Key West, Florida is the epitome of southernmost paradise. If you’re looking for fun and unique things to do during a Key West vacation, read on to learn more about the most popular Key West attractions. Pack your sunscreen and get ready to experience island life from land and sea.
1) Experience the Dry Tortugas National Park One of the most unforgettable activities in Key West is snorkeling at the Dry Tortugas National Park. Hop on the Yankee Freedom III catamaran and make your way to Fort Jefferson at the Dry Tortugas. Fort Jefferson is the largest masonry structure in the Americas and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Once you’ve toured the impressive fort, don your snorkeling gear and uncover the underwater beauty of one of the world’s hidden gems. You might even decide to go bird watching or camping while you’re visiting the Dry Tortugas.
2) Ride the Conch Tour Train The Conch Tour Train is a Key West icon, and this world famous sightseeing tour has been entertaining guests since 1958. Beginning at the Front Street Depot, you’ll wind around the island on an entertaining and informative 90-minute journey. Along the way, guests learn about Key West’s fascinating history, legends and local lore. The tour concludes right behind Mallory Square, so you can explore the Key West Aquarium, Key West Shipwreck Museum and even sample delicious conch fritters following your tour.
3) Drink Up at the Half Shell Raw Bar’s Happy Hour Drop by the Half Shell Raw Bar for happy hour and experience a taste of old Key West that can’t be found anywhere else. Grab a seat at the bar and get ready to enjoy the best happy hour specials and freshest seafood on the island. From 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM daily, you can enjoy 2-for-1 deals and conch fritters, Key West peel & eat shrimp, raw gulf oysters, bear steamed shrimp and much more. Located by the Historic Seaport, the Half Shell Raw Bar is an authentic slice of island life, complete with a picturesque view of boats docking in the harbor.
4) Snorkel with Fury Water Adventures Key West is famous for its breathtaking natural beauty and home to the only coral reef in North America. See intricate marine ecosystems up close on a snorkeling trip with Fury Water Adventures. Swim among schools of tropical fish and bright coral, taking in the island’s scenery from a whole new perspective. Fury offers top-of-the-line snorkeling equipment for the comfort and safety of guests during the excursion. Just put on your gear and immerse yourself in a coral reef adventure!
5) Feed Endangered Birds at Nancy’s Secret Garden Want to interact with endangered wildlife? Look no further than Nancy’s Secret Garden, home to many abused and orphaned parrots. Artist and animal lover Nancy Forrester started rescuing endangered birds 25 years ago, and the Secret Garden has become a favorite place for many children and families. Nancy teaches “Parrot 101” every morning so guests can learn more about these beautiful birds and their habitats. Open daily from 10 AM to 3 PM, visitors can bring a picnic lunch, paint, sing and much more. Step inside the secret garden and have fun with these friendly parrots!
6) Touch Sharks at the Key West Aquarium The Key West Aquarium stands as one of the island’s top attractions. Home to sharks, turtles, stingrays, tropical fish and many more underwater creatures, the Aquarium is committed to marine conservation. It was also the first aquarium to feature an “open air concept,” where natural sunlight illuminates the carefully constructed exhibits. One of the most exciting parts of a visit to the Key West Aquarium is the shark feeding. You’ll learn many facts about sharks as guides feed the animals. After the sharks have been fed, take the opportunity to touch a juvenile nurse shark on the tail. If you’ve ever wondered what sharkskin feels like, here’s the chance to satisfy your curiosity!
7) Eat Brunch at Blue Heaven Famous for its delicious food as well as its whimsical ambiance, brunch at Blue Heaven is a quintessential Key West dining experience. Chickens and cats call Blue Heaven home, mingling among guests and delighting in any leftovers they can sweep off the ground. The food is out of this world, from scrumptious homemade pancakes to shrimp and grits to Jamaican jerk chicken. After brunch at Blue Heaven, your taste buds will thank you and you’ll feel energized for a day of Key West sightseeing.
8) Take a Picture at the Southernmost Point If you’ve made it all the way down to Key West, take a picture at the Southernmost Point of the continental United States. The famous buoy sculpture is a popular tourist attraction, with guests from all over the world lining up for a picturesque moment. The Southernmost Point is also conveniently located near the Hemingway House, Lighthouse Museum, Fort Zachary Taylor and many other attractions.
9) Enjoy Turtle Races at Turtle Kraals Bar and Restaurant Turtle Kraals Bar and Restaurant offers a colorful mix of Caribbean-inspired cuisine and authentic waterfront dining. Nestled by Key West’s Historic Seaport, restaurant guests can dine at the rooftop Tower Bar and enjoy a view of the active marina below. Turtle Kraals also hosts live turtle races every Monday and Friday at 6 PM. Stop by for happy hour and stay to watch the talented turtles “race” to the finish line. You might even win a cash prize if your favorite turtle wins! It’s the perfect opportunity to come out of your shell and participate in a favorite Key West pastime.
10) Watch the Famous Key West Sunset at Mallory Square After a day full of fun in the Key West sun, take some time to enjoy the famous Key West sunset at the Mallory Square Sunset Celebration. Visitors from all over the world gather to watch magicians, jugglers, clowns, local musicians and artists thrill audiences with their captivating performances and talents. It’s a one-of-a-kind celebration of Key West’s unique past, present and future.