The once-sleepy fishing town of Key West has long been a preferred retreat for those seeking sun, rum, and the release of their inner Hemingway. The good times of a Trinidad or Barbados can be had, with picturesque beaches to sleep off the fun the next day. With a slowdown in cruise traffic, and no need for passport or mandatory Covid-testing protocol, this is a great time to visit the southernmost point of the United States.
And where better to stay than The Southernmost Beach Resort?
This luxe oasis from the chaos—which can be as much of a signature of the Key West experience as a visit to the 90-miles-to-Cuba “Southernmost Point” monument just down the road—awaits to envelop guests in breezy, well-appointed modern digs. Tucked in Historic Old Town on Key West’s serene Atlantic Coast, the muted colors of the sand and sea are mirrored throughout the freshly renovated decor.
The contemporary coastal resort remains tops on the island, its unmatched location boosted by the easy stroll from Duval Street’s architecture and nightlife. On the grounds, a lush tropical garden winds between the crisp white buildings, walkways opening to private beaches, seaside yoga grounds, a dedicated tanning pier, and Southernmost Beach Café, one of the most popular restaurants in this destination.
Did Someone Say Food?
The Café sits on a large expanse of golden sand, offering the freshest of local boat-to-table seafood and a blend of Caribbean, Cuban, and Asian-fusion cuisine. Hit adjacent local-fave Ana’s Cuban Cafe for excellent cafe con leche or a platanito omelette to start the day. Guests can also opt for light bites and flatbreads from several poolside bars, enjoying frosty boat drinks accompanied by live island music throughout the day.
Wrap up a day on the sea with an alfresco stop for chilled oysters or beer-steamed clams at Alonzo’s Oyster Bar’s popular Happy Hour, an institution since ‘47 with a marina location right on the water.
Working Up Another Appetite
Fins to the left, fins to the right, and if you are up for exploring the local marine life, there is only one shop in town to visit: Southpoint Divers. Located in the heart of Old Town, this Front Street shop is packed with everything a diver or snorkeler could need to go hang with Key West’s amazing undersea wildlife. The Phoenix, docked directly across the street, makes twice daily trips to a wealth of dive and snorkel sites.
Highlights are the aquarium-like Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary—third largest in the world and the only living coral barrier reef in the United States—and The Vandenberg, a 520-ft long, 100-ft tall shipwreck which acts as the world’s second largest artificial reef. Snorkelers and those wanting to try out SCUBA with a “Dive in a Day” will especially enjoy the afternoon double reef trip, with shallow clear water packed with tropical fish and sea life.
Getting there is Half the Fun
With bases in both Fort Lauderdale Airport and Miami, the amphibious seaplane pros at Tropic Ocean Airways can get you whisked away to your Keys experience in a thrilling whoosh, skimming over the reefs, past lighthouses, stretches of bonefish flats, and likely over a long row of cars traversing the Seven Mile Bridge.
An exciting excursion of its own, this is one case where it truly is about the journey, not the destination. (Although it doesn’t hurt to gain hours of extra relaxation and beach time bypassing traffic.) With piers and calm seas, you can “Fly Tropic” with their concierge level service (chilled scented cloths and refreshments on boarding, yes please) and touch down directly at your resort for that true otherworldly energy… as well as some envious glances from fellow guests.