A beautiful city and island, Key West is in the southern part of the United States, popular for beaches, active nightlife, water sports, and historic sites. Did you ever think about visiting it when planning a trip to Florida?
It is that secret gem in Florida that often goes unnoticed by travelers due to other “famous” cities of Florida. If you want to explore white sandy beaches, enjoy snorkeling, diving, and sailing and also experience the flavor of Caribbean culture in the United States, head to Key West.
Photo: gabe popa
Must-See Sites in Key West
Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park is the first place to hit in Key West. It has the cleanest beach with barbecue grills and other rental equipment. If you want to experience the underwater sea life through snorkeling, the beach offers plenty of snorkeling opportunities. The park also houses the historic fort, built-in 1800s with guided tours twice a day.
Key West City Cemetery lets you know the history of Key West through its 20-acre burial place with inscriptions on the graves like “I told you I was sick.” Most of the burials are in above-ground tombs because of the water table of the Keys. There are guided tours available that will give you deeper insights of the place.
Shipwreck Museum The museum houses real artifacts along with films and actors to show the story of shipwreck salvage in the Florida Keys. Listen to the stories of dangerous wrecks and bold inventions along with plenty other things to keep you entertained throughout your tour.
Key West Lighthouse is a 19th – century lighthouse offers breathtaking views of the Key West skyline. The platform on the top is 88 steps up the spiral staircase, worth the huff puff!
Must-Do Things in Key West
Glass Bottom Boat Tour is a must-do activity as you will catch the glimpses of underwater life from the comfort of your seat. This is perfect for those with kids and those who are afraid to dive deep into the sea.
Swim with Dolphins, an ideal activity for people of all ages and especially those, accompanied by kids. Key West is a home to bottlenose dolphins and offers two kinds of opportunities; Dolphin Interactive Program in a controlled environment and swimming with wild dolphins. Visit Dolphin Plus, close to Key Largo that offers both these programs.
Watch the Sunset at Mallory Square and get amused by the massive celebration with clowns, jugglers, magicians, local musicians, and food vendors. Watch the Sun go down with the lovely backdrop of orange and pink while sipping your favorite drink.
Take a day cruise to experience Key West’s lovely waters from catamarans. Key West offers day cruises with catamaran with staff that tempt lemon sharks, bull sharks, and nurse sharks. For a more relaxed sail, check out the classic harbor line with morning mimosa sail, classic day sail, and sunset champagne sail. For a more romantic cruise, take up one of the sunset cruises that makes the night romantic and memorable with delicious food and a wide choice of wines. For foodies, Captain Alex’s yacht features a barbecue, where the Captain and his mate cook yummy seafood delicacies to perfection. For love birds, this can prove to be romantic.
Excite your taste buds with authentic and popular Key Lime pie. The rich and flavorful tart uses the key limes along with crispy crust on the bottom, making it not be missed on your Key West visit. Pie is available at almost any dessert shop or restaurant; however, the best places to try it out are Ma’Fish Camp, Pep’s Café, and Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe.
While there is so much to see and do in Key West, it also offers plenty of accommodation options from cheap to luxury hotels to suit your budget. If you are looking for a luxurious hotel, Casa Marina Resort is a great choice. For a hotel that is easy on the pocket, Best Western Ambassador Resort offers comfy rooms, easy access to the beach, and decent amenities.