This Luxurious Florida Island Is The Easy-To-Reach Tropical Escape You've Been Needing

When it's time to plan a vacation, underrated tropical destinations are a popular choice. After all, who could say no to sunshine, beautiful beaches, and relaxation? While far-flung destinations like the Polynesian Islands are renowned for their tropical getaways, sometimes we have to settle for looking at photos of islands near and far when that cold weather is getting to us. If you don't have the time or budget to fly halfway across the world, don't worry — there's a tropical paradise in America that you didn't know you needed in your life.

Located 500 yards off the coast of Key West, Florida, lies the stunning island of Sunset Key. The island is truly idyllic and offers the perfect getaway, complete with beautiful beaches, gorgeous sunsets, and plenty of activities in both the "relaxation" and "adventure" categories. In order to get there, you need to take a short ferry ride from Key West because there are no cars on the island. Here's what to do on a trip to Sunset Key.

Where to stay in Sunset Key

You'll find seriously luxurious accommodations at Sunset Key Cottages. According to their website, Sunset Key Cottages offers one-, two-, three-, and four-bedroom cottages with "charming details and panoramic views." There's also an award-winning restaurant called Latitudes, and plenty to do, from swimming in their heated tropical pool and sunbathing on their white sandy beach, to playing an exhilarating match on their tennis courts, to rejuvenating treatments at the spa. Plenty of perks included in the fee has reviewers raving. 

"Although spoiled by the attentiveness of staff and all the special amenities, it felt like we were on our own private island," wrote one reviewer on Tripadvisor. "We loved the welcome treats & drinks, daily basket delivery (although no more apples!) corn-hole, the pool, Flippers [pool bar], EVERYTHING about Latitudes, the robes and Nest products, our cottage porch and reading NY Times, and the beautiful grounds and beach area."

Unsurprisingly, the main attraction of Sunset Key seems to be the beach. Only guests of the resort are allowed access, so no need to worry about crowds. You can either relax on the beach, or book more adventurous activities, such as scuba diving, parasailing, snorkeling, and fishing charters. There's also yoga on the beach and fitness classes. And of course, there's a spa with a lengthy menu of services, including massages, facials, and body scrubs, so you can really soak up the luxury and relaxation during your trip.

Places to visit in Key West

While staying at Sunset Key, be sure to check out the offerings on Key West. Visit Cuban Coffee Queen in the morning for Cuban-inspired breakfast dishes, including the Cuban breakfast burrito, an egg and cheese sandwich on pressed Cuban bread, and Cuban bread with guava. The coffees include fun Cuban blends such as café con leche, or if you're not a coffee drinker, their smoothie menu is incredible.

Get your history fix by taking a tour of the Harry S. Truman Little White House. It was used by former President Truman as his workspace during the winters from 1946 through 1952, and subsequent presidents followed suit. Who wouldn't want to escape those D.C. winters for the climate of Sunset Key?

Whether you believe in ghosts or just enjoy a fun scare, take a 90-minute guided tour with Key West Ghosts & Mysteries. The tour includes stops at the oldest graveyard in Key West, the original home of the haunted Robert the Doll, and Ernest Hemingway's first home, Casa Antigua. "We were blessed enough to have a basically private tour and it was the highlight of our entire Key West trip," one TripAdvisor reviewer wrote, delighting in how much they learned about Key West's history. "I would 11/10 recommend and take this tour again."