Private jet charter to Key West
This far-off, sun-kissed island city has been singing from its own hymn sheet since its 19th-century wrecking days. Being closer to the coast Cuba than Miami, its vibe is more Caribbean than North American and its liberal outlook on life has attracted a wide range of eccentric characters, artists and rum-fuelled literary greats to its paradise shores.
Set at the tip of the Florida Keys, a coral archipelago off the coast of the Sunshine State, you can’t get any further south on the continental United States than Key West. For a small island – it’s just over four miles long and just over a mile wide – it packs a lot in. There’s an Old Town where lively streets are lined with bars, restaurants and shops; a historic waterfront; a great selection of museums; and you can even reach a National Park that sits just under 70 miles away!
Just reaching the island is an experience in itself. You can, of course, fly into Key West International Airport or arrive by ferry departing from Ft. Myers Beach; however, for a real treat you should drive along the Overseas Highway. Once of the USA’s most scenic drives and designated an All American Road, this 113-mile highway takes you from key to scenic key en route to your final destination.
On arrival, most visitors head straight for the Old Town, which covers most of the western half of the island. The most iconic street here is Duval Street, a bustling thoroughfare where you’ll find not only the most popular restaurants, bars and nightclubs but most of the people too. Much like New Orleans’ Bourbon Street, this is a real party street with a fantastic atmosphere. The crowds are drawn to famous bars such as Fat Tuesday and the iconic Sloppy Joe’s; however if you want to more of an authentic experience, do as the locals do and grab a drink at the likes of The Green Parrot Bar on Whitehead Street.
As well as party venues, restaurants and shops, Key West boasts some real architectural gems. The Old Town is scattered with thousands of vibrant wooden buildings built by shipwrights in the late 19th Century and early 20th Century. The style of these houses reflects the Bahamian, Cuban and New England heritage of those who built them and they really add to the unique island vibe. We recommend spending time in the Key West Historic Seaport, a beautifully refurbished waterfront area, before watching the sun set nearby at the famous Mallory Square. More than just stopping for half an hour or so to watch the sun dip below the horizon, this is actually a celebration that begins two hours before the main event. Enjoy watching the street performers and musicians and soak up the party atmosphere. If you’d rather enjoy a quieter sunset experience, head to Fort Zachery Taylor National Park or join a sunset cruise departing from the marina.
While the after-dark hours are a lively affair, daytime can be altogether more sedate. The island has its fair share of museums and sights, the most popular being the Truman Little White House (the winter residence of former US President Harry S. Truman) and the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, where he lived from 1931 to 1939. If watersports are more your thing, you’re in luck as there are many ways to enjoy the clear turquoise waters surrounding Key West. Diving is a popular pastime in the Florida Keys, along with kayaking, stand-up paddle-boarding, jet skiing and dolphin watching.
Aside from the year-round warm temperatures, eclectic vibe and natural beauty, people flock here for the great food. The Florida Keys are the birthplace of one of the nation’s favourite desserts, Key lime pie, and seafood is understandably a staple. Be sure to try conch fritters (a delicacy brought over from the Bahamas which is created by deep frying sweet conch meat), fresh stone crab and some of the best Cuban dishes this side of the Florida Straits. Restaurants range from side-of-the-road food trucks and hole-in-the-wall eateries to high-end restaurants overseen by award-winning chefs, so there are plenty of options to suit all tastes.
Although not strictly in or near Key West, Dry Tortugas National Park is relatively easily reached from the island. You can take your own boat, board a seaplane or catch the ferry to the small cays and historic Fort Jefferson. Once here, snorkel over vibrant coral reefs and shipwrecks, explore the unfinished American Civil War fortress or find a secluded stretch of sand before returning to Key West later in the day.
Key West is accessible from the international airport, which is located in the south-eastern corner of the island. Alternatively, you can choose to land at one of southern Florida’s airports and drive along the Overseas Highway.Simply contact our team and we’ll arrange everything you need to charter a private jet to Key West.