Key West on a Shoestring

Recommended for : Party Budget & Bargain
1

The Greyhound bus ride from Miami to Key West takes at least four hours with frequent stops and costs under $50, but you get free sightseeing along the way on the 113-mile Overseas Highway that includes a 7-Mile-Bridge.

2

Check into Seashell International Hostel and Motel three blocks from Duval Street, center of Key West's bar culture. Rent a bicycle at the hostel for easy transportation all over the island.

3

With beach gear in tow, head out in the morning by bike to the Fort East Martello Museum to see Chucky of the horror movie franchise or rather the life-size doll named Robert who inspired the character and still inspires terror. Admission is $10, but a student ID will get you in for $5. Pedal back to Smathers Beach, considered one of the best gay beaches in the U.S. The 2-mile-long stretch of public sand has everything you need for the day, including water sports, volley ball and food trucks.

4

When you tire of beach fun, return to Old Town to shop seashells, straw hats and trinkets at the picturesque straw market at Bahama Village, a somewhat gentrified neighborhood of shops and eateries. It has a Caribbean flavor in its architecture and music with many residents descendants of original settlers from the Bahamas.

5

Late afternoon join the crowd at Mallory Square for the nightly sunset celebration with all manner of street performers (including cats), local artists and vendors selling everything from T-shirts to conch fritters. All this wild entertainment won't cost you a dime.

6

Spend the evening doing the Duval Crawl, Key West's trade-marked version of a pub crawl along Duval Street where every bar is gay-friendly. You'll find plenty of happy hours, drink specials, cheap bar food and live music without cover.