15 Best Things To Do in Key West

An island city in Florida, United States, Key West is just a little away from Cuba. Known for its diverse marine life, tropical plant and animal species, sandy beaches and entertaining lifestyle, this city is home to many historical places. Numerous museums and famous personalities’ homes along with surreal gardens are some of the many places which can be seen on a trip here. Listed below are the top tourist attractions in Key West which ought to be visited at least once!

Let's explore Key West points of interest and 15 best things to do in Key West:

1. Experience The Charm Of Europe At The Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum

The Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum - ImageImage Source: wikipedia.org

Commonly known as the Hemingway House, this mansion is located on Whitehead Street. The famous literary genius moved into this house in 1931 and turned it over! A huge expansion and renovation transformed it completely. Animal trophies, a pool, animal skin scattered around the house and Hemingway’s European antiques still decorate this mansion. Interestingly, the writer’s cat’s progenies now roam all around the place so beware of them when you visit this museum! 

2. Visit The Audubon House 

Key West’s oldest surviving structure, the Audubon House has remained in an excellent state even though it was built in the 1840s. This visit will leave you with a better understanding of a wealthy lot of the 19th century. Inclusive of over 200 orchids, a colony of butterflies and a Cook House, this House also features original lithographs of John James Audubon, the famous naturalist.

3. Spend A Leisurely Evening At Key West Garden Club

Fondly known as the West Martello Tower, the Key West Garden Club is open to the public, its free wherein volunteers have the whole responsibility of maintenance. Through this initiative, people learn the importance of civic duties and preserving nature. The Garden has arched courtyards, lush tropical plants, a lily pond and a waterfall. Located on the Atlantic Boulevard, the garden is too mesmerizing to miss out on! 

4. Play With Butterflies At Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservancy

Butterfly and Nature Conservancy, Key West - ImageImage Source: wikimedia.org

Who doesn’t like butterflies? At the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservancy, you can feel at ease amongst 60 species of amazing butterflies and over 20 exotic bird species. Add to this experience the sweet-smelling flowers’ display-it truly will leave you wonderstruck! There is also a small gift shop with lovely little items to purchase! This lovely space is located on the Duval Street.

5. Visit The Dry Tortugas National Park

About 70 miles from Key West lies this marvellous park which is a must-visit! It comprises of seven small islands, Fort Jefferson and numerous coral reefs which are hard to miss. Migratory and tropical birds frequent the island, and one can participate in exciting adventures such as swimming and snorkelling! Visit to have fun or to gain knowledge about the Fort’s historical significance but do visit for sure.

6. Visit The Henry Flagler’s Overseas Railroad

Henry Flagler contributed immensely towards the growth of South Florida in the 1900s. One such structure built by this railroad magnate was the Overseas Railway. Immaculate use of available technology, this railroad was unfortunately destroyed by a powerful hurricane in the 1930s. However, as a tribute to this legendary personality, the Overseas Railroad still exists, or rather what’s left of it, and can be seen from the Overseas Highway. 

7. Visit The Basilica of Saint Mary Star of the Sea

places to visit in Key West - ImageImage Source: wikipedia.org

A stunning Catholic cathedral, the Basilica of Saint Mary Star of the Sea is located on Truman Street. With its charming landscape and stately interior, it impresses the best of us. Moreover, it’s totally free, and one can certainly spot a cat or chicken roaming the grounds aimlessly! Just casually wander the grounds, or play with those cats and chickens, but do visit this place at least once! 

8. Watch the Dolphins At Dolphin Research Center

Dolphins are by far one of the friendliest of mammals. At the Dolphin Research Center, you can pay a visit to see sea lions and dolphins. They are kept in a humane environment, and the local public too loves to view them, it’s an open-public facility so almost anyone can go after paying a small admission fee.

9. Visit the The Southernmost Point

The Southernmost Point - ImageImage Source: wikimedia.org

90 miles between capitalism and communism- the Southernmost Point lies between Cuba and the United States. It is an anchored concrete buoy and has been a landmark ever since its inauguration in 1983. People from all over the States visit this place to click photographs; it most certainly is the most photographed location in Key West. When in the city, one just cannot miss stopping here for some time!

10. Visit cafes, galleries and boutiques at Duval Street

The Duval Street is renowned for its vibrancy and energy. It’s as if Key West comes to life through the Street’s exquisite cafes, pubs, boutiques, art galleries and much more! You can pet a shark, stop by Ripley’s Believe it or Not and touch real treasure and at this mile-long street. There are also world famous bars and local eateries present here where one can surely enjoy to the fullest!

11. Visit The Key West Lighthouse

Key West Attractions - ImageImage Source: pixabay.com

Key West has always served the marines and the naval army during great wars. As a tribute to this heritage, the Key West Art & Historical Society maintains the Key West Lighthouse & Museum. This rustic lighthouse has existed ever since the 1800s. While inspecting the area, tourists often enquire about Barbara Mabrity, the only woman in history who looked after a lighthouse during the 19th century!

12. Spend Time At The Nancy Forrester’s Secret Garden

Talkative parrots, beautiful macaws resting amidst the creativity of nature are what one can expect out of this vigorous environmental artist’s ‘secret garden’. This Parrot Sanctuary was started by Nancy to educate and inspire people on these birds’ lifestyle. She is an ardent lover of these creatures and has been rescuing them for the past 30 years! A highly cherished place for children where you can even interact with these intelligent birds directly. 

13. Enjoy An Evening At Mallory Square

To sink in the dying beauty of Key West’s sunsets, there’s no better location than the Mallory Square! It faces the Gulf of Mexico due to which one can witness breathtaking sunsets here. Not only this, a wide variety of vendors stand nearby with delicious snacks and crafts. To keep the tourists entertained street performers, such as musicians, clowns, jugglers and magicians, can often be seen displaying their commendable skills! 

14. Visit The Harry S. Truman Little White House

History isn’t everyone’s forte, but those who are left fascinated by this subject will find this resting house-cum-museum quite enjoyable! Initially, it served as the headquarters for the naval station during the Spanish-American War and both the world wars, though later it acted as the winter White House of President Harry S. Truman. Owing to his frequent visits, the place has now transformed into a public museum. Informative documents on the President’s meetings, his visits and such details are officially available here. 

15. Experience Marine Life At The Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center 

Are you an animal enthusiast? Wouldn’t you just love to see aquatic animals and plants native to a particular area? If yes, then you should go to the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center. Marine ecology is exhibited at its very best at this centre which also has a replica of the world’s only underwater ocean laboratory, Aquarius. Beach dunes, pine trees, hammocks, seagrass flats, mangrove shorelines and coral reefs are the prime exhibits of this outstanding marine sanctuary. 

Key West indeed has one of the best natural landscapes across Florida. Not only museums, parks and recreational centres, one can hope to find quite amusing and mysterious destinations here! In any case, this splendid island city should be visited at least once in our lives. Do let us know if we missed out on anything!

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Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Key West, Florida

Must see places in Key West ranked on popularity. Here is the complete list of best attractions in Key West and point of interests to visit.

  1. Ernest Hemingway House And Museum

    #1 of 668 Things To Do in Key West
    Ernest Hemingway House And Museum

    Tags: Museum, Historical Site

    Address: 907 Whitehead St, Key West, FL 33040

    Timings: 09:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    Ernest Hemingway House and Museum also known as Ernest Hemingway House. Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum located at 907 Whitehead Street and nestled in the heart of Old Town Key West. Not many know th...Read more

  2. Mallory Square And Pier

    #2 of 668 Things To Do in Key West
    Mallory Square And Pier

    Tags: Waterfront, Pier, Entertainment, Performance

    Address: Mallory Sq., Key West, FL 33040

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    The Key West Pier can be safely classified as the one uniting factor in Key West. The sheer diversity you’ll see here will be mind boggling-tourists, locals, hippies, rednecks, you name it! For ...Read more

  3. Key West Butterfly And Nature Conservatory

    #3 of 668 Things To Do in Key West
    Key West Butterfly And Nature Conservatory

    Tags: Outdoors, Nature, Green House

    Address: 1316 Duval St., Key West, FL 33040

    Timings: 09:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    If there’s one place in Key West where you can see all types of butterflies conceivable, it’s the Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory. With over  5000 square feet of a glasse...Read more

  4. Harry S Truman Little White House

    #4 of 668 Things To Do in Key West
    Harry S Truman Little White House

    Tags: Museum, Landmark

    Address: 111 Front St., Key West, FL 33040

    Timings: 09:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    The Harry S Truman White House is Florida’s sole presidential museum. During the days of his tenure, this house at Key West used to be the erstwhile President’s winter White House. Renovat...Read more

  5. Dry Tortugas National Park

    #5 of 668 Things To Do in Key West
    Dry Tortugas National Park

    Tags: National Park, Waterfront, Water Sport, Snorkeling

    Address: Key West, FL, United States

    Timings: 09:00 am - 04:00 pm Details

    You can reach the Dry Tortugas National Park by catching a ferry- Yankee Freedom Ferry from Key West. The ferry rides are comfortable and provide good food and a splendid view. The island is a tourist...Read more

  6. Hogfish Bar And Grill

    #6 of 668 Things To Do in Key West
    Hogfish Bar And Grill

    Tags: Bar, Food And Drinks, Restaurant, Leisure

    Address: 6810 Front St, Stock Island, FL 33040, United States

    Timings: 11:00 am - 11:00 pm Details

    A 10 minute drive from Key West City to the east, the Hogfish Bar and Grill is a seafood-lovers paradise! The place is known for its seafood platter, authentic sandwiches and chilled beers- a heavenly...Read more

  7. Southernmost Point Buoy

    #7 of 668 Things To Do in Key West
    Southernmost Point Buoy

    Tags: Waterfront

    Address: Whitehead St, Key West, FL 33040, United States

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Marking the southernmost tip in the world, the Southernmost Point Buoy is a must for every traveller. The buoy consists of a small buoy monument where you can take a click a snap after waiting in a sh...Read more

  8. Florida Keys Eco Discovery Centre

    #8 of 668 Things To Do in Key West
    Florida Keys Eco Discovery Centre

    Tags: Science Museum, Aquarium, Educational Site, Exhibition

    Address: 33 E Quay Rd, Key West, FL 33040, United States

    Timings: 09:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    Covering a vast area of ecological exhibits, the Florida Keys Eco Discovery Centre is a must for every curious mind and planet lover. The perfect place to visit solo or with family and friends, the ce...Read more

  9. Key West Cemetery

    #9 of 668 Things To Do in Key West
    Key West Cemetery

    Tags: Cemetery

    Address: 701 Passover Ln, Key West, FL 33040

    Timings: 08:30 am - 04:00 pm Details

    It’s said that grave you’re buried in, is as important as the house(s) you live in. The Key West Cemetery is testament to this adage. Oscillating between the serious tombstones like the on...Read more

  10. Key West Aquarium

    #10 of 668 Things To Do in Key West
    Key West Aquarium

    Tags: Aquarium

    Address: 1 Whitehead St, Key West, FL 33040, United States

    Timings: 10:00 am - 06:00 pm Details

    The best way to explore the deep-sea kingdom, the Key West Aquarium offers a splendid experience to all its visitors. Highlights include: Atlantic Shores Exhibit Alligator Exhibit Sea Turtle Conserva...Read more

  11. Key West Lighthouse

    #11 of 668 Things To Do in Key West
    Key West Lighthouse

    Tags: Light House, Landmark, View Point

    Address: 938 Whitehead St, Key West, FL 33040, United States

    Timings: 09:30 am - 04:30 pm Details

    Built in 1846, the Tower is afamous tourist attraction to get a panoramic bird’s eye view of the island. The tower is known for hosting wedding ceremonies- a rare attraction in itself for all yo...Read more

  12. Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum

    #12 of 668 Things To Do in Key West
    Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum

    Tags: Specialty Museum

    Address: 200 Greene St, Key West, FL 33040, United States

    Timings: 08:30 am - 05:00 pm Details

    If you love pirate stories and are an imaginary sailor at heart- albeit a real one, the museum is sure to keep you awestruck for days with its exquisite artifacts and shipwreck articles. To add to the...Read more

  13. Key Wests Shipwreck Museum

    #13 of 668 Things To Do in Key West
    Key Wests Shipwreck Museum

    Tags: Specialty Museum

    Address: 1 Whitehead St., Key West, FL 33040

    Timings: 09:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    Key West being a seaside town, a lot of its history is naval bound. For instance, different ships that docked, brought with them elements that influenced the shape of the city be it cultural or archit...Read more

  14. West Martello Tower

    #14 of 668 Things To Do in Key West
    West Martello Tower

    Address: Atlantic Blvd and White St, Key West, FL33040

    Timings: 09:30 am - 05:00 pm Details

    The West Martello Tower and the Key West Garden Club have a rich history steeped in the Civil War period. The beautiful premise is flooded with green plantations that are well maintained while the bui...Read more

  15. Audubon House And Tropical Gardens

    #15 of 668 Things To Do in Key West
    Audubon House And Tropical Gardens

    Tags: Garden, Heritage Building

    Address: 205 Whitehead St, Key West, FL 33040

    Timings: 09:30 am - 05:00 pm Details

    The Audubon House is a fine example of what a 19th century house looked like. Although the house was not built for him, it was named after the famous ornithologist  John  James Audubon when ...Read more

Tourist Attractions Near Key West

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Top Key West Activities And Tours

Explore the best things to do in Key West. These are the most preferred tourist activities.

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  • San Carlos Institute

    516 Duval St

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum

    907 Whitehead St

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Heritage House Museum

    410 Caroline St

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Casa De Ernest Hemingway

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Sand Key Lighthouse

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Us Naval Station

    33 E Quay Rd

    Historic and Protected Sites
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  • Salt Ponds Condominiums Assoc

    3940 S Roosevelt Blvd

    Lakes
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  • Key West Shipwreck Museum

    1 Whitehead St

    Museums
  • East Martello Museum

    3501 S Roosevelt Blvd

    Museums
  • Custom House Museum

    281 Front St

    Museums
  • Truman Little White House

    111 Front St

    Museums
  • Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Society and Museum

    200 Greene St

    Museums
  • Key West Museum of Art & History

    281 Front St

    Museums
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  • Keywestspeedway

    218 Whitehead St

    Amusement Parks Arcades
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  • Rumor Lounge

    430 Greene St

    Bars Restaurants Night Clubs
  • Irish Kevin's

    211 Duval St

    Restaurants Bars
  • Willie T's

    525 Duval St

    Bars American Seafood
  • Green Parrot Bar

    601 Whitehead St

    Bars Burgers Mexican
  • Schooner Wharf Bar

    202 William St

    Bars
  • Rum Barrel

    528 Front St

    Seafood Bars American
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  • Dry Tortugas National Park Reservations

    700 Front St

    Natural Parks
  • Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park

    601 Howard England Way

    Natural Parks
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  • Smathers Beach

    S Roosevelt Blvd

    Beaches
  • Boca Grande Key

    5001 5th Ave

    Beaches
  • Higgs Memorial Beach

    Atlantic Blvd

    Beaches
  • Key West Beach Club

    1500 Atlantic Blvd

    Beaches
  • Simonton Street Beach

    Simonton St

    Beaches
  • Sunshine Resort

    12 Front St

    Beaches
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  • Man Key

    Hiking
  • Little Hamaca Park

    Government Rd

    Hiking
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  • Linda D Sportfishing

    1801 N Roosevelt Blvd

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Animal House Charters

    1801 N Roosevelt Blvd

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Fish Check Charters

    1801 N Roosevelt Blvd

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Discretion Sportfishing

    202 William St

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Boo-Ya Fishing Charters Key West

    1801 N Roosevelt Blvd

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Cowboy Fishing Charters

    1801 N Roosevelt Blvd

    Hunting and Fishing
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  • Audubon House and Tropical Gardens

    205 Whitehead St

    Buildings and Structures
  • Mark Howard Jones Circuit Judge Mark H. Jones Freeman Justice Center

    Buildings and Structures
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