Key West is the southernmost drivable area of the Florida Keys, and the city boasts a rich history as a U.S. port and a hub for wreckers who earned their livelihood salvaging ships stranded on the island’s shallow reefs. Here we explain the experience of a breathtaking drive from Miami to Key West, in this article, we explain favorite spots in Key West for activities, adventures, food, and things to do in Key West. Whether you plan a long weekend or an entire week, Key West offers a fantastic getaway.
Top Things to Do in Key West
Key West adventures await! Dive into history here are the top things to do in Key West
Key West Lighthouse
The Key West Lighthouse, standing for over 150 years, served as a crucial navigational resource for ships at sea. Now a popular tourist attraction, visitors can pay to climb to the top for stunning panoramic views of the city. The iron spiral staircase adds a unique touch, but be mindful that it’s unsuitable for those afraid of heights. The adjacent museum provides additional insights into Key West’s history.
Ernest Hemingway’s Home and Museum
Adjacent to the lighthouse, Ernest Hemingway’s Home and Museum is a must-visit. Housed in the author’s former residence, the museum offers tours showcasing where Hemingway wrote some of his most famous works. The property features six-toed cats, a pool with an interesting backstory, and multiple tours throughout the day.
A visit to the Southernmost Point is a classic for every Key West tourist. Though there’s usually a line for photos, it’s an iconic spot to claim you’ve been at the southernmost point in the lower 48 United States.
Navigating Key West with a car can be challenging due to limited and expensive parking. Renting scooters not only provides a fun way to explore but also makes getting around the city more efficient. Scooter parking is widespread, and the experience is both enjoyable and practical. Navigate Key West easily by walking or renting a bicycle. The compact size of the island makes it convenient for exploring on foot or two wheels.
Located in Mallory Square, the Shipwreck Museum, while small, is exceptionally well-curated. Focusing on Key West’s shipwrecks and the industry that flourished around them, the museum offers an observation tower with stunning views of Mallory Square and the city.
Fort Zachary Taylor State Park
A visit to Fort Zachary Taylor inside the state park is recommended for military history enthusiasts. The well-preserved fort is set in a lush forest, providing both historical exploration and access to a beautiful beach for swimming and snorkeling. For adventure seekers, Fort Zachary Taylor State Park offers various water sports, including snorkeling, paddleboarding, and jet skiing. Explore the marine life in the pristine waters.
Butterfly and Nature Conservatory
Ideal for families, the Butterfly and Nature Conservatory houses a magical world of butterflies, flamingos, and small birds. Strolling through the exhibit is a delightful experience, and the gift shop offers butterfly-related items.
Truman’s Little White House
Truman’s Little White House, where President Harry S. Truman stayed during his presidency, is a unique historic spot. While photography is restricted on the tour, exploring the grounds, visiting the shop, and perusing the free museum are worthwhile.
Duval Street, the main downtown area and nightlife hub, is home to fantastic restaurants and vibrant bars. Duval Street comes alive at night with its vibrant bars, clubs, and street performers. Experience the lively atmosphere as you stroll through this famous street. Whether you partake in the nightlife or not, a stroll along Duval Street is recommended, with opportunities to visit historic establishments like Sloppy Joe’s, Captain Tony’s, and the original Jimmy Buffett`s Margarita. You can learn more about Jimmy Buffett: A Musical Odyssey and Legacy of a Legend (1946-2023)
Sunset at Mallory Square
Witnessing the sunset from Mallory Square is a must-do in Key West. Joining the sunset celebration, where crowds gather to enjoy the spectacle, creates a unique and memorable experience. Join the nightly Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square. Enjoy street performances, local crafts, and the breathtaking view of the sunset over the Gulf of Mexico. You can learn more about Haleakala Sunset: Evoke a sense of magic and ancient stories
Key West’s First Legal Distillery
Explore Key West’s first legal distillery near the harbor, offering a tasting room with a variety of rums, including unique flavors like key lime pie. The experience provides insight into Caribbean rum-making traditions.
Cuban Coffee Queen
A visit to the Cuban Coffee Queen is essential for coffee enthusiasts. Known for its cafe con leche, this iconic coffee shop, adorned with the famous Key West mural, offers a delightful start to the day.
Key Lime Pie
Indulge in the renowned Key Lime Pie, a treat synonymous with Key West. Whether traditional or dipped in chocolate, exploring various spots for this iconic dessert is a must.
Dry Tortugas National Park
For a truly unforgettable experience, venture to Dry Tortugas National Park. Accessible by seaplane or a boat ride, the park features a well-preserved fort from the 1800s and clear waters for snorkeling. Plan a full day for this remarkable adventure.
Kayaking Through Mangrove Forests
For nature lovers, kayaking through the mangrove forests is a must. Paddle through winding waterways and discover the unique ecosystem of the Florida Keys.
Best Seafood Restaurants
Indulge in the local seafood scene at waterfront restaurants. From fresh fish tacos to succulent shrimp dishes, Key West offers a delectable culinary experience.
Live Music Venues and Bars
Immerse yourself in Key West’s music scene by visiting live music venues and bars. From jazz to reggae, the island offers diverse musical experiences.
Relaxing at Smathers Beach
Spend a leisurely day at Smathers Beach, known for its soft sand and clear waters. Whether sunbathing or engaging in water sports, this beach caters to all preferences.
Plan your visit during Fantasy Fest, Key West’s most extravagant festival. Join in the colorful parades, vibrant costumes, and lively street parties.
Key West Food and Wine Festival
Indulge in culinary delights at the Key West Food and Wine Festival. Sample local flavors and enjoy wine tastings during this annual gastronomic event.
Key West Aquarium
Entertain the whole family at the Key West Aquarium. Witness marine life up close, including sharks, turtles, and tropical fish.
Conch Tour Train
Embark on a family-friendly tour with the Conch Tour Train. Learn about Key West’s history in a fun and interactive way.
Plan your trip during the dry season from November to April for pleasant weather and fewer crowds. Pack sunscreen, comfortable walking shoes, and swimwear to make the most of your Key West experience. These “Things To Do In Key West” recommendations capture some of the best aspects of Key West. Share your favorite spots in the comments.