Key West is a popular cruise port not far from the Magic City: Miami, Florida. It is an island city, part of the Florida Keys archipelago, known for its coral reefs and pastel-colored houses. Visiting Key West should definitely be on your list of things do to when heading to Miami on vacation - and here are some things to do when you reach the city!
Cycle around Key West
The city is beautiful: a stunning coastline, streets lined with palm trees, beautiful architecture and much more. Hire a bike (or take your own if you’re driving out to Florida on vacation) and head out to explore Key West on two wheels. You can reach the Southernmost Point (of the entire USA) this way, too, where there is an icon buoy that makes for a great photo opportunity. Don’t miss it! Cycling is one of the best things to do in Key West - and it can be a completely free way to explore if you bring your own bike.
Throughout most of the 1930s, Ernest Hemingway lived in Key West. He had a house on Whitehead Street, living here with his second wife Pauline. You can do a guided tour of the house and see where he would write in his studio - an amazing experience for sure. Whether you head inside or not, don’t miss the chance to see this stunning property during your time in Key West.
Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park
Love a little bit of US history? Head to Fort Taylor to see the largest collection of Civil War armaments in the world - there are tours and self-guided walks you can do to learn more about the fort’s part in both the Civil and Spanish-American wars. There is a beach here too. Lap up the historical information then have a go at some birdwatching or snorkeling - or just sit back, relax and enjoy the atmosphere at Fort Taylor, Key West.
Head to the beach
A popular Spring Break location, Key West has plenty of beach space - the biggest public beach here is Smathers Beach, lined with palm trees and ideal for kicking back, relaxing and enjoying all the Floridian sunshine. It has such a peaceful and idyllic vibe for most of the year, other than being a party hotspot during the aforementioned Spring Break! If you’re here during the summer, autumn or winter months, though, Smathers Beach is perfect: public bathrooms, jet skiing, food trucks, chairs and umbrellas to rent… what more could you want? A day at the beach is one of the best things to do in Key West, so don’t forget your SPF and your swimsuit!
Visit the Key West Lighthouse
Perfect for those who want a little bit of activity during their vacation, the Key West Lighthouse is up 88 steps. It is well worth the climb, though: seeing the sunset from up here is one of the most amazing things to do in Key West, one of those pastimes that gets recommended by everybody. Head up to the observation platform as the day draws to a close and reap the rewards of your journey up there: some of the best views in Florida, accompanied by snacks and Prosecco if you wish! It really is a must-do on your visit to beautiful Key West.
Dry Tortugas National Park
Want to see one of the country’s least-visited national parks? Head to Dry Tortugas which actually mostly exists over open water - making it not very dry at all! You can camp here, go SCUBA diving or snorkeling, swim around and admire all of the incredible birds and marine life here. If you’re pretty experienced when it comes to diving, head deep down to see the Windjammer wreck site - the wreckage of an iron-hulled ship from the early 20th century! A visit to Dry Tortugas is one of the most interesting things to do in Key West, and should absolutely be on your list…
The Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory
This conservation center is a much-loved part of KeyWest - home to over 50 species of butterfly as well as 20 species of exotic bird. You can learn so much about these wonderful creatures here, and it provides a great way to get out of the hot sun for an hour or so. Find out all there is to know about the life cycle and migratory patterns of a butterfly, and admire their beauty as you go. Being amongst butterflies is an amazing stress reliever, so if you’re heading to Florida to relax then this should be on your list of things to do in Key West!
Go for a walk
Early in the morning or as the evening hits, take yourself off for a walk around Key West - the weather will be warm but not stifling, the air will be peaceful, and there will be so much to see. The pastel-colored conch houses - first developed here - are not only iconic but also adorable, and the streets themselves just have an air of cool, calm and collected about them. White sand, blue water, palm trees, street art, signposts, historic architecture, dolphins, clear skies - there is so much to see here, and walking around is one of the easiest things to do in Key West. Of course, it’s a free way to spend time in the city and one that can be so rewarding too!
These are just a handful of the amazing things to do in Key West. A day trip here from Miami is an ideal experience to incorporate into your vacation - it feels like a little bit of tradition in your pocket, but you get all the fun of the beach amongst the stunning scenery. Key West has a bit of everything and absolutely shouldn’t be missed when planning your trip to the Sunshine State. Here at City Wonders, we just can’t wait to welcome you to this wonderful part of Florida…