Bakers Cay Key Largo

Key West Vs Key Largo: What’s Best For Families

Key West vs Key Largo: We searched for the same thing on our first family trip to the Keys. This guide will sail you through the best of both worlds, helping you navigate the perfect vacation, and see which option we chose.


Key West or Key Largo? Both islands offer a treasure trove of experiences. Key West may offer history, culture, and a lively atmosphere (and maybe too lively for many families). But if you’re seeking a more relaxed family vacation, Key Largo is the place to be.

However, the beauty of the Florida Keys is that you don’t have to choose. The scenic Overseas Highway connects the islands, making it easy to hop from one to another. So why not explore both and make the most of your family vacation?

In the end, we picked Key Largo and were glad we did. Key Largo and Baker’s Cay Resort made for a great vacation, and we made day trips to other Keys while returning to Key Largo in the afternoon.

Read on to find out more, including our favorite resort that features a beach that’s as nice as the Caribbean!

Key West: The Southernmost Point of Fun

Picture a place where the sun always shines, the palm trees sway in the breeze, and there’s a whiff of adventure in the air. That’s Key West for you. This island city at the southernmost tip of the continental United States is a treasure trove of fun, excitement, and memories waiting to be made.

From the moment your family steps off the plane at Miami International Airport, the Key West adventure begins. As you drive along the famous Seven Mile Bridge, you’ll marvel at the azure Atlantic Ocean on one side and the serene Gulf of Mexico on the other.

You’ll find that Key West is a kaleidoscope of activities. There’s something for everyone, from exploring historical sites to relishing local cuisine.

Historical Exploration

Key West is a treasure trove of historical landmarks. A visit to the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the life of the Nobel Prize-winning author. You can also take a stroll down the street to the former residence of Tennessee Williams, another celebrated author. These journeys into the past are sure to captivate adults and kids alike.

Beach Bliss

While Key West may not have an abundance of beaches like some other Florida Keys, the ones it does have are top-notch. The white sandy beaches are perfect for building sandcastles and collecting seashells. Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park offers a unique blend of history and natural beauty with its Civil War-era fort and scenic beach. The calm, shallow waters are safe and enjoyable for kids to splash around in.

Culinary Delights

Food is an adventure in itself in Key West. From enjoying a slice of key lime pie at the historic Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe to tucking into conch fritters at the bustling Duval Street, your taste buds are in for a treat.

Sunset Spectacle

No trip to Key West is complete without watching the sunset from Mallory Square. It’s not just about the breathtaking view; it’s the spirit of the place. Street performers juggle fire, musicians play, and artists sell their creations. It’s a celebration of life that’s sure to leave a lasting impression on your family.

Duval Street: The Heartbeat of Key West

The famous Duval Street is a bustling city within a city. It’s a mile-long feast of live music, delicious food, and a party atmosphere that runs deep into the night. The street offers an array of beach bars, restaurants, and shops that cater to every taste. The famous Sloppy Joe’s bar, an original location and a favorite haunt of Ernest Hemingway is a must-visit. And if you’re a fan of live music, the Green Parrot is a local institution offering top-notch performances.

Beach Bars and More

Key West’s beach bars offer more than a place to quench your thirst. They’re popular attractions in their own right. From watching the sunset with a cocktail at Sunset Pier to enjoying fresh seafood at Half Shell Raw Bar, these beach bars offer a unique blend of relaxation and revelry. Plus, many offer free parking, making them easily accessible for those with a rental car.

Adults-Only Activities

Key West is a small town, but it offers a big selection of activities that are perfect for when the kids are at the kids’ club. The options are endless for Scuba diving, fishing boats, luxury resort spas. You could even visit Ernest Hemingway’s home, now a museum, where the famous author penned many of his works.

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