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Kew West vibe elsewhere in Florida??

Wilmington, Delaware
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15 posts
1 review
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Kew West vibe elsewhere in Florida??

My family is looking to buy a vacation house in Florida, and Key West is at the top of my list, but getting voted down for home prices and proximity to a cheap airport (must be within ~1 hr) . Is there anywhere else in Florida that comes close to Key West and meets the two requirements above?

My wife and I love the laid back, friendly atmosphere and charm of Key West. We also enjoy hitting a few bars and some nightlife nearby. I don't have my hopes up, but thought that I'd check here to see if anyone had any suggestions!

Thanks in advance!


Edited: 9:21 pm, January 01, 2013
Fort Myers, Florida
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606 posts
51 reviews
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11. Re: Kew West vibe elsewhere in Florida??

I'll save you some mileage. Dunedin and Ft. Myers Beach are nothing like KW. Dunedin is tiny and FMB is a lot more spread out than KW - definitely does not have the charm of KW. I've lived on Big Pine Key and while it is relaxed, it is a 45 min drive to KW. There is not much nightlife on most of the Lower Keys - maybe a bar or two per Key on average. You might look into the Caribbean - tons of direct flights, guaranteed warm weather and island vibe pretty much wherever you choose.

Clearwater, Florida
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8,776 posts
23 reviews
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12. Re: Kew West vibe elsewhere in Florida??

Clearwater Beach is a place where you can walk to everything. Hotels, beach bars, shops etc. There is a nightly sunset celebration on Pier 60, a park at the base of the pier with activities/events/shows etc, a marina, great fresh seafood, good drinks, live music, and a great beach.
















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861 posts
172 reviews
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13. Re: Kew West vibe elsewhere in Florida??

Clearwater Beach has a very commercial feel, nothing like the keys. Forgot to mention Siesta Key off of Sarasota earlier. Great beach, couple cool bars, and walkable if your in the siesta key village area.

Fort Myers, Florida
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606 posts
51 reviews
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14. Re: Kew West vibe elsewhere in Florida??

Clearwater Beach is nothing like KW. Here's a link to a previous discussion on the same topic, with over 60 comments to peruse.


Chester County, PA
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1,613 posts
12 reviews
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15. Re: Kew West vibe elsewhere in Florida??

We just got back from Ft. Myers Beach for New Year's. While the Time Square area and the surrounding streets do have a commonality in certain aspects to KW, it is limited to a much smaller area and far less funky. We really enjoyed NYE and their firework presentation was spectacular this year as they lowered a beach ball at midnight, we found a couple bars that we would DEFINATELY hit again (Mermaid and the Smokin' Oyster), but it ain't no Key West.

Moline, Illinois
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360 posts
29 reviews
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16. Re: Kew West vibe elsewhere in Florida??

I would second Cedar Key for a laid back vibe. I have heard it compared to Old Key West. I don't know about that, but we enjoyed the restaurants and bars that were within walking distance of the cottage where we stayed for about 4 days several years ago.

Tampa, Florida
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3,190 posts
17 reviews
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17. Re: Kew West vibe elsewhere in Florida??

Cedar Key is very quiet, very small, and yes, laid back, but also well off the beaten track. Definitely more than an hour from a major airport, closer to 3 hours away from Tampa International.

Maybe check Anna Maria Island, near Bradenton.

18. Re: Kew West vibe elsewhere in Florida??

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