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Old 05-05-2009, 05:45 PM
 
1 posts, read 27,668 times
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Hi, my family and I are being moved to the navy station in Key West. I don't really like living on base much, so I was wondering where I'd be able to find an affordable apartment in the Keys. I have yet to find any listings online for a decent two bedroom apartment within my budget. $1,300 is about my max budget. That goes over our soon-to-be housing allowance.

Also, besides the obvious beach, what is there to DO in Key West? Or even around the Keys without having to travel inland?
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Old 05-05-2009, 06:17 PM
 
26,582 posts, read 50,112,640 times
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What obvious beach?

Key West isn't a beach town. There are a couple of small, rocky beaches, but please don't expect miles of beautiful sandy beaches there.

You will not find a decent two bedroom apartment in Key West for what youa re looking to spend. You'd have to go into the northern Keys to find that, and it can be a long commute every day. Even at that it's not going to be easy to find a two bedroom in your price range unless it's a mobile home.

Key West is primarily a tourism based economy, but except for drinking and snorkling, you can do and see all the tourist attractions ina few days.
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:25 PM
 
5 posts, read 80,759 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USMilitaryWifey View Post
Hi, my family and I are being moved to the navy station in Key West. I don't really like living on base much, so I was wondering where I'd be able to find an affordable apartment in the Keys. I have yet to find any listings online for a decent two bedroom apartment within my budget. $1,300 is about my max budget. That goes over our soon-to-be housing allowance.

Also, besides the obvious beach, what is there to DO in Key West? Or even around the Keys without having to travel inland?
we are also pcs-ing there soon and i was wondering if u can give me any info about key west and the housing.is it cheaper living off post or on.thank u
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Old 03-16-2011, 08:30 AM
 
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It looks like on-base housing is your only choice on that budget. In terms of things to do there will be base activities as well as outdoor recreation, shops, restaurants and of course the beach, which isn't "rocky". Smathers Beach is a fun place to spend some time. If you like quiet head over to Fort Zachary Taylor Park's beach.

Play on Smathers Beach - Key West Video - Travel Channel

Fort Zachary Taylor
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Old 03-19-2011, 06:58 AM
 
13,773 posts, read 31,514,224 times
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Default Key West... The place to relax and have Fun in the sun

OK Folks.. We have request for a sub forum for Key West so until that happens ask your questions here. Admin can use this thread as a guide as to whether there is a need for a new forum. This is a temporary thread and an experiment brought to you by your FL mods.

Where to stay, best time of year, which key is for you, best drinking place..

Ask away
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Old 03-19-2011, 07:05 AM
 
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Default http://www.city-data.com/forum/florida/1230510-key-west-place-relax-have-fun.html

Moving my questions from a separate thread to this sticky:

This forum has been incredibly helpful in my attempt to relocate to Florida. After many months, I finally have a job offer for Key West. There are many threads with good information about Key West, and I hope I don't repeat those questions here. Can you answer some random questions I have about the island?

--How pedestrian friendly is the island? Could I walk or ride a bike from the airport to Duval Street without getting run over? I'd like to not have to drive every day.

--How easy is to get to other keys/mainland? Are there fun things to do on nearby keys? Is it feasible to spend a weekend in Miami, or is it just too far away?

--What should I look for when renting a house? I've always dealt with apartment complexes that have clear-cut leases and BBB accredidation. Key West has only two apartment complexes, as far as I can tell: Ocean Walk and West Isle Club. West Isle Club looks tempting. What should I look out for if I rent from a private individual?

--How severe is the weather? Does it flood often? Have you been evacuated for hurricanes?

--Are gas and food more expensive? Gas is $3.50 a gallon here in Virginia. How much do you spend on groceries? Are basics like milk, chicken breasts, or pasta more expensive than on the mainland?

--How annoying are the tourists? 9,000 people on a cruise ship, and 2 cruise ships docking at a time. I can't imagine what a hassle that must be.

--Lastly, how "wierd" is Key West? This is hard to define, and some people might take offense. I like neighborhoods that are often described as "alternative" "bohemian" "progressive" or just "artistic." I'm thinking of Ocean Beach in San Diego, or Clark/Belmont in Chicago, or almost anywhere in San Francisco. I hate cookie cutter middle class suburbs like, say, Hampton Roads in Virginia or the outskirts of Chicago. Where does Key West fall on that spectrum?
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Old 03-19-2011, 11:12 AM
 
3,849 posts, read 7,070,232 times
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--How pedestrian friendly is the island? Could I walk or ride a bike from the airport to Duval Street without getting run over? I'd like to not have to drive every day.

You'll be fine both walking and biking all over. A bike ride from the airport to Duval (I've done it a couple times) can be a little long, but at the same time I was usually pushing it hard to get to a certain place in time for happy hour

--How easy is to get to other keys/mainland? Are there fun things to do on nearby keys? Is it feasible to spend a weekend in Miami, or is it just too far away?

Miami isn't that far... it will take about 3.5-4 hours depending on traffic. Traffic plays a BIG role on how long it takes since it's one road in, one road out. It's certainly feasible to spend a weekend in Miami (but you probably wouldn't want to do it every weekend)

--What should I look for when renting a house? I've always dealt with apartment complexes that have clear-cut leases and BBB accredidation. Key West has only two apartment complexes, as far as I can tell: Ocean Walk and West Isle Club. West Isle Club looks tempting. What should I look out for if I rent from a private individual?

I'm not familiar on the rental market, sorry!


--How severe is the weather? Does it flood often? Have you been evacuated for hurricanes?

Flooding can happen on certain parts of the island after a big rain. In terms of a hurricane, there are some dry areas of the island, the most well known being Solares Hill. If you're atop the hill, you won't flood (there are some other areas as well, though, that are at least harder to get flooded)


--Are gas and food more expensive? Gas is $3.50 a gallon here in Virginia. How much do you spend on groceries? Are basics like milk, chicken breasts, or pasta more expensive than on the mainland?

Groceries are the same as in VA, that goes for the Keys and both the mainland. Gas in the Keys as of earlier this week was $3.73ish in the Lower Keys (MM 20ish) and $3.81 in Key West proper. Key West is usually higher with gas because of the tourist.

--How annoying are the tourists? 9,000 people on a cruise ship, and 2 cruise ships docking at a time. I can't imagine what a hassle that must be.

It depends where you are. If you're on Duval you'll see a lot, if you're in more residential areas you'll see very few. Once the boats leave there is a noticeable difference in the amount of people there.


--Lastly, how "wierd" is Key West? This is hard to define, and some people might take offense. I like neighborhoods that are often described as "alternative" "bohemian" "progressive" or just "artistic." I'm thinking of Ocean Beach in San Diego, or Clark/Belmont in Chicago, or almost anywhere in San Francisco. I hate cookie cutter middle class suburbs like, say, Hampton Roads in Virginia or the outskirts of Chicago. Where does Key West fall on that spectrum?[/quote]

Key West ain't Hampton Roads! There's not anything even close to it. Most houses, especially in Old Town, are different, (well, many are the same but it's not the same as in Hampton Roads. Foliage is usually all grown in, and the houses can be blocks away from each other. It's more the same style than anything.) Key West is more open and welcoming, although I did notice a large influx of visitors from places like Alabama, and NoFla and many were very pushy. For example, riding a bike in Key West is legal on sidewalks with the exception of Duval Street. An old man and his wife from AL thought it was their duty to tell me I should be riding on the street as I peddled along Simonton Street. Of course I set them straight, but my point is they should be minding their own business instead of meddling in others.

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask
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Old 03-20-2011, 07:30 AM
 
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That's incredibly helpful. I'm happy to hear that Key West is nothing like Hampton Roads. I hate this place! I'm also happy to hear that food and gas aren't more expensive; I have to adjust my budget only for the insane rent prices. It will be very nice to leave my car in the garage. May I ask a few more questions?

--How is the snorkeling from shore? I don't care what the beaches are like. I'm interested in the water.

--How much does a typical dive trip cost? Is there shore diving or is it all boat trips?

--Is there a cheap hotel where I can stay for the first few weeks? I see resorts that cost $300+ per night. I just need a place with a bed and a lock on the door for ~$50 a night until I get my first paycheeck.
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Old 03-20-2011, 10:47 AM
 
3,849 posts, read 7,070,232 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Expatriate View Post
That's incredibly helpful. I'm happy to hear that Key West is nothing like Hampton Roads. I hate this place! I'm also happy to hear that food and gas aren't more expensive; I have to adjust my budget only for the insane rent prices. It will be very nice to leave my car in the garage. May I ask a few more questions?

--How is the snorkeling from shore? I don't care what the beaches are like. I'm interested in the water.

--How much does a typical dive trip cost? Is there shore diving or is it all boat trips?

--Is there a cheap hotel where I can stay for the first few weeks? I see resorts that cost $300+ per night. I just need a place with a bed and a lock on the door for ~$50 a night until I get my first paycheeck.
From shore you'll mostly see grasses, small fish and things like that.

I'm not sure about dive trip pricing, but snorkel trips are usually from $30-$50 per person. I would wait until the summer, though, because most companies give discounts around those times if you're a local.

There's really no limit on the amount of things you can do on the water. I recommend investing in a kayak so you can also paddle the waters and head to some small uninhabited islands. Many of these are found in the Lower Keys, not Key West, though.

I'm not sure when you're heading down, but that rate will be very hard to find no matter the time of year. I usually stay in Old Town which will make it doubly hard. I think you're going to have to at least up it to around $125 and even then you're looking at a shared bath accommodation.

Just out of curiosity, have you ever visited Key West before? I'm worried if you haven't you might get island fever.
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Old 03-20-2011, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Up North
3,381 posts, read 6,764,972 times
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I LOVE LOVE LOVE Key West. I don't know if I could live there, because I'm a city girl, but Key West is my happy place.
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