5 Out Travelers. 1 Gorgeous Destination. This is OUT in Key West.
Last year, OUT sent newlyweds Kit Williamson and John Halbach on a romantic getaway to our favorite gay mecca. This year, the pair are back in Key West, and they brought some friends. Join Kit and John with their pals, Adrian Anchondo, Stephanie Frosch, and Anna Campbell for some glorious Florida sunshine, island adventure, and endless Key Lime Pie. Follow along as Kit, John, Adrian, Stephanie, and Anna take you OUT in Key West.
There’s so much beauty, nature, history, and community to experience and take in on this island. This is our perfect day in Key West.
EXPLORE KEY WEST AT YOUR OWN PACE WITH BIKE RENTALS
Bike Man Bike Rentals has 8 locations around the island where you can rent regular bikes, tandem bikes, and even tricycles to explore Key West.
Kit’s Tip: Key West is about 4 miles long and one mile wide, so you can get pretty much anywhere you need to go on a bike. Bike Man is the perfect company to rent from because they have 8 locations, so you have a bunch of different options for where you can pick up and return your bike. Plus, it’s nice to not have to worry about parking on the island — finding a place to lock up your bike is pretty easy.
John’s Tip: Bring a GoPro camera! The island is so beautiful and you’re going to want to document it all. If you attach a GoPro camera to the handle bars of your bike you’ll get a bunch of great footage of your biking adventures.
Stephanie's Tip: Riding a bike is a great way to get around the island whether you're a novice or experienced bike rider.
HIT THE BEACH AND TAKE IN SOME HISTORY AT FORT ZACHARY TAYLOR HISTORIC STATE PARK
Known affectionately as Key West’s 'Liz Taylor' beach, this park is open every day from 8 a.m. until sunset, has audio guided tours at 11 a.m., and houses historic Fort Zachary Taylor.
John’s Tip: Key West is known for its really rich history, and this is just one of the places you can see a part of that. Built in 1866, Fort Zachary Taylor was key in both the Civil War and the Spanish American War. Guided tours are available daily, plus it’s another great photo op.
Kit’s Tip: Bring your swimsuit and a picnic and make a day of it! The fort is located right next to one of Key West’s most beautiful beaches where you can swim, snorkel, hike, fish, and bike.
SNAP A SELFIE AT THE SOUTHERNMOST POINT OF THE CONTINENTAL U.S.
Only 90 miles from Cuba, the Southernmost Point Buoy marks the southernmost point in the continental United States.
Kit’s Tip: The Southernmost Point is a painted concrete statue that sits at the lowest point of longitude in the continental United States. It’s one of the most visited attractions in the United States and makes for another great photo op. There’s usually a line, but it moves pretty fast. I’d recommend making friends with someone in front of you or behind you so you have someone to take your picture. That way you’re not stuck taking a selfie.
John’s Tip: Keep an eye out for vendors nearby on the street. We got the most amazing fresh coconut milk and mango to enjoy while we were waiting our turn in line.
GET LOST IN TROPICAL VIBES AT THE KEY WEST GARDEN CLUB
This volunteer-run nonprofit park’s mission is to provide educational opportunities for the community relating to tropical gardening and to the West Martello Tower, a national historic site where the club is located.
Kit’s Tip: The Garden Club is a great spot to stop if you’re looking for some place to relax for a bit or take a quick stroll through gorgeous flora right next to the beach. There’s no admission fee, and it’s open every day from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
John’s Tip: Check out the Garden Club’s website to see if there might be a special event or attraction while you’re in town. When we visited, there was an amazing art fair with local vendors selling jewelry, pottery, paintings, and a bunch of other cool stuff. Also, if you’re looking for a spot to hold your own special event (ahem, a wedding, perhaps?), the garden is available for rentals.
PAY YOUR RESPECTS AT THE KEY WEST AIDS MEMORIAL
The Key West AIDS Memorial honors the locals and visitors to Key West who died of AIDS-related illness. Their names are inscribed on Zimbabwe granite and embedded in the walkway approaching White Street Pier.
John’s Tip: At the height of the epidemic, Key West had one of the highest rates of AIDS cases diagnosed per capita in the United States. Not only were many locals infected, but the town also became a refuge for patients around the country whose own communities were hostile toward them. Today, the memorial has the names of more than 1,000 people who died of AIDS-related illness in the area, and I’m so glad we took the time to learn about their stories and pay our respects.
Kit’s Tip: It’s important to honor past generations of LGBTQ people that created safe havens for the community like Key West. We are filled with gratitude to them for fighting for our rights and making the world a more accepting, compassionate place.
Find all this and more waiting for you out in Key West. Plan your adventure here, and streamline your travel by flying directly to Key West International Airport from a variety of connecting cities, including Newark, NJ, Charlotte, NC, Atlanta, GA, Miami, FL, and more.