Welcome to the southernmost point in the continental United States. Our island paradise features stunning scenery, historic landmarks, and a unique ambiance. A popular vacation destination, Key West abounds with fun and interesting things to do and see. When planning a trip, consider the following list of popular Key West things to do & attractions.
Key West Attractions
Ride the world-famous Conch Tour Train
One of the most popular Key West things to do, this narrated tour provides insight into the history, legends and culture of the eclectic “Conch Republic.” Travel back in time as you pass historic landmarks and hear thrilling tales of the pirates, visionaries and adventurers that created the island’s charm. Purchase tickets to this Key West attraction online and catch the train at the 301 Front Street Depot in Old Town.
Embark on a coral reef snorkeling trip with Fury Water Adventures
The Great Florida Reef is the continental United States’ only living coral barrier reef and one of the largest in the world. You will be spellbound by the colorful undersea world that opens before you in the warm aqua water. Fury has various locations around the island so check out the departure point map.
Enjoy a day trip to Dry Tortugas aboard the Yankee Freedom ferry
This is your opportunity to explore the 19th century Fort Jefferson and the natural habitats of this reef island archipelago. Enjoy marvelous scenery and a narrated tour of the citadel. Walk the beach, swim in the warm turquoise water and discover the offshore marine habitat with the complimentary snorkeling equipment.
Attend the Sunset Celebration in Mallory Square
This waterfront plaza provides amazing western views of Key West’s famous tropical sunset. Located on the northwest tip of the island, Mallory Square fills with vendors, street performers, visitors and locals in a carnival-like atmosphere as the sun sinks below the horizon. This is one of the most popular things to do in Key West.
Experience the tastes and sounds of tropical paradise
It’s five o’clock somewhere so head to Duval Street, the city’s main tourist strip. The thoroughfare is lined with eateries and live music venues as well as historic homes and popular things to do in Key West. Home to the original Margaritaville made famous by Jimmy Buffet, Duval Street is the epicenter of Key West’s best nightlife.
Learn about dark and eerie legends
Experience the Ghosts and Gravestones tour to learn the tales of spirits and other paranormal activity that are said to frequent the city. Climb aboard the Trolley of the Doomed while your gravedigger guide takes you on an adventure into the city’s macabre and sinister past. The haunted tour takes off from the Conch Tour Train Depot.
Relax with a day at the beach
In addition to its pre-Civil War fortifications, Fort Zachary Taylor State Park offers wonderful sunset views. A favorite of locals, South Beach also features a fishing pier. While Higgs, Rest and Smathers Beaches provide wide swathes of sand and a variety of water activities. Man’s best friend will enjoy the open space of Dog Beach.
Discover the sea and its inhabitants
Hop aboard a Dolphin Watch eco tour for a chance to see these amazing mammals up-close in their natural habitat. You might also see manatee, stingrays and sea turtles. The cruise also includes time for snorkeling among schools of tropical fish. Chartered trips depart daily from the Galleon Resort Marina.
End your day with one last adventure
Step aboard a sunset cruise for a romantic view of the vivid sunset while enjoying complimentary drinks. Sit back, relax at the end of the day and enjoy panoramic views of the painted sky. Trip departure times and locations vary.
Places to Visit
Discover amazing sea life
The tanks and galleries of the Key West Aquarium showcase the aquatic animals that inhabit the Florida Keys, including eels, jellyfish and seahorses. One of the oldest aquariums in the country, it also provides the opportunity to touch numerous aquatic species, such as horseshoe crabs, sea cucumber and starfish.
Explore a historic landmark
Located in Old Town and listed as a National Historic Landmark, the Hemingway House was the home of the literary icon for approximately 10 years. Tour the home, which was the first in the city to have indoor plumbing and a swimming pool. Here you will see the office where Papa penned some of his most famous works, including “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and “A Farewell to Arms.”
Climb high to see it all
The Key West Lighthouse and Keeper’s Quarters Museum chronicles the history of the navigation beacons that have guided mariners since 1825. Climb 88 steps to the observation platform for stunning views. Built in the 1880s, the Keeper’s Quarters houses artifacts, including a first order Fresnel lens.
Document your trip at a popular landmark
One the most popular Key West attractions, the colorful Southernmost Point buoy marks the southernmost location on the island open to the public. Only 90 miles north of Cuba, there is a plaque next to the buoy honoring Cubans who have lost their lives trying to reach the shores of America. Make your way over to capture a keepsake photo.
Tour a prominent naval command post
The Harry S. Truman Little White House was originally built in 1890 as a headquarters for the Key West naval station. The 33rd president spent several winters here and it was the setting for important policy discussions, including the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan. The almost hour-long tour highlights the building’s role as a naval command post and hub of political power.
Walk among nature and its creatures
The enclosed Butterfly and Nature Conservancy houses over 50 species of these colorful winged creatures. The enclosed 5,000-square-foot free-flight aviary is also home to 20 species of tropical birds and thousands of exotic plants.