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Top Tours

 
Key West Hop-on Hop-off Trolley Tour
"Explore Key West while hopping on and off at any of our designated trolley sightseeing stops. Visit over 50 points of interest with this all day pass as our expert guides provide live narration and entertainment with stories only locals could tell! Audubon House) LaConcha Hotel (Margaritaville Oldest House Museum) Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center (Fort Zachary Taylor State Park U.S.S Mohawk) Higgs Beach (White Street Fishing Pier West Martello Tower) Southernmost Point (Southernmost House Mansion Upper Duval Street Shopping) Ernest Hemingway House Museum (Lighthouse Museum Bahama Village) Key West Bight (Schooner Wharf
From $20.00
 
Key West Ghost Walking Tour
"Florida’s Key West has a history full of pirates wreckers smugglers and other sinister characters. On this nighttime ghost walking tour explore Key West’s haunted side with your expert guide and prepare to be spooked! As you wander down dimly lit streets and eerie alleys listen as your guide tells first-hand stories and legends of Key West's most infamous haunted places. Learn of ghosts and ghouls as you visit the Hard Rock Cafe Banyan Resort Eaton Lodge
From $21.00
 
Key West Aquarium
"Get up close and personal with sea life at the renowned Key West Aquarium. Make your way to the aquarium and begin your tour of various underwater worlds. Learn about the lives of the creatures of the sea. Explore the diverse habitats of different parts sea urchins and hermit crabs in the Touch Tank. Watch the aquarium’s sharks turtles and rays eat during feeding time and find out about their eating habits. You can even pet a live shark if you dare. Through its association with the Turtle Hospital and the Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network the aquarium is home to a number of sea turtles recovering from injuries. Enjoy your visit with these survivors. And don’t miss the Atlantic Shores Exhibit — a 50000 gallon tank reminiscent of a mangrove environment that is teeming with tropical fish."""
From $15.00

Beach Tips (21)

Atlantic Ocean

All along the Atlantic side of the island, is a narrow, mostly man-made beach. This is the closest to a big beach in Key West. I don't do beaches much. The better beaches are down by Fort Taylor SP. I've been swimming down there on the part of the beach that is still owned by the USNavy.

Even so, the beach gets a lot of use. People come to walk or run on the beach. Mornings are good for bird watching (Photo 5). And wedding photographers (photo 4) seem to think the beach is perfectly fine.

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grandmaR
Aug 05, 2016

amazing place

Key West is a region you are not going to find anywhere else! I found it very hippiesque! Relaxing and a perfect place for a vacation! If you are going to spend some more time in Southern Florida I would recommend to visit the Everglades https://www.nps.gov/ever/index.htm and Miami too!
Southern Florida has a very special vibe and lifestyle! You can get some inspiration for your next vacation from http://sabbiabeachcondos.com/lifestyle/ ! I really enjoy going there to spend some time in the eternal sunshine state :)

eloie
Jun 16, 2016

Smathers Beach

Smathers Beach is the largest public beach in Key West. Powdery soft sand, turquoise water, lined with palm trees - it is what a south Florida beach should look like! On the windy day we were there for a beach wedding, there were kite-surfers out on the water who were fascinating to watch!

The beach is located on the south side of the island, along the Atlantic Ocean

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TravellerMel
Jan 29, 2015

South Beach and the Southernmost Beach Cafe

The quickly became our favorite place to hang out - South Beach is FANTASTIC for people watching. Small, but nice and clean. We liked this beach because there were more people like us there - NOT the thin, tanned, teeny-boppers like at Smathers Beach - but it was not overly crowded. Better for the morale, if you know what I am saying... We really like Fletcher, who brought us our beach chairs ($5), and treats throughout our stay - a frozen towel to cool the back of our necks, and popcycles.

The Southernmost Beach Cafe was great - good food, and fun drinks. The Barbados Punch was my favorite fruity drink, but the Drunken Sailor was pretty good too. Our companions said the Bloody Mary's here were the best. Prices are reasonable (~$10 for burger and fries). We loved it and will definitely hang out here again.

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TravellerMel
Mar 23, 2012
 
 
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Key West's public beaches

Seems like there's nothing easier than spending a day at the beach in Key West! The entire southern side of the island is dotted with public beaches, some of which are fully equipped with restroom facilities, picnic tables, chair rentals, bars and restaurants. Since we didn't have that much time to spend in Key West I had to content myself with a quick visit to South Beach, where playwright Tennessee Williams is said to have come for a swim nearly every day during the years he spent in Key West. Even though I'm not the kind of person who's interested in spending much time sunbathing (being a redhead, and all!), South Beach struck me as the kind of place where I could very well spend a few hours with a book in one hand and a refreshing drink in the other!

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Jefie
Jan 14, 2012

Higgs Beach Park

If you're coming to Key West for some beach action, I'm sorry to say you may be disappointed. Although there are are a few small manufactured beaches at some of the resorts, most of the beachfront looks like this picture of Smather's beach on the East side of the island. It is very shallow - I mean at low tide you could probably wade out a quarter mile! - Seaweed washes in and often covers the beach. One possible exception is Higgs beach Park. It isn't really a beach, but built up shell covered with sand and held in place by a seawall. You can lay out in the sun however, get wet if you're so inclined, and rent watersports toys nearby ( Jet skis, kayaks parasail charters etc. ), There is also a playground, a dog park and a historic burial site of African slaves rescued from a slave ship.

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grasshopper_6
Jun 29, 2008

Higgs Beach

I am not a fan of Higgs beach; it is dirty and there are no palm trees for shade. Alot of homeless people are in this area too, and they will ask you for money.
In conjunction with the beach is the AIDS memorial and the White Street Pier. That side of the beach is nicer, but still not nice enough for me to ever go there.
There are always contamination notices being sent out about the water here. I really suggest you don't swim here, only walk around.

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Ericasmurf99
Apr 20, 2008

Smathers Beach

I like to walk around this beach in the evening; that is when it is peaceful and all the "craziness" has left to go pamper up for Duval street. If you go during a spring/summer break, during mid day, it will be crowded.
I think it is nice to lay out in the sun here, or to play games, but I'd be warying of swimming here. Old seaweed lines the coast and is never taken care of, and there have been lots of notices put out not to swim here, do to a large amount of fecial contamination. Yes, I said fecial.

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Ericasmurf99
Apr 20, 2008

Top 5 Key West Writers

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grandmaR

"The Parents of a "
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doug48

"key west florida"
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Ericasmurf99

"Key West, Florida"
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tpangelinan

"Key West Driving Trip May 3-12, 2003"
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TheTravelSlut

"Key West one of my favorite spots in North America"
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southernmost point Beach

This beach was very pretty! and i guess it is special to me since my brother got married right there on the ocean! They said 'I do" and we all jumped in the water!! the funny thing is the wedding wasn't private, so my sister-in-law was walking down the "aisle" which was paved with confused sunbathers:)

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stoney13
May 09, 2007

Want to get married in Key West?

The Chapel by the Sea is the place in Key West to tie the knot (so to speak).

They promote their "Stress-free weddings"

Take your pick of wedding location--barefoot on the beach or sipping champagne at sunset or even in a historic mansion or museum.

They offer personal wedding planners, a Key West Photo Crew and an in-house Florist all contained within a historic harborwalk chapel.

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TheTravelSlut
Jan 23, 2007

Dog Beach

A canine favorite though rocky and slippery, this tiny stretch of beach (about 30 feet wide) is the only beach in Key West that allows dogs. No restrooms or facilities. Has a strong undercurrent.

Beach Etiquette for Dogs
- Always keep your dog leashed when there is a leash law
- Always clean up after your dog by using a poop bag or pooper scooper
- Do not let your dog visit with other beach-goers or dogs, unless welcomed
- If using an official off-leash area, your dog needs to be well-behaved and must listen to your verbal commands.

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grandmaR
May 19, 2005

Southernmost Pier?

I am going to go off on a limb and say this is the southernmost pier in the continental US. The plaque reads:

"Emma Carrero Cates Pier at South Beach. Named in honor of A. Emma Carrero Cates. Key West City Commissioner 1969-1987. Members of the Monroe County Beach Advisory Board 1988-2001. For her tireless dedication and efforts in renourishment and preservation of Monroe County and City of Key West beaches. She was instrumental in the preservation and development of South Beach and as Chairman of the Beach Advisory Board helped bring about the renourishment of Smathers Beach."

grkboiler
Nov 30, 2004

Things to Do Near Key West

Things to Do

Duval Street

Galleries, shops, bars and big beautiful homes with huge porches. Key West is a small island city with a very diverse population. It's a wealthy community, with plenty of regulars just trying to make...
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Things to Do

West Martello Tower

When we lived in Key West there in the late 60s, they hosted a flower show in the winter. If you go at the time of the flower show they have some amazing flowers that you can see in addition to the...
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Things to Do

St. Mary's Star of the Sea Catholic Church

Saint Mary Star of the Sea was established in 1851, making it the oldest Catholic parish in Key West and the fifth oldest in the state. The present church was completed in 1905 (the first church was...
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Things to Do

Cemetery

On the grounds of Hemingway House is a unique cemetery for the six toed cats that live there. Hemingway named his cats after famous people, and that tradition has continued - as can be seen by reading...
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Things to Do

Butterfly Conservatory

Before we cruised to Key West, I had done a lot of research about what to see. I fell in love online with the Key West Butterfly Conservatory. It was our first stop in Key West (CityView Trolley...
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Things to Do

Southernmost Point

It's free and easy to find .. and a must do if your there. . We have only been there twice and don't know that we will return but it was a lot of fun. a party place year round. After that you have to...
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Getting to Key West

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Along the Coast of Key West, Florida

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