Family * Travel * Food

Top 9 Missed Experiences in Key West

Photo by Hayden Dunsel on Unsplash
If you’re looking for sun, fun, and excitement, Key West, Florida, is the place to be. Located just a few hours south of Miami, you can drive, fly or even boat your way to Key West. Visitors rave about the snorkeling, fishing, and of course, the Key Lime Pie. If you’re ready to book a week-long or weekend getaway, here are 9 excursions that should make it onto your itinerary.

1. Dry Tortugas National Park

This is a gem of the National Park System that sits around 70 miles off the coast of Key West. You’ll need to book a ferry ticket to get there but it’s worth it. The park includes multiple small islands as well as a significant underwater acreage. Snorkeling is a huge draw here, whether you’re new to the sport or highly experienced. Dry Tortugas National Park offers a variety of dive sites, from coral reefs to old shipwrecks, wooden pilings, a moat wall, and more. There’s even a night snorkeling opportunity to see nocturnal sea animals in action.

2. Conch Tour Train

Sometimes you just want to let someone else do the driving, and this is where the Conch Tour Train comes in. This charming hop-on/hop-off shuttle moves among 3 stops along Front Street, Flagler Station, and Truval Village. It’s a great activity for your first day in Key West, where you can scope out lots of shops, galleries, restaurants and bars, and more. The guides provide conversational insight about the people, places, and history that make Key West stand out.

3. Sunset Celebration

Every night’s a party here so gather with others at the waterfront on Duval Street. There are food, drink, and craft vendors, along with musicians and performers. Show up a few hours before the sun goes down to stake out the best spot for sunset viewing. It’s a great activity for families with young kids because it lets the children feel like they’re staying out late even though it’s only early evening, and a wonderful prequel for adults heading out to restaurants and bars for a late meal or drinks afterward. 

4. Latitudes Restaurant

If you want a night on the town, start with dinner at the upscale Latitudes Restaurant. Gorgeous gulf views and luxury decor complement impeccably prepared dishes whether you’re enjoying a romantic dinner for two or a special celebration. The menu features snapper, grouper, lobster tail, and scallops, plus steaks, pasta, and chicken served by a friendly and knowledgeable team dedicated to your satisfaction.

5. Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden

The lush greenery of the trees, flowers, and shrubs found here represent many native Key West plants that are hard to see anywhere else. This botanical garden is the only one like it in the continental United States, and one of the best places for birding in Key West. Planked walking paths allow for easy exploration, and there’s a picnic area so bring your lunch and make a full day of it.
Photo by Mathieu Le Roux on Unsplash
6. Charter Fishing

The waters around Key West are known for grouper, tuna, mackerel, and dozens of other fish; with a charter fishing expedition, your charter boat captain and his team take care of all the details. Any permits, licenses or gear are arranged in advance. You only need to choose a half or full-day tour and pick what kind of fishing you’d like to do. Novice and experienced guests are welcome for wreck, reef, deep water, and flats fishing. Some local restaurants even offer to cook your catch,

7. Easton Street Seafood Market

Enjoying freshly-caught seafood is one of the big draws of visiting Key West, and Easton Street Seafood Market is the best place to do it. The art deco-inspired market may not look big from the outside but inside, there are cases gleaming with fresh fish and shellfish. Make your selection to take home and prepare or choose one of their menu items and sit outdoors to feast right away. Don’t miss the lobster roll and the fried conch strip basket for a true Key West experience.

8. Key West Lighthouse and Keeper’s Quarters Museum

If you’ve ever wondered what it would have been like to operate a lighthouse, this is your chance. Test yourself and climb all 88 steps to the top of the lighthouse for an authentic view of the sea, and see how the lighthouse keepers -- essential workers in their day -- protected ships along with their crew and cargo with warning lights.
Photo by Thomas Besseling on Unsplash
9. Local Beaches

While Key West may not be known for expansive beaches with miles of sand, it’s city beaches are charming and well worth the visit. Relax under the palm trees at Smathers Beach or if you travel with your dog, visit Higgs Beach, which welcomes beachgoers and their pups. As with most beaches, the earlier in the day you can get there, the better. Beach space fills up fast come afternoon. Beach vendors sell food and drink, and often additional gear like snorkels.

Key West has a world of cultural, historic, and outdoors experiences to enjoy. Building your itinerary in advance helps focus your planning and give you things to look forward to as you prepare for your trip. These experiences in particular showcase the best that Key West has to offer visitors.

 photo 7636c3fb-e8d9-4b07-af6b-f1ca33a15bfe_zps9lbkp4mn.png
Blogger Template Created For Mom Files All Rights Reserved