Top 60 Fun Things to Do in Key West Florida

Located at the southernmost point of the continental United States, Key West is a picturesque island paradise that offers an abundance of activities and attractions for tourists. From its rich history and charming architecture to its breathtaking natural scenery and vibrant culture, there’s something for everyone in this tropical haven. Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a solo adventure, Key West has plenty of options to keep you entertained. In this guide, we’ll take you through the top things to do in Key West for an unforgettable experience.

Conch Tour Train

One of the best ways to explore Key West is by taking a ride on the iconic Conch Tour Train. This charming train takes you on a 90-minute journey through the island, providing an informative and entertaining commentary about its history, culture, and top landmarks. Sit back and relax as you pass by picturesque streets lined with colorful houses and iconic landmarks such as the Southernmost Point, and learn fascinating facts from your knowledgeable conductor.

Hemingway Home and Museum

For literature and history enthusiasts, a visit to the Hemingway Home and Museum is a must-do in Key West. This beautiful property was once home to the legendary American writer Ernest Hemingway, who lived here during the 1930s. Explore the stunning Spanish colonial-style house and its lush gardens, see original artifacts and personal belongings of Hemingway, and even meet the descendants of his famous six-toed cats, which still roam the property.

Tortugas National Park

Located 70 miles west of Key West, Dry Tortugas National Park is a remote and unspoiled paradise that offers an opportunity to immerse yourself in nature. Take a boat trip from Key West to explore this stunning archipelago, where you can snorkel in crystal clear waters, spot an abundance of marine life, and visit the historic Fort Jefferson with its unique hexagonal shape. With its secluded beaches and breathtaking landscapes, Dry Tortugas National Park is a must-visit destination for nature lovers.

Southernmost Point

When in Key West, it’s hard to resist taking a photo at the Southernmost Point, which marks the southernmost tip of the continental United States. This iconic landmark features a colorful buoy that represents Cuba, just 90 miles away and is a popular spot for tourists to capture their visit to Key West. Be prepared to wait in line for your turn, but it’s definitely worth it for a memorable photo.

Key West Cemetery

For a unique and somewhat eerie experience, take a stroll through the historic Key West Cemetery. This cemetery is known for its above-ground tombs and elaborate gravestones, many of which are adorned with beautiful sculptures and inscriptions. As you wander through the maze of graves, you’ll also come across the final resting places of notable figures in Key West’s history, such as the wrecker John Geiger and airplane inventor Glenn Curtiss.

Overseas Highway

One of the most scenic drives in the United States, the Overseas Highway is a 113-mile route that connects Key West with mainland Florida. This iconic highway takes you over 42 bridges, including the famous Seven Mile Bridge, offering breathtaking views of the ocean and surrounding islands along the way. The drive itself is an experience, but there are also plenty of opportunities to stop and explore small towns and attractions along the route.

Key West Boat Trip

With its stunning turquoise waters and diverse marine life, it’s no wonder that Key West is a popular destination for boat trips. Whether you’re looking for a romantic sunset cruise, a thrilling snorkeling adventure, or a fishing excursion, there are plenty of options to choose from. You can also book a dolphin-watching trip, where you’ll have the chance to see these intelligent creatures in their natural habitat.

Harry S. Truman Little White House

Another historic landmark in Key West is the Harry S. Truman Little White House, which served as the winter White House for President Harry S. Truman during his term in office. Today, this beautiful house is a museum that offers guided tours to visitors, showcasing the history and significance of this presidential retreat. You can also see original artifacts and memorabilia from Truman’s time here, such as his famous poker table.

Custom House Museum

For a deeper understanding of Key West’s history and culture, pay a visit to the Custom House Museum. This impressive building was once used as a customs office and has now been transformed into a museum that showcases the island’s past through interactive exhibits, artifacts, and artwork. You’ll also learn about Key West’s unique role in American history, including its connection to Cuba and its role as a major seaport in the 19th century.

Audubon House & Tropical Gardens

If you’re a fan of beautiful gardens and historic homes, then you must visit the Audubon House & Tropical Gardens. This charming property was once owned by John James Audubon, a famous naturalist and painter, who stayed here while studying and painting the island’s birds. Today, you can explore the house and its lush gardens, which feature rare tropical plants and a peaceful fountain. Don’t forget to stop by the gift shop to pick up some unique souvenirs.

Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center

For a fun and educational experience, head over to the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center. This interactive museum focuses on the unique ecosystem of the Florida Keys, featuring exhibits, touch tanks, and educational programs that teach visitors about the diverse marine life and conservation efforts in the area. You can even get a chance to see live corals and learn about their importance to the ocean’s health. Best of all, admission is free!

Key West Lighthouse

One of the top things to do in Key West is to visit the iconic lighthouse that stands tall at 86 feet above ground level. Built in 1847, this lighthouse has guided ships and boats to safety for over a century. Visitors can climb up the 88 steps to the top and enjoy panoramic views of the island and its surrounding waters. The Keepers Quarters, located next to the lighthouse, give visitors a glimpse into the lives of early lighthouse keepers and their families.

 Duval Street

No trip to Key West is complete without strolling down Duval Street, the heart of this vibrant city. Lined with colorful buildings, quirky shops, lively bars, and delicious restaurants, this famous street offers something for everyone. You can grab a slice of Key Lime pie, shop for unique souvenirs, or simply enjoy the lively atmosphere as you walk down this iconic street.

Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park

Nature lovers will find their paradise at Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park. This beautiful park is home to one of the best beaches in Key West and offers a variety of recreational activities, such as swimming, snorkeling, and hiking. History buffs can also explore the fort that played a significant role in the American Civil War. The park is perfect for a day of relaxation and fun with family and friends.

Key West Aquarium

For an educational yet exciting experience, head to the Key West Aquarium. It’s one of the oldest aquariums in Florida and houses a variety of marine life, including sharks, sea turtles, and tropical fish. Visitors can even touch some of the creatures in the touch tanks or watch feedings and educational presentations. It’s a great way to learn about the diverse marine ecosystem of Key West.

Smather’s Beach

If you’re looking for a serene and beautiful beach to spend your day, look no further than Smather’s Beach. This half-mile stretch of white sand offers crystal clear waters, perfect for swimming and water sports. It’s also a popular spot for sunbathing, picnicking, and watching the breathtaking sunset. With plenty of amenities like showers and restrooms available, it’s an ideal place for families with kids.

Mel Fisher Maritime Museum

History buffs and treasure hunters will love a visit to the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum. It’s home to one of the richest shipwreck collections in the world, showcasing artifacts from Spanish galleons that sank off the coast of Key West centuries ago. Visitors can also learn about Mel Fisher’s famous quest for the sunken Spanish galleon, Atocha, and see some of its treasures on display. It’s a fascinating experience that shouldn’t be missed.

Mallory Square

Mallory Square is where tourists and locals alike gather to witness one of the most spectacular sunsets in Key West. Located near the historic seaport, this lively square is a hub of street performers, artists, and food vendors. You can grab a drink, enjoy some live music, or simply sit back and take in the breathtaking views as the sun dips below the horizon.

Santiago’s Bodega and Blue Heaven

Key West is known for its diverse culinary scene, offering everything from fresh seafood to mouth-watering Caribbean dishes. Santiago’s Bodega and Blue Heaven are two must-visit restaurants that offer a unique culinary experience. Santiago’s Bodega is known for its tapas-style menu and cozy outdoor seating, while Blue Heaven serves up delicious Caribbean-inspired cuisine in a beautiful garden setting.

Bahama Village Goombay Festival

If you happen to visit Key West in October, be sure to attend the Bahama Village Goombay Festival. It’s a lively street festival that celebrates the rich cultural heritage of the Bahamian community in Key West. You can enjoy traditional food, live music, and vibrant parades while learning about the history and traditions of this vibrant community.

Ghost Tour

Key West is also famous for its history of hauntings and ghosts. For an eerie yet entertaining experience, take a ghost tour that will lead you through the city’s most haunted locations. You can choose to explore on foot or hop on a trolley tour, where knowledgeable guides will share spine-tingling stories and legends of Key West’s supernatural past.

Trolley Tour

If you want to explore Key West’s top attractions without breaking a sweat, hop on a trolley tour. These narrated tours take visitors around the island and provide interesting insights into its history and culture. You can even get off at designated stops, spend some time exploring, and then hop back on the trolley to continue your journey.

Sunset Pier

Another popular spot to catch the stunning Key West sunset is Sunset Pier. Located at the end of Duval Street, this pier offers unobstructed views of the ocean and sky during sunset. You can grab a drink, sit on one of the swings, and watch as the sky changes colors and the sun dips below the horizon. It’s a romantic and memorable experience that you won’t forget.

Tiki Bar

For a unique and fun experience, hop on the world-famous floating tiki bar in Key West. This 90-minute tour takes visitors around the historic seaport while they sip on tropical drinks and take in the beautiful sights. You can also choose to add a snorkeling stop to your tour for an extra splash of adventure. It’s a must-do activity for anyone looking for a one-of-a-kind experience in Key West.

Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory

Start your day in Key West by visiting the beautiful Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory. This enchanting attraction is home to over 50 different species of butterflies, as well as various birds and plants. Walk through the climate-controlled glass atrium and witness these colorful creatures fluttering around you in their natural habitat. You can even interact with some of the butterflies by feeding them fruit nectar, a truly magical experience.

Rum Distillery

Did you know that Key West was once the largest producer of rum in the United States? Get a taste of this history by visiting the island’s oldest legal distillery, the Key West First Legal Rum Distillery. Take a tour to learn about the process of making rum and try their award-winning rums made with locally-grown sugar cane.

Hemingway Home and Museum

Key West was once home to the famous American author Ernest Hemingway. Visit his former residence, now turned into a museum, to get a glimpse into his life and work. The house is filled with original furniture, personal belongings, and even some of Hemingway’s six-toed cat’s descendants roaming around. Take a guided tour to learn more about this iconic literary figure and his time in Key West.

Mile Marker 0 Sign

No trip to Key West is complete without a photo at the famous “Mile Marker 0” sign, located at the southernmost point of US Route 1. This iconic landmark represents the end (or beginning) of the 2,369-mile-long highway that runs from Key West to Fort Kent, Maine. It’s a popular spot for tourists to take photos and is often decorated with colorful flags and signs.

Shipwreck Museum

Key West has a rich maritime history, and there’s no better place to learn about it than at the Shipwreck Museum. Through interactive exhibits, artifacts, and a guided tour of a replica shipwreck, you’ll get an insight into the island’s past as a hub for salvaging shipwrecks. Don’t miss the opportunity to climb up to the top of the observation tower for stunning views of Key West.

Fort Zachary Taylor State Park and Beach

For a perfect day at the beach, combined with some historical exploration, head to Fort Zachary Taylor State Park. This park is home to one of Key West’s best beaches, where you can relax on the white sand or swim in the crystal-clear waters. You can also take a self-guided tour of the historic fort, which played a significant role in the Civil War and Spanish-American War.

Higgs Beach and Rest Beach

For a quieter beach experience, visit Higgs Beach and Rest Beach. These two beaches are located next to each other, offering tranquil surroundings with fewer crowds. Take a dip in the calm waters or rent kayaks or paddleboards for some fun on the water. There are also beachside restaurants and bars where you can grab a refreshing drink or snack.

Smathers Beach

Smathers Beach is another popular spot for tourists looking to enjoy some water activities. This long stretch of white sand beach is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, jet skiing, parasailing, and more. There are also beachside vendors where you can rent equipment and book tours.

Fort Zachary Taylor Beach

Located within the Fort Zachary Taylor State Park, this secluded beach is a hidden gem that offers peace and privacy away from the tourist crowds. It’s a perfect spot for couples looking for a romantic getaway or families wanting to enjoy some quality time together. The beach is usually less crowded than other popular beaches on the island, making it a great spot to relax and unwind.

Edward B. Knight Pier

For breathtaking sunset views, head to the Edward B. Knight Pier at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park. As the sun sets over the Gulf of Mexico, you can watch as boats sail by and pelicans dive for fish. The pier is also a popular spot for fishing, so bring your gear if you’re up for some angling.

Key West Historic Seaport

Take a walk along the picturesque Key West Historic Seaport, where you’ll find an array of restaurants, bars, shops, and galleries. This bustling harbor is also home to various water activities, including snorkeling and sunset cruises. Visit at night for a lively atmosphere with street performers, live music, and a stunning view of the sunset.

Mangrove Swamps

Explore the unspoiled beauty of the mangrove swamps that surround Key West through eco-adventure tours. You can kayak or paddleboard through the narrow waterways, witnessing the diverse ecosystem and wildlife, including dolphins, manatees, and various bird species. It’s a different experience from the typical beach activities but equally enjoyable.

Green Parrot Bar and Hogs Breath Saloon

End your day in Key West by experiencing the lively nightlife at two iconic bars, the Green Parrot Bar and Hogs Breath Saloon. Enjoy live music, delicious drinks, and a fun atmosphere at these popular spots. Both bars have been around for decades and are must-visit stops to get a taste of Key West’s vibrant party scene.

Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Society & Museum

Located on Old Town Simonton and Greene Streets, this museum is a must-visit for history buffs and maritime enthusiasts. The Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Society was founded by the famous treasure hunter himself, who discovered the sunken Spanish galleon Nuestra Señora de Atocha in 1985. Explore the museum‘s vast collection of artifacts from shipwrecks and learn about Key West’s rich maritime history.

Turtle Kraals

For a taste of local flavor, head to Turtle Kraals on Front Street. This open-air restaurant and bar is a popular spot for happy hour and delicious seafood. But the real highlight is the daily “Turtle Races,” where you can bet on your favorite shelled competitor as they race to the finish line. It’s a fun and unique experience that shouldn’t be missed.

Pepe’s Café

No trip to Key West is complete without a visit to Pepe’s Café, the oldest restaurant in town. Since 1909, this iconic eatery has been serving up delicious breakfast, lunch, and dinner to locals and visitors alike. With its charming atmosphere and mouth-watering menu, it’s easy to see why Pepe’s has stood the test of time.

Southernmost House

Take a step back in time at the Southernmost House on Duval Street. This grand Victorian-style mansion was built in 1896 and is now a museum and bed and breakfast. Admire the stunning architecture, take a tour of the house, or simply relax on the veranda with a refreshing drink.

Six-Toed Cat

Key West is known for its love of cats, especially those with six toes. The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum on Whitehead Street is home to over 40 cats, many of whom have six toes. Take a tour of the house and grounds to learn about Hemingway’s life and see these unique felines roaming around.


Art lovers won’t want to miss a visit to Art@830 on Fleming Street. This contemporary gallery features works by local and international artists, from paintings and sculptures to photography and mixed media. It’s a great place to find a unique souvenir or simply admire the beautiful pieces on display.

Run with the Bulls

For thrill-seekers, Key West offers its own version of the famous Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain. Every October, brave participants dress up in white clothing with red sashes and run through the streets of Key West while being chased by “bulls” (actually locals with plastic horns). It’s a wild and adrenaline-filled experience you won’t forget.

Costume Party

Key West is known for its lively nightlife, with plenty of bars and clubs to choose from. But one event that stands out is the Fantasy Fest Parade, which is held every October. This week-long celebration features outrageous costumes, live music, and an overall festive atmosphere. Don’t miss this chance to let loose and have some fun.

South Beach

Of course, no trip to Key West would be complete without a day at the beach. South Beach is a popular spot for both tourists and locals, with its clear waters and soft sand. Relax under an umbrella, go for a swim, or partake in some water sports like kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding.

Clarence S. Higgs Memorial Beach Park

For a more secluded and serene beach experience, head to Clarence S. Higgs Memorial Beach Park. This scenic beach is perfect for picnics, sunbathing, and even snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters. It’s also home to the iconic “Southernmost Point” buoy, so don’t forget to take a photo with this famous landmark.

Simonton Beach

Located in the heart of Old Town Key West, Simonton Beach is one of the most popular beaches on the island. The soft white sand and calm blue waters make it the perfect spot for swimming, sunbathing, and building sandcastles. The beach is also lined with palm trees, providing plenty of shade to escape the scorching sun. After a day of fun in the sun, you can find a variety of local restaurants and bars just a short walk away.

Calusa Beach

For those looking for a more secluded and peaceful beach experience, Calusa Beach is the place to be. Tucked away at the end of a narrow road, this hidden gem offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean with plenty of privacy. With its shallow waters and calm waves, it’s a great spot for families with young children. Don’t forget to pack a picnic and enjoy a quiet day by the beach.

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

If you love snorkeling and scuba diving, a trip to John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is a must. Located just an hour from Key West, this park is home to the only living coral reef in the continental United States. You can explore the underwater world and swim among colorful fish, sea turtles, and other marine life. For those who prefer to stay dry, glass-bottom boat tours are also available.

Zachary Taylor State Park Beach

Zachary Taylor State Park Beach is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. This beach offers a more natural setting with its rocky shoreline and mangrove forests. It’s perfect for nature lovers as you can spot various birds and wildlife while lounging on the beach. The park also has a Civil War-era fort that you can explore, making it a unique and educational experience.

Sombrero Beach

Located in Marathon, just a short drive from Key West, Sombrero Beach is a must-visit for its stunning views and serene atmosphere. This beach boasts soft white sand, clear turquoise waters, and a long stretch of shallow waters, making it an ideal spot for swimming and snorkeling. It also has picnic tables, BBQ grills, and shaded areas, making it the perfect spot for a beachside picnic.

Bahia Honda State Park

Voted as one of the top beaches in the country by TripAdvisor, Bahia Honda State Park is truly a hidden gem. This beach offers a postcard-perfect view of the ocean with its crystal-clear blue waters and white sand. With an abundance of marine life, it’s a popular spot for snorkeling and kayaking. The park also has campsites if you want to spend the night and wake up to a beautiful sunrise by the beach.

C.B. Harvey Rest Beach

C.B. Harvey Rest Beach is a small and secluded beach that offers a peaceful escape from the busy tourist areas in Key West. It’s perfect for those looking to relax and unwind away from the crowds. The calm waters make it an ideal spot for swimming, kayaking, and paddleboarding. And with its stunning sunset views, it’s also a popular spot for romantic evening strolls.

Rest Beach

Just a short walk from Duval Street, Rest Beach is easily accessible and offers breathtaking views of the ocean. This beach is known for its soft sand, clear waters, and vibrant sunsets. It’s also a popular spot for water sports activities like parasailing and jet skiing. After a day at the beach, you can grab some delicious seafood at one of the nearby restaurants and watch the sunset.

Higgs Beach

With its shallow waters, gentle waves, and soft sand, Higgs Beach is a favorite among families with young children. It also has a playground, picnic tables, and BBQ grills, making it a convenient spot for a family day out. The beach is also home to the famous Key West AIDS Memorial and White Street Pier, where you can take a leisurely stroll and enjoy stunning views of the ocean.

Anne’s Beach

Located in Islamorada, just an hour from Key West, Anne’s Beach is a serene and secluded beach that offers a unique experience. The beach is known for its shallow waters, making it perfect for wading and exploring tidal pools. It’s also an ideal spot for birdwatching, as it’s home to various species of birds. With its tranquil setting and stunning views, Anne’s Beach is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Sunset Park Beach

As the name suggests, Sunset Park Beach is known for its breathtaking sunset views. Located on the western end of Key West, this beach offers unobstructed views of the Gulf of Mexico. It’s an ideal spot for a romantic evening stroll or a picnic with your loved ones. The park also has benches and picnic tables, making it the perfect place to watch the sun dip below the horizon.

Dog Beach

For dog owners looking to enjoy some fun in the sun with their furry friends, Dog Beach is the perfect spot. This beach allows dogs to roam off-leash and have a blast in the sand and water. It’s also a popular spot for dog events and gatherings, making it a great place to socialize with other dog owners. And with its stunning ocean views, it’s an enjoyable experience for both you and your canine companion.

County Beach

Located on the eastern end of Key West, County Beach is a quiet and secluded beach that offers a more local feel. With its shallow waters and soft sand, it’s an ideal spot for swimming and sunbathing. The beach is also home to the iconic Florida Keys Memorial Aqueduct, making it a popular spot for photos.

From historic landmarks and museums to outdoor adventures and stunning ocean views, there are plenty of things to do in Key West to suit every traveler’s interests. So don’t miss out on the chance to explore this unique and beautiful island destination.

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