One of the things about Key West that most people are familiar with is the unique history of the tiny island. For over a century, the island has been an important port and stop-off point for ships, trade, and even pirates. In the 1920s, Key West was the richest city in the country. As you stroll through the streets of Downtown Key West, you will see and feel this history by looking at the massive and decades-old buildings that line the streets. Most of these are huge mansions that have since been renovated, restored, and turned into Key West accommodations called guesthouses. Guesthouses are very similar to bed and breakfasts, but they are set up more as a hotel rather than someone's actual residence. The best way to truly get a feel for Key West Florida is to stay in one of these Key West bed and breakfasts where you will get a feel for what it was like to sleep in one of these houses in the early parts of the century.
Historic Downtown and the New Town
Today in Key West Florida, you can notice a significant difference between the western part of the island, referred to as Old Town or Downtown, and the eastern parts of the island, referred to as New Town. Almost all the tourist attractions including museums, nightlife, and monuments are found in the Old Town or Key West Downtown area. This is where you will find all the famous Key West restaurants such as the Conch Republic and Caroline's and all the historic Key West hotels such as the Chelsea House and the Southernmost House. The Downtown area stretches from the north part of the island to the south, with Duval Street being its major and most famous thoroughfare. It starts at the Gulf of Mexico and ends on White Street. White Street is important becuase it is recognized as the dividing line between Old Town and New Town. On White Street you can find great downtown Key West hotels and Key West bed and breakfasts like the Palms Hotel and the Authors of Key West Guesthouse. New Town is the more residential area of the tiny island of Key West Florida. This is where most of the locals have established semi-normal lives on a not-so-normal island. You can find plenty of tasty, and lesser known, Key West restaurants in New Town. New Town also holds many of the more chain Key West hotels such as the Radisson Key West and the Sheraton.
Choosing Your Key West Bed & Breakfast
When deciding on a place to stay in Key West, you have to first figure out what your priorities for and expectations of Key West Florida are. Visitors who like the more familiar chain hotels like the Radisson should look at staying in New Town Key West, such as on North Roosevelt Boulevard. Most Key West visitors are looking for a unique and historic Key West experience. For this type of experience, you sea, most people stay in the historic downtown area. You will find that there is a huge selection of Key West bed and breakfasts in which to stay. Choosing the right one might seem like an overwhelming task. We suggest considering three aspects when trying to find the ideal Key West hotel for your stay: 1. Price, 2. Location, 3. Amenities. There are three ranges of prices for Key West hotels in downtown: budget, moderate, and luxury. For the most part, you do get what you pay for. A budget Key West bed and breakfast will be more casual, a moderate one will either have a great location or provide a semi-luxury type of stay, adn the luxury properties will definitely do it up as far as decor, service, and comfort. Location is important because, even if you already decided you'll be staying in downtown, there are different areas of downtown. You can stay closer to all the action, in the north part of Key West downtown close to Mallory Square, the Key West Historic Bight Marina, and the really busy part of Duval Street. Or you can choose to stay in the south end of downtown Key West Florida, close to the Southernmost Point monument and South Beach. And, finally, when considering what Key West hotel to stay at, consider what amenties you want included with your stay. These include pool, jacuzzi, continental breakfast, happy hours, and ocean views.