Where To Stay in Key West [5 BEST Neighborhoods!]

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Key West is absolutely iconic. Known for its laidback lifestyle, exclusive atmosphere, and artistic leanings, it’s a must-visit destination for travelers who enjoy the ocean. Key West is in the Florida Keys archipelago; it’s a small island surrounded by beautiful coral reefs. Of course, while you’re there, you’ll want to explore the ocean, but there’s a lot more to do in this small area.

Key West is one of the most exclusive holiday destinations in the US, so you might struggle when it comes to finding the best places to stay in Key West, particularly if you’re on a budget. That’s why we’ve created this guide, so you can find the Key West accommodation option that’s right for you and your trip and have a fantastic time!

Table of Contents

Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Key West

At A Glance: Where To Stay In KEY WEST

Where to Stay in Key West

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Key West.

WHERE TO STAY IN KEY WEST
htjltbl-table__image Best AirbnbBest AirbnbCute and Convenient Apartment
  • Free Wifi
  • Laptop-friendly workspace
  • Private deck, BR, LR, Kitchen, Laundry and bath
Book on Air BnB →
htjltbl-table__image Best High-End AirbnbBest High-End AirbnbAtlantic Island Studio
  • Pool, Hot tub
  • Free parking on premises
  • The resort is 5 minutes walk fro the famous Duval Street
Book on Air BnB →
htjltbl-table__image Best HotelBest HotelSilver Palms Inn
  • Bar
  • Facilities for disabled guests
  • The Harry S. Truman Little White House is less than one kilometer from Silver Palms Inn. Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park is 2.3 km away.
Book on Booking.com →

Best Airbnb in Key West – Cute and Convenient Apartment

Cute and Convenient Apartment

Cute and Convenient Apartment is the best Airbnb in Key West

Decorated just like its name suggests, this apartment is a clean, comfortable place to stay in Key West. It’s suitable for up to four guests and is located within walking distance of Old Town and all its charms. The apartment includes a private deck, laundry, and a fully equipped kitchen.

 

Best High-End Airbnb in Key West – Atlantic Island Studio

Atlantic Island Studio

Atlantic Island Studio is the best high-end Airbnb in Key West

Located in the best neighborhood in Key West for couples, this apartment offers breathtaking views of the ocean. It’s in a resort setting with a private beach and offers enough space for two people. The studio contains all the usual amenities, including a kitchen and a private bathroom. There’s a pool and a hot tub on the premises.

 

Best Hotel in Key West – Silver Palms Inn

Silver Palms Inn

Silver Palms Inn is the best hotel in Key West

This hotel is a good choice when you’re trying to decide where to stay in Key West close to everything. Just a few minutes’ walk from the beach and the main street, it offers bright, comfortable furnishings and all the usual amenities for a reasonable price.

 

Key West Neighborhood Guide

key west florida

Key West

Key West is a relatively small island, but there are still lots of neighborhoods to choose from when you’re traveling there. Best of all, because the island is so small, most of them are close to the central areas, so you won’t have to go far to find something to do!

The first area to consider is Mallory Square. This is the best neighborhood in Key West to be close to everything. From beaches and bars to shops and restaurants, this neighborhood has it all. Just be aware that it can get a little crowded sometimes.

The next area is Bahama Village. This is a more local area away from the main tourist drag, so you can get an idea of what everyday life is like on the island as well as better prices.

If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Key West for families, try New Town. This sleek, modern area has all the conveniences of home and lots of things to keep the whole family busy for days.

The next area is Duval Street. This is the main thoroughfare, so it can get busy and noisy. But it’s unbeatable for clubs, bars, and restaurants.

The final area to look at is Old Town, where the architecture is cool and the best tourist sites can be found.

Key West’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in:

Whether you’re trying to decide where to stay in Key West on a budget or have money to burn, here’s where to look.

Neighborhood#1 - Mallory Square

(Where to stay in Key West first time)

Mallory Square

Mallory Square is our pick for where to stay in Key West first time

COOLEST thing to do in Mallory Square: Head down to Mallory Dock at sunset for performers, acrobats, and a stunning ocean view of the setting sun.

BEST place to visit in Mallory Square: Key West Aquarium, where you can pet a stingray and get up close to a shark.

Mallory Square is the best neighborhood in Key West for your first time because it’s close to everything. This is where you’ll find the island’s best and most popular restaurants, bars, clubs, theaters, and shops. It’s also close to the most popular tourist sites, so you won’t have to go far to see something amazing.

Another draw of the Mallory Square area is the fact that there are a lot of accommodation options close by. No matter what your budget or taste, you’ll be able to find somewhere that suits your taste.

More awesome things to see and do in Mallory Square:

  • Get down to Mallory Dock early and enjoy the musicians, jugglers, and other street performers showing off their skills.
  • Head down to the Key West Aquarium to learn about the local marine life.
  • Take the kids to the Fury Water Adventures for every kind of water activity you can think of.
  • Spend some time at the Key West Shipwreck Museum.
  • Try some delicious eats at popular spots like family-owned El Meson De Pepe, the Two Friends Patio Restaurant for unbeatable seafood, or the Fisherman’s Café.

Where to Stay in Mallory Square

Best Airbnb in Mallory Square – Sunrise Apartment

Where To Stay in Key West [5 BEST Neighborhoods!] 1

Sunrise Apartment is the best Airbnb in Mallory Square

If you’re wondering where to stay in Key West for couples, this apartment is a good choice. Suitable for up to four guests, the unique decorations and homey feel make this perfect for a comfortable stay. The apartment has a great balcony as well as spacious rooms and all the amenities.

 

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Best High-End Airbnb in Mallory Square – Dog-Friendly Condo

Dog-Friendly Condo

Dog-Friendly Condo is the best high end Airbnb in Mallory Square

Located right in the center, this apartment is a good choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Key West for nightlife. It has enough space for up to six guests with two bathrooms and three beds and is only a block from the most popular sites in the city. The furnishings are clean and modern and include everything you’ll need for a short or long stay.

 

Best Budget hotel in Mallory Square – Ocean Key Resort

Ocean Key Resort

Ocean Key Resort is the best budget hotel in Mallory Square

Check out this hotel if you’re trying to decide where to stay in Key West on a budget. It’s right off Mallory Square and convenient to everything. The hotel has laundry facilities as well as a bar and restaurant on-site. The rooms are comfortable and come in a variety of sizes to suit all travel groups.

 

Best Luxury Hotel in Mallory Square – Margaritaville Key West Resort & Marina

Margaritaville Key West Resort & Marina

Margaritaville Key West Resort & Marina is the best luxury hotel in Mallory Square

Suitable for tourist and business travelers, this hotel is right in the center of Key West close to all the best attractions. The surroundings are luxurious and designed to help you relax and enjoy your stay, with a pool, hot tub, restaurant, bar, and gift shop on site. The rooms contain all the usual amenities and come in a variety of sizes.

 

Neighborhood#2 - Bahama Village

(Where to stay in Key West on a budget)

Bahama Village

Bahama Village is our pick for where to stay in Key West on a budget

COOLEST thing to do in Bahama Village: Head down to the flea market for souvenirs and a taste of local life.

BEST place to visit in Bahama Village: Have a meal at La Creperie, one of the most famous diners on the island.

Bahama Village is the best neighborhood in Key West if you’re on a budget. Once a little dodgy and known for its high crime rate, this is now a local neighborhood that will give you an insider’s view of the local culture and attractions. It also contains some of the best places to eat on the island, so you definitely won’t miss out on the local delicacies!

Key West is fairly small, so you won’t be far from the center of the city and all its attractions when you stay in Bahama Village. Best of all, it has a flea market that’s the best place on the island for souvenirs and items of all kinds.

More awesome things to see and do in Bahama Village:

  • Make sure you eat at the local diners like La Creperie, Blue Heaven, and Santiago’s Bodega.
  • Head down to the flea market for souvenirs and people watching.
  • Check out Nancy Forrester’s Secret Garden and have a picnic among the parrots.
  • Check out what’s on at the Key West Theater.
  • Take a photo next to Mile Marker 0.

Where to Stay in Bahama Village

Best Airbnb in Bahama Village – Andy’s Attic

Andy's Attic

Andy’s Attic is the best Airbnb in Bahama Village

The perfect loft apartment for two, this accommodation option offers lots of common spaces, including a pool, and is close to local attractions. Pets are allowed for a fee, and the apartment has one bedroom and bathroom and a small kitchenette that you can use as well as free Wi-Fi.

 

Best High-End Airbnb in Bahama Village – Bella Vita

Bella Vita

Bella Vita is the best High End Airbnb in Bahama Village

Bright, colorful, and quirky, this apartment is a good choice when you’re trying to decide where to stay in Key West on a budget but still want a little luxury. It’s within walking distance of local attractions and offers a large bedroom, kitchen with bar seating, and a wrap-around porch where you can sit and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere.

 

Best Budget hotel in Bahama Village – Caribbean House

Caribbean House

Caribbean House is the best budget hotel in Bahama Village

Pet-friendly and just a few minutes’ walk from the center of Key West, this budget Key West accommodation option offers air-conditioned rooms with private bathrooms and small fridges. Some of the apartments have a private balcony, and the amenities are budget, but clean and comfortable.

 

Best Luxury Hotel in Bahama Village – Avalon Bed & Breakfast

Avalon Bed & Breakfast

Avalon Bed & Breakfast is the best luxury hotel in Bahama Village

Right in the heart of Bahama Village, this B&B is four-star and offers comfort and convenience in the heart of the neighborhood. It’s close to the center of the city and offers homey, comfortable furnishings as well as an outdoor pool and lots of sporting facilities for travelers who want an active holiday.

 

Neighborhood#3 - New Town

(Best neighborhood in Key West for families)

New Town

New Town is our pick for the best neighborhood in Key West for families

COOLEST thing to do in New Town: Go for a stroll on the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail.

BEST place to visit in New Town: Wander around the beautiful Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden.

If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Key West for families, New Town is a good choice. Sleek, modern, and convenient, this area doesn’t have the charm of some of the oldest parts of the city, but it does have all the modern conveniences you might need if you’re traveling with kids.

New Town is to the east of the island but still within reach of the main tourist areas. It offers accommodation that’s new and modern and away from the noise and crush of the tourist center.

More awesome things to see and do in New Town:

  • Spend time exploring the beautiful Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden.
  • Check out the oddities at the East Martello Museum.
  • Wander down to Charterboat Row and book yourself a fishing trip out of the city.
  • People watch along the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail.
  • Have a snack or meal at Tavern ‘N Town, Goldman’s Deli, or Mrs. Ze’s Newtown.

Where to Stay in New Town

Best Airbnb in New Town – Sprawling Condo

Sprawling Condo

Sprawling Condo is the best Airbnb in New Town

If you want some space and all the comforts of home, this condo provides. It has a shared pool and three floors of living spaces with an outdoor living area and flatscreen TV. There’s a private parking spot for the condo, and you can even bring your dog for a small fee!

 

Best High-End Airbnb in New Town – Club Riviera House on Water

Club Riviera House on Water

Club Riviera House on Water is the best high-end Airbnb in New Town

This house is a real find. With three bedrooms and two baths, it’s suitable for up to six guests and is located on the canal in Key West. Bikes, canoes, and other equipment are provided so you can really enjoy your stay. The house is secure, private, and close to local attractions.

 

Best Budget hotel in New Town – Harborside Hotel & Marina

Harborside Hotel & Marina

Harborside Hotel & Marina is the best budget hotel in New Town

With a sun deck, free Wi-Fi, and easy access to the dock, this hotel is a slightly unusual Key West accommodation option. This is mostly because of the fact that you have the choice of staying in a room or a houseboat. If you love the water and want to be close to New Town, this is where you should stay. It’s only a short distance from the center of town and all its charms as well.

 

Best Luxury Hotel in New Town – Fairfield Inn & Suites

Fairfield Inn & Suites

Fairfield Inn & Suites is the best luxury hotel in New Town

Located in New Town, this hotel is a good choice when you’re trying to decide where to stay in Key West for families. It offers clean, comfortable rooms with all the amenities, a free buffet breakfast, and is surrounded by local restaurants. The hotel also has a tiki bar, fitness center, and outdoor pool. It’s within walking distance of the main tourist sites.

 

Neighborhood#4 - Duval Street

(Best area to stay in Key West for nightlife)

Duval Street

Duval Street is our pick for the best area to stay in Key West for nightlife

COOLEST thing to do in Duval Street: Have a drink at the famous Hog’s Breath Salon.

BEST place to visit in Duval Street: Check out the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum for a look at Key West’s artistic side.

Duval Street is the best choice when you’re trying to decide where to stay in Key West for nightlife. The street runs from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean and is one of the most popular areas on the whole island. Duval Street has everything, and you’ll never get bored when you spend your time there.

If you’re looking for legendary bars, clubs, or restaurants, you’ll find them on Duval Street. It can get a little crowded, so don’t expect a quiet or relaxing time, but if you’re up for some noise and excitement, this is the area for you.

More awesome things to see and do in Duval Street:

  • Have a drink at popular haunts like the Green Parrot Bar, Hogs’ Breath Salon, or the Rum Bar.
  • Grab a meal at Key West Fish & Chips, Old Town Mexican Café, or Seaside Café at the Mansion.
  • Just wander along the street and stop it at some of the many weird and wonderful shops.
  • Check out The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum.
  • Get creeped out at the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium.

Where to Stay in Duval Street

Best Airbnb in Duval Street – Duval Street Apartment

Duval Street Apartment

Duval Street Apartment is the best Airbnb in Duval Street

This apartment is in the best neighborhood in Key West and close to everything. It’s right on Duval Street and has enough space for up to three guests. The balcony actually overlooks Duval Street, so you can watch the goings-on from your own space. A free continental breakfast is served every day in the garden.

 

Best High End Airbnb in Duval Street – Key West Apartment

Key West Apartment

Key West Apartment is the best high end Airbnb in Duval Street

Suitable for up to six guests, this apartment is set within a resort that has a tiki bar, quiet gardens, two pools, and a jacuzzi that you can use. The apartment is spacious with modern furnishings and is located within walking distance of Old Town and other local attractions.

 

Best Budget hotel in Duval Street – Duval Gardens

Duval Gardens

Duval Gardens is the best budget hotel in Duval Street

Centrally located, this hotel offers the best of both worlds. It’s close to everything you’ll want to see and do but won’t break the bank. The rooms are simple but comfortable, and the hotel offers a complimentary breakfast. Although there aren’t many facilities at the hotel, the surrounding neighborhood will keep you busy anyway.

 

Best Luxury Hotel in Duval Street – Orchid Key Inn

Orchid Key Inn

Orchid Key Inn is the best luxury hotel in Duval Street

Located in the best neighborhood in Key West for nightlife, this hotel is close to everything and perfect for travelers who want to spend long days and nights enjoying the city. It offers rooms in a variety of sizes, as well as a hot tub, an outdoor pool, a pool bar, and all the usual amenities for a short or long stay.

 

Neighborhood#5 - Old Town

(The Coolest place to stay in Key West)

Old Town

Old Town is our pick for the coolest place to stay in Key West

COOLEST thing to do in Old Town: Just wander the streets and take in the 187 historic buildings and landmarks.

BEST place to visit in Old Town: Check out Sloppy Joe’s, listed on the National Register of Historic Places and once frequented by Ernest Hemingway.

Old Town is cool. It’s also one of the best choices when you’re deciding where to stay in Key West for couples. It’s a designated US historic district, full of history and significant buildings as well as some of the best tourist sites in the city. It’s also full of fun and quirky places to stay, as well as boutique hotels and luxurious choices.

Old Town is on the west side of the island, and there’s more to it than just old houses. It has amazing restaurants and bars – some with historical significance – so be prepared for a busy holiday with lots of nights out and a dash of history when you stay in this area.

More awesome things to see and do in Old Town:

  • Have a slightly spooky look at the past at the Key West Cemetery.
  • Have a meal at the Old Town Tavern and Beer Garden, Seven Fish, or La Trattoria.
  • Grab a delicious dessert and glass of wine at Better Than Sex.
  • Check out the alligators, stingrays, and sharks at the Key West Aquarium.
  • Experience the past at the Oldest House & Garden Museum.

Where to Stay in Old Town

Best Airbnb in Old Town – Happy Harbor Walk Apartment

Happy Harbor Walk Apartment

Happy Harbor Walk Apartment is the best Airbnb in Old Town

If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Key West close to everything, this apartment is your pick. It’s within walking distance of shops, restaurants, and Duval Street, and offers clean, comfortable surroundings for up to four guests. The apartment has a full kitchen and laundry as well as a front porch where you can relax and take in the sights.

 

Best High-End Airbnb in Old Town – The Green House and Garden

The Green House and Garden

The Green House and Garden is the best high end Airbnb in Old Town

This apartment is ideal if you’re looking for affordable luxury. Newly renovated, it’s cheerfully decorated and includes a large living area and bedroom, as well as a balcony where you can watch the world go by. It’s also within walking distance of some of the best sights in the city.

 

Best Budget Hotel in Old Town – Banana Foster Guesthouse

Banana Foster Guesthouse

Banana Foster Guesthouse is the best budget hotel in Old Town

Just a few minutes walk from everywhere, this accommodation is a good choice when you’re trying to decide where to stay in Key West on a budget. It’s only a few minutes from Duval Street and all the attractions of Mallory Square and offers homey, comfortable spaces in a variety of sizes to suit every travel group.

 

Best Luxury Hotel in Old Town – Crowne Plaza Key West-La Concha

Crowne Plaza Key West-La Concha

Crowne Plaza Key West-La Concha is the best luxury hotel in Old Town

This hotel is located in a historic building in the heart of Old Town, close to all the best tourist spots. It’s surrounded by great restaurants and shops and offers a historic feel, as well as updated amenities, including a restaurant, bar, wine tasting lounge, an outdoor pool, and a fitness center. There’s even a spa on the roof to make your stay even more relaxing.

 

Final Thoughts on the Best Places to Stay in Key West

Whether you’re trying to decide where to stay in Key West for your first time or you’re returning for an annual visit, you’ll have lots of areas to choose from. And then it’s all up to you. Prefer to be closer to the action? Choose one of the more central areas. Want to be close to everything but enjoy some peace and quiet at the same time? Move away from the center to more local areas. Whatever you do, you’ll have a relaxed, laidback time on the island and return home with a great tan!

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About the Author Aaron Hovanesian

Born in Los Angeles, Aaron Hovanesian is one of the original staff writers for Hotel Jules. Having backpacked the world as a young man, Aaron now prefers to travel the world in luxury, proudly staying in the world's most amazing hotels and properties.When Aaron is not traveling he lives in Western Colorado he can be found brewing his own beer (probably an IPA) or spending time with his two amazing golden retrievers.