Alongside New York City and New Orleans, Key West Florida is one of North America's premier locations to ring in the new year in style. The feeling of excitement, revelry, and all-around good times is tangible in the air when celebrating the end of the last year and the beginning of the new year in Key West. As I write this, we are only a few days away from New Year 2010 celebrations in Key West Florida and you can already feel the excitement building. The people have already begun to pour in and you will have quite a hard time finding a place to stay in one of the downtown Key West hotels at this point. But don't let that stop you from making your way down to the United States' southernmost island. There is plenty to do, plenty to see, and plenty of people to cheers to this week. And, of course, the culmination of the Key West holiday season happens Thursday night with the ringing in of the New Year and lowering of the Conch shell (Key West's own take on the famous New York ball drop that takes place at midnight on New Year's Eve).
What To Do On New Years
It doesn't matter where in downtown Key West you are for New Year's, everywhere you go there's a party! Many people just put on their New Year's outfit and hit the streets and let the night take them wherever it will. But you can also take a somewhat more structured approach. One excellent way to start your night off right is to go on a Key West sunset cruise. The best one to go on for New Years is the Commotion on the Ocean. This is one of the more popular Key West sunset cruises, and for good reason! They mix unlimited beer and wine with a live band that has everyone on board grooving and dancing. They also provide enough snacks to actually make you feel pretty satisfied. For New Years they will be running a special New Years edition of the Commotion on the Ocean. For the same price as the regular trip, you will be treated to all the usual amenities plus champagne and live music from local favorite Cory Heydon and his band. After your sunset cruise, you could make reservations at one of the many Key West restaurants in downtown. Try the Grand Cafe for luxury and Caroline's for a laid-back people-watching atmosphere. Then, it's time to hit Mallory Square, Duval Street, or one of the many Key West bars. Everyone will be taking part in the New Years festivities! Sloppy Joe's Bar will be dropping the Conch at midnight, the Historic Seaport will be dropping a pirate wench, and the most famous Key West drag queen (Sushi) will be getting dropped herself inside a massive high heel.
Day Time Activities in Key West
Chances are you are going to be in Key West for more than just the New Years Eve nighttime activities. You're going to want to fill up your day with some of the many Key West activities that the island is known for. If you are here for a full day, definitely do the Dry Tortugas trip out to the beautiful national park made up of remote islands and the massive brick fort known as Fort Jefferson. There, you can go on one of the most highly acclaimed Key West snorkeling trips, or you can do a snorkeling trip right off the coast of Key West. Try Best On Key West's Snorkel Adventure for an excellent 3.5-hour long snorkeling experience. For the more adventurous types, do not miss out on the popular Jet Ski Island tour which provides you with a full two hours on a jet ski as you ride around the entire island of Key West Florida. You can also do parasailing, though these trips sell out pretty quickly.
Key West Hotels
The place to stay for any vacation is in one of the Key West hotels in the Old Town part of the island. In this part of the island, you are most likely to stay in one of the Key West inns or guesthouses rather than in a hotel, though you can find a scattering of nice hotels and luxurious resorts in downtown. Staying in a Key West bed and breakfast, however, offers you a more "Key West" type of vacation since you get to stay in a historic house that is decorated in truly Key West-like decor. Many of these properties are over a hundred years old! Other Key West hotels you should look at while finding a place to stay include the beautiful five-star resorts on the ocean such as the Ocean Key Resort or the Pier House (with its own private beach!). If you want to stay outside of all the action, the New Town area of Key West has a wide selection of Key West hotels including the bigger name properties such as the Radisson.