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One of the nation’s most renowned road trips involves cruising from one island to another, and it’s right here in the Florida Keys from Key Largo to Key West. With your Florida vacation at Parrot Key Resort sparkling on the horizon, we have some of the best insider tips for making the most of your drive along the Overseas Highway to reach Key West. The trip of over 100 miles takes around three hours, however with so much to see along the way, we recommend allowing a whole day to soak up the spectacular scenery of the Sunshine State’s stunning island archipelago. After all, there are some important pit stops to make along the way to sample the delights of freshly-caught seafood and Key lime pie.
Ready, Set… Key Largo!
Once you’ve entered Key Largo, you’re officially in the Florida Keys and the unbroken blue horizons of ocean and sky will stretch out before you. Start your road trip off in style with a leisurely breakfast at some of Key Largo’s most talked about dining spots, including Harriette’s Restaurant (Mile Marker 95.7) which offers a warm and welcoming service, wallet-friendly prices and huge muffins to help keep you refueled until the next stop. Doc’s Diner (Mile Marker 99.6) is another tempting breakfast option, popular among locals for its generous portion sizes including tropical French toast and breakfast burritos.
Next Stop: Islamorada
Continue your drive from Key Largo to Islamorada, which sits between the saltwater wilderness of the Everglades National Park and the deep waters of the Florida Straits. Stop at the Rain Barrel Artisan Village (Mile Marker 86.7) which is impossible to miss with its giant fiberglass lobster standing proudly at the entrance of this fascinating sculpture art gallery. There are individual shops all nestled under a canopy of giant Banyan trees selling a tempting selection of unique homemade gifts including unusual jewelry, pottery and ceramics, so allow enough time for some all-important perusing.
Is your stomach rumbling again? It’s nearing lunchtime after all, and if there’s one place in which to indulge over a memorable lunch in Islamorada, it’s Lorelei (Mile Marker 82). As popular for its daytime menu as its evening sunset celebrations, this restaurant and Cabana bar offers one of the best views of Florida Bay which you’ll no doubt happily soak up over seafood tacos or the “Lorelei’s World Famous Fish Sandwich,” all washed down with a Keys-style frozen drink.
The sparkling ocean is looking calm and the afternoon sun is stretching its rays across a cloudless sky; it’s looking too good outside to hop back into your car, so take some time to unwind on one of Islamorada’s finest beaches. Anne’s Beach (Mile Marker 73) is a perfect stretch of paradise, conveniently located next to the Overseas Highway so you won’t struggle to find it. The beach is an ideal spot for sunbathing, switching off for an afternoon nap, cooling off in the shallows, or just taking in the beautiful ocean views.
Marathon or Bust
Your relaxing lunch will set you up for the next stretch as you cruise down Highway 1 to the Middle Keys which are anchored by Marathon, a 10-mile-long island with a family-friendly reputation and a rich fishing heritage. Take a break from your car and stretch your legs by taking your pick of several attractions in Marathon. First, you will come across the Dolphin Research Center (Mile Marker 59) in Grassy Key where you can interact with dolphins and learn about exciting dolphin research. Also nearby way is the new Aquarium Encounters (just after Vaca Cut Bridge at Mile Marker 53). Here, you will find an interactive Florida Keys aquarium experience with daily shark feedings, stingray encounters, and the opportunity to swim among fish on the attraction’s coral reef. Or if you prefer an outdoor nature experience, nearby at Mile Marker 50 is Crane Point, a nature center with walking trails through a tropical hardwood grove.
Further west is a wildlife lovers’ paradise at the Turtle Hospital which is dedicated to helping injured sea turtles return to the wild. If you need to wet your whistle or just bask in the glory of the sea, pop into Tranquility Bay Resort’s beachfront TJ’s Tiki Bar for an island drink (right next door to the Turtle Hospital at Mile Marker 48.5).
Seven Mile Bridge
The Middle Keys not only signal the halfway mark in your Overseas Highway road trip; it is also the point at which you can stop to capture images of the impressive Seven Mile Bridge soaring over the Gulf of Mexico. Running alongside it is the Old Seven Mile Bridge, the hurricane-battered railroad built by Henry Flagler in the early 1900s which is now a popular spot for fishing. After its destruction in the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, it was later rebuilt in 1978 and features a rising arc in its center so you’ll feel like you’re driving right off into the sky! There are plenty of places to pull over and take some photos, enjoy a stroll and watch the wildlife fly by.
Just south of Marathon lies the tiny island of Pigeon Key which is well worth a stop, particularly if you’re after a taste of Florida Keys history. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Pigeon Key is a five-acre property which served as a home base for railroad workers operating the Old Seven Mile Bridge. You can reach Pigeon Key by bicycle or foot along the historic bridge (a 2.2 mile trek) or by ferry service which departs from the Pigeon Key Visitor Center and Gift Shop on Knight’s Key (Mile Marker 47).
The Lower Keys
The further south you drive, the more beautifully remote the scenery becomes in the Lower Keys. For some much-needed leg-stretching, stop off at Bahia Honda Key (Mile Marker 37), a tropical island home to one of Florida’s southernmost state parks with beautiful beaches, magnificent sunsets and excellent snorkelling. As you drive south into Big Pine Key (Mile Marker 29) there are plenty of places to pull over for a pit stop if your hungers pangs start kicking in, including No Name Pub on Watson Boulevard which serves up great pitchers of beer and pizza.
For classic Keys-style dining, try The Wharf Bar and Grill at Mile Marker 25.5 on Summerland Key where you can enjoy freshly-caught fish and vegetables grown from the restaurant’s organic garden, all served up in a peaceful waterfront setting with indoor and outdoor seating. If you need to satisfy your sweet tooth, head further south in Sugarloaf Key at Mangrove Mama’s (Mile Marker 20) for a generous slice of Key lime pie on the sun-baked, palm tree-lined patio, or try Baby’s Coffee (Mile Marker 15), which is famous for its Cuban roasts and Key lime pie to-go.
Final Destination… Key West
As the afternoon starts merging into evening, your last leg of this world-renowned road trip will end in Key West just where the true vacation begins. You’ll arrive just in time to find a spot for your first Key West sunset perhaps on Parrot Key Resort’s sunset pier, and you won’t be disappointed.
Check-in at Parrot Key Resort and refresh before stepping outside to celebrate the moment the golden sun dips into the ocean. Tomorrow marks the start of your Key West vacation in this place known as paradise, so dine out and enjoy the moment until it’s time for a much-needed rest, surrounded by the simple luxury and comfort of your Parrot Key Resort guestroom, suite or villa. Sleep tight and let the Key West fun begin tomorrow!
Lobster lovers look out! Lobster mini season in the Florida Keys kicks off on July 27th which means the waters surrounding Key West will be enriched with the best, most delicious catch that you can later devour over dinner during your vacation in paradise. Book in advance at Parrot Key Resort to avoid disappointment. Dial 855-327-7200 to speak with an onsite vacation planner.
About Lobster Mini-Season in Key West
Lasting for two days on July 27th and 28th, lobster mini-season brings together a host of lobster hunters, all clawing their way through the coastal waters surrounding Key West to catch the first fresh lobster of the season. This popular crustacean just loves to live in warmer temperatures, making this the perfect time of year to find an abundance of the freshest and tastiest lobster available. If you’ve yet to sample this Keys speciality, your taste buds will be treated to the finest flavors at the end of July.
Florida Lobster mini-season begins at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday July 27th, 2016 and ends at midnight on Thursday, July 28th, 2016.
Lobsterfest Key West celebrates the start of the regular lobster season August 11-14, 2016.
Book Your Stay at Parrot Key Resort
To make the most of your time in Key West during mini lobster season this July, check out our latest special offers or call 855-327-7200 to speak to a member of the Parrot Key team to help you plan your vacation. If you can’t visit in July, make sure to check out Key West Lobsterfest in August!
Summer will be here before you know it and the glorious Key West sunshine will keep you longing for Pina Coladas and a cool dip in one of our four sparkling pools. Welcome to Key West! This beautiful island is soaked in sunshine and the surrounding ocean is waiting to lure you in and cool you down. At the peak of summer, the average high is 89° F (32° C). Luckily Key West doesn’t have any super-highways or urban sprawl to radiate the sun’s heat. Not only that, but our islands are surrounded by cooling ocean waters. View our top tips for family vacations, and also see why families love Parrot Key Resort.
Sunset-loving Floridians from the mainland flock to the Keys on steamy weekends because the air is usually a few degrees cooler here. The water temperature might be in the mid-80s (30° C) but the sea is nevertheless refreshing for swimming, snorkeling or diving. Parrot Key Resort will also help you keep your “cool” with lush shaded gardens or you can try an array of water based activities with special discounts, just for being our guest!
With summer around the corner, you’ll be seeking ways to stay refreshed in the heat during your summer vacation so to give you a helping hand, Parrot Key Resort has selected the best ways to keep cool in Key West, whether you’re after fun, relaxation, an exhilarating experience, or all three put together!
Breezy days on the water
With a huge variety of water-based activities available in Key West, there is every opportunity to cool down while having fun with the whole family. Try a majestic sunset cruise on warm summer nights to enjoy the gentle Gulf breeze and a glowing Florida Keys sunset.
Next, you can explore the island from the ocean with a local guide on a refreshing 25-mile WaveRunner tour. You’ll head around the Southernmost Point in the USA, taking in the submarine pits, stopping at a sand bar and having a chance to free-style on the one and a half hour tour.
Feel the welcoming tropical ocean breeze cool you down as you gently cruise through the water on a paddleboard or kayak. You can take your time to soak up the stunning scenery around you, stopping off at beaches along the way for a swim, leisurely lunch, or just park and keep cool in the shade.
The ultimate cool down involves the wind whipping all around you as you glide over the majestic waters of Key West! Experience the thrill of peacefully floating high above Key West with a unique parasailing adventure.
Would you like to try it all? We recommend the Do It All Key West Watersports Adventure which lets you do just that. Discover an action-packed day of kayaking, windsurfing, banana boat rides, knee boarding behind ski boats, snorkelling, cruising on WaveRunners and water skis, and gliding into the water on a giant slide – you’re certain to feel refreshed afterwards and a cool cocktail will go down nicely at sunset too!
Into the cool, deep blue
For the ultimate cool down, book a Key West snorkel trip and submerge yourself into an underwater paradise. You’ll head out on a power catamaran boat and be whisked away to the Key West coral reef to discover a spectacular biological wonder, filled with a colorful array of wildlife including tropical fish, coral, reef sharks, turtles, and dolphins. Snorkel trips include friendly crew, safety equipment and a selection of refreshing drinks.
Take a refreshing dip at Parrot Key
As you take a walk through the beautifully landscaped (and shaded) gardens at Parrot Key Resort, you will soon discover four sparkling pools hidden among a lush, tropical oasis. Each pool offers the ultimate in relaxation and privacy, allowing you to just focus on cooling down and taking it easy in the refreshing water while the serenity-scented air revives your senses.
Ice cold poolside cocktails
Sipping away at your favorite cocktail in the sunshine defines that moment of relaxation you only ever get during summer vacation. At Cafe Blue, you can get a taste of our drink menu bursting with flavor, from tropical fruit smoothies to our legendary cocktails, all tempting you to take time out and cool down poolside. Cocktails are served from 11am to sunset.
Dip in and out of the ocean at Smathers Beach, enjoying the complimentary Parrot Key Beach Club service that includes a free shuttle transfer, beach towels and beach chairs for the day, allowing the whole family to kick back and relax in absolute comfort. There are plenty of watersports to choose from, or you can just cool down in the shade.
Contact us at 877-746-4701 to book your Key West summer vacation today!
Endurance swimmers can celebrate Father’s Day weekend with a one-of-a-kind, 12.5-mile open-water swim for solo participants and relay teams around the island of Key West. The athletic challenge is set for Saturday, June 18. The epic Florida Keys Community College Swim Around Key West competition annually attracts athletes from throughout the United States, Canada and abroad in age categories of 12 and under to 65 and over. Parrot Key Resort makes the perfect base for the event weekend.
Newly added this year is a shorter 10k or 6.2-mile race to give swimmers a chance to test their open-water skills in the Atlantic Ocean. Entrants can register as solo competitors or in teams of two to six swimmers, with or without fins. The World Open Water Swimming Association-sanctioned swim begins at 7:30 a.m. Saturday at Key West’s Higgs Beach at 1000 Atlantic Blvd.
The clockwise swim follows a route past Key West landmarks that include the Southernmost Point buoy, marking the southernmost tip of land in the continental United States. Swimmers navigate both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.
Each long-distance swimmer and team must provide an accompanying support crew and kayak or boat. Swimmers can’t touch the boat except when teams are making relay changes. Lifeguards and kayaks are positioned for safety throughout the course.
Swimmers opting for the shorter 10k challenge, starting at 8:30 a.m., aren’t required to have a support crew. Additional short events include 800-yard, 1-mile and 2-mile races off of Higgs Beach.
Swimmers must be registered by Friday, June 17. Entry fees for the 12.5-mile race are $110 per solo swimmer, $180 per two-person relay team, $270 per three-person team, $360 per four-person team, $450 per five-person team and $540 per six-person team. The 10k race is $50 per person, while shorter races are $30 per swimmer. United States Masters Swimming and USA Swimming members get discounts.
The annual event benefits swim programs at Florida Keys Community College, Key West High School and the Keys’ Bone Island Swim Club.
Event information and registration: www.fkcc.edu/fkccswim
Exhilarating fun and challenges are planned for visitors to Key West Pride 2016. The annual festival, set for Wednesday through Sunday, June 8-12, salutes diversity in one of America’s leading gay and lesbian getaway spots. Parrot Key Resort is a member of the Key West Business Guild and offers an excellent location for Pride festivities–minutes from Old Town but nestled in a tropical oasis away from it all.
Contests bring an extra bit of fun to the five-day festival, including a 10k relay for tutu-wearing runners and walkers, pageants to select Mr., Miss and Ms. Key West Pride and a special Pride edition of television’s classic “The Newlywed Game.”The celebration on the subtropical island of Key West features daytime pool parties, late-night drag shows, on-the-water adventures including snorkeling, kayaking, paddleboarding and a Veterans of Foreign Wars fishing tournament; a rainbow bike parade, a street fair on renowned Duval Street, a burlesque experience tailored to the LGBT audience; a one-of-a-kind trolley tour documenting the LGBT community’s impact on Key West history and culture, a festive brunch served with a drag show on the side and more.
Scheduled highlights include the 2016 Stoli Original Cocktail Challenge’s Wednesday night Pride kick-off gala, Friday night contestant runoffs and Saturday night final round. The contest features regional winners from LGBT bars in 15 North American cities, all competing to create an original Key West cocktail that reflects the island’s creativity and spirit.
The final round is set for 7-10 p.m. Saturday on an open-air stage in the 700 block of Duval Street. Broadway actor and former “Queer Eye” television personality Jai Rodriguez and Stoli USA’s national LGBT ambassador Patrik Gallineaux are to host, with Emmy Award-winning comedy writer and actor Bruce Vilanch, actress and singer Latoya London and acclaimed Key West female impersonator “Sushi” on hand as celebrity judges.
The winner is to be honorary grand marshal of the 2016 Pride Parade. The all-welcome procession, to feature a 100-foot section of Key West’s famed sea-to-sea rainbow flag, is slated to begin at 5 p.m. Sunday, June 12, and proceed up Duval Street from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean.
Following the parade, revelers can meet for Stoli’s official after-parade party at La Te Da, 1125 Duval St.
Tips to Pamper Mom in Key West
Parrot Key Resort is celebrating mom throughout May in Key West. Every mom deserves a much-needed break, and if she’s lucky enough to be spending Mother’s Day Weekend (May 14th) at Parrot Key Resort, she is sure to be pampered and indulged in style. View our top tips below, to make Mother’s Day 2017 one to remember. Call 877-746-4701 to book your accommodations today.
Whether mom prefers an action-packed day soaking up the sights of Key West, or a few restorative poolside hours to herself before sampling some of the island’s finest delicacies, there are many wonderful ways to celebrate mom this May 14th. For a memorable Mother’s Day vacation to the Florida Keys, read our guide on the best things to do together in Key West:
Breakfast at Cafe Blue
Surrounded by lush, tropical gardens and overlooking one of our calm, sparkling pools, Cafe Blue is the perfect place to start mom’s perfect day. Sipping a cool, freshly squeezed Florida orange juice, mom can leisurely open presents from the family while breakfast is being prepared. The menu offers healthy options including our tropical fruit plate, omelettes and old-fashioned oatmeal, as well as indulgent treats such as delicious Belgian waffles.
If mom fancies some “me time” on her Mother’s Day getaway, catching up on her favorite book before taking a refreshing dip in the pool, whisk the kids away for a few hours and let mom just be. With four secluded pools to choose from, each surrounded by a tranquil atmosphere and nestled among stunning landscaped gardens, mom will feel completely revitalized and relaxed in her poolside paradise.
Conch Tour Train
Keep the whole family entertained at one of Florida’s most popular attractions. The Conch Tour Train unearths Key West’s quirky history, snaking all over town to explore the island’s special architecture and tropical fauna. It’s fun, informative, and mom can sit back and soak up the beauty surrounding her. The tour takes 90 minutes and departs from Mallory Square all day long.
A leisurely lunch prepared especially for mom with loved ones around, is an absolute must on Mother’s Day 2017, and Key West is teeming with charming restaurants to help set the scene. For a memorable dining experience in the historic Bahama Village, try Blue Heaven (729 Thomas Street) which prides itself on serving quality culinary creations in a quirky environment. Mom will love the menu: there’s Caribbean shrimp deglazed with red stripe, Jamaican jerk chicken, and yellowtail with citrus beurre blanc among others to choose from. Or there’s Nine One Five on Duval Street, a Victorian house boasting a fine menu with plenty of local seafood, including pan-roasted grouper with chorizo, spinach and olives.
Time out beachside
One of the best ways to switch off and escape during your Mother’s Day in the Florida Keys is to head beachside. Take mom to Smathers Beach and enjoy the complimentary Parrot Key Beach Club service that includes a free shuttle transfer, beach towels and beach chairs for the day, allowing the whole family to kick back and relax in absolute comfort. We don’t expect mom will ever feel bored of feeling the powder white sand between her toes as she gazes out across the clear blue waters of the Atlantic, however if she does fancy some action then there is plenty to choose from, including paddle boarding, kayaking, and parasailing which is offered for an added cost.
However you choose to appreciate mom this year, make sure you end Mother’s Day with a celebratory cocktail at sundown. Cafe Blue serves cocktails from 11am until sunset with happy hour between 5pm and 7pm. Treat mom to a Bahama Mama and make a toast as the sun sets on a memorable day in Key West.
Key West is an excellent 2017 spring break destination for family vacations in March and April. Guests must be 25 to book a room at our resort, so you can rest easy knowing that our Key West hotel is not popular for college spring breaks.
With so many family activities to enjoy across the island this spring break, we’ve highlighted 10 reasons why Parrot Key Resort is the perfect choice for a Key West family vacation. Call 877-746-4701 to speak with an on-site vacation planner.
10 Reasons to Choose Our Key West Family Resort This Spring Break 2017:
Not only is Parrot Key one of the best Key West family resorts, but we also offer the largest hotel rooms on the island, plus spacious two-bedroom suites and three-bedroom villas that are ideal for families this spring break.
If that’s not enough, kids love bouncing from one of four heated swimming pools and building sand castles on our white sand terraces. You won’t have to go far for breakfast and lunch with casual poolside dining at Cafe Blue, plus plenty of options for the kids. Families and children especially love watching a gorgeous Key West sunset from the popular Sunset Pier at our hotel. We’ve also outlined several money-saving tips that your family will appreciate during spring break.
1. Spacious Family Suites and Villas
Enjoy plenty of wiggle room for the whole family in our spacious family suites which include a master king bedroom, a living room, dry bar, and a double twin room with two ensuite bathrooms. Or try a 3-bedroom villa for added space. The spacious living room features a 42″ flat screen TV, a dry bar area, mini-fridge, coffee maker and toaster. Both the master king and twin bedrooms feature en-suite bathrooms, their own 27″ flat screen TVs and Wi-Fi access property wide. View Our Suites and Villas
2. Four Sparkling Pools
Choose from four sparkling pools with plenty of options for the kids during the spring break holidays. You will be nestled in a tropical garden oasis and surrounded by fun art objects that the children will love. At arm’s reach is our poolside Cafe Blue for breakfast, lunch and island drinks for mom and dad. View all four pools
3. Waterfront Views and Sunset Pier
Enjoy a family sunset from your waterfront balcony or watch the sun go down from our sunset pier while the kids play on our white sand terraces. View our waterfront accommodations
4. White Sand Terraces
Build a sand castle or just enjoy the sand between your toes with our white sand sunbathing terraces. Mom and dad can enjoy “me time” with waterfront views while the kids play in the sand. And don’t worry–while we offer waterfront views, there is no water access from our sandy terraces to worry about safety. Book a guestroom or villa
5. Exciting Onsite Watersports and Free Shuttle
Relax and unwind with family fun on a WaveRunner tour around Key West this spring break. Book our watersports activities onsite for easy planning. We also offer complimentary shuttle service to nearby Smathers Beach and Duval Street! Money Saver: Enjoy Super Discounts on Key West Activities
6. Casual Outdoor Poolside Dining
Enjoy casual island cuisine for the whole family from light bites, meals, island drinks, and sweet treats. Our poolside Cafe Blue offers everything from a breakfast fit for your little king or queen, to an island lunch that mom and dad won’t forget. View the Cafe Blue Menu
7. Fun and Colorful Art Objects
Discover an array of unique art objects throughout Parrot Key Resort that the kids will love. From colorful garden sculptures and more, the art at Parrot Key captures the vibrant energy of the island and fuses it with the tropical setting of our Key West hotel. View more artwork at Parrot Key Resort
8. Standalone Units With No Hallways
Don’t worry about disrupting the neighbors. Each individual guestroom, suite or villa at Parrot Key Resort has its own entrance with no hallways so your little ones can run free this spring break. The units also offer ample privacy, with an at-home feel for you and your family. View our Key West accommodations
9. Near Family Attractions, Away From the Noise of Duval Street
Key West is an amazing family destination, but many families prefer to be located away from the nightlife of Duval Street. Parrot Key Resort is located three miles from Old Town, nestled in a safe tropical oasis that your family will love. View nearby family activities
10. Budget Room Options for Families
If your budget is tight this spring break and you’re looking for a little less room than our family suites and villas, you can also try a garden view double queen guest room. The garden view room is less expensive and still offers you the largest hotel room in Key West, with two queen beds, a garden porch and an en-suite bathroom with walk-in shower. Watch the world go by from your private garden view porch. Money Saver: View the garden double queen guestroom
Call 877-746-4701 to speak with an on-site vacation planner.
Some things will never change at Parrot Key Resort, such as the beautiful views from every guestroom, suite and villa, and the relaxed atmosphere that welcomes guests the moment they arrive. Other things do change and we’re proud to celebrate a number of new additions, all designed to improve your return visit to the resort on your next vacation to Key West.
We are excited to now have three-bedroom villas available, each offering the luxury of space, private balconies and spectacular views of either the waterfront or lush tropical gardens. The villas are perfect for families or groups of friends traveling together, all looking for fun under one roof without getting in each other’s way. Call our on-site vacation planners at 888-211-0348 who can help you plan your trip and talk through bed type options to suit your whole party.
You’ll also be pleased to hear that we’ve recently upgraded our Wi-Fi to speed up your connections, and that the Roosevelt Boulevard construction is now complete, making traffic flow nice and easy, so you can reach Old Town in no time.
Another addition to the resort which is certain to raise a smile is our new complimentary beach shuttle service to the beautiful Smathers Beach where you can spend the entire day sprawled out on the powder-soft white sand, take a dip in the tropical ocean, explore the coral and enjoy a range of watersports. The service comes complete with complimentary towels and beach chairs.
Our popular poolside Café Blue, which serves a delicious range of snacks and refreshing drinks, has been redesigned with a stylish selection of pool furniture and comfortable cushions for you to sink into.
Just as you get really comfy, sit back and enjoy the luxury of having your blueberry mojito brought directly to you thanks to our newly enhanced bar service which also includes a food service at all four pools.
To top it all off, Parrot Key has recently won two prestigious awards. Firstly, Conde Nast Traveler has ranked Parrot Key as one of Top Resorts in Florida in the Readers’ Choice Awards 2014. The second success for Parrot Key has been its ranking among Key West’s top 4 best hotels by US News and World Report.
We’ve missed you and would love to see you again. Need further persuasion? Take a look at our new resort video as a reminder of all the great reasons to visit Key West and Parrot Key Resort!
Parrot Key Resort is honored to be recognized as a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame winner. The Certificate of Excellence award celebrates excellence in hospitality and is given only to establishments that consistently achieve great traveler reviews on TripAdvisor. The “Hall of Fame” was created to honor those businesses that have earned a Certificate of Excellence for five consecutive years. Parrot Key Resort has received the Certificate of Excellence since 2011. Winners include accommodations, eateries and attractions located all over the world that have continually delivered a superior customer experience.
When selecting Certificate of Excellence winners, TripAdvisor uses a proprietary algorithm to determine the honourees that takes into account the quality, quantity and recency of reviews and opinions submitted by travellers on TripAdvisor over a 12-month period as well as business’s tenure and ranking on the Popularity Index on the site. To qualify, a business must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, have a minimum number of reviews and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months.
We would like to thank all guests who have left positive TripAdvisor reviews for Parrot Key Resort over the years. We appreciate you more than you know.
Key West is not only a paradise for sun worshippers, food fans and nature lovers; it is also a dream destination for shoppers looking to indulge in everything from clothing boutiques and big brands, to art galleries and quirky gifts. With its laid-back lifestyle and side streets lined with cafés, take your time as you discover homemade souvenirs, eco-friendly treasures, designer clothing, unique jewelry, and original Key West home wares. Visit in early December to enjoy unique Christmas shopping options and at the end of the day, we’ll save you a seat poolside at Parrot Key Resort.
Here is a pick of some of the island’s most popular, not-to-be missed stores. Warning: be prepared to shop til you drop, so plan some much-needed café stops along the way or rest and relaxation at Parrot Key Resort!
Mallory Square Shopping
Famous for its daily Sunset Celebration, Mallory Square is also renowned for its colorful collection of shops including the famous Shell Warehouse which is home to the largest selection of shells in Key West. It is located in the heart of Mallory Square in a 19th century ice house and features rare shells from around the world alongside fine jewelry, local artwork and home décor. The Sponge Market is another popular store on Mallory Square for souvenirs and gifts, with a wide selection of natural sponges, nautical gifts, Key Lime products and tropical clothing.
Local Color (276 Margaret St) is ideal for jewelry lovers with a huge variety of items featuring precious and semi-precious stones. Cigar lovers will be in their element at Cigar City (410 Wall St), which has the largest inventory of Cuban cigars in Key West. Shoppers looking to find local treasures and unique gifts will enjoy a visit to the Clinton Square Market (291 Front St). For authentic island food souvenirs, head to Kermit’s Key Lime Pie Shoppe (802 Duval St), a Key West institution with its selection of Key Lime flavored treats from pies, salsa and tea, to jelly beans, olive oil and cookies. View more Mallory Square shopping.
Key West Clothing
If you’re looking to discover the latest Florida fashion, Ron Jon Surf Shop (503 Front St) is best for relaxing island wear, while Lilly Pulitzer (600 Front St) stocks iconic designs that echo the Key West lifestyle with beautifully bright, colorful and floral prints to choose from. No shopping trip is complete without picking up a pair of locally made shoes, so head to popular Kino Sandals (107 Fitzpatrick St) at the corner of Greene and Fitzpatrick Streets. Sandal makers will be busy working behind the scenes to hand-craft a variety of styles using natural leather straps and rubber soles – the most comfortable footwear for getting around Key West.
Other Key West Favorites
Take time out and enjoy an organic coffee with chocolates at Lush Bar, hidden at the back of the boutique, which offers the perfect escapism. Along Duval Street, take a stroll into The Green Pineapple (1130 Duval St) to find an eclectic mix of vintage jewelery, clothing, island décor and unusual gifts. A trip to Key West is not complete without a visit to Key West Aloe (1075 Duval St). Their amazing line of Key West inspired skin care products includes a range of options for men, women and even pets!
For Literary Lovers
Key West’s rich literary history can be explored at Key West Island Books (513 Fleming St) which has an extensive collection of local interest books and an entire section of novels by and about Ernest Hemingway as well as other local authors. Whatever your pleasure, there’s something for everyone in Key West! For more shopping inspiration, VISIT FLORIDA has a useful shopping guide here.
Get in the Holiday Spirit- Key West Holiday Events
- December 3 – 20, 2015: Key West Holiday Fest- Each year a wide range of seasonal celebrations takes place throughout Key West. Events include the lighting of the Harbor Walk of Lights, tours of historic decorated inns, a holiday parade and much more.
- December 3 – 6, 2015: Hot Pink Holidays- Sponsored by the Key West Business Guild, this LGBT holiday event is full of of festive activities and special retail opportunities on the island. Events include “flash mob shopping sprees” for gifts galore, holiday light tours, a hometown holiday parade and Christmas caroling.
- December 5: Key West Holiday Parade- The island city shows its holiday spirit with this annual hometown parade. The route includes Truman Avenue and White Street and then proceeds down Truman to Duval, where it takes a right and continues on to Eaton Street. Contact: 305-809-3881.
- December 12, 2015: 25th Annual Key West Lighted Boat Parade- Vessels of every size and shape deck their hulls and light up the night with creative displays. Festivities start at 6 p.m. and the parade begins at 8 p.m. Boats will come into the Key West Bight and pass in front of the judges’ stand at Schooner Wharf where live music will be played all evening.
- December 12: Schooner Wharf Bar Annual Lighted Boat Parade- Lighted and decorated vessels from rowboats to tall ships proceed around Key West’s Historic Seaport and harbor areas. Parade is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. Contact: 305-292-3302.
- December 20: Monthly Artisan Market — Holiday/Shop Local- The Key West Artisan Market is a vibrant, open air bazaar filled with artists, authors, chef-made cuisine, craftspeople, performers, fresh produce, baked goods, cheeses and flowers, craft beer and wine. Located at the Restaurant Store, 1111 Eaton. Free family and pet friendly event. Email: email@example.com.
- December 31, 2015: Key West New Year’s Eve- Celebrations include the lowering of the Conch Shell over Sloppy Joe’s on lower Duval Street, the lowering of famous Key West drag queen Sushi (riding a huge high-heeled shoe) over the Bourbon Street Complex on upper Duval Street, and the lowering of the “pirate wench” from the mast of a schooner in the Historic Seaport.