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How To Really Experience Key West In 2024

How To Really Experience Key West In 2024

It’s the southernmost point in the USA, a utopian paradise surrounded by calm turquoise waters and crowned by powder blue skies. It’s where people from all over the globe flock to discover and experience its charms— graceful palm trees, pastel-hued tin-roof houses, intriguing history and an abundance of one-of-a-kind attractions. Key West, Florida has earned its place as one of the world’s most popular destinations. Listed as one of TripAdvisor’s top 10 vacation destinations and earning a Traveler’s Choice Award, this island oasis is where the world comes to get away.

#1 Way To Experience Key West Is From The Water

Grab your flip-flops, throw on your swimsuit and pack the sunblock–then head to the island’s most popular attraction when you visit Key West; the crystal blue waters.

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Whoever you are–from the adventurous, to the laid-back and everyone in between, your Key West visit begins and ends with the infinite possibilities to be experienced in, on and above the water. This tiny slice of heaven is surrounded by shimmering seas that beckon you to explore, whether snorkeling North America’s only living coral reef, making a splash on a Jet Ski, parasailing among the clouds with a bird’s eye view or sailing starry-eyed into our world-famous sunset.

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Illustrated Map of the Coral Reef In Key West
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Family Fun

1. Snorkel the Reef

3 hours +
Beverages
3 hours +
Beverages

Snorkel North America’s only living coral reef and explore the crystal-clear waters of Key West with a variety of Reef Snorkel trips to choose from!

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Adventure

2. Ultimate Adventure H2.0

3.5 hours
Food & Beverages
3.5 hours
Food & Beverages

Key West’s most popular excursion on the water includes Parasailing, Banana Boat Ride, Jet Ski, Key West’s largest inflatable water park playground as well as Refreshing Snacks and unlimited beverages!

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Family Fun

3. Glass Bottom Boat

2 hours
Snack Bar
2 hours
Snack Bar

During your visit to Key West, experience the vibrant underwater paradise through the glass panels of a spacious catamaran without ever having to get wet!

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Unique Things

4. Parasail

1 hour
1 hour

Soar above the sea and feel the breathtaking adventure of Parasailing over paradise while visiting Key West!

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Adventure

5. Jet Ski Tours

90 mins
90 mins

Explore the coastline during this Key West must-do Jet Ski Tour for the high energy thrill-seekers!

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Family Fun

6. Dolphin Watch & Snorkel

3 hours
Beverages
3 hours
Beverages

This exciting eco-tour is a fin win with the chance to see Key West dolphins in their natural habitat. Includes back country snorkeling.

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Key West & Chill

7. Island Adventure

4.5 hour
Food & Beverages
4.5 hour
Food & Beverages

Tap into your inner explorer and hit the backcountry to find out what visiting Key West is really all about during this local gem, the Island Adventure tour.

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Family Fun

Digital detox starts here. For the most unforgettable family vacation, pack your bags, gather up the kids and head South to where sunscreen is the only screen you’ll need. Visit Key West and you’ll find all kinds of action-packed fun including exploring the wonders under the sea as you snorkel the reef, learning to fly on a parasail and making some waves on a jet ski.

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There’s also six-toed cats to meet, key lime pie on a stick and ice cream to devour, marine life to see up-close and a 65-foot lookout tower to climb. End every perfect day with nature’s most dazzling light show as you experience the world-famous Key West sunset.

Here are the must-do’s for your Key West family vacation itinerary:

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The marker hotel in Key West
Family Fun

The Marker Hotel

Waterfront | Luxury
key west conch train
Family Fun

Conch Tour Train

World Famous | Sightseeing Tour
Sunset celebration at Mallory Square
Family Fun

Mallory Square Sunset Celebration

Local Event | Breathtaking Skies
Mattheessens Ice Cream
Family Fun

Mattheessens Ice Cream

Homemade Ice Creams
Key West Aquarium
Family Fun

Key West Aquarium

Historic Attraction | Touch Tank
Shipwreck Museum in Key West
Family Fun

Key West Shipwreck

Interactive Museum | Observation Tower
Image of the tropic cinema
Family Fun

Tropic Cinema

Retro-Style Cinema

Key West & Chill

The real world is world’s away when you visit Key West, where it’s always the perfect time to sip a frosty margarita or a cold beer, laze under a palm tree as the tide rolls in and become one with nature’s most beautiful scenery.

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Get away from the everyday to a place where you can come as you are, explore at your own pace and experience the carefree vibe that the island is famous for.

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Hampton Inn
Key West & Chill

Hampton Inn

Ocean Views | Luxury
key west butterfly conservatory
Key West & Chill

Key West Butterfly

Natural Conservatory
Southernmost Beach Resort in Key West
Key West & Chill

Southernmost Beach Resort

Waterfront | Luxury
key west martello fort
Key West & Chill

West Martello Tower

Civil War Era | Historic Tower
audubon house at key west
Key West & Chill

Audubon House

Restoration Movement
Key West Garden Club
Key West & Chill

Key West Garden Club

Botanical Garden
Latitudes restaurant in Key West
Key West & Chill

Latitudes

American Cuisine | Ocean Views

Adventure

If it’s an adrenaline rush you seek, you’ve come to the right place. When you visit Key West, there’s opportunity for non-stop action and thrills, whether it’s a day-long adventure of sun and sea, hunting down the island’s most famous ghosts or discovering tiny cays and hidden gems as you tour the island on a jet ski.

Party Time

Kick off your flip-flops and kick up your heels–in Key West the party is always on! Eat, drink and dance the night away on a live music sunset sail, indulge in decadence at one of our world-famous restaurants or watering holes and release your inner party-animal on Duval Street. Day or night, the fun keeps flowing in the Southernmost City.

sloppy joe’s bar storefront in key west
Party Time

Sloppy Joe's Bar

World Famous | Live Music
key west duval street recognized for party and bars
Party Time

Duval Street

World Famous
Margaritaville Resort in Key West
Party Time

Opal Key Resort & Marina

Waterfront | Luxury
Green Parrot live music
Party Time

Green Parrot

Dive Bar | Live Music
Dante's Pool Bar in Key West
Party Time

Dante's Pool Bar

Tiki Bars
Irish Kevin's burger
Party Time

Irish Kevin's

Irish Pub | Live Entertainment
Key West pub crawl
Party Time

Key West Pub Crawl

Guided Tour
better than sex craft desserts in key west
Party Time

Better Than Sex

Dessert Bar

Unique Things You Can Only Do In Key West

Like no place else on earth, Key West offers one-of-a-kind experiences that will linger in your memory long after you’ve returned home.

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Whether you’re dreaming of exploring a remote island sanctuary miles from civilization, discovering the fascinating history of an American President that came for winter and ended up staying 175 days or seeing where famous artists, authors and musicians created their masterpieces, a visit to Key West is anything but ordinary.

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Image of the southern most point.
Unique Things
Visit The Southernmost Point

The one and only southernmost spot in the USA is only in Key West! This iconic spot is the ideal backdrop to your Key West vacation photos.

Image of girl parasailing in Key West
Unique Things
Parasail above the Southernmost City

There’s something magical about floating above the shimmering sea on a parasail–including panoramic take-your-breath-away views of the island and the refreshing ocean breeze blowing through your hair. Fury’s Parasailing adventures offer the perfect way to explore the beauty of the Southernmost City and witness the serenity of paradise from up above. Make sure to cross off this unforgettable experience from your Key West bucket list.

Dry Tortugas and Fort Jefferson
Unique Things
Take a sea plane or ferry to the Dry Tortugas National Park

Located 70 miles west of Key West, this tiny cluster of islands is more than just an extraordinary destination, it’s one of the only National Parks that you can only reach by ferry or seaplane. Take off on an adventure where you can spend the day on a sandy beach, snorkeling the reefs and exploring a centuries old Civil War fortress.

Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum
Unique Things
Tour Ernest Hemingway Home

The legendary author was one of the many famous folks who came to Key West in search of solace and fell so in love that he stayed for more than ten years. See his typewriter and the room where he wrote several masterpieces, meet descendants of his beloved six-toed cat Snowball, tour the lush gardens and learn all about his life, his career and his love affair with Key West.

truman little white house
Unique Things
Tour the Little White House

When American President Harry S. Truman visited Key West, he was in search of a quiet winter retreat. Soon after his arrival, he was so enamored with the island he was compelled to stay and run the government from the Little White House. A tour of this historic home treats you to an insider’s look at Truman’s life on the island, personal items belonging to he and Bess and period furnishings.

an underwater view of the ocean, the reef and various marine life and above it, a couple swimming with snorkel gear viewing the ocean reef
Unique Things
Snorkel North America’s Only Living Coral Reef

Key West is known for its interesting locals, and there’s none more colorful than those that make our island waters their home. Here, you can snorkel North America’s only living coral reef, a one-of-a-kind experience that snorkelers of every age and experience level will rank high on their list of vacation adventures.

first flight restaurant key west eat of plane wing experience
Unique Things
See Pam Am's First Office

Learn a little bit of history and sip a cold Microbrew at First Flight, a local restaurant and brewery that was the birthplace of Pan American Airlines. This historic building, now a favorite place to dine and enjoy cocktails, was home to the United States’ largest airline from the 1920s until 1991. It was here in Key West that the first international flight took off on October 28, 1927, bound for Havana, Cuba.

Top Places to Eat

With its Caribbean, Cuban and Spanish influences, the island of Key West offers a diverse selection of unique dining options.

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Whether you’re looking for a local hangout where your oysters are shucked right before your eyes, a walk-up cafe where you can grab a Cuban coffee and a sandwich, or an upscale dining experience complete with prime rib and truffled mac and cheese, your palette will be pleased with this list of the top places to eat.

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Fisherman's Cafe tacos
Places To Eat

Fisherman’s Cafe

Local Seafood | Breakfast Served All Day
key west conch republic seafood company
Places To Eat

Conch Republic Seafood

Conch & Caribbean-Style Eats
Rams Head Southernmost dish
Places to Eat

Ramshead Southernmost

Open-Air Bar | Live Music
Hard Rock Cafe Burger
Places to Eat

Hard Rock Cafe

Classic Eats
Prime Steakhouse dish
Places To Eat

Prime

Premier Steakhouse
key west el meson de pepe dinner
Places To Eat

El Meson De Pepe

Cuban Eatery | Live Music
Sunset Pier
Places To Eat

Sunset Pier

Dockside Seafood Eatery
Pepe's Cafe
Places To Eat

Pepe's Cafe

Signature Breakfasts
Lobster dish
Places to Eat

A & B Lobster House

Surf 'n' Turf
Harpoon Harry's
Places To Eat

Harpoon Harry’s

American Comfort Food

Top Places to Stay

Accommodations in Key West are as varied as the taste of our visitors and because of this, you’ll find no matter what you’re looking for, it’s here.

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To make it easy, we’ve assembled the top places to stay, including our most-loved luxury resorts to beachfront retreats and much more.

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The marker hotel in Key West
Places To Stay

The Marker

Waterfront | Luxury
Ocean Key House in Key West
Places To Stay

Ocean Key House

Waterfront | Island-Style
Hyatt Centric in Key West
Places To Stay

Hyatt Centric

Waterfront | Boutique
Southernmost beach Resort
Places To Stay

Southernmost Beach Resort

Waterfront | Luxury
Hampton Inn
Places To Stay

Hampton Inn Key West

New Town
Margaritaville Resort in Key West
Places to Stay

Opal Key Resort & Marina

Waterfront | Luxury
Image of a hotel pool.
Places to Stay

24 North

Ocean Views
Places To Stay

The Gates Hotel

Upscale
Kimpton Properties
Places to Stay

Kimpton Properties

Collection Of Hotels

Helpful Tips & Resource Guides

From thrilling watersports to romantic sunset sails, family-fun and historic pursuits, there’s so much to do and see in Key West that it may seem daunting to try and experience it all.

To help you plan your perfect Southernmost vacation, here are some helpful tips and resources that will ensure you’ll make the most of every moment.

Save up to $8* using code: 10X

Dolphin Watch Sunset Cruise Combo

Eco Tour • Backcountry Snorkel • Sunset (Available Seasonally)
  • Departs
    9:00am, 12:30pm & 5:30pm
  • low
  • 3 hrs
  • Beverages

Save up to $8*

$71.95

Reg. $79.95

TRIP DETAILS

BOOK TRIP
Save up to $8* using code: 10X

Double Dip Snorkel Sunset Combo

Snorkel 2 Reef Locations • Sunset (Available Seasonally)
  • Departs
    9:00am, 12:30pm & 5:30pm
  • moderate
  • 3 hrs
  • Beverages

Save up to $8*

$71.95

Reg. $79.95

TRIP DETAILS

BOOK TRIP
Save up to $8* using code: 10X

Double Dip Snorkel Trip

Visit Two Living Coral Reef Locations
  • Departs
    9:00am, 12:30pm & 5:30pm
  • moderate
  • 3 hrs
  • Beverages

Save up to $8*

$71.95

Reg. $79.95

TRIP DETAILS

BOOK TRIP
Save up to $15* using code: 10X

Fury’s Island Adventure Eco Tour

Remote Sanctuary Reserved For Locals
  • Departs
    10:00am & 4:00pm
  • moderate
  • 4.5 hrs
  • Food & Beverages

Save up to $15*

$119.95

Reg. $134.95

TRIP DETAILS

BOOK TRIP
Save up to $7* using code: 10X

Glass Bottom Boat

Taking Visitors To Key West’s Reefs For Over 70 Years
  • Departs
    12:00pm, 2:00pm & 6:00pm
  • low
  • Approx. 2 hrs
  • Snack Bar

Save up to $7*

$62.95

Reg. $69.95

TRIP DETAILS

BOOK TRIP
Save up to $7* using code: 10X

Glass Bottom Boat & Sunset Cruise

Taking Visitors To Key West’s Reefs For Over 70 Years
  • Departs
    12:00pm, 2:00pm & 6:00pm
  • low
  • Approx. 2 hrs
  • Snack Bar

Save up to $7*

$62.95

Reg. $69.95

TRIP DETAILS

BOOK TRIP
Save up to $15* using code: 10X

Island Adventure & Sunset Cruise Combo

Eco Tour • Snorkel • Kayak • Paddleboard • Sunset Combo Option
  • Departs
    10:00am & 4:00pm
  • moderate
  • 4.5 hrs
  • Food & Beverages

Save up to $15*

$119.95

Reg. $134.95

TRIP DETAILS

BOOK TRIP
Save up to $5* using code: 10X

Key West Snorkeling

Start Your Day Aboard Key West’s Most Spacious Catamaran
  • Departs
    9:30am
  • moderate
  • 3 hrs
  • Beverages

Save up to $5*

$49.45

Reg. $54.95

TRIP DETAILS

BOOK TRIP
Save up to 5* using code: 10X

Key West Sunset Cruise

Tranquil Ocean Setting
  • Departs
    7:00pm
  • low
  • 1.5 hrs
  • Beverages

Save up to $5*

$53.95

Reg. $59.95

TRIP DETAILS

BOOK TRIP
Save up to $6* using code: 10X

Reef & Ritas Snorkeling Trip

Afternoon Adventure Aboard Key West’s Most Spacious Catamaran
  • Departs
    1:00pm
  • moderate
  • 3 hrs
  • Beverages

Save up to $6*

$53.95

Reg. $59.95

TRIP DETAILS

BOOK TRIP
Save up to $6* using code: 10X

Rum & Reggae Snorkel Sunset Combo

Reef Adventure by Day, Sunset Magic by Night
  • Departs
    5:30pm
  • moderate
  • 3 hrs
  • Beverages

Save up to $6*

$53.95

Reg. $59.95

TRIP DETAILS

BOOK TRIP
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