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Packing List for Key West: Spring is a great time to visit Key West as the winter holiday crowds die down and the weather warms up. The island is one of the farthest away keys from the mainland so it makes for a nice getaway for families, girls trips and even solo trips. Packing for Key West is as simple as making sure you have the best of both worlds in your suitcase – cute dresses and bikinis, and a cardigan or light jacket for evenings.
The dress code in Key West is laidback, but if you plan on going out to fancier restaurants or clubs you’ll want to pack something nicer for those occasions. Otherwise, your focus will be on breezy beach wear. Think printed swimsuits, short dresses and floppy hats.
Read on for my picks on what to pack for Key West, Florida.
When to Visit Key West, Florida: Weather and Seasons
If you’re visiting during other months, you’ll find packing lists for other seasons added here soon.
What to pack in Spring in Key West (March, April, May): Spring and Winter are often combined together to represent Florida’s dry season. Temperatures are cool and there’s less rain than in summer. Bring a light jacket, dresses, leggings and a pair of pants for colder days. Temperature range is normally around 67-86F / 19-30C.
What to pack in Summer in Key West (June, July, August): Temperatures range from 79 to 89 F and 26 to 32 C, but beware the humidity can and will make it feel hotter. In summer its best to opt for tees and tanks pair with shorts and skirts, or alternatively time to wear all your cute dresses. Pick breathable fabrics. Pack a light cardigan for evenings and early mornings. Also take a rain jacket for rainy summer days. Make sure you check weather reports if visiting during these months as hurricanes can happen.
What to pack in Fall for Key West (September, October, November): Florida’s fall is often joined up with its summer and coined the rainy / wet season. Temperatures are still warm during this time but you’ll want a rain jacket for days when the rain begins. On non-rainy days dresses, tees (long or short) and shorts will serve you fine. Make sure you pack atleast one pair of pants though for colder days and watch the weather to make sure you’re not timing your visit with a hurricane. You’ll be looking at around 75-90F to 23-31C temperature wise.
What to pack in Winter in Key West (December, January, February): Florida doesn’t get overly chilly, so you’ll be fine with jeans or other pants during this time. In fact, you’ll likely get some wears out of your shorts, skirts and dresses during winter as well. Top wise you’ll do fine will long sleeved tops and tees, but pack a sweater and jacket as well. Packing some stockings to keep your legs warm on chillier days. Expect temperatures around 64-76 F / 17-24 C.
What to Wear in Key West in Spring
How to dress for Key West in Spring:
It depends on how long you’re visiting, but the packing list below is aimed at a weekend to a week. Pick your numbers of the items / types of clothes as needed. For instance I am a dress girl through and through and I repeat outfits so I would be tossing out the shorts and tops and only bring 2-3 outfits. If you can repeat outfits or use the washing facilities on a longer trip you can pack less.
- 1-3 x swimsuits
- 1-2 hats: it’s not summer yet but you still got to protect your face
- 2-4 bras: if you’re not going anywhere fancy and visiting the beach mostly you can easily live in your swimsuits
- 2-7 pairs of underwear
- 2-4 dresses: ones you can comfortably fit your swimsuit under
- 1-2 pairs of shorts
- 1-2 pairs of pants: check the weather before hand to see if its cold enough, otherwise ditch
- 2-4 tops: One should be long sleeved for colder nights. Tshirts or tanks will do you fine
- Flipflops for the hotel showers
- 1-2 pairs of sandals
- 1 pair of flats or sneakers (socks as needed)
- 1-2 pairs of leggings
- 1-2 light jackets or cardigans for night time
- 1-2 dressier outfits: if you plan to dress up at night or go to a fancier restaurant
- 1-2 pairs of sunglasses
What to Pack for Key West in March, April & May: Other Items
Travel Insurance for Florida
If you’re an American check if you’re covered under your health insurance or bank, but if you’re not you’re going to want travel insurance. Travel insurance can cover you for hospitalisation, stolen property and other accidents. American healthcare can get very expensive for the uninsured so its not worth taking the risk here.
As always I recommend World Nomads as its the brand I’ve used for over a decade. When I’ve gone through the claims process I’ve found them helpful and their instructions easy to follow. I think that’s the most important part of picking a travel insurance company as its stressful when things go wrong and you want an easy process.
Popular Day Tours in Key West
Sightseeing / Tours:
- 35+ options sightseeing pass: If you’re visiting Miami as well you might find value in this attraction pass which gives you access to 35+ attractions in Key West and Miami. These include a hop on, hop off bus pass, watersports, entrance fees and discounts on restaurants. Take a look here and see if anything catches your interest
Safety and Health in Key West, Florida
Key West is quite safe as a holiday destination, with crime not being as common as it is in bigger cities. As always though, don’t leave your stuff unattended and don’t flash your money around. Being a beach destination you’ll want to make sure you’re swimming between the flags, and keep an eye out for rips if there aren’t flags or lifeguards. Always pay attention to warning signs at beaches.
Health wise, you’ll find it easy to buy general, non prescription medicine here if you need it. Do be aware that costs can be quite high if you need to be hospitalised in the US though (don’t forget to buy travel insurance).