Top 25 Key West Attractions & Things To Do You Shouldn't Miss

Last Updated on February 24, 2024 by Nikki Jain

If you're planning a trip to the beautiful island of Key West, you'll want to know all about the various Key West attractions and the multiple things to do in Key West. This small island, located at the southernmost point of the United States, is packed with charm and offers various tourist activities.

There's never a dull moment in Key West! From snorkeling and scuba diving to exploring historical sites and trying local cuisine, there's endless fun for everyone. In this article, we've compiled a list of the best Key West attractions to help you plan your perfect getaway. So, grab your sunscreen, and let's dive into the exciting attractions in Key West.

Things To Do in Key West

Table of Contents [Show]

Affiliate links may be used in this post. I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you use my affiliate link.

1: Duval Street

Duval Street

If spending time on a lively and bustling street is your definition of fun, Duval Street is a must-visit on your list of Key West attractions.

This iconic street stretches from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean, and it's known for its colorful buildings, lively bars, and quirky shops.

Not only is Duval Street full of activity day and night, but it's also a place to spend hours and not get bored.

During the day, visitors can explore art galleries, unique boutiques, and souvenir shops. Then, as the sun sets, the street comes alive with live music and people dancing in the bars and restaurants.

Along Duval Street, you can find historical sites like the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum and the Key West Lighthouse, which give visitors a taste of Key West's long history.

Whether you're looking for shopping, dining, or entertainment, Duval Street is the place you just can't miss.

Address: Duval Street, Key West, FL 33040

2: Dry Tortugas National Park

Dry Tortugas National Park
Dreamstime/Sandra Foyt

Dry Tortugas National Park is an unspoiled, remote island paradise located in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Key West, Florida.

A mere 70 miles from the mainland and accessible only by boat or seaplane, this national park is one of America's most beautiful gems.

Established as a national park in 1992, Dry Tortugas has been described as a tropical oasis in the middle of nowhere.

The islands are home to Fort Jefferson, an impressive coastal fortress built during the 1800s that was used to guard the entrance to the Gulf of Mexico.

Today, it stands as a reminder of America's turbulent past while also providing visitors with refuge from modern life.

This paradise offers visitors unspoiled coral reefs, crystal clear turquoise water, and some of the most spectacular bird-watching opportunities in the country.

Whether you love wildlife or just need to escape it all, Dry Tortugas National Park will surely provide an unforgettable experience.

Address: Dry Tortugas National Park, Key West, FL

Visit Website

Also Read: The Most Beautiful National Parks in the USA

3: Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum

Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum

For literature lovers and history buffs, the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum is one of the top things to do in Key West.

This stunning property was once the home of the legendary American author, and it's now open to the public as a museum.

The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum offer visitors an inside view of the life of one of America's most celebrated writers.

The property is filled with Hemingway's personal belongings, and the guided tour takes visitors through his living and working rooms.

Besides the house and museum, the property is home to a beautiful garden filled with six-toed cats, a nod to Hemingway's love for these unique felines.

Whether you're a fan of Hemingway's work or simply interested in history, the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum is a spot in Key West that will delight and inspire.

Address: 907 Whitehead St, Key West, FL 33040

Visit Website

4: Mallory Square

Mallory Square
Dreamstime/Christian Ouellet

When it comes to things to do in Key West, one of the places that should be on your itinerary is Mallory Square.

This bustling waterfront plaza is a hub of activity with stunning sunset views over the Gulf of Mexico.

Mallory Square is famous for its nightly Sunset Celebration, where street performers, food vendors, and locals gather to watch the sun go down.

The festive atmosphere is the perfect way to cap off a day exploring Key West.

In addition to the Sunset Celebration, Mallory Square is home to several attractions, including the Key West Aquarium and the Shipwreck Museum.

You can also take a sunset cruise, go parasailing, or take a walking tour of the historic district.

Address: 400 Wall St, Key West, FL 33040, USA

Visit Website

5: Southernmost Point Buoy

Southernmost Point Buoy
Dreamstime/Nancy Pauwels

Want a fun and quirky photo op that captures the spirit of Key West? Visit the Southernmost Point Buoy – one of the top tourist attractions in this sunny Florida city.

Located just a stone's throw from the ocean, this colorful buoy marks the southernmost point in the continental United States.

Tourists flock to this spot to take photos and soak up the laid-back Key West vibe.

But the Southernmost Point Buoy isn't just a great photo op – it's also steeped in history and culture.

Visitors can learn about the island's rich maritime heritage and explore the charming neighborhoods surrounding the buoy.

So whether you're a solo traveler, a couple, or a family with kids, the Southernmost Point Buoy is a must-visit attraction that's sure to add some fun and excitement to your Key West vacation.

Address: 1400 Whitehead St, Key West, FL 33040

Planning a trip to Florida? You might also want to check the top Orlando attractions, Miami attractions & Destin attractions.

6: Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory

Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory
Dreamstime/John Twynam

Are you seeking a unique Key West attraction that will flutter your heart? Check out the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory.

This beautiful conservatory is right in the middle of the city, and it houses exotic birds and plants from all over the world, including hundreds of different kinds of butterflies.

Wander through the glass-enclosed habitat and marvel at the fluttering wings of these delicate creatures as they dance through the air around you.

But the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory is more than just a beautiful display of nature—it's also a place of education and conservation, with knowledgeable staff to answer your questions and provide insight into the importance of preserving these magnificent creatures and their habitats.

If you are a nature lover, a photographer, or simply looking for a unique Key West attraction to add to your itinerary, the Butterfly and Nature Conservatory is not to be missed.

Address: 1316 Duval St, Key West, FL 33040

7: Key West Cemetery

Key West Cemetery

When exploring Key West, there's no shortage of incredible sights to see. One spot that should be on your itinerary is the Key West Cemetery.

What makes this cemetery so special? For starters, it's the final resting place of some of the island's most notable figures, including writers, politicians, and even pirates.

But it's not just the famous names that make this cemetery worth a visit - the elaborate and sometimes quirky gravestones are a sight to behold.

Take a leisurely stroll through the grounds, and you'll admire the intricate artwork and tongue-in-cheek epitaphs.

It's a unique and fascinating way to learn about the history and culture of this vibrant island.

You can explore over 35 acres of land filled with tombs spanning all eras from Victorian to modern times.

So if you're wondering what to do in Key West, add the Key West Cemetery to your list. You won't regret it!

Address: 701 Passover Ln, Key West, FL 33040

Also Read: The Most Magnificent Cemeteries In America

8: Fort Zachary Taylor State Park

Fort Zachary Taylor State Park
Dreamstime/Petr Svec

Fort Zachary Taylor State Park has a rich history that dates back to the Civil War era when it was built as a fort to protect the southern coastline.

Today, visitors of this picturesque state park can enjoy swimming in the crystal clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico or explore its many trails and natural areas.

The park offers plenty of activities for visitors throughout the year including beach volleyball, snorkeling, fishing and bird watching.

You are also able to take part in educational programs about local wildlife and ecology as well as guided tours of the fort's grounds.

Nature lovers will appreciate all that Fort Zachary Taylor State Park has to offer with its plentiful wildlife such as manatees, sea turtles and various species of birds.

Address: 601 Howard England Way, Key West, FL 33040

Also Read: The Best State Parks in the USA

9: Key West Aquarium

Key West Aquarium
Dreamstime/Peter Etchells

Looking for a fascinating experience that combines education and entertainment? Check out the Key West Aquarium, one of the top sights in Key West.

This aquarium is right in the middle of the charming Old Town neighborhood.

It has a huge variety of marine life. From tropical fish to stingrays, sharks to sea turtles, visitors can get up close and personal with some of the ocean's most fascinating creatures.

But the Key West Aquarium is more than just a place to ogle marine life—it's also a hub of scientific research and education.

Visitors can learn about important topics like conservation and sustainability and even get a behind-the-scenes look at the aquarium's groundbreaking work to protect and preserve marine ecosystems.

Therefore, the aquarium is an absolute must-see whether you're visiting Key West as a family, with a group of friends, or even on your own.

Address: 1 Whitehead St, Key West, FL 33040

Visit Website

Also Read: 25 Best Aquariums in the US

10: Harry S. Truman Little White House

Harry S. Truman Little White House
Dreamstime/Michael Gordon

Nestled in the charming town of Key West, Florida, lies a historical gem that's a must-see for any history buff or curious traveler.

Welcome to the Harry S. Truman Little White House! This cute house used to be a winter home for the 33rd President of the United States, but it has since become an interesting museum.

Visitors can explore the rooms where Truman made crucial decisions that shaped this nation's history, from the Truman Doctrine to the Marshall Plan.

But it's not just the historical significance that draws visitors in—the house is a stunning example of Key West architecture, with a picturesque white exterior and lush greenery.

The house also boasts a beautiful veranda where Truman himself used to spend his mornings.

Address: 111 Front St, Key West, FL 33040

Visit Website

11: Mel Fisher Maritime Museum

Mel Fisher Maritime Museum
Dreamstime/Sandra Foyt

Get ready to dive into history at the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum!

This fascinating museum is dedicated to the world-renowned treasure hunter Mel Fisher, who spent decades searching for sunken ships in the waters off the Florida coast.

It is home to many valuable artifacts and historical relics, including gold coins, jewelry, rare ceramics, and other items salvaged from these shipwrecks.

But the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum is more than just a treasure trove – it's also a fascinating educational experience that explores the history and culture of the region.

Visitors can learn about the Spanish conquistadors who once ruled Florida, the pirates who sailed its waters, and the indigenous people who called it home.

So whether you're a history buff or just looking for a unique and engaging museum experience, the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum is a must-visit place in Key West.

Address: 200 Greene St, Key West, FL 33040

Visit Website

12: Key West Lighthouse and Keeper's Quarters Museum

Key West Lighthouse and Keeper's Quarters Museum

Key West Lighthouse and Keeper's Quarters Museum is an exciting place that combines history with spectacular views.

The attraction lets people go back in time and see what life was like for lighthouse keepers in the 1800s.

First, climb the 88 steps to the top of the lighthouse and take a panoramic view of the island and the sparkling sea beyond.

Then, wander through the beautifully restored keeper's quarters, where exhibits and artifacts bring the fascinating stories of the lighthouse keepers and their families to life.

The museum also features exhibits that showcase artifacts from the era when lighthouses were crucial aids for navigation along Florida's coastlines.

Address: 938 Whitehead St, Key West, FL 33040

13: Key West Historic Seaport

Key West Historic Seaport
Dreamstime/Giovanni Gagliardi

Welcome to the beautiful Key West Historic Seaport. This is the place to go if you want to learn about maritime history, eat fresh seafood, and have a lot of fun.

With its idyllic views of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, the seaport is an irresistible attraction.

Walk around the Keys' charming streets and stop in shops and restaurants to learn about their rich culture.

Then, indulge in the freshest seafood at sunset at one of the many waterfront restaurants.

The Key West Historic Seaport also offers plenty of exciting activities for water lovers.

Charter a fishing boat or sailboat and embark on an adventure on the open sea. Partake in the thrill of jet skiing or parasailing, or relax on a sunset sail with a glass of wine.

Address: 201 William St, Key West, FL 33040

14: The Studios of Key West

The Studios of Key West
Dreamstime/Zhi Qi

If you're looking for a vibrant and creative destination, the Studios of Key West is right up your alley!

This artistic hub offers visitors an immersive experience of the island's thriving arts and culture scene.

The Studios, which are in the middle of Old Town's historic district, is home to a wide range of activities and events, such as exhibitions, workshops, lectures, and performances.

Explore the galleries and studios to witness the works of talented local artists and craftspeople, or participate in a hands-on workshop to learn new skills and techniques.

But there are more—the Studios also host a diverse lineup of events, from concerts and theater productions to film screenings and literary readings.

And if you're lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of a visiting artist or writer in residence.

The Studios of Key West is a great place to find inspiration and creativity because of its lively atmosphere and wide range of art.

Address: 533 Eaton St, Key West, FL 33040

Visit Website

15: Key West Shipwreck Treasure Museum

Key West Shipwreck Treasure Museum

The Key West Shipwreck Treasure Museum is a captivating museum that transports visitors back in time to the days of seafaring adventures and treasure hunting.

Right in the middle of Old Town Key West, the museum displays fascinating artifacts and information about Key West's rich history of shipwrecks and their valuable lost treasures.

You can experience the thrill of the hunt as you explore the exhibits and learn about the daring exploits of the brave men and women who risked everything in search of fortune and glory.

Step into the world of pirates, privateers, and salvagers as you marvel at authentic artifacts recovered from the ocean's depths.

From the breathtaking island view from the museum's observation deck to the entertaining and informative guided tours, the Key West Shipwreck Treasure Museum is an experience you won't forget.

Address: 1 Whitehead St, Key West, FL 33040

Visit Website

16: Nancy Forrester's Secret Garden

Nancy Forrester's Secret Garden

If you're looking for an enchanting and unique experience in Key West, you would want to check out Nancy Forrester's Secret Garden!

Tucked away in the city's heart, this lush oasis is one of the top things to do in Key West for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.

When you walk in, you'll be taken to a magical world with strange plants, bright flowers, and playful parrots.

The garden's creator, environmentalist, and artist, Nancy Forrester, has designed a unique area to renew and inspire visitors.

Explore the winding paths, relax in the shady nooks, and get up close and personal with the stunning parrots who call the garden home.

And take the chance to chat with Nancy, who is always happy to share her knowledge and passion with visitors.

Address: 518 Elizabeth St, Key West, FL 33040

Visit Website

17: Curry Mansion Inn Museum

Curry Mansion Inn Museum
Dreamstime/Maria Dryfhout

Curry Mansion Inn Museum is one of the Key West tourist attractions that shouldn't be missed.

This historic inn, built in 1895, was once owned by the Curry family and has been lovingly restored.

Visitors can explore the mansion and its grounds, as well as the museum, which houses a collection of artifacts from the Curry family.

There are guided tours that tell about the inn's history and how the family contributed to the growth of Key West.

After exploring the mansion and museum, enjoy a meal in the inn's restaurant and browse the gift shop. There's even a full-service bar for refreshments.

Address: 511 Caroline St, Key West, FL 33040

18: West Martello Tower and Gardens

West Martello Tower and Gardens

Located on the sunny shores of Key West, the West Martello Tower and Gardens is a stunning landmark built in 1866 during the Civil War and now serves as a museum, displaying artifacts and exhibits that showcase the island's military past.

But it's not just the tower that draws crowds; the surrounding gardens are equally captivating. People can walk through a lush landscape full of exotic plants and flowers, such as orchids, bromeliads, and succulents.

The tower and gardens also offer stunning ocean views and the surrounding landscape.

The West Martello Tower and Gardens uniquely blend history and nature, providing a fascinating glimpse into the island's past and offering a serene and beautiful environment to explore.

Whether you're a history buff, a nature lover, or just looking for a quiet place to relax, this site deserves your attention.

Address: 1100 Atlantic Blvd, Key West, FL 33040

19: Mile Marker 0 of US Highway 1

Mile Marker 0 of US Highway 1
Dreamstime/Alexander Shapovalov

If you're looking for a truly iconic photo op in Key West, head straight to Mile Marker 0 of US Highway 1!

The mile marker signifies the southernmost point in the contiguous United States. It also marks the beginning of US Highway 1, which stretches over 2,000 miles up to Fort Kent, Maine.

Snap a selfie before the bright green and yellow sign, or stroll down the picturesque palm-lined street.

But Mile Marker 0 is more than just a great photo opportunity - it symbolizes adventure and possibility, representing the start of an epic road trip stretching up the East Coast.

Address: 501 Whitehead St Suite 1, Key West, FL 33040

Also Read: The Most Scenic Drives in the USA

20: Hemingway Rum Company

Hemingway Rum Company

The Hemingway Rum Company is named after the famous American writer Ernest Hemingway, who lived in Key West for many years.

The Hemingway Rum Company offers visitors the unique experience of touring their distillery and tasting their award-winning rum.

The tour includes visiting the distillery to learn about the rum-making process and the company's history. At the end of the tour, you can try some of their best rums that have been aged in barrels with their own flavor.

In addition to the tour and tasting, visitors can try rum cocktails and buy souvenirs in the tasting room at the Hemingway Rum Company.

The company also has a restaurant on-site, offering a variety of delicious meals that pair perfectly with their rums.

Address: 201 Simonton St, Key West, FL 33040

21: Key West Eco Tours

Key West Eco Tours

Key West Eco Tours is an excellent choice if you want to see the island of Key West in a way that few tourists do.

These eco-friendly tours offer an unforgettable experience, taking visitors to some of the most scenic places in Key West.

The tours are led by experienced guides who are passionate about preserving the natural habitats of Key West.

They'll take you on a journey through the mangroves, where you'll see abundant wildlife, including birds, fish, and dolphins.

In addition to the mangroves, the Key West Eco Tours also offer trips to the coral reefs, where you can experience the stunning beauty of the underwater world.

These excursions suit people of all experience levels, from seasoned divers to those trying snorkeling for the first time.

Address: 220 Margaret St, Key West, FL 33040

22: Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden

Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden
Dreamstime/Ramunas Bruzas

The Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden is on Stock Island and lets people look at a wide variety of tropical trees and plants.

Visitors can walk through the butterfly garden, bamboo groves, and other gardens showing off different plants.

The park is over 15 acres big! The garden also has a native wildflower habitat and an orchid collection.

The garden offers tours and educational programs for those interested in learning more.

The Key West Botanical Garden, in general, is a beautiful and relaxing place to visit when you need to get away from the city.

Address: 5210 College Rd, Key West, FL 33040

Visit Website

23: Key West Food and Wine Festival

Key West Food and Wine Festival

The Key West Food and Wine Festival is a popular annual event that attracts food and wine enthusiasts.

The festival features a wide range of culinary delights, wine tastings, live music, and entertainment.

Visitors can indulge in various gourmet dishes, from fresh seafood to exotic cocktails, prepared by some of the finest chefs in the region.

The festival also has several seminars and workshops on how to pair wine with food and how to cook.

Key West is the perfect destination for a food and wine lover's getaway with its beautiful beaches, warm weather, and vibrant culture.

Whether you're a seasoned gourmet or just starting in the culinary world, the Key West Food and Wine Festival is something to remember.

Address: 1405 Duval St, Key West, FL 33040

24: Key West Theater

Key West Theater

The Key West Theater is a historic performing arts venue in the heart of Old Town Key West, Florida.

The building was built in 1848 as a Masonic lodge. In the 1930s, it became a movie theater, and in 2002, it was fixed up and turned into a place for live performances.

There are now concerts, plays, comedy shows, and other events held at the Key West Theater throughout the year.

Its intimate atmosphere and excellent acoustics have made it a favorite among locals and tourists.

Its location also makes it a great starting point for exploring the vibrant nightlife and cultural scene of Key West.

Address: 512 Eaton St, Key West, FL 33040

Visit Website

25: Key West Ghosts and Gravestones Tour

Key West Ghosts and Gravestones Tour

Key West is known for its stunning sunsets, thriving nightlife and vibrant culture. But did you know that it's also home to a rich history of spooky tales and eerie sightings?

For those with an interest in the paranormal, the Ghosts and Gravestones Tour offers a unique opportunity to explore Key West's haunted past.

Led by costumed guides, this tour takes visitors on a journey through the city's most haunted sites.

From creepy cemeteries to mysterious mansions, you will learn about the ghosts that are said to still roam these places.

Along the way, you'll hear chilling stories of murder and mayhem that have left their mark on Key West's history.

One stop on the tour is the infamous Robert The Doll - a possessed toy that is rumored to have caused countless misfortunes for those who cross its path.

Address: 501 Front St, Key West, FL 33040

Rounding Up

Key West is a top destination for travelers looking to experience adventure, relaxation, and culture. From the natural beauty of the beaches and coral reefs to the history and charm of Old Town, the ultimate choices of Key West attractions will make you fall in love with this beautiful city. So pack your bags, book your trip, and prepare to make unforgettable memories in Key West.

Florida Travel Guide

Explore Guide