There are numerous small and charming Florida Keys bed and breakfast inns throughout the islands, many of which have a rich history and all of which are on, or within easy reach of, one of the island's most important attractions—the ocean. Staying at this type of lodging often will give you access to secluded private beaches. While these are found most everywhere, the Key West B&B inns are the most numerous, and you will be able to find a Key West bed and breakfast located right in town and close to all the attractions of this southernmost point in the continental United States. Do check with the property in advance, as not all welcome children and very few will allow pets.
The Big Pine Key bed and breakfast called Deer Run is named for the endangered Key deer, a small white-tailed deer known for swimming between the islands. It is a lovely, eco-friendly property with four rooms, three of which are oceanfront with beach views. It boasts a private sandy beach as well as a spa and swimming pool. Breakfast, in line with its eco-friendly atmosphere, is a full gourmet vegetarian meal suitable for vegans. The property has snorkeling gear, canoes, and kayaks, and the staff will assist you with diving expeditions.
The largest of the bed and breakfasts in Islamorada, and perhaps the largest in the islands, is the Keys Ocean Front Mansion. Appropriate for the sport fishing capital of the world, the property boasts a deep-water marina that can accommodate boats up to 50 feet in length. The mansion is huge, encompassing 10,000 square feet, and is geared toward groups who want their own slice of heaven in privacy. It has ten bedrooms, some of which are suites, and two fully equipped gourmet kitchens. In addition to the ocean and marina, there is a 40-foot swimming pool. This is less a Florida Keys bed and breakfast inn than it is one of the very exclusive vacation rentals on the islands.
A similar property, the more intimate Mullet Mansion, which has only two bedrooms, is found on Key Largo and has its own private beach. Breakfast isn't cooked for you, but the kitchen is fully stocked with breakfast fare that you can cook yourself. You will find that several of the Florida Keys bed and breakfast inns are also great vacation rentals.
There are a dozen or so Key West bed and breakfast inns. Located in the heart of Old Town, La Pensione is a grand classic revival Victorian mansion built in 1891. Nine rooms are decorated in classic Keys-Bahamian style, and a delicious breakfast is served for guests. This Key West B&B is quite close to the famous Hemingway Home and just a few blocks from the shops and nightlife of bustling Duval Street. It offers six suites, including a private cottage, some with kitchenettes. Look also for the Heron House, a lovely, centrally located property built in the 1850s.
Even in the heart of Old Town, a Key West bed and breakfast inn can offer you a tranquil location to remind you that you are on a tropical island but still give you easy access to all the things to do in town. The Wicker Guesthouse is actually composed of six lovely guesthouses that cover an entire city block and encircle lush gardens, sundecks, and a heated swimming pool. A continental breakfast is complimentary, and some of the suites have full kitchens. The Florida Keys has a rich Prohibition history, when rumrunners followed in the wake of pirates. The Key West B&B that evokes that history is the Speakeasy Inn. The Atlantis House is right on the ocean, and there are many other charming little inns and guesthouses in town. All of these properties put you within easy reach of the museums, Mallory Square, and other attractions found in town.
Image: Deer Run Bed and Breakfast