the lack of good beaches is a drawback. i liked the few days we spent there, but i would rather go to a new place than go back to KW.
That was my big surprise planning a trip there. More a boating place than a beach place. Edit: Tortugas was cool. I’d definitely recommend getting the plane trip rather than the boat—gets you a lot more time there, including some time without the big boat crowd. Unfortunately the sea was rough the day we went so we couldn’t snorkel, but that’s supposed to be amazing.
There are a couple beaches but they’re nothing special and you’ll find much better ones elsewhere. I’m not that familiar with the other Keys but I would suggest looking at those instead of Key West based on what you said.
I was also going to say that I wouldn’t want to be in Key West when college spring breakers are around, but the hotel pricing has gotten so insane there that I’m imagining it has less of the college spring break crowd now.
As for Tortugas, I’ve never done it but people say it’s awesome. It’s a full day excursion though, I think a few hours each way. I’ve heard anecdotal evidence that it can be a rocky boat ride if anyone has issues with seasickness.
different key with the fam, rather than KW if we really just want to enjoy the beaches? Also, how hard is it to get to Dry Tortugas NP? mini wants to go snorkeling there.