If you’ve never been to Florida’s Key West, you may feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of things to do, places to see, and restaurants to try. Instead of living with that FOMO, use this short list of top attractions to ensure you high the highlights during your stay.
1.Dry Tortugas National Park
One of the many things that make Dry Tortugas National Park stand out is that it’s nearly all underwater. While there are some small islands that offer dry land, underwater activities like snorkeling and diving are why many people add this national park to their Key West bucket list. The water is typically calm and clear, which gives you a great view of the abundant sea life. The large coral reefs and multiple old shipwrecks make it an exciting place to explore, even if you’re new to snorkeling and diving.
On land, the park features a historic fort that you can tour. There are also picnic and swimming areas. Limited camping is available, and reservations must be made in advance. Birdwatching is popular here, and park visitors can kayak around to view these shorebirds up close.
2.Eaton Street Seafood Market & Restaurant
Seafood is plentiful among the restaurants in Key West, so the challenge becomes finding a highly rated one that consistently delivers delicious dishes prepared with only the freshest ingredients. You can’t go wrong with Eaton Street Seafood Market & Restaurant. Its Old Town Key West location is convenient from nearly any place on the island, and the art deco exterior is appealing and distinctive. Eaton Street chooses only the most select fish and shellfish from local fishermen’s daily catch. The menu features grilled lobster, fish tacos, fish sandwiches, conch fritters, and more.
The plentiful outdoor seating makes it easy to get your meal and dig in right away or get your order to go. For Key West visitors who fall in culinary love, you’ll be glad to know that Eaton Street also offers online ordering of fresh seafood with overnight shipping so you can recreate your favorite Key West seafood meals at home, any time at all.
All along Duval Street, you’ll find a wide variety of boutiques, as well as galleries, clubs, spas, restaurants, and bars. Whether you want to shop, catch live music, browse art, linger over drinks or grab an ice cream cone, you’re in the right spot on Duval Street. Boutiques and storefronts showcase the work of local artisans as well as luxury brands. Find clothing, housewares, art, sculpture, photography, beauty products, and other one-of-a-kind items to your heart’s content.
At one end of Duval Street is Southernmost Point, where you see the landmark buoy that marks the southernmost point of the continental U.S. At the other end, Mallory Square welcomes guests every night to the legendary Sunset Celebration, where musicians, performers, craft and food vendors, and entertainers converge to say farewell to the setting sun as part of a family-friendly party.
4.All In Fishing Charters
Fishing charters are the most convenient way to take part in what might be the best-known sport in Key West. Anglers can book half or full-day charters, and because they’re always some kind of fish in season, any time of year is a great time to book your excursion. Check out All In Fishing Charters for a custom charter experience where the comfortable boat, dedicated service, and knowledgeable captain ensure you have a great time. The captain welcomes experienced anglers and those who are new to fishing–even if you’ve never fished before! All you need to bring is yourself because all of the fishing gear you need is provided.
There are multiple types of charters so you’ll find one that’s a good fit for you, whether you want reef or wreck fishing. The team at All In Fishing Charters also books shark, offshore, and tarpon fishing. Depending on the season, you may head out for mackerel, Mahi, several types of snapper and grouper, amberjack, and tarpon.
5.Eco-Tour by Kayak
Key West is unique among locations in the lower 48 states for its biologically diverse environment, where trees, plants, shrubs, birds, sea life, and more are unlike anything you’ll see in other states or even other parts of Florida. Many people enjoy visiting Key West Botanical Garden for its specimen trees and abundant wildlife; however, you’re typically restricted to the established path, both for your safety and that of the living things in the park. But for something special, immerse yourself in nature with an eco-tour by kayak. You’ll see water birds, turtles, snakes, and more, unrestricted in the mangrove forests and other shorelines that tour guides lead you through. Tour guides deliver engaging dialogue that highlights historical, cultural, and scientific details that bring Key West to life and improve your appreciation of the region’s dynamic beauty.
People love visiting Key West, and your friends and family are likely to have many suggestions about places to go, restaurants to visit, and things to do. Instead of trying to sort through those ideas, start with these top recommendations from locals who want visitors to Key West to have the time of their life.