If you are looking for a laid-back getaway spot that you can not only feel free and get away from it all, but actually be away from it all and still remain in the United States, Key West may be for you. There are some cheaper places to stay, but as with any popular vacation spot accommodations will be somewhat on the high side. Hotel rates are very seasonal, but in April for instance expect to pay between $100 and $150 per night for a nice place.
There are a couple of options to get there, and neither is quick or convenient. You can fly in from Miami, Orlando or Atlanta, but the planes are small (due to the small airport in Key West) and the fares generally aren’t cheap. Driving from Miami is actually a good option, as most of the route is very scenic and quite unlike anywhere in the country. It’s about a 3.5 hour drive, and gas in the keys is not inexpensive, either.
There are rental car options at the Key West airport, but the total size of Key West is only about 2 miles by 4 miles, so you won’t be doing much driving if you remain there for you stay. Once you finally get there you will probably either love the place or think one visit is enough. It’s probably not surprising that artists like Hemingway and Tennessee Williams spent a lot of time there. There is game fishing and many top-notch dining options available, but it is really the atmosphere that sets it apart.
First of all, I wouldn’t say Key West is the most kid-friendly of places. When scouting out places to stay you will find many that call themselves “adults only”. That basically means no kids. It is a place that caters more to adults who want some peace and quiet, and a relaxing place to hang out. If you wish to sunbathe sans clothing, there is that available. But they are only in designated areas, so it that’s not your cup of tea you won’t suddenly be shocked. If you are vacationing with the kids, I’d instead suggest Orlando to the north.
You will find some bed-and-breakfasts, but the all-inclusive packages like you’ll find in Mexico and other parts of Latin America haven’t hit here yet. But the best part of Key West is the seclusion from the real world and the ability to hang out with other adults who are also trying to get a break from the daily grind.