacation for two centuries. Since its earliest days, people have come to Key West to fish, write, play, relax, carouse, and rejuvenate. From the famous, including Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams – Key West has always been a place where you can be yourself, find yourself, or re-invent yourself.
Boaters are drawn to the southernmost point having easy entry into Key West Harbor. The harbor is well marked and can be approached from the Gulf of Mexico via the Northwest Channel or by the Atlantic via the Main Ship Channel.
With five downtown marina locations it’s an easy entry once in port. Conch Harbor Marina, AB Marina, City Marina, and the Galleon Marina are well protected and offer slips for boats up to 200 feet. With all Marinas having an old town location it is an easy walk to the world-famous Duval Street.
Many boaters enjoy the laid-back pace on the docks. As the day unwinds most people will find themselves enjoying the Duval Street nightlife. With 43 bars just on Duval alone, it’s easy to find one that fits your personal needs. Sloppy Joes, Irish Kevins, and Captain Tonys are some of the most visited. If the bar atmosphere doesn’t excite you, the many restaurants and shops will get your attention.
Duval Street is also the home to museums, souvenir shops, galleries, cafés and is an excellent place to people-watch while sightseeing during the several annual events and parades, including the Hemingway Days festival each summer and the Fantasy Fest, a ten-day costume party each October.
Just Steps away from most marinas are the “local” favorite places that dish out great happy hour food and drink specials. Dante’s Pool Bar, Half Shell Raw Bar, The Boat House, and the Conch Republic run these specials starting around 4 pm.
Key West brings in the boating community for more reasons besides the land activities. Quick and easy access to the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Both sides can be reached within minutes once leaving port. The Gulf has great bottom fishing and local sand bars to enjoy the Caribbean clear waters. Many people enjoy the Gulf side for lobstering as it is shallower and has many ledges.
The Atlantic side has the 3rd largest barrier reef in the world at 170 miles. The Scuba Diving and snorkeling are always on the list for visiting seafarers. Some of the better dive and snorkel stops are Western Dry Rocks, Vandenberg Shipwreck, Marquesas Rock, and the Sambos.
The Reef and wrecks are great for bottom fishing and the offshore fishing can be world class. To get past the reef and fish the blue water are only 7-15 miles from port. Key West brings schools of Mahi-Mahi, Tuna, Sailfish, and Wahoo offshore. Visiting the Reefs and Wrecks you will find a variety of species including yellowtail snappers, muttons, groupers, sharks, barracudas, king mackerel, and cobia.
Bahia Honda State Park is home to what is undoubtedly the nicest beach in the Keys, and one of the most beautiful beaches in Florida. The park has two separate beach areas, one large stretch facing the open ocean, and another smaller beach area that looks across to the old railroad bridge.
Views are impressive from either side. The park covers approximately 400 acres and offers snorkeling boat tours, beach equipment rental, and concessions. There is also a campground area, as well as picnic sites.
If making a multiday trip is on your bucket list, 70 miles west of Key West is the Dry Tortugas National Park. People visit for the birdwatching, fishing, and snorkeling and being so remote the star gazing at night is out of this world.
Hosting special events like Fantasy Fest, Power boat Racing, and many fishing tournaments all make visiting Key West great for multiple trips. With international travel such a pain these days, one can get the atmosphere and waters of the Caribbean without needing a passport!
Tampa Yacht Sales is excited to announce that we now have representation in Key West. Captain Eric Evans has joined the Tampa Yacht Sales team to help our customers based in the Florida Keys with their boating needs. With over 10,000 hours on the water throughout the Keys and the Caribbean Captain Evans brings extensive knowledge of the Florida Keys and the surrounding waters and will be a tremendous asset to our buyers and sellers in the area.
For more information about getting the right price for your boat contact Shane Faunce at Tampa Yacht Sales at (813) 696-3477 for more information or view our current listings.
Have a questions? Let us know!