By Marie Speed
I have been going to Key West since the 1970s and I hate to think how many times I have stood at one exact spot at Sloppy's or watched the sunset from the Top of La Concha or ridden my bike through the cemetery, or bought a pound of Baby's coffee to take home. In recent years I've had the privilege of staying at my friend Mary's family's house on Whitehead Street. But for those of you who do not know Mary, have I got a place for you.
Sunset Key, about an eight-minute boat ride from the Weston on Front Street, is the parallel universe to Duval Street. White sandy beach, charming well-appointed guest cottages with front porches, bougainvillea and confederate jasmine and blanket flowers blooming everywhere. Sunset Key's new restaurant Latitudes is arguably the best food I have had in Key West and you can dine on the beach, torches flickering, a slight breeze off water so blue it looks phony. Add in an intimate spa experience and maybe an afternoon parasailing off the beach and you are in for a sublime tropical vacation only a few hours' drive down the road.
This is a summer news flash for those if you who want to indulge in a South Florida staycation that feels like a luxury getaway—but is a short boat ride away from the Duval Crawl (if you must). My guess is that you will likely not want to leave your own private island, but Sunset Key gives you that choice—and much, much more.
For information on Sunset Key, visit westinsunsetkeycottages.com