Things to do in
Key West

The southernmost point of the Florida Keys combines sun, sea, scenic nature, and even some Ernest Hemingway.

Enter your dates to find available activities

Get free cancellation up to 24 hours before your activity starts for a full refund.

Our most recommended things to do in Key West

Key West: 2-Hour Sunset Sail on Schooner America 2.0

1. Key West: 2-Hour Sunset Sail on Schooner America 2.0

Take in the vibrant colors of Key West's fabulous sunset as you glide through the waters on one of the finest boats in the Key West Schooner Fleet. Watch the sun fade into the horizon and the stars emerge into the deep blue sky. America 2.0 features teak decks, mahogany-trimmings, and 3,600 square feet of canvas! Sit back and relax while she plies effortlessly through the crystal-clear waters off Key West, heading towards the horizon for the quintessential Florida sunset experience! Some of the sights on this sailing adventure include a view of Fort Zachary Taylor from the water, and views of the famed Sand Key Reef, Mallory Square, and Sunset Pier. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife such as dolphins, sea turtles, and water birds – and for the famous Key West "Green Flash" at sunset. Bring your family or friends and join the courteous and professional crew for this sunset sail that completes the Key West experience in comfort and elegance.

...
Key West: Reef Snorkel Morning Tour with Breakfast & Mimosas

2. Key West: Reef Snorkel Morning Tour with Breakfast & Mimosas

Hop onboard your catamaran for the morning then set sail onto Key West’s glistening turquoise waters towards the third longest reef in the world. During the cruise, soak up epic views of the coastline and snack on a delicious, light breakfast accompanied by mimosas. Upon arrival at the snorkel site, get kitted out with all the necessary gear and listen to a safety briefing. Afterwards, make a splash as you jump into the refreshing, crystal clear water. Follow your instructor as you navigate this impressive coral reef and snorkel in search of colorful marine life. During the experience, enjoy the opportunity to see some of Key West’s 110 species of coral and 500 species of tropical fish. At the end of an epic adventure, relax on deck, grab a beer, and soak up the last of the coastal views as you sail back to port.

...
Key West: Sunset Cruise with Buffet Dinner and Open Bar

3. Key West: Sunset Cruise with Buffet Dinner and Open Bar

Climb aboard "The Party Cat" for a wonderful 2-hour cruise around the harbor.   Enjoy a freshly prepared tropical food buffet in an enclosed air-conditioned dining room. Choose from dinner options such as roast pulled pork in mojo sauce, deep fried sweet plantains, black beans and rice, marinated grilled chicken, fried fish, mixed vegetables, mashed potatoes, pasta with mini shrimp and Cuban bread and butter. Sip on your choice of tipple — margaritas, rum runners, champagne, beer, wine or spirits. After dinner, stroll upstairs to the upper deck for live music. Dance the night away or simply listen to the beat as you watch the sun set over the horizon into the Gulf of Mexico. Witness the beautiful display of colors across the night sky.

...
Key West: 3-Hour Snorkeling Adventure

4. Key West: 3-Hour Snorkeling Adventure

Spend an enjoyable 3 hours in the sunshine and crystal-clear waters of the Florida Keys and snorkeling along Key West’s coral reef. You’ll experience the ultimate in snorkeling and sailing comfort on a state-of-the-art catamaran, featuring: • A stairway to the sea • Large sundeck • Shaded lounge area • Fresh water rinse • Restrooms • Top-of-the-line sanitized snorkeling gear • Professional instruction by Fury’s friendly crew Before snorkeling, the crew will be on-hand to assist and instruct you. Once you descend the stairway to the sea, you’ll discover the wonders of the underwater world. Marvel at the pristine coral reef and its abundance of marine life, including tropical species found nowhere else on earth. The morning snorkeling tour includes unlimited water and sodas and complimentary beer, wine, and mimosas after snorkeling. The afternoon Reef & Ritas snorkeling tour is a great opportunity to enjoy a luxurious catamaran sail to the only living coral reef in North America. The afternoon sun is warm and bright, making it a great time to relax on the catamaran and enjoy the temperate ocean waters. The ocean currents and wind direction are often different than in the morning, so if you’ve taken a morning snorkeling trip in the past, chances are you’ll go to a different reef location in the afternoon.

...
Key West Dolphin Watch and Snorkel Eco Tour

5. Key West Dolphin Watch and Snorkel Eco Tour

Climb aboard a fast catamaran for an aquatic journey of a lifetime, and observe the grace and beauty of resident Key West dolphins in the shimmering turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Look for bottlenose dolphins as they swim, play, feed and do what comes naturally. Then, head to the Key West wildlife refuge to snorkel in the shallow backcountry waters. Relax in the knowledge that your tour is provided by the only company in the Florida Keys with the prestigious “Dolphin SMART” certification, a national program that protects and promotes the responsible observance of dolphins. The program was put together by conservation agencies, including the National Marine Sanctuary of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Dolphin Ecology Project and the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society. Begin your ride back to the dock, and enjoy a complimentary cold beer and chilled wine, whether you choose the morning or afternoon option. Opt for the sunset tour and experience the world famous Key West sunset as a bonus.

...
Key West: Glass-Bottom Boat Sunset Cruise and Reef Tour

6. Key West: Glass-Bottom Boat Sunset Cruise and Reef Tour

Climb aboard a glass-bottom boat and cruise the tropical waters of Key West with a warm ocean breeze as your backdrop. Get dramatic underwater vistas before the sun sets, and see a wide variety of fish and other sea creatures. Take advantage of the glass-bottom boat's outdoor deck with seating and air-conditioned enclosed viewing area. Benefit from facilities that include restrooms and a snack bar. The catamaran’s twin hull design allows for maximum stability and much less rocking motion than traditional V-hull boats, allowing for maximum viewing with minimum stress to the delicate reef. Marvel at North America’s only living coral reef and one of the most biologically diverse marine eco-systems in the world. See stunning elkhorn coral and impressive brain coral. Sturdy in appearance, yet fragile and vulnerable, these magnificent coral species stand sentry for more than 300 species of fish. Listen to explanations about the marine life from the experienced captain and crew as you get a “Window to the Reef” via the boat's special glass. Then, toast the end of another perfect day in paradise as you watch the sun slowly disappear beyond the horizon. Relax with complimentary soda and champagne, and snuggle up with that special someone as the sun paints the sky brilliant blues, deep yellows, and lovely shades of orange, pink and red.

...
Key West: Jet Ski Island Tour with Free Second Rider

7. Key West: Jet Ski Island Tour with Free Second Rider

Climb on a brand new jet ski and set off on a thrilling island jet ski adventure. With your experienced guides, navigate through mangrove islands, stop at a local sandbar for a dip in the crystal clear waters, get a picture of the southernmost point from the water, and more. Each tour has 2 guides to ensure the complete safety of riders. The first guide sets the pace at the front, allowing all riders who want to go fast the opportunity to floor it. The second guide brings up the back, allowing the riders who want a more leisurely tour to go at their own pace. This tour has been voted the best jet ski tour in Key West. Get a great deal with a free second rider on each jet ski.

...
Key West: 3-Hour Coral Reef Snorkeling

8. Key West: 3-Hour Coral Reef Snorkeling

Spend your morning or afternoon snorkeling in warm tropical seas surrounded by colorful fish. Enjoy expert instruction and learn about the reef’s marine wildlife from the professional crew. Your captain will select the exact location based on water and wind conditions, to give you best snorkeling in Key West. Dive into the calm waters, and see how many species of fish and coral you can find. Afterwards, grab a complimentary drink and lay on the sun deck, or cool off in the shade as you sail back to Key West. Feel the breeze in your hair and watch for dolphins playing in the ship’s wake.

...
Key West: Parasailing Flights

9. Key West: Parasailing Flights

Soar above the emerald blue waters of Key West and look down on the island like a bird. Climb aboard a state-of-the-art, 12 passenger parasailing boat and let the tropical breeze propel you across the water. Then, take to the skies on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Keep a look out for dolphins playing in the surf as colorful tropical birds fly past. Enjoy gentle, dry take-offs and landings to make your Key West airborne excursion a truly exhilarating adventure. Benefit from departures every hour on the hour for your comfort, and make the most of your parasailing flight.

...
Key West: Old Town Trolley 12-Stop Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

10. Key West: Old Town Trolley 12-Stop Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

Enjoy the sun, charming setting, and clear waters of Key West on this Old Town Trolley Hop-On Hop-Off Tour. This tour covers the entire city. You can avoid the trouble of driving and parking in a new place. The trolley tour is also designed so that you can hop-on and off and explore on your own, on any of the 12 stops. Your ticket is valid for all day, so you can tour at your own speed. There are frequent pick-ups at all of the 12 stops so you’ll never have far to walk. And our Old Town Trolley conductors will be there to guide you through this tropical paradise on one of the distinctive orange and green trolleys. Don’t miss this great day out!

...

Frequently asked questions about Key West

What top attractions are a must-see in Key West?

Planning Your Visit

  • Where is it?

    Key West is an island city in the Florida Keys archipelago. It is the southernmost city in the United States.

  • How many days?

    Key West is perfect for a weekend break. Ideally, try incorporating it into a longer island-hopping tour of the Florida Keys!

  • How to get there?

    Key West has its own international airport, but you can also reach it via the scenic Overseas Highways (U.S. Route 1) from Miami. There are also shuttle buses available from Miami Internation Airport.

Good to know

  • Language
    English
  • Currency
    USD ($)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (-04:00)
  • Country Code
    +1
  • Best time to visit
    It's best to visit from March to May, in between the expensive, touristy peak season, and hurricane season.

Insider tips: Planning a trip to Key West

Former home to Ernest Hemingway and forever home to some of the most beautiful sunsets in Florida, visiting Key West is a real treat. Getting to the southern-most point in the United States can take some time, so we've enlisted the help of travel experts The Planet D to help you make the most of your time. Read our tips below for your next trip to Key West.

What should I do on my first trip to Key West?

First-time visitors to Key West should head down to Mallory Square for sunset. It really sets the tone and vibe for a Key West vacation. Mallory Square is filled with street performers, views of the Harbour, and a lot of energy and excitement. There are many top Key West attractions near Mallory Square, so go early to see the Maritime Museum, Key West Shipwreck, and Treasure Museum and see the sculpture garden showcasing historical figures from the area.

What are some hidden gems to see in Key West?

When in Key West, take a trip to the Dry Tortugas National Park. Located 70 miles (113 km) away, Fort Jefferson was a military fort used to defend during the Spanish American War from 1846 to 1876. You can stay over and camp on Garden Key and it has beautiful white-sand beaches. Make sure to go kayaking to the Key West Wildlife Refuge. It is one of the oldest wildlife refuges in the United States, where you will paddle through mangrove forests in search of wildlife.

How much time should I spend in Key West?

When planning a trip to Key West, we suggest spending at least three nights. Five days in Key West is ideal giving enough time to spend a day or two on the water to see the Dry Tortugas and Wildlife Refuge. Two days are good to see the historic monuments and top attractions and then you will want to spend a day at the beach or enjoying your hotel.

What food is Key West known for?

Key West is famous for its Key Lime Pie. You cannot miss eating this refreshing dessert. Made with Florida Key Limes and condensed milk on a graham cracker crust, this treat is served all over Key West. One of the most famous places to grab a slice is at Kermits. Key West is also known for Conch. (pronounced Conk) Conch is the meat that comes from those large beautiful seashells. You can order conch fritter, conch chowder, cracked conch, and conch sandwiches. No trip to Key West would be complete without enjoying these two staples.

What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Key West?

We’ve stayed both downtown on Duval Street at the Crown Plaza in the heart of the action and out farther out on a quiet resort. It depends on what experience you want in Key West. Duval Street keeps you close to the party and within walking distance to many of the top attractions in Key West. If you want a quieter place to stay on the outskirts of town.

What is the best way to get around Key West?

It’s easy to walk to many of the sites in Key West around Mallory Square and Duval Street. To see some of the other sites, hop on a trolley tour or take the hop on hop off bus. The Conch Train is also one of the most popular attractions and it takes you around to all of the top places to visit. Another great way to get around is to rent a bike and have the freedom to cover a lot of ground independently.

What are the best months to visit Key West?

The high season in Key West is from the end of November to the end of February. This is when you’ll find the most crowds and the highest prices. A good time to visit is from March to May for more affordable hotel rates but the weather is comfortable and not too hot. October is a fun time to visit as well when Key West is gearing up for Fantasy Fest at the end of the month.

What are the best neighborhoods for shopping?

The Key West streets are filled with shops and you’ll find some of the best shops in Old Town, Duval Street, and the Shops at Mallory Square.

What is the best family-friendly thing to do in Key West?

Everyone will love riding the Conch Train around the island showcasing the top sites in Key West. With an engineer telling tales about the history and culture of the island, it’s a fun and informative tour. The Key West Butterfly Conservatory is a good choice for families to walk among hundreds of butterflies and birds in a tropical rainforest environment.

What is the best thing to do for solo travelers in Key West?

The best thing for solo travelers in Key West is to join a Duval Street pub crawl. This is a great way to meet people and go out on the town in a safe environment. Another great way to meet people is to join a party cruise or waterspouts adventure tour where you can spend the day on the water going kayaking, jet skiing, and parasailing. Or try one of the popular tours like the Rum and Reggae snorkeling tour. You’ll have the opportunity to get in the water on a tour, make new friends and enjoy a cocktail or two.

What is the best thing to do in Key West for couples?

The best thing for couples to do in Key West is to join a sunset cruise on a schooner or catamaran. What could be more romantic? Well, a romantic candlelit dinner at Sunset Key could be more romantic. Make a reservation and take the shuttle boat from Key West to Sunset Key for the best view in town.

What are the best annual events in Key West?

Fantasy Fest is by far the most original annual event that happens in Key West. Taking place at the end of October each year, it is a 10 day festival for adults with parades, partying, and elaborate costumes. Hemingway Days is an annual event in July that celebrates the life of Ernest Hemingway who called Key West home for eight years.

What are the best areas for outdoor activities?

The best places to enjoy outdoor activities in Key West is the Key West Wildlife Refuge for snorkeling, dolphin spotting, and birdwatching. John Pennekamp State Park is the only living reef in the United States and is popular for snorkeling and scuba diving. And Dry Tortugas National Park is good for camping, swimming, and snorkeling.

What are the best beaches in Key West?

Fort Zachary Taylor Beach is one of the best beaches in Key West. Located in the State Park there is an entrance fee, but it is a great combination of beach life and a walk-through history at Fort Zachary Taylor. Smather’s Beach is the longest beach in Key West with 2 miles of white sandy beaches where you can rent beach chairs. Dry Tortugas has a picture-perfect white sandy beach that is completely deserted. And Higgs Beach is another great beach in Old Town that has a long wooden pier.

Other Sightseeing Options in Key West

Want to discover all there is to do in Key West? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Key West

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 2,916 reviews

Thank you! Great trip!! I’ve experienced panic attacks on my other snorkeling trips. Lisa helped understand why and I was able to snorkel!! Her assistant Cat was also excellent! Thank you so much!!

Bill, Alex, and Neko are great guides. They made the boat ride to the reef fun. The reef was an excellent location with plenty of fish that get right up to your face. I would definitely recommend.

As advertised!. Great hard working crew on the Sunset Cruise on 12-29-21. Highly recommended.

GREAT staff on the bus ride dwn and back. So much to do in key west

Bruce was the best tour guide. Very informative and entertaining.