Brimming with Old World charm, Key West’s Historic Seaport offers something different to visitors of all ages, budgets and tastes. The hub for the island’s maritime industries for more than 200 years, the area is now also home to many of Key West’s premier destinations. The Historic Seaport hosts numerous restaurants serving some of the island’s freshest seafood and several one-of-a-kind watering holes. You will also find boutiques, art galleries and engaging museums that highlight Key West’s history.
Key West Bight
Located on the northern coast of the island, the seaport is in a naturally protected harbor known as the Key West Bight, a geological formation caused by a bend in the shoreline. The active marina provides a safe haven for boats spanning virtually every type and size watercraft. A walkway follows the water’s edge where you can see wonderful views of the Gulf of Mexico as well as the maritime fleet heading out to sea or unloading the catch of the day. You can gain an appreciation for the area’s history while enjoying modern amenities. The combination of shimmering blue water, picturesque views of boats anchored in the harbor and incredible aromas makes the Historic Seaport one of the best places to visit in Key West.
Activities Departing from the Seaport
The seaport is the departure point for boating, charter fishing and water sports excursions. Several Fury Tours depart from this location.
Live Music Sunset Sail
Commotion on the Ocean Sunset Cruise enables you to forget the cares of the day as the sun casts a dazzling kaleidoscope of colors while slipping below the horizon. Raise a glass to the last light of the day while listening to live Caribbean music. The cruise also includes an assortment of delicious appetizers. The 65-foot-long catamaran offers plenty of seating for you to enjoy the spectacular view and festive atmosphere.
Dolphin Watch & Eco Tour offers the opportunity to witness these sociable animals playing in their natural habitat. The trip also includes snorkeling in the Florida Keys backcountry where nature lovers can explore the pristine environment surrounding Key West. The tour is the only Dolphin SMART-certified excursion, which means that the professional guides ensure responsible, eco-friendly observation.
Action Packed Water Adventures
Double Dip is an exciting snorkel tour that enables guests to experience two spectacular locations of North America’s only living coral reef in one day. The high-speed catamaran allows you to spend less time traveling and more time exploring the undersea marvels that Key West has to offer.
2 Stop Reef Snorkel
Jet Ski and water adventure tours like the Ultimate Adventure and Ultimate Express offer guests the opportunity to enjoy a variety of adrenaline-pumping, action-filled water sports. These excursions enable you to experience a number of different activities in one day. You can also see the pristine ecosystem of the Florida Keys backcountry.
Places to Eat and Drink
There are several great places to hang out while waiting for your Fury trip or a day of sightseeing. Grab a cup of Cuban coffee before your day of water adventures, or enjoy dinner at one of the popular eateries with a view at Historic Seaport Key West upon your return.
Fisherman’s Cafe offers Cuban coffee and quick breakfast fare for those who want to fuel up before a day on the water. You can also enjoy fresh seafood and tasty sandwiches for lunch, or enjoy dinner while surveying the incredible view. The atmosphere and menu is reminiscent of a bygone era when local anglers would deliver the catch of the day right to the kitchen.
Conch Republic Seafood provides fresh food, good service and a great view. Overlooking the seaport and marina, this laid-back eatery offers Conch and Caribbean-style dishes in a historic waterfront building. The décor includes memorabilia and artifacts associated with the city’s seafaring past.
Kermit’s Key Lime Shoppe has been named one of the must-see places on the Food Journey of a Lifetime by National Geographic. Serving breakfast, lunch and early dinner, the eatery offers dishes inspired by the island’s signature fruit. Many items like dressings, jellies and marmalades can be sampled before purchase.
What to See and Do at the Seaport
Situated next to the Marker Hotel Key West, the 20-acre historic area is easily walkable. The seaport features the pedestrian-only Harbor Walk, a half-mile stretch of teak boardwalk and cobblestone streets stretching from Greene to Grinnell streets. Visit the Dry Tortugas Museum to view exhibits chronicling the history of the Bight and the unique National Park that is home to Fort Jefferson. The Turtle Cannery Museum highlights the maritime industry that brought these sea creatures to the point of extinction and the conservation efforts that have had a positive impact on their survival.
Nearby, you will find the northern end of Duval Street, which is the setting for Sloppy Joe’s, Ernest Hemingway’s famous hangout, and Irish Kevin’s, one of the island’s top spots for live music. Other places to visit in Key West include several art galleries near the Historic Seaport. Gallery on Greene and 7 Artists & Friends display works by local and regional artists as well as fine art and antiques from around the world in a variety of media. If you are looking for a souvenir keepsake or essential sundries, swing by Tropical Shell & Gifts. While Coco’s Monkey features an assortment of athletic wear, Pepper’s of Key West offers a variety of hot sauces and fun products related to these spicy plants.
Key West Bight has always been a hub of activity. Hundreds of years ago, this safe anchorage became the epicenter for numerous maritime industries. Today, it is also home to museums, eateries and scenic views. This blend of old and new makes the Historic Seaport Key West an exciting destination for visitors and locals.