Explore the Water on a Snorkel or Diving Excursion
Key West is home to North America’s only living coral reef, making it a premier destination for snorkelers and divers worldwide. Whether you are skimming the surface, peering down below with a snorkel poking above the surface like a dorsal fin or strapping a tank of oxygen on your back and getting to that mysterious ocean floor, you can’t help but succumb to the wonders of the reef.
Visit Dry Tortugas National Park
This picturesque National Park is home to Fort Jefferson, one of the largest 19th century forts in the United States. Moreover, Dry Tortugas National Park is the premier camping destination in all of Key West, offering a crystal-clear view of the starry skies over the Gulf of Mexico at night. Dry Tortugas National Park is a must-see destination for bird-watchers and all lovers of wildlife, as all kinds of animals are found at every level of terrain — on land, below the surface and in the sky above. Don’t miss your chance to explore one of the country’s most remarkable National Parks at Dry Tortugas in Key West.
Ernest Hemingway House & Museum
Legend has it that Ernest Hemingway survived two plane crashes in two days. After the second, he was presumed dead until he was spotted coming out of the jungle with a bunch of bananas and a bottle of gin. Get a glimpse into how that man lived! Aside from the legend surrounding the author, he is credited with changing the course of American literature in the 20th century with an array of highly celebrated works. At the Ernest Hemingway House & Museum, one can gaze out over the waters that inspired the late author’s masterpiece The Old Man and the Sea.
Captain Tony’s Saloon
A Key West institution, Captain Tony’s Saloon was frequented by a number of writers, artists and celebrities who were passing through or who called Key West home. Barstools are adorned with the names of some of those famous patrons, such as Ernest Hemingway, Harry Truman, Truman Capote, Jimmy Buffet and more. A fascinating place with classic Key West ambience, a drink at Captain Tony’s Saloon is a must when in Key West.
Southernmost Point Buoy
Take your picture with one of the most photographed landmarks in the United States at the Southernmost Point Buoy. Stand as close as you can to Cuba without leaving the United States, and marvel at the gigantic concrete buoy! An interesting piece of Key West history, the Southernmost Point Buoy was constructed to replace a series of signs that were stolen by locals looking for home decor. Today, the concrete beacon stands proudly as a Key West icon.
Nancy Forrester’s Secret Garden
The artist, teacher and environmentalist Nancy Forrester has created an incredible sanctuary for parrots and plants in Nancy Forrester’s Secret Garden. Get up close and personal with beautiful parrots and their remarkable plumage in a way you can’t anywhere else. The perfect experience for the whole family, Nancy Forrester’s Secret Garden brings all the best parts of the untamed to you!
Key West Cemetery
A piece of Key West’s history special to the conchs and all those who contributed to the great island of Key West, the Key West Cemetery is 19 acres of intrigue. Take a self-guided tour of these hallowed grounds and come across the final resting places of people of all kinds of religions, national origins, races and occupations. From Spanish-American War veterans to Cuban cigar rollers, the Key West Cemetery paints a distinct picture of the island’s history that you can’t get anywhere else.
Mallory Square’s Sunset Celebration
Legend has it, it was the late great playwright and former conch Tennessee Williams who began the tradition of applauding the Key West Sunset each evening. Today, the tradition has been elevated into the nightly Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square. A hot spot for vendors, street performers, tourists and conchs, Mallory Square’s Sunset Celebration highlights the finest things this world has to offer.
Bar Hopping on Duval Street
The heart of Key West, Duval Street is home to countless bars that contribute to Key West’s stellar reputation as a town of watering holes with ambience. Experience Key West’s bustling nightlife, trying an array of cocktails and local beers along lively Duval Street. Walkable and original, the bars on Duval Street invite you to Key West!
Bahia Honda State Park
A popular destination among tourists and locals alike, Bahia Honda State Park boasts white sand beaches, ocean breezes and remarkable scenery. Spend a day at Bahia Honda State Park and get in touch with the natural world around us, including greenery, wildlife and a beaming South Florida sun.
Take an Epic Fishing Trip
The Florida Keys are widely regarded as the sport fishing capital of the world — and for good reason. Take a trip off the coast of any of the Florida Keys and come face to face with a sea of trophy fish for the grill or the mantlepiece. Even if you don’t get a bite, there’s nothing like the open ocean off the coast of Key West!
Haunted Robert the Doll
An infamously haunted artifact dating back to the early 20th century contributes to Key West’s haunted reputation in an eerie way. Reports have the doll changing expression, responding to children and moving from place to place without any worldly explanation. Experience the poltergeist firsthand in Key West!
Kayak Through the Mangroves
Key West’s mangroves contribute greatly to its iconic landscape, their roots holding the island itself together. These fascinating island plants build a unique, low-lying canopy that make the perfect tunnels for kayaking. Spot all the different birds, fish and lizards that make their homes amongst the land and seas straddling the mangroves.
Take in the View from the Key West Lighthouse
Historic and picturesque, the Key West Lighthouse allows you to gaze longingly out onto the majestic Atlantic Ocean. Learn all about the history of the lighthouse and the obsolete lifestyle of the lighthouse keeper. A monument to the sacrifice of those of the past, the views from the Key West lighthouse are unmatched.
Visit a Rum Distillery
A drink synonymous with the maritime way of life, Key West rum distilleries are a must-visit for culture seekers visiting Key West. See the intricate process of making rum firsthand, and taste some of the finest artisanal rum in the United States. Adjacent to the Caribbean, well-known for its rum, Key West rum distilleries offer intricate insight into the fascinating process.
Visit the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum
Try to imagine all the world-changing events that took place in the waters where the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico mingle. The Mel Fisher Maritime Museum is dedicated to the display and preservation of the maritime history of Florida and the Caribbean in Key West. It is home to priceless artifacts and countless educational opportunities for the inquisitive history lover and the happy wanderer.
Visit Fort Zachary Taylor
Commanding the waters off the coast of South Florida for well over a century, Fort Zachary Taylor is a fascinating part of American history located at the southernmost tip of Key West. Having played major roles in a number of wars and historical events throughout history, Fort Zachary Taylor is home to a fascinating chapter of this country’s story. Not to mention, the view of the sunset from Fort Zachary Taylor is one of the best in all of Key West!
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
Nobly protecting the waters around the Florida Keys, extending from South Miami to the Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is a beacon of light in the often mistreated ocean waters. It is dedicated to the preservation and well-being of the precious ecosystem, encouraging visitors to unlock its full potential responsibly. Boating, diving, fishing and more are all thrilling endeavors to take on at Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
St. Paul’s Key West Episcopal Church
St. Paul’s Key West Episcopal Church has been a distinct part of Key West’s architectural identity since 1832. In a span of time covering nearly two centuries, the church has stood proudly and been a place for the people of Key West to gather and build a strong sense of community. Visit the dazzling structure and learn how it has become the landmark it is today.
Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center
Deeply fascinating and absolutely free, the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center is a must-visit attraction in Key West. It offers a number of immersive experiences and educational opportunities perfect for people of all ages. Take a trip down today, and discover all the wonders of the deep blue sea with the all-encompassing Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center.
What are some unique things to do in Key West?
Key West offers several unique experiences, including the best sunset on the East Coast, jet ski adventure, the best bars in the country on Duval Street, thrill of parasailing and a limitless world beneath the ocean’s surface.
What are some of the best restaurants in Key West?
El Meson de Pepe and Garbo’s Grill are a couple of local restaurants with stellar reputations. Or if you’re in the mood for seafood, enjoy some of the freshest seafood Key West has to offer at Conch Republic Seafood Company.
What are some of the best bars in Key West?
Captain Tony’s Saloon is well-known for its history and ambience. Other popular bars, including Sloppy Joe’s and Willie T’s, can be found along Duval Street.
What are some of the best beaches in Key West?
Smathers Beach and Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park are regarded as two of the best beaches in Key West for their white sands and beautiful sunsets.
What are some of the best activities for families in Key West?
Nancy Forrester’s Secret Garden, Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center, Fury’s Glass Bottom Boat and any of Key West’s state parks are just some of the family-fun activities Key West has to offer.