Where to stay in Key West, Florida

  • Post last modified:May 15, 2021
  • Reading time:9 mins read
Where to stay in Key West, Florida

In Key West you find the Southernmost Point of the continental US. And the endless summers and the unique quirky vibe attract visitors from wide and far. But where to stay in Key West for that optimal location?

Old Town, New Town or to venture an island away to Stock Island are all great options for where to stay when visiting Key West.

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Where to stay in Key West

Old Town – The best place to stay in Key West

Old Town of Key West, also called the Historic District, sits on the western part of the island. Here you find most of Key West’s famous tourist attractions.

Among them are the Southernmost Point, Mallory Square, Hemingway’s Key West House and Duval Street with all its shops, restaurants and bars. On this end of the island you also find the best public beach, Fort Zachary Taylor Beach.

If you choose Old Town for where to stay you have most things to do in Key West nearby. And that in turn means that you won’t be dependent on transportation to and from all the popular places to see. Instead, you conveniently can walk to most places of interest when you stay in Old Town of Key West.

With great location comes higher rates and prices at Key West hotels in Old Town are generally steeper compared to if you stay further away from the main areas.

So if you don’t care about having walking distance to most places, staying further away from the attractions usually means that you find cheaper Key West hotel rates. And further away from the main Key West attractions you find New Town and Stock Island hotels.

But Old Town is the best place to stay in Key West if you want great access to all things to do and not be in need to think about getting back and forth from your hotel. And undoubtedly, the Historic District is the best area to stay in Key West to get to know the quirkiness that the island is so famous for.

Stay in Old Town for: Best access to all attractions and Key West ambience 24/7.

Recommended Old Town Hotels

Almond Tree Inn – Stay in Key West near Duval Street

This Key West hotel has all you need for a peaceful stay in the heart of Key West. Almond Tree Inn sits on Truman Avenue near Duval Street in the center of all action but the property is still extremely neat and quiet. This is not where to stay in Key West on a budget, but the attractive Key West hotel is a place people are willing to pay for.

Douglas House – Another great Old Town hotel near Duval Street

Douglas House is another great place for where to stay in Key West near Duval Street in Old Town. Just steps away from the Old Town hotel you find many of the famous Key West attractions. In particular Douglas House is rated as a fantastic place for where to stay in Key West for couples.

Hemingway's House in Key West
Hemingway’s House in Old Town.

New Town – Stay in Key West on a budget

The area of Key West that is called New Town is the part of the island that sits east of Old Town. Unlike if you stay in the Historic District you don’t have most attractions right at your front steps if you stay in New Town of Key West.

There are a few popular restaurants in New Town that have appeal to both locals and visitors. But with that said, most of the priorities when you visit are located on the western end of the island.

This means that the rates you find at Key West hotels in New Town often are lower than Old Town rates. So New Town is a great choice for staying in Key West on a budget. Usually the further away from Duval Street you look the cheaper the Key West hotel rates get.

However, it’s still just a few miles to get from the New Town hotels to Old Town of Key West. So you have decent access to most things to do when you stay in New Town as well.

In short, New Town in Key West is a great choice if you don’t need the very best access to the things to do in Old Town or if you look for a place for where to stay in Key West on a budget. But if you want to have all the attractions just steps away and the Key West vibe that comes with that, this isn’t your best choice for where to stay in Key West.

Stay in New Town for: Decent access to Old Town and cheaper rates.

Recommended New Town Hotels

Barbary Beach House Key West – Stay in Key West on the beach

This New Town hotel is a great place for staying in Key West on the beach. Barbary Beach House is located just steps away from Smather’s Beach on the southern end of the island. Does it get much better than a beach house in Key West? And from the Key West property it’s not longer than 1.6 miles (2.6 km) to Southernmost Point in Old Town.

Parrot Key Hotel & Villas – A lush Key West hotel on the northern shore

On the northern end of Key West in New Town you find Parrot Key Hotel & Villas. The gorgeous grounds and beautiful ocean view make guests coming back to this New Town hotel. The hotel is surrounded by its lush gardens, which contributes to a secluded feeling and makes it a great place for where to stay in Key West with family.

Palm tree in Key West
Endless summer in Key West.

Stock Island – To try something else

Stock Island is the island next to Key West. If you drive the Overseas Highway from the mainland, Stock Island is the last island you pass before you enter the final key.

The island prouds itself on its full 18 hole golf course and several good places to eat. And Stock Island is a great place to spend some relaxing time in the Key West sun.

On the downside, when you stay at a Stock Island hotel you will need to think about and spend time on transportation to reach the main attractions in the Historic Disctrict. To get the 5 miles (8 km) one way from Stock Island to Old Town takes about 15 minutes by car.

Staying on Stock Island is a great option if you want a quiet vacation where you mostly hang out at the hotel pool in the sunny weather. However, Stock Island is too far away to be optimal if you plan to go a lot to Old Town where you find that special quirky Key West culture. Then Old Town or New Town are better areas for where to stay in Key West.

Stay on Stock Island for: Enjoying something else than the traditional Key West vacation.

Recommended Stock Island Hotels

Oceans Edge Key West – A Stock Island hotel with panoramic views

Oceans Edge on Stock Island offers panoramic water views an island away from Key West. The Stock Island hotel is a great option if you prefer to try something else than the traditional Old Town and New Town stay.

A Key West sunset is a must see in Florida
Sunset in Key West.

Search for a hotel in Key West

Use the booking tool below to find the perfect accommodation for your stay in Key West. Browse the map for options in various areas, or click on the search button to get all Key West hotels listed.

Booking.com

Where to stay in Key West FAQ

Here you find the answers to some frequently asked questions about where to stay in Key West, Florida.

What is the best area to stay in the Florida Keys?

The best way to see Florida Keys is to spend some time in Key West and also at least a couple of nights in the middle or upper parts of the island chain. That way you get to experience both the liveliness and quirky vibe of Key West and some of what the other more laid-back parts of the Keys have to offer.

What is the best location to stay in Key West?

If you want to be in the heart of Key West the best place to stay is in Old Town on or near Duval Street. From the Key West hotels in Old Town you have walking distance to a majority of the best attractions, restaurants, bars and shops. The southern part of Duval closer to Southernmost Point is good if you prefer it a little bit quiteter.

Should you stay in Old Town or New Town of Key West?

To stay in Old Town is the best option for a traditional Key West vacation with all things to do nearby. New Town in Key West is further away from the buzz of Duval Street but also a great option if you don’t mind the longer distance to most things to do on the island.

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