Key West, Florida, located in the southernmost tip of the U.S. and the end of the chain of islands within the Florida Keys, Key West is known for its laid-back culture, azure seas, water sports, vibrant nightlife and rich history. Spanning only about 7.4 square miles, which includes 1.5 of those square miles as water, the city of Key West is very compact. Key West’s Historic District is on the western side of the island in what is known as Old Town, where the original settlement of the island was located. Old Town is centered by lively Duval Street, which is the main drag in town with many hotels, inns, shops, restaurants and bars. Most of the island’s best attractions are all located within close proximity of Duval Street and the island is easy to navigate due to its small size.
Key West is certainly the central hot spot for nightlife and entertainment, but great bars and restaurants can be found throughout the Keys. From rustic watering holes to live music venues, Key West has something for everyone, including a raucous pub crawl known as the Duval Crawl, sampling the street’s finest in bars. Beyond the cocktails and nightlife, Key West also has many notable cultural attractions including the Tennessee Williams Fine Arts Center and the ever-popular Ernest Hemingway House. The author called Key West home for a number of years and is said to have written and worked on many of his most acclaimed books while living there. Getting out in the water is another favorite for most visitors and deep-sea fishing is especially popular in this region.
Climate: Average year-round temperature of 77° F
with the warmest summer temperature around 95° F
Exciting Activities & Experiences
Adventures for any age are always available in Key West!
Top Rated Key West Attractions
Paradise exists at the southernmost tip of the USA, and it’s here that millions of people flock each year to enjoy it. Surrounded by crystal blue waters, Key West is home to a myriad of eco-attractions, historical sights and outdoor adventures. When planning your Key West vacation, make sure to book your tours and get tickets to the top attractions online, which will save you time and money.
Ghosts and Gravestones Tour
To explore Key West’s darker side, hop on the Ghosts and Gravestones Trolley of the Doomed, a spooky, yet fun look at Key West’s most haunted places. Pass by some of the spookiest spots on the island, including the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, the African Slave Cemetery, Captain Tony’s Saloon, St. Paul’s Church and more. At the East Martello Fort, see the infamous Robert the Doll up close and hear strange stories of mystery and mayhem. From terrifying tales to spooky sights, sit back and enjoy this entertaining journey through Key West’s haunted history.
Key West Aquarium
Ever petted a shark? At the Key West Aquarium, you’ll have the chance to do just that. This iconic Key West attraction has been welcoming guests since 1934 and offers a close encounter with some of the most unique and colorful marine species. Shark, ray and sea turtle feedings take place throughout the day and guests can enjoy checking out various sea species that are indigenous to the Florida Keys in the giant touch tank.
Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum
A visit to Key West isn’t complete without touring the home of this Noble Prize author. Ernest Hemingway lived and worked at this home in Key West for ten years and a visit here offers guests a close up view of his life. You’ll tour the inside of the home and lush property, see his Royal typewriter and meet the six-toed cats, descendants of his beloved pets.
Fury Water Adventures Ultimate Adventure
Swim, snorkel, para sail, Jet Ski and play on a private water playground. It’s an action packed experience that includes a delicious breakfast, lunch and refreshments throughout the day. Cold beer and wine are served on the way back to dock. This top rated water sports adventure boards at 9:00 am and returns at 4:00 pm.
The Dry Tortuga’s & Fort Jefferson
One of the most unique places on the planet, the Dry Tortuga’s and Fort Jefferson are just 70 miles west of Key West. You’ll travel in comfort and safety aboard a high- speed, state-of-the-art catamaran, the Yankee Freedom III, the official ferry to the Dry Tortuga’s. Complimentary breakfast, lunch and refreshments as well as snorkel gear and professional instruction are included. The Dry Tortuga’s National Park offers a variety of activities including snorkeling the reef, kayaking, sunning on a sandy beach, exotic bird watching and touring the massive Civil War fortress.
Tropical Bike Tours
For a local’s point of view, take a leisurely 2-hour Tropical Bike Tour around Key West’s quiet streets. A Key West bike tour is a unique way to see and experience the laid-back island lifestyle. You can even sample exotic tropical fruits such as coconuts, key limes and mangoes. Cruise beneath a canopy of lush trees while you learn about Key West architecture, history, wildlife, natural beauty and more.
Harry S. Truman Little White House
Most who visit Key West fall in love with its relaxed persona and natural beauty. This was exactly the case with Harry S. Truman when he came for a winter retreat in 1946. Subsequently spending 175 days here during his presidency, Truman lived and worked in this charming waterfront home that was once a naval base. Tour this historic house to see some of his personal belongings, learn about his life and the other U.S. Presidents and foreign dignitaries that also spent time here.
Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory
Discover the grace and beauty of many diverse butterfly species at the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory. Walk through their climate-controlled indoor habitat, which is home to hundreds of vibrant butterflies, flowers, plants and several bird species. Explore the fascinating habits of these gentle creatures in the Learning Center, and check out the Wings of Imagination Butterfly Gallery that showcases a variety of butterfly and nature-themed works of art.
Mel Fisher’s Maritime Museum
It took 17 years of hunting, but Mel Fisher finally found the mother lode: the sunken treasure of the Spanish Galleon Atocha. Today, guests to his museum can see, feel and touch many of the items he and his crew recovered. Exhibits include gold bars, gold and silver coins, a gold cross embellished with emeralds and much more.
Audubon House and Tropical Gardens
A journey back to 19th century Key West is what’s in store when you visit the lovely Audubon House and Tropical Gardens. Visitors can tour the magnificent home to see many artifacts and items from that era and roam the beautiful one-acre gardens. An extensive collection of hand-painted lithographs by the revered naturalist John James Audubon is also on display throughout the home.
Conch Tour Train
Climb aboard this 90-minute journey through Old Town Key West, highlighting the top historical sites and attractions. Beginning at the Front Street Depot, your entertaining and knowledgeable conductor will take you on an exclusive tour through Duval Street, Truman Avenue, Flagler Station and more. Be sure to sample homemade ice cream and delicious fudge at the Conch Tour Trai’s Station Depot before climbing back on board.
Old Town Trolley
To learn all about the rich and colorful past of this tiny island paradise, take a sightseeing tour. The Old Town Trolley Tour is the most comprehensive in the city, a fully narrated experience that transports you to more than 100 points of interest. You can hop off the trolley at any of the 13 stops, explore the area at your own pace and hop back on when you’re ready to continue the tour. Perfect for all ages, this is the only tour that shows you the entire island.