Often revered as the best place to stay in Key West, our downtown location makes us uniquely positioned to access many activities.
Key West offers shopping, watersports and a diverse array of attractions, including Mallory Square, Sloppy Joe’s Bar, the Conch Train Tour, the Hemingway Home and much more. Here are some of our favorite attractions only minutes away from our budget-friendly Southwinds Motel:
One of the most popular photo ops in Key West, the Southernmost Point buoy is only a short walk from our Key West motel. Since 1983 this prominent buoy has been the focus of millions of photos and even has its own webcam. Stand next to the buoy and see if you can spot Cuba, only 90 miles away!
A trip to Key West isn’t complete without a day at the beach. Take advantage of our on-site bicycle rental and head east a half mile to soak up the sun at Higgs and/or Smathers beach. Both beaches offer restrooms, volleyball courts, umbrella and chair rentals, and water activities.
A short 10 minute ride away, Key West’s National Historic Landmark, Fort Zachary Taylor, is another premier Key West attraction. Built in 1845, the fort was to serve as headquarters for the U.S. Navy’s East Gulf Coast. It was used again for the Spanish-American War and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. Just past the fort is the Fort Zachary Beach where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Gulf of Mexico.
Enjoy a two block walk to Duval Street for a tour at the #1 Attraction in Key West, the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory. The boutique shop and greenhouse offer a breathtaking journey into cascading waterfalls and a jungle environment – a Butterfly Rainforest. It offers over 60 butterfly species from around the world in a climate-controlled enclosure.
Half a mile away is the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum which was originally built in 1851 in a Spanish Colonial style, and was constructed of native rock. It was built by Asa Tift, a marine architect and a former salvage wrecker. Hemingway bought the home in 1931. It still has the European antiques that Hemingway collected during his stay in Europe, as well as trophy mounts that are souvenirs of his African safaris.
Rent a bicycle and travel like a local to Truman’s Little White House, the house where Harry Truman wintered during his Presidency has been visited by nine American Presidents. Built in 1890 as a Naval Commandant’s Quarters, Harry Truman first came here in 1946 and returned 11 times during his Presidency. John Kennedy, Dwight Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter and other Presidents visited over the years, attracted by the charm and ambiance of Key West.
Key West is home to a variety of Forts and Museums, as well as the Key West Lighthouse Museum, located across from the Hemingway House. You can climb the steps to the top and see a magnificent view of Key West Island and its sunsets.
Head toward the Northern end of the strip and visit the World Famous Sloppy Joe’s Bar, a former Hemingway hideout where many of the literary and musical world artists visited. There’s a world-record sailfish and various trophies of the Nobel Prize winning author on its walls.