23 Best Things to Do in Old Town Key West, Florida

Located at the southernmost tip of Florida, Old Town Key West is a charming and vibrant neighborhood that offers visitors abundant activities to explore and enjoy. With its picturesque streets lined with pastel-colored Victorian homes and idyllic beaches surrounded by turquoise waters, Old Town Key West is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. And if you’re looking for some unique things to do in Old Town Key West, then we got it for you.

Here are some of the top things to do in Old Town Key West that are sure to make your trip an unforgettable experience:

Mallory Square

No visit to Old Town Key West is complete without a trip to Mallory Square. This bustling public square has been a hub of activity since the 1800s, and it continues to draw crowds today with its nightly Sunset Celebration. As the sun dips below the horizon, street performers fill the square with music, dance, and acrobatics. Grab a drink from one of the nearby bars and join in on the fun as you watch the sky turn into a beautiful canvas of pinks and purples.

Sunset Pier

For a more intimate sunset experience, head over to Sunset Pier. Located at the end of Duval Street, this picturesque spot offers breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico. Enjoy a romantic dinner at one of the waterfront restaurants, or simply sit on the pier and watch as the sun sets over the water. With its laid-back atmosphere and stunning scenery, Sunset Pier is a must-visit for couples.

Key West Lighthouse

Step back in time to the Key West Lighthouse, which was first built in 1825. This iconic landmark has served as a beacon for ships navigating the treacherous waters off the Florida Keys for over 150 years. Climb up the 88 steps to the top of the lighthouse and take in panoramic views of Old Town Key West and the surrounding turquoise waters. Don’t forget to visit the keeper’s quarters, which now houses a museum showcasing the history of Key West’s maritime heritage.

Floating Tiki Bar

For a truly unique experience, hop on board the Floating Tiki Bar. This one-of-a-kind boat tour takes guests on a leisurely cruise through Key West Harbor while sipping on tropical cocktails. With its thatched roof and tiki-inspired decor, this floating bar is a fun and festive way to explore the island’s waters.

Duval Street

No trip to Old Town Key West is complete without a stroll down Duval Street. This iconic street runs through the heart of town and is lined with an eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, and bars. Browse the local boutiques for unique souvenirs or grab a bite to eat at one of the many seafood restaurants. And if you’re feeling adventurous, try out a slice of Key Lime Pie from one of the street’s famous bakeries.

Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory

Escape the hustle and bustle of Duval Street and step into a tropical paradise at the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory. This serene indoor garden is home to over 50 species of butterflies as well as a variety of exotic birds and plants. Take a leisurely stroll through the lush greenery as you admire these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat.

Rum Distillery

No trip to the Caribbean would be complete without sampling some rum, and Key West has its very own distillery. Take a tour of the Key West First Legal Rum Distillery and learn about the history of rum-making in the islands. Sample some of their award-winning rums and pick up a bottle to take home as a souvenir.

Hemingway Home and Museum

For literature lovers, a visit to the Hemingway Home and Museum is a must. This grand Spanish colonial-style house was once home to renowned writer Ernest Hemingway during the 1930s. Take a guided tour of the house and gardens, and learn about the life of this prolific author. Don’t forget to say hello to the famous six-toed cats that roam the property.

Mile Marker 0 Sign

For a fun photo opportunity, head over to the southernmost point in the continental United States at Mile Marker 0. This iconic landmark marks the end of US Highway 1, which spans over 2,369 miles from Key West all the way to Fort Kent, Maine. Snap a picture next to the brightly-colored sign and add it to your vacation album.

Harry S. Truman Little White House

History buffs will enjoy a visit to the Harry S. Truman Little White House. This historic landmark served as President Truman’s winter retreat and was also used by several other US presidents. Take a tour of the house and learn about its role in US history, including the Cold War and the Bay of Pigs invasion.

Shipwreck Museum

Learn about the treacherous shipwrecks that occurred off Key West’s coast at the Shipwreck Museum. This interactive museum tells the story of how shipwrecks and salvaging played a significant role in shaping the island’s history. Climb to the top of the lookout tower for panoramic views of the island, and be sure to catch one of their live reenactments.

Fort Zachary Taylor State Park and Beach

Escape the crowds and head to Fort Zachary Taylor State Park for a relaxing day at the beach. This state park boasts clear blue waters, soft sandy beaches, and plenty of opportunities for swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing. Take a walk around the historic fort or have a picnic under the shade of the palm trees.

Higgs Beach and Rest Beach

Looking for more beach options? Head to Higgs Beach and Rest Beach, two of the most popular beaches in Key West. With their crystal-clear waters and white sandy shores, these beaches are perfect for soaking up the sun or taking a dip in the ocean. Both beaches also offer a variety of water sports activities, including kayaking, paddleboarding, and jet skiing.

Smathers Beach

For a family-friendly beach experience, head to Smathers Beach. With its shallow waters and gentle waves, this beach is perfect for young children to play in. Rent some beach chairs and umbrellas and spend the day lounging on the sand, or take a walk along the paved promenade that runs along the beach.

Conch Tour Train

Explore Old Town Key West on a vintage train ride with the Conch Tour Train. This narrated tour takes guests on a journey through the island’s history, culture, and famous landmarks. Learn about pirates, shipwrecks, and Cuban cigar makers as you pass by some of Key West’s most significant attractions. This is a great way to get an overview of the island and plan out your itinerary for the rest of your stay.

Fort Zachary Taylor Beach

Located at the westernmost end of Key West, Fort Zachary Taylor Beach is a must-visit for beach lovers. This scenic spot offers crystal clear waters, white sandy beaches, and stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico. But what makes this beach truly unique is the Civil War-era fort that sits on its shore. Take a tour of the fort to learn about its interesting history and enjoy panoramic views from the top.

Edward B. Knight Pier

Take a leisurely stroll along the Edward B. Knight Pier and immerse yourself in the beauty of the Key West Harbor. This iconic pier is a popular spot for fishing and watching breathtaking sunsets over the ocean. You can also catch a glimpse of marine life, such as dolphins, fish, and even sharks!

Mel Fisher Maritime Museum

For history buffs and treasure hunters alike, the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum is a must-visit attraction in Old Town Key West. This museum showcases artifacts and treasures from the Spanish galleon Nuestra Señora de Atocha, which sunk off the coast of Key West in 1622. Explore the museum’s exhibits and learn about Mel Fisher’s exciting treasure-hunting journey.

Southernmost Point

No trip to Old Town Key West is complete without a visit to the iconic Southernmost Point buoy. This brightly painted buoy marks the southernmost point of the continental United States and has become a popular photo spot for tourists. Don’t forget to snap a picture at this landmark before continuing your journey!

Key West Historic Seaport

The Key West Historic Seaport is a bustling hub filled with charming restaurants, shops, and boat tours. Take a stroll along the harbor and admire the classic wooden schooners, modern yachts, and traditional tall ships. You can also book a boat tour to explore the island from a different perspective.

Mangrove Swamps

Explore the unique ecosystem of Old Town Key West by taking a kayak or paddleboard tour through the mangrove swamps. These shallow waterways are teeming with wildlife, including birds, fish, and even baby sharks. It’s a peaceful and educational experience that will leave you in awe of Mother Nature.

Green Parrot Bar

If you’re looking for some local flavor and a good time, head to the Green Parrot Bar. This iconic dive bar has been a staple in Old Town Key West since 1890 and is a popular spot for live music and cold drinks. With its funky decor, friendly atmosphere, and tasty bar food, the Green Parrot Bar is a must-visit for anyone looking to have a good time.

Ghost Tour

For those who enjoy spooky tales and ghostly encounters, the Old Town Key West ghost tour is an activity not to be missed. As one of the most haunted cities in the United States, Key West is full of intriguing and eerie stories. Join a guided tour and explore the city’s darker side as you visit historic sites and hear chilling tales from the past.

Old Town Key West has something for everyone, from history buffs to beach lovers to foodies. Explore the island’s rich heritage, soak up the sun at its beautiful beaches, and indulge in delicious Caribbean cuisine. With a variety of things to do in Old Town Key West, your days there will be filled with unforgettable experiences.

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