At the end of scenic U.S. Route 1, past Miami and 43 islands connected via bridge to the mainland, you've made it to your destination—24 North Hotel Key West. The furthest and most noteworthy Key of them all, Key West has been home to artists like Ernest Hemingway and Jimmy Buffet, President Truman's "Winter White House," and plays host to nearly 3 million visitors each year.
One of the first sights upon crossing the final bridge onto the island is the glistening sea blue sign for 24 North. Set at the northeastern tip of the island, the hotel is a relaxing oasis away from the hustle and bustle of Mallory Square and Duval Street. Featuring one of the best pool scenes on the island, you'll never want to leave the hotel's cozy confines. While much of your time will undoubtedly be spent soaking in those legendary Key West rays by the pool, 24 North has plenty more to offer. Here's my guide for making the most of your stay at 24 North.
This one's a no-brainer. Cabanas, cocktails and plenty of lounge chairs will get you in vaca mode and the tropical yet refined vibe makes 24 North's pool one of the best around. There's nothing like rolling out of bed and into the pool. Once you get in, you won't want to leave.
Serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and, most importantly, happy hour, The Toasted Coconut is your all-in-one poolside watering hole. Soak up the sun with a daiquiri or piña colada and make sure to snap a pic on their Insta-friendly swing.
Swing by the concierge desk and rent a bike for the roughly 20 minute pedal over to Smathers Beach. Besides working off the fried seafood, you'll also get a chance to cruise along the exceptionally beautiful palm tree lined bike path. Key West isn't naturally beachy, so sand is imported every couple years from the Bahamas—making it super soft and perfect for laying out.
24 North offers a complimentary shuttle service all day long to ensure you have access to Key West's best attractions. While Hemingway's house and Duval Street's indulgences are only a few steps from the shuttle stop, make sure you don't miss sunset at Mallory Square. During golden hour each day hundreds of onlookers gather at water's edge to watch the sun set over (appropriately named) Sunset Key in an explosion of color.
Separating 24 North from its sister property, The Gates Hotel, is Sunset Green, an event space used for everything from weddings to outdoor movie nights. Be sure to check with the hotel to see what's scheduled on the space during your stay, but if nothing else, do what I did and take a break from the pool with an afternoon snooze on the hammock.
One of my favorite amenities at 24 North is the gym. Conveniently located on the pool deck, this light-filled structure is stocked with free weights, machines and treadmills to ensure you won't stray (too far) from your workout routine while you're on vacation. After you get a good sweat, rinse off at the outdoor shower and jump straight into the pool for the perfect cool down.