14 Best Things To Do In Key West

Dry Tortugas Fort Jefferson
By the Historic Key West Vacation Rentals Team

Key West is famous for a lot of things that make it a favorite, family-friendly destination. Even now with travel challenges and virus guidelines in place, our Conch Republic is still a welcoming destination to kick back, relax and enjoy. Our warm sunny weather means Key West is also ideal for destination weddings, foodie excursions, sightseeing and historic explorations. Here are our top 14 things to do and we're sure they'll quickly become some of your favorites, too.

Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum

Nestled in the heart of Old Town Key West, this unique property was home to one of America’s most honored and respected authors. lived and wrote here for more than ten years. While here, he found solace and great physical challenge. The rooms and gardens here are where he was most prolific with his writings. His influence can be felt and there are still more than forty cats that live here. The museum is open 9-5 every day with no reservations required Tickets are available at the main entrance.

Sunset Celebration

Mallory Square is an open-air marketplace and entertainment complex and home to many shops. You'll find lots of daily entertainment of music, juggling and animal performances. It's also one of the best spots to celebrate the spectacular sunsets that play out each day. 

Truman's Little White House

This was the winter White House for President Harry S Truman for 175 days during 11 visits to Key West.  The house is located in the Truman Annex neighborhood of Old Town, Key West. It's also where the Joint Chiefs of Staff met at and merged the Departments of War and the Navy, creating the Key West Accord. The museum is open daily, 10-4 with tours starting every 20 minutes. The gift shop also operates daily 9-5. The Little White House is open every day of the year, so it's always a great time to visit!

Audubon House & Tropical Gardens

Step inside and be transported back to the world of a maritime pilot and master wrecker in mid-19th century Key West. Captain John Huling Geiger built this home in the 1840s as his family's residence. Today, you can still experience the elegance and comfort as enjoyed by a wealthy family and as provided by their flourishing shipwrecking industry. Its large scale restoration was the first of its kind for the area and it sparked the Key West restoration movement. 

Eco-Discovery Center

This center has over 6,000 square feet of interactive exhibits that demonstrate the unique and complex ecosystem that makes up the Florida Keys. You'll find an above-water eco-systems of hardwood hammocks, mangroves, and beaches. It's open Tuesday through Saturday 9-4. Admission and parking are free!

Key West Garden Club

Housed in the West Marello Tower, the garden club provides educational opportunities for the Key West community in the form of tropical gardening. Currently, their doors are open Saturdays and Sundays only from 9:30 - 12:30. Masks and social distancing are still needed, but the gardens are beautiful and we don't want you to miss them!

Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory

This beautiful 5,000 sq. ft. lush tropical garden holds turtles, various species of fish, 23-25 different species of birds, and 50-60 species of butterflies! Just imagine.1,000-1,500 free-flying butterflies! The conservatory is open 9-4:30. The Gift Shop & Gallery 9-5:30.

Dry Tortugas

You'll find this historic site almost 70 miles west of Key West lies a cluster of seven islands, composed of coral reefs and sand. The area is known for its famous bird and marine life, its legends of pirates and sunken gold, and its military past. You can reach it by ferry or seaplane.

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Ingham Maritime Museum

This Historic WWII-Viet Nam Warship and National Historic Landmark is a privately owned museum. She served from 1936 to 1988. In 1985 this was the most decorated ship in U. S. Service. It's open Tuesday through Saturday, 10-4.

The Vandenburg

The Vandenberg is a former missile-tracking ship and a military troop transport ship that was sunk in 2009 to create an artificial coral reef. You'll find it about seven miles south of Key West in about 150 feet of water. 

Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park

Enjoy an 11 a.m. narrated tour here and see Civil War cannons and lear details of the fort's construction.  There's a nature walk around the park to view native wildlife, trees, shrubs and wildflowers. Many of the walking trails are also wheelchair accessible. 

Key West Bight

A bend in the shoreline on the northwest side of Key West a bight, a wide bay and naturally protected harbor. Now known as the Key West Historic Seaport, it's the site of a 200-year-old global maritime trade base.  

Key West Lighthouse

Dedicated to Key West’s maritime heritage and to the men and women who bravely kept the light burning through the threats of war and weather, this little sentinel had filled the need for a lighthouse. Today, visitors can walk up the 88 steps to the top of the light as well as explore the belongings, photographs, and words of the lighthouse Keepers and their families who lived a never forgotten, way of life.

Key West Aquarium

This unique aquarium features a touch tank where you can pet a shark, alligators, jellyfish, Mojo the snake, Sugar the red-footed tortoise, and more! It's open daily 10-4.

Our homes are being sanitized in accordance with CDC guidelines and regulations put forth by the state of Florida and Monroe County, to ensure your health and safety. We are allowing adequate time between check out of the previous guest and check-in of the next guest for appropriate cleaning and sanitation. All surfaces in the property are cleaned and disinfected between each guest stay. All linens, dishware, and other service items available for use by guests have been washed and sanitized between each guest stay.

Choose your favorite Key West house, cottage, condo or duplex from our collection or ask our Vacation Planners to help you select just the right rental for you.  There's still lots to do and enjoy in Key West.  We'll be waiting!