Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Could We Live in Key West?

2012-1-14 KW Seafood Fest 009

2012-1-14 KW Seafood Fest 028Last June we spent a month down in the southern part of the Florida Keys at Bluewater Key RV Resort (near mile marker 14). Now for the last two weeks we are staying near mile marker 5 in January less than a mile from Key West. Based upon these two short stays – one in summer and one in winter – I feel we have a pretty good sense of what it would be like to live in Key West.

Remember that one of our quests in this lifestyle of full timing in an RV was to seek out potential places that we could put our roots down into. Since leaving Texas we have come across a few promising spots but none as intriguing as we have found here in Key West.

So what are the pros and cons of living in Key West?

2012-1-14 KW Seafood Fest 010PROS

  • weather, weather, weather,always tropical
  • sun and palm trees everywhere
  • blue water that is always warm enough to get in
  • the locals we have engaged are real interesting and friendly people
  • great year round fishing and seafood harvesting
  • there is a regional airport nearby


  • 2012-1-14 KW Seafood Fest 005hurricanes, obviously 
  • lack of opportunities to earn any income if needed
  • very expensive cost of living (especially real estate)
  • no major medical facilities nearby
  • too many cruise ships clogging up the the downtown area
  • difficult for family members to visit (although they will more likely visit here than if we retired much closer to them)2012-1-14 KW Seafood Fest 031

Although we love the Florida Keys and really love being here near the Key West area we are not real sure we could live down here full time. It not just the cons above that tells us that it is something else.

What else could it be?

It is as simple as this, with as much partying as the conchs do here in the Florida Keys we are pretty sure our livers could never handle it… so our quest will continue…


  1. .....but you could always get new livers!

  2. I agree with the cons but the reasons I don't think we could live there is one big one
    ---difficult for family members to visit!

  3. The pros are always great but it's the cons that get us every time.
    But I can see you enjoy it LOTS while you are there. Wish I were there. Not in my budget without planning ahead. Next winter for sure!

  4. How is the water situation down there these days? I've never made it to Key West, and I was last in Big Pine Key >30 years ago, where the fresh water situation was critical. Seems like they could have done with some gray water reclamation (we were allowed to flush once a day, in a dorm).

    1. there doesn't appear to be any water problems... it may be attributed to all the beer and foo foo drinks consumed here...

    2. The water, not bad but, I only drink bottled water since I know whats comming out of my faucet (lime, mineral scale, calcium deposits and black specs). Key West is a drinking-drunk town 24/7.
      I never liked it here since 2000, but I am stuck here and barely make enough money to save, rent has gone through the roof as with hotel and motel they are between $300 to $500 a night, more $$$ in busy seasons like FF, Christmas, New Years, Easter, Spring Break.

    3. KW is a beautiful place, but it's very small. You are bound to run into the same people four or five times a day, even if you don't want to. There is a lot of corruption and nothing to do, so favorite activities are drinking, drugs and gossiping. Key West is better for vacation, trust me.

  5. I probably couldn't live there either, but it sure would be fun to try for a while!

  6. We love the keys, especially Key West, but like you, a nice visit is best.

  7. Lost my well thought out comment. Grrr!

    In a nutshell. Living in such a wonderful area can lose it's shine after a while. I still love the Coromandel Peninsula but when we are free to make our next move it will where the roads are good, and a place that isn't inundated by hoards of holiday makers.

    Relatively speaking The Coromandel Peninsula is very similar to the Keys. I will miss it when we go. But I will not miss the feeling of being isolated from mainstream New Zealand.


  8. The Keys are on my list of places I want to see!

  9. That partying thing would catch up with us too but sometimes it sounds like fun to try. We have not been to the Keys but from reading all your posts I have a feeling we would really like it, that is all except for paying for it. :)

  10. I agree. It's a great place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.

  11. I tried to get my last tour in the Coast Guard at Key West, but it didn't work out. So we'll just visit it now and then to make sure it's still there. ;c)

  12. I don't know. There are a lot of old conchs. We are excited to get down there next November.

  13. Being a native Floridian, it doesn't seem too tough a move. We were considering a move to an out-island in the Bahamas, so our change of heart move to Key West doesn't seem outlandish at all now! Yes, we are social drinkers and our business would fit in well with the artistic area. I love the diversity in the people and the energy of the place. Can't WAIT to move, in 2 years max.

  14. Believe it or not, not all Keys dwellers party non-stop. We have families, jobs and responsibilities and we live normal lives just like you do. The only difference is, we live in paradise and never have to chip ice off the windshield or put on coats and boots to get the mail.

    Hurricanes, they are a real possibility but we don't let that possibility prevent us from living a wonderful life in a place we love.

    The cost of living is very high but the pros definitely outweigh the cons.

  15. We retired to Key West last year. Love it here. The best part of Key West, aside from the beautiful weather, is that you can walk or bicycle everywhere. Very pedestrian friendly unlike the rest of Florida. There is lots to do here. Great theater, concerts, restaurants and friendly people. There is a thriving artist community. A lot of water sports activities. Very nonjudgemental live and let live atmosphere. Drinking and partying is what the tourists do down along parts of Duval Street. Key West is very different for those of us lucky enough to live here. Bottom line, if you like Florida, you may not like it here. But if you dislike most of Florida, you will probably love Key West.

  16. Key west, either you get it or you don't. If you do
    n't key west will eat you alive and judging from your list of "cons" you don't get it. You would be happier somewhere else. Quite frankly we would be happier too. Good luck

  17. So basically in a nutshell if you are NOT an alcoholic, you ARE healthy, you have enough $$, your kids have enough $$ money to visit, the only thing you have to worry about are the hurricanes.

    That is what good construction and even better insurance is for. I like Key West. I like it every time I go....