When it comes to natural beauty, Key West has it as far as the eye can see. From palm trees swaying beneath a blue sky to bougainvillea-lined side streets and gardens filled with hibiscus flowers, this truly is a subtropical paradise. There are so many scenic places in Key West to draw you in and make you fall in love with this island. Whether by land, by sea or by sky, get swept up in the beautiful scenery of the southernmost point in the continental United States. Here are our top picks for the most scenic places in Key West. Get your camera ready!
North America’s Only Living Coral Reef
Strap on your mask and take the plunge underneath the aquamarine waters of Key West to see the underwater world unfold before your very eyes. Swim alongside giant parrotfish and barracuda. Dive down in search of lobster or grouper inside coral coves. Keep your eyes peeled for sea turtles, stingrays and sharks. The scenery can be different every day, but one thing’s for sure. A day at sea can be adventurous as you swim near schools of fish and calming as you soak in the sun. Join Fury aboard a state-of-the-art catamaran for a snorkeling trip to the reef.
Fort Zachary Taylor State Park
For a picturesque day at the beach, head to Fort Zachary Taylor. Located on the southwest edge of the island, this site is complete with gorgeous views of the Atlantic Ocean and serves as a front row seat to the boats traveling in and out of Key West Harbor. Journey to the Civil War era fort to capture views from above. You can also splash around in the water, stroll along walking trails or sunbathe on shore with a good book.
Key West Historic Seaport
For a taste of Old Key West, head to the Historic Seaport and take a walk along the docks overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. You’ll get a feel for what this tropical getaway was like in its early years. Stop by the Conch Republic Seafood Company for a plate of cracked conch, Key West pink peel and eat shrimp and other fresh seafood items. Don’t forget to order a round of cold beers to drink while you relax on the waterfront patio listening to the band perform. Not only will you want to have the camera handy to take pictures of the sunset, you’ll also want to capture the memories of a Key West happy hour.
A Perfect Sunset
There’s perhaps nothing more scenic than the mixing of golden hues in the sky during a Key West sunset. Whether you’re a local or visitor, this nightly event is not to be overlooked. A popular location to watch the show is at Mallory Square along the water. Wander through the plaza as street performers, live musicians and local vendors entertain you in true Key West fashion. Looking for uninterrupted views as the sun dips below the horizon? Step aboard Fury’s Commotion on the Ocean Sunset Sail and cruise out to sea. Watch the sun disappear as you sip margaritas and sway to the beat of live music.
Top Spa at La Concha
Close your eyes and imagine a rooftop spa with panoramic views looking out floor to ceiling windows, a massage to relieve the stresses of life and a posh suite with all the required amenities to allow you to disconnect from the world. Open your eyes and discover Top Spa at the La Concha Hotel & Spa in Key West. At six storeys high, it’s the tallest building in Key West that offers sweeping views down Duval Street and of boats arriving at the harbor. Enjoy a 50-minute or 80-minute massage, facial, pedicure or other body treatment. Splurge on a personalized spa suite, complete with a private balcony, fully stocked mini fridge and fully furnished vanity. You’ll be so relaxed, you’ll forget what reality is like.
Truman Little White House
True beauty will last a lifetime, as seen at the Truman Little White House. This historic attraction was once the residence of the United States Naval Commander. In 1946, the 33rd president of the United States, Harry S. Truman, would use the home as his winter retreat. Finding that the ocean breeze and warm weather relieved him of the stresses of the job, President Truman would visit Key West often throughout his presidency. The home is now a museum, highlighting the important work that President Truman accomplished during his time in Key West. Explore the two-story building, then take a leisurely stroll through the property’s gardens. Palm trees, orchids and other flowering plants make for a naturally beautiful photo opportunity.
Don’t be fooled into thinking the Southernmost Point Buoy is just a tourist trap. This iconic marker not only distinguishes “90 miles to Cuba,” it also offers waterfront views of the Atlantic Ocean. Feel the salty ocean air blow through your hair as the sun warms your skin at this historic point of interest. Once you’ve captured the perfect shot for Instagram, head across the street to the Southernmost House. Located at the southern end of Duval Street, this luxury bed and breakfast has a colorful facade and breathtaking views of the ocean. Take a nap outdoors in the hammock or settle into a chair by the pool.
Key West Lighthouse
When the U.S. Navy established a base in Key West in the 1800s, it was decided a lighthouse would be needed to help arriving vessels navigate the shallow waters. The Key West Lighthouse was opened in 1848 and over the years the tower received updates and a Keeper’s quarters were added. The U.S. Coast Guard decommissioned the lighthouse in 1969 when the need for a full-time Keeper ran out. Today, the structure serves as a museum to teach visitors about Key West’s maritime history and to honor the brave men and women who helped guard the lighthouse and bring seafaring vessels safely to shore. Climb the 88 steps to the top for panoramic views of the island. Located near the southern edge of Key West, you can gaze out to sea as the Keeper would have done many years ago.