11 Epic Things To Do in Key West Florida
Key West is one of the most fun places to visit in the United States. I used to live in Miami and always enjoyed weekends in the Keys as a great escape from the hustle and bustle. Plus, the drive there is gorgeous on the overwater highway.
We recently visited again as a winter getaway from Minnesota and had so much fun discovering new things to do. Check out these 11 epic things to do in Key West Florida. Which are you doing first?!
Note: this article is sponsored by The Florida Keys. As always, all opinions are my own.
Where to Stay
First, you may be wondering the best place to stay in Key West. We LOVED our stay at The Perry Hotel Key West. The rooms were modern, the grounds were gorgeous, the views of the marina were great and the pool area felt like a resort. We also loved having breakfast and dinner right on site at Matt’s Stock Island Kitchen & Bar.
The only minor issue to note during our stay was the water pressure was really spotty but they knew about that and were working on it. The hotel is also located away from the main area of Key West which we liked but if you want to be within walking distance, check out a different spot. The Perry has a free shuttle available and we saw it running frequently which is a great option.
1. Snorkel or Sunset Sail with Honest Eco
When visiting Key West, getting out on the water is a must! There are many great local companies to go boating with but we loved Honest Eco because of their commitment to sustainability. Their cruise sizes are also smaller than some of the bigger companies which I loved especially traveling with a small family. Honest Eco offers healthy, organic snacks and allows you to BYOB.
2. Clear Kayak with Get Up and Go
We love kayaking and paddleboarding around Florida so were SO excited to experience clear kayaking with Get Up and Go. Sadly, we had to miss our tour as I had heat exhaustion but it’s top of my list when we go back. How cool do the clear kayaks look? On the tour, you can check out mangroves plus have the chance to see sharks and other wildlife.
3. Eat Incredible Seafood
If you love seafood, Key West is the place for you! Being surrounded by water means the freshest fish daily at restaurants across the island. Check out these top four spots:
- Matt’s Stock Island Kitchen & Bar – the fresh mahi mahi is delicious
- Blue Heaven Key West – enjoy the fresh fish sandwich or salad
- Half Shell Raw Bar – get the conch fritters, fresh peel & eat shrimp and fresh catch of the day!
- Robbie’s of Islamorada – this is further beyond Key West but if you’re driving to Miami, definitely stop here for fresh fish! I loved the mahi mahi. They will also cook your fresh catch for you!
4. Butterfly Conservatory
This is one of the calmest activities you can experience in Key West. We enjoyed a peaceful afternoon walking around and enjoying all of the butterflies. Sometimes they’ll even land on you (just don’t touch them)! I also loved seeing the flamingos. This is a great activity for all ages and especially kids.
5. Take a photo at the Southernmost Point
It might be touristy but it’s also a cool memento to have a picture at the southernmost point in the United States! Ryan and I took a photo there 12 years ago and it was so fun to take an updated photo with our son.
6. Tour Hemingway’s House
One of the best things to do in Key West is to take a tour of Ernest Hemingway’s house. I love having a glimpse into the past and seeing such a beautifully designed home with modern conveniences in the 1930’s era was fascinating. I especially loved the pool which was extremely expensive to make (around $400k USD in today’s money!) but a centerpiece of the property. Keep an eye out for the cats, especially the 6-toed cats, which are descendants of one of Ernest’s cats.
7. Take the Seaplane to Dry Tortugas National Park
I would make the trek to Key West just to experience the sea plane to Dry Tortugas again. I get motion sickness so we opted for the 45 flight instead of the 2 hour+ ferry and it was worth the extra cost. Not only did I not get sick, we had the most incredible birds eye views of the ocean, shipwrecks, sharks, turtles and Fort Jefferson.
We spent a 1/2 day there which was sufficient to snorkel and swim, walk around the fort and enjoy the area. If you’d like to stay for a full day or camp, those are options too.
8. Try Key Lime Pie
Of course you should try key lime pie in Key West! We shared a slice at a few spots and I especially loved the unique twists on them.
- Blue Heaven Key West – loved the tall meringue on top!
- Matt’s Stock Island Kitchen & Bar – the key lime bread pudding is a fun twist on the classic dessert. I especially loved the coconut ice cream.
- Kermit’s Key Lime Pie – get the dark chocolate covered pie on a stick! Super unique and tasty.
9. Get Cuban Coffee
Being just 90 miles from Cuba means Key West has great Cuban food and drinks. We enjoyed breakfast and coffee from Cuban Coffee Queen before our trip to Dry Tortugas. I love that they open early as well which isn’t always the case with restaurants in the heart of Key West.
10. Relax with Yoga at Yoga Sanctuary
One of the most peaceful things to do is Yoga at Key West Yoga Sanctuary. I opted for their free community class where they raise money for a charity of the month. Make sure to bring cash as they don’t take Venmo or other forms of payment!
11. Indulge in a spa treatment at Amri
We love experiencing different spas when we travel (who doesn’t?!) and especially loved the serene setting of Amri. Ryan and I each enjoyed a 30 minute massage with Bart who is a fantastic therapist. For my massage, they set up the outdoor cabana usually used for couples massages and the setting was beautiful. Highly recommend this spot for a little R&R in a peaceful sanctuary.
Are you ready to make the trek to Key West?! Which of these activities are you doing first?
For more US travel ideas, including more Florida spots, check out these articles here.