There are so many exciting and unique things to do in Key West. Key West is known for its nightlife, entertainment, and relaxing island vibes. Don’t be fooled, though. Key West offers a lot of history to learn and adventures for exploring.
Are you a history buff? Explore the home of a great American author, or the winter getaways of former U.S Presidents!
Maybe you want to live life more on the edge? Key West is filled with dives and rentals that will keep you going!
Key West is perfect for everyone in the family, and this list will help you decide what put on your itinerary!
It’s not a trip to Key West if you don’t spend time on Duval Street! Duval Street is one of the most popular things to do in Key West.
This is the best area in Key West to take in some sights and enjoy local food and drinks. You will also take in the sounds of live music and street performers while you embrace the city!
The bar crawling scene is notorious on Duval and is a great way to spend a day or two.
Duval Street is also pretty much the center of the city so it’s an easy stop to make to or from another attraction.
Mallory Square is one of Key West’s most notable attractions! This location is famous for its beautiful Florida sunsets and is the perfect place to unwind from your busy day.
Located on the water, Mallory Square is full of family fun. The Square has shops and restaurants that the whole family can enjoy!
The fun doesn’t stop there! While you’re walking through the Square, you will enjoy the entertainment of musicians, street performers, and you can even buy something unique from a street vendor! Spend a few hours here and enjoy the party!
Harry S Truman’s Little White House
You can learn a little bit about American history by stopping into Harry Truman’s Little White House.
During his presidency, Harry Truman used this house in Key West as his winter getaway when D.C got too cold to bear.
It may be named after President Truman, but he is not the only President to seek the warm weather of Key West. Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy visited this home, and Clinton during their times as President!
For $20 per adult and $10 per child, you can tour the house and the grounds and see how the presidents lived while they were visiting Key West
If you are a history buff, the Earnest Hemingway house should definitely be penciled into your itinerary! Nestled just a block from Duval street, the Hemingway house is a great way to take in some beauty and local history.
Hemingway moved into the house in the early 1930s, and it stayed in his family until he died in 1961.
As you walk through the grounds, you will see stunning decor, the lush gardens, and even some feline friends prowling around! These famous cats are descendants from cats that roamed the grounds while Hemingway himself lived in the house.
Take some time from your day to enjoy some art and history. We promise you won’t forget!
Key West is filled with qauint places to stay while you are in town! Check out our list of the Best Airbnb’s in Key West!
Key West Lighthouse
If you’re going to pop into the Hemmingway House, you might as well cross the street and take in the sights at the Key West Lighthouse!
Lighthouses always bring an extra bit of history, and this one is no exception. Constructed in the 1800s, this lighthouse has stood overwatching the city ever since.
If you take a tour of the lighthouse, you will learn about the first lighthouse keeper, who was a woman, and you will see historic photos from then the lighthouse was operational.
The 88 stair climb to the top is worth the view. You have a 360 view of the island of Key West and the surrounding ocean!
Key West has many snorkeling and SCUBA adventures to take part in. One of the most stunning dives you can take is to dive down to Vandenberg.
This Navy ship was sunk 8 miles off the coast of Key West in 2009 because it became obsolete. The ship is now home to a coral reef that can be explored 150 feet below the surface.
In order to explore this reef, you will need to have an up to date SCUBA certification, so be prepared before you embark!
This is not just a Nature Conservatory. It is a butterfly and bird sanctuary, and it is incredible!
If you like butterflies, this place will be your heaven! There are between 50 and 60 species of butterfly housed here and over 20 species of exotic birds.
The conservatory has a learning center where you can learn all about the butterfly’s anatomy, life cycles, and migratory patterns. There is also an art gallery where you can see tons of art inspired by the butterflies and birds of the conservatory.
The Nature Conservatory is located right near Duval Street and is in the heart of Key West.
If you are interested in the production of Rum, or just drinking it, there are actually three locations in Key West that may be of interest!
Key West’s First Legal Rum Distillery, Papa’s Pilar, and Key West Distilling are all excellent places to pop in and learn about the distilling process of delicious rum and other liquors.
These distilleries are also a great place to learn how to whip up some new recipes!
If you have the time, taking a tour to Dry Tortugas is worth it! Exploring Dry Tortugas is definitely one of the most unique and best things to do in Key West.
Technically it’s not on the island of Key West, it’s more like 60 miles off the coast, so it’s not the easiest excursion to get to. However, some boats take you to the island, and once you are there, you are surrounded by unmatched beauty and colonial architecture.
Once on the island, you are free to explore the grounds, relax by the beach, and even go snorkeling! It is a fantastic opportunity to take in history and adventure at the same time!
Do you want to more places off the beaten path in Florida? Check out list of the Best Hidden Gems in Florida!
Coast Guard Museum
American history can be found all over Key West, and one of the best Key West activities to entertain history buffs is the Coast Guard Museum.
Take a tour of the Coast Guard Cutter Ingham and learn all about what life was like onboard while it was in service and after.
You will be immersed in testimonials from those who served aboard. You will also see equipment, weapons, and uniforms used by The servicemen at the time!
Audubon House Tropical Gardens
The Audubon House is a step back in time, allowing us to catch a glimpse of the wealthy lifestyle in 1849.
Built by Captain John Huling Geiger, the home was made to fit his family’s wealthy lifestyle in the heart of Key West.
Years later, the house has been renovated and has become a beautiful destination for toursists to enjoy. Inside, you will find decore and art dating back to the home’s beginnings.
The outside is just as intriguing as the inside. The gardens are landscaped with picturesque flowers and greenery!
Take a step back in time and enjoy some of the idyllic scenery at the Audobon House.
Historic Seaport Harbor Walk
Taking a walk down the seaport and harbor is one of the best things to do in Key West because there is so much to experience along the way. The seaport is lined with restaurants and happy hour’s to enjoy.
If you make your way down the Harbor Walk, you are sure to find fishermen coming in with their catches of the day and some of the expensive private boats parked by wealthy people from around the world.
It’s a nice relaxing walk, and even more so when you are taking in the sunset!
Kayaking and Jet Ski Rentals
Seeing Key West from the water is such a relaxing experience, and it can be yours with a simple jet ski or kayaking rental.
If you prefer high octane water sports then there are a variety of locations to you can choose from to rent jet skis and tour around the island.
Kayaking is also a popular way to explore the surrounding ocean waters. Take a solo or a tandem kayak beyond the break of the waves and enjoy a relaxing day out on the water!
There are also guided tours to take that are both entertaining and informative!
Key West Garden Club
The beautiful grounds of the Key West Garden Club are stunning for so many reasons.
Firstly, the Garden Club is in the shadow Civil War-era towers that look over the gardens. The architecture throughout the grounds is historic and bathed in lush floral gardens.
The Garden Club also sits right near the beach. The edges of the gardens overlook the ocean making for a serene experience.
Old Town Trolley Tours
Old Town Trolley Tours has always been a popular way to take in scenery and history while traveling.
Luckily, Key West has implemented Old Town Trolley Tours into their city so you can see all of the hidden and not so hidden gems this city has to offer!
The trolley is a great way to see a lot of the city without having to walk all over, especially in the florida heat.
If you want to add a bit of a spook factor to your trip, take the trolley after dark where it transforms into the Ghosts and Gravestone’s Tour where you can learn about the creepy history and present of Key West!
Take in some live music and the sunset at the properly named Sunset Pier.
Located at the Ocean Key Resort, the Sunset Pier is everything you can expect from Key West. You can dine right on the pier and look over the water.
Since it is part of the resort, there is much less bustle than at Duval Street or Mallory Square, but the atmosphere and views are everything you would expect from Key West!
There are so many things to do in Key West that everyone can enjoy! It’s a location rooted in fun and relaxation, so it is virtually impossible to not have a good time!
There is history and adventure sprinkled throughout all of Key West. That coupled with the natural beauty of the island is what keeps tourists coming back year after year.
Adding some of these locations to your list of places to visit on your next trip will surely make it a vacation you will never forget.