Food and Wine Weekend Getaway in Key West
1Get acclimatized to the island's eclectic rhythms with a stroll on Duval Street, the main drag of Old Town's shopping and nightlife. "Colorful" aptly describes the people-watching and the retail mix that combines wacky t-shirt shops with high-end Towels of Key West.
2Time the Duval stroll for a sunset cocktail at The Top, the rooftop bar of the Crowne Plaza Key West La Concha. The hotel is the tallest building in town and the bar's wraparound deck provides a peaceful alternative to the sunset-viewing chaos of Mallory Square.
3For dinner, head east to always-bustling nine one five, a Victorian home turned wine bistro with front porch seating overlooking Duval. An extensive wine list accompanies plates sized for all appetites, from foie gras with fig jam to Key West black grouper and steak frites.
1Ensconced in a charming clapboard cottage, Sarabeth's caters to early birds and late risers with a breakfast menu that spills well into the afternoon. As the southern outpost of NYC jam maker and pastry chef Sarabeth Levine, count on baked goods to die for.
2Burn off a few breakfast calories with a 10-minute walk west to Pier House for a treatment at the resort's Caribbean Spa. The Milk and Honey Rehydrating Treatment is a long-running favorite for nourishing sun-baked skin.
3Head to Santiago's Bodega, tucked about five blocks off Duval in Bahama Village, for a tapas lunch and homemade sangria. Dishes like goat cheese stuffed dates wrapped in proscuitto, pork skewers with apple-mango chutney, and spicy shrimp bisque have made this tiny spot a dining destination.
4Walk back to the west end of Old Town, for some tasty island gifts to bring home. Peppers of Key West encourages visitors to belly up to their tasting bar to sample a flight of sauces, escalating from mild to fiery. The Peppers-branded Asian marinade gets our vote.
5The shopping continues at Kino's Sandals, which has turned out handcrafted, affordable footwear in Key West since the mid-'60s. Then pass through the Sponge Market in Mallory Square to pick up any size or shape of natural sponge imaginable.
6Rowdy booze cruises abound, but only Danger Charters Wind & Wine Sunset Sail accompanies its two-hour sunset viewing excursion with a top-notch tasting of eight wines from around the world. The ship docks at the Westin Resort & Marina.
7Fresh seafood is the hallmark of Key West dining, and off-the-beaten-path favorite Seven Fish makes the most of the local waters, updating its menu daily around the latest catch. Make a reservation, because tables vanish quickly at this small, chic bistro nestled among Old Town residences.
1Start off with a French treat at La Creperie Key West, where offerings range from sweet fruit-filled crepes to their savory counterparts made from organic buckwheat and stuffed with brie, ratatouille, or smoked salmon. The restaurant has enjoyed a renaissance since relocating to this more spacious indoor-outdoor location in Bahama Village.
2Key West isn't renowned for its beaches, but Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park, about a mile from Bahama Village, is worth a post-breakfast visit. Tour its National Historic Landmark fortress, snorkel, and soak up sun on the sands at the southern end of the park.
3Wind down the weekend with a stop at the Keys' classic B.O.'s Fish Wagon, a license-plate-laden open-air shack that serves tasty grouper sandwiches, shrimp, cracked conch, and burgers on the west side of Old Town.