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August 13, 2008

The "Other" Key West: Beachside Resort

FIREWALKER: Key West busker at Mallory Square (Bob Krist/Florida Keys News Bureau)

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 spacious—some with full kitchens—and 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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Related Topics: Family Vacation · Florida Vacation · Places to Stay


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Hi: I don't disagree with you. But downtown Key West can be very over the top, crowded and loud for walking about with small kids. I like to give families options. While the road outside this resort is a major thoroughfare, inside the resort is very peaceful and quiet. The pool is excellent for families and there are places to walk around as well as hammocks if you want to stretch out with your little one to rest in the shade. Then, when you want to go downtown, you can. It's more likely to be a choice for families that have already experienced the fun side of downtown Key West, or those combining a family vacation with a meeting or convention. It's good to let them know this option exists. Thanks for reading!

Do you have an option of where to stay in Key West? If so, I'd choose something in Old Town even though i am sure the Beach side is lovely. Roosevelt is a very busy thoroughfare filled with fast food joints and strip malls.The nicest thing about Key West is that if you're in a good location Old Town, everything you want to do will be within walking distance - tourist activities, restaurants, sunset celebrations, etc.

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