Did you know that Key West is closer to Cuba
than the nearest Walmart?
Of course, none of the 5 million people
who visit the Florida Keys each year have Walmart on their itinerary. They come for the natural beauty, the unique culture, and the nonstop fun on this tiny island.
Has the strangeness of 2020 put a damper on the quirky spirit of Key West? Not at all! In fact, Key West vacation properties are the perfect choice for a fun, socially distanced getaway
So, what is there to do in Key West? And why should you plan your next vacation on this amazing island? Read on to find out!
What to Do in Key West Florida
Your vacation rental
is booked. Your bags are packed. All that's left to do is plan your perfect Key West itinerary
Here are our suggestions for the best things to do in Key West.
Beaches & Nature
With a summertime sea temperature averaging 85-87 degrees
, you'll want to spend plenty of time getting wet. Be sure to add at least a few of these places and activities to your to-do list!
Sailing Tour or Sunset Cruise
There's no better way to explore the clear, warm waters of the Gulf than on a boat. Whatever your preferences, there's a Key West boat cruise for you.
Take a leisurely midday sail on a catamaran to work on your tan and look for dolphins. Get your adrenaline pumping with a speedboat tour around the island. You can also relax and sail off into the sunset (quite literally) with a cool rum drink in hand.
Want more options? Charter a private boat for a deep-sea fishing trip or sign up for sailing lessons. You'll achieve that island state of mind in no time.
Kayak Through Mangroves
If you've never seen a mangrove forest, you're in for a treat. This unique ecosystem
dominates the wetland areas of southern Florida, including many shores around Key West.
Rent a kayak or sign up for a tour and get ready for an unforgettable experience. If you're lucky, you'll get up close and personal with local wildlife like dolphins, manatees, and wading birds.
Rent a Waverunner or Go Parasailing
Ready to kick things up a notch? Rent your very own Waverunner or join a tour for a high-speed thrill ride around the island.
Looking for even more of an adrenaline rush? Sign up for parasailing and take in a birds-eye view of Key West. To cool off, ask for an optional "dip" in the sea during your flight.
Go Snorkeling or Scuba Diving
If you think the water looks pretty from above, wait until you see what lies underneath. Sign up for a snorkeling tour (or scuba diving, if you're certified) and get ready to enter another world.
The Florida Keys are home to America's one and only coral barrier reef
. You'll be dazzled by the array of fish, turtles, rays, and other creatures that live in the reef. If you're adventurous enough, you can even go diving through an old shipwreck
History & Culture
Don't worrythe fun doesn't stop once you return to dry land. Here are some must-see attractions around Key West.
Fort Zachary Taylor State Park
History buffs will love exploring Fort Zachary Taylor
, which dates back before the Civil War. This waterfront fortress is home to guns, cannons, and other 19th-century armaments.
After your tour of the fort, relax on the sandy beach or take a scenic walk through the park's many nature trails.
Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum
No trip to Key West would be complete without paying homage to one of its most famous inhabitantsthe legendary writer Ernest Hemingway.
The home he lived in for over 10 years is now a historical museum that offers an inside glimpse into his daily life. Marvel at its architectural beauty, take a stroll through the gardens, and stop to pet the famous six-toed cats
on your way out.
Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum
Ready to learn about the real
Pirates of the Caribbean? Stop into this one-of-a-kind museum
for your chance to see recovered "treasures" up close.
The museum is home to a 1622 Fleet exhibit of sunken Spanish galleons. You'll also learn about the fascinating history of local shipwrecks and the Transatlantic slave trade.
The tip of Key West is the southernmost point in the Lower 48, with a famous concrete buoy to prove it. Be sure to get your obligatory photo in front of the iconic landmark.
Food & Drink
Has all of this fun in the sun left you hungry and thirsty? Here's a list of must-try local favorites while you're exploring the island.
When you're only 90 miles from Cuba, you'd expect to get some good Cuban coffee, right? It's served full-strength and loaded with milk and brown sugar, ensuring your caffeine buzz lasts all day long.
Key Lime Pie
You've probably had the knockoff version (made with normal limes), but this is your chance to try the real thing. Key limes
are perfectly balanced between sweet and tart, which is why you'll find them in everything from pies to martinis to marinades.
We'd need a whole other article to cover the variety of amazing seafood in Key West, but here are a few menu items you won't want to miss:
- Conch fritters
- Pink shrimp
- Florida lobster
- Stone crab claws (October-May)
- Hogfish (Florida snapper)
Wash it all down with a mojito and you'll swear you're in paradise. And speaking of mojitos...
Duval Street Pub Crawl
Save at least one night to explore the endless bars, cafes, and restaurants along Key West's most famous street, Duval Street. (You can go every night too, if you want. We won't judge.)
With your favorite rum drink in hand, have fun exploring the funky art galleries and quirky shops that line either side of the street.
Key West Vacation Properties: An Island State of Mind
As you can see, there's no shortage of awesome things to see, do, and experience in Key West
Are you ready to sip a mojito and bury your toes in the warm sand? We're ready to host you for your next tropical getaway.
Check out our complete list of vacation rentals
that are social-distancing-approved. Here you really can have your cake (or key lime pie) and eat it too!