Key West is one of the country’s most popular vacation destinations, and it’s easy to see why. With the gorgeous weather that lasts year-round, it’s inviting during the cold months and cool during the hot summer months. And because there are seemingly limitless things to do here, you might find it hard to narrow down activities for your itinerary. But start with this top 10 list and you’ll find that it includes all the highlights, and makes for a perfect start on building the ideal week or even weekend in this gorgeous Florida city.
- Visit Dry Tortugas National Park
While the ferry to this national park books several weeks in advance, if you can get a reservation, this is one of the top attractions in the Key West area. The snorkeling is world-class, and even novices can explore coral reefs and shipwrecks for an up-close view of undersea life. In addition to snorkeling, the park offers kayaking, swimming, tours of the historic fort on-site, picnic areas, and even overnight campsites.
Captain Experiences makes booking a fishing trip painless: no more searching for weeks and playing phone tag. They’ve connected with guides all over Key West and offer over 60 different fishing experiences on their site
- Go Fishing
Fishing in Key West couldn’t be easier when you book a charter through All In Fishing Charters. Everything you need for a great day at sea is provided, from tackle to bait. The expert crew is on hand to provide guidance or assistance where needed, and the excursion is designed to ensure everyone has a good time, no matter their experience level. Or, book a fishing charter through Captain Experiences. They make booking a fishing trip painless: no more searching for weeks and playing phone tag. They’ve connected with guides all over Key West and offer over 70 different fishing experiences in the area on their site.”
- Try the Fresh Seafood
Key West is known for its great seafood so be sure to add Eaton Street Seafood Market to your itinerary. Serving locally caught seafood, the restaurant offers outdoor seating or you can take your orders to-go. The most popular dishes include lobster rolls, fish sandwiches, fish tacos, and conch fritters.
- Shop Duval Street
If shopping is your favorite sport, you’ll want to visit Duval Street. You’ll find eclectic shops selling everything from artwork and housewares to clothing and accessories. Discover one-of-a-kind pieces and conversation starters that make great gifts for loved ones or yourself to remember your trip to Key West.
- Hit the Beach
Key West has several beaches, and although they’re relatively small, they offer gorgeous views and crystal clear waters for swimming and snorkeling. You can rent snorkeling gear, as well as beach chairs and umbrellas for a day of fun in the sun.
- Visit Fort Zachary Taylor State Park
This state park has it all. You can tour the historic fort, walk or bike the trails that criss-cross the park, swim at the beach, fish off the jetty, and snorkel. The park has an on-site cafe for breakfast, lunches, and early dinners, too.
- Eat Key Lime Pie
There are lots of places to get key lime pie in Key West, but among the best is Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Pie Shoppe. Here, the pies are baked fresh every day, and the taste is sure to please. The Elizabeth Street location is a green and yellow building you can’t miss. The shop offers a full cafe menu too, and outdoor seating so you can relax and leisurely enjoy your pie.
- Enjoy the Sunset Celebration
There’s a party every night at Mallory Square, located at the end of Duval Street. As the sun sets, enjoy street performances, live music, and lots of vendors selling handicrafts, food and drink, art, souvenirs, and more. It’s an all-ages event that draws locals and tourists alike, and because it happens nightly, it’s easy to work into even the most packed itinerary.
- Tour the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum
The legends of shipwrecked treasures play a big part in the history of the Florida Keys, and there’s no better place to learn about them than here at the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum. Exhibits showcase actual gold coins and other valuables and artifacts that were retrieved from sunken ships. Guests can also purchase a ticket add-on that provides access to tours of the museum’s on-site conservation lab, offering a fuller picture of not only shipwreck science but the conservation and preservation necessary to properly care for rescued treasures.
- Bike Around Town
Many hotels, motels and even bed and breakfasts have a few bicycles on hand to loan or rent. By choosing this method of getting around, you can explore all that Key West has to offer on your own schedule, untethered to anyone else’s. It’s a great way to discover off-the-beaten-path spots for shopping, dining, and beaches.
Key West is full of the kind of adventures that great vacations are made of. When you book a trip to visit this island city, you can be assured of a good time no matter where you go and what you do; but starting with this top 10 list is a great way to organize your days and be sure you get to do everything important to you in your time here, whether that’s a long weekend or an extended stay.