USCG Station Key West
101 Trumbo Point Rd., Key West, FL 33042
In Key West, the summers are long, hot, oppressive, wet, and mostly cloudy and the winters are short, comfortable, humid, windy, and mostly clear. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 65°F to 89°F and is rarely below 56°F or above 91°F.
The hot season lasts for 4.0 months, from June 2 to October 2, with an average daily high temperature above 86°F. The hottest day of the year is August 7, with an average high of 89°F and low of 81°F.
The cool season lasts for 3.0 months, from December 7 to March 6, with an average daily high temperature below 77°F. The coldest day of the year is January 18, with an average low of 65°F and high of 74°F.
The wetter season lasts 4.7 months, from May 24 to October 16, with a greater than 36% chance of a given day being a wet day. The chance of a wet day peaks at 59% on September 16.
The drier season lasts 7.3 months, from October 16 to May 24. The smallest chance of a wet day is 12% on March 20.
Cost of Living
Residents in Key West, FL enjoy a cost of living index of 141. This index is 42% higher than the Florida average, and 41% higher than the national average. The following categories are used when determining the cost of living index for any given city: health care (5%), transportation (9%), utilities (10%), groceries (13%), housing (30%), and goods/services (33%). Clearly, housing and goods/services make up the majority of the formula for calculating the cost of living index. Because of this, the general cost of living for any given area can be estimated by looking at the cost of everyday goods in that area. For those living in Key West, FL, the average cost of goods and services is 3% higher than it is in Florida, and it is 1% higher than the national average.
Getting to Know the Area
Like other vacation locales in Florida, Key West offers plenty of ways to enjoy its coastal seat, including sailing, snorkeling and kayaking tours and several clean beaches. But beyond its outdoor pursuits, Key West also lays claim to some interesting artifacts. Once the choice vacation getaway for Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams and President Harry S. Truman, the island is home to more than a few historical treasures. Museums are scattered throughout, but the most activity is concentrated on the island’s western half. Duval Street is a particularly lively area for souvenir shoppers, budget dining and nightlife.
For the cleanest beach and best waters in Key West, you should head for the westernmost point of the island to Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park. There, you can sunbathe, hike, bike, fish and get a dose of history all in one place. Recent visitors favor this shoreline over Smathers Beach (the water is clearer, making it an ideal snorkeling spot), but travelers also warn that the sand is not soft and that beach shoes are needed to traverse the rocky terrain safely. While the beach might not be as powdery soft as some other Florida beaches, it does offer some great snorkeling opportunities, according to recent visitors. Along with your snorkel gear, pack some grilling food and charcoal: This beach has plenty of barbecue grills and rental equipment.
When you’re not admiring the waters that surround Key West from the beach, enjoy them from the deck of a boat. Several companies offer sailing, snorkeling and kayaking tours, not to mention sunset cruises. Danger Charters, Classic Harbor Line and Sebago Watersports all receive favorable reviews from recent travelers. There are also several tours designed exclusively for dolphin watching (the Florida Keys are a refuge for hundreds of dolphins every year) – Wild About Dolphins and Dolphin Watch are among the most popular, according to recent travelers.
For a great view of the Key West sunset, head to Mallory Square at the northwest tip of the island. During the Sunset Celebration (a free, nightly arts festival that starts about two hours before sunset), this is one of the best spots on the island to catch the sun’s last moments and revel in the end of the day. But because it’s one of the best vantage points for watching a sunset, it’s also extremely crowded, especially with cruise ship passengers.
Key West isn’t known for its beaches. However, the most bustling one on this island is Smathers Beach, which is particularly popular during spring break. Recent travelers say the beach is clean and peaceful, with plenty of shade and amenities, including bathrooms, food trucks, and chair and umbrella rentals. Visitors also say the views are great.
You’ll find Smathers Beach on the southern shore of the island, about a mile from central Key West. It’s close to the airport, which can be a pro if you enjoy watching the planes take off and land, or a con if you’re not a fan of the noise.