Typically, families stay in the heart of a destination to minimize car-seat maneuvering and travel time to top sights. But sometimes a hotel off the main drag is best. For family vacationers in Key West, bunking far from Duval Street makes sense. Sure, Duval has its charms. During the day. Come night, the emphasis is on partying, and it's more in your face than "family-oriented." A relatively new Key West hotel is Beachside Resort, a 15-minute drive from downtown. It's not like you'll miss out on Duval; the resort's free shuttle to the anything-goes mecca runs hourly until 10 p.m. Honestly, much about Beachside says "convention" rather than family, but accommodations, ranging from king bedrooms to three-bedroom, three-bath suites, are spacioussome with full kitchensand there are family packages. There's also a small beach, laze-the-day-away hammocks, and poolside private cabanas for shade. Oddly, most guests must walk through a parking garage to reach the water or (excellent) restaurant. Downtown, check out the very cool (if pricey) Pirate Soul Museum and Butterfly and Nature Conservancy. The Hemingway Home with its 50-something resident cats is great for older kids, too. Sunset sail? Definitely.
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