The Top 10 Best Attractions In Key West

Here are the top 10 Key West attractions in no particular order. Detailed information on each attraction is below.

1 – Mallory Square Sunset Celebration

2 – Duval Street

3 – Ernest Hemingway Home And Museum

4 – Southernmost Point Buoy

5 – Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory

6 – Harry S. Truman Little Whitehouse

7 – Key West Historic Seaport

8 – Key West Aquarium

9 – Fort Zachary Historic State Park

10 – Key West Shipwreck Treasure Museum

 

Known for its pastel-hued, conch-style houses, beautiful beaches, stunning sunsets, and lively nightlife, Key West is a beloved vacation destination located at the southernmost tip of Florida. Once home to famed novelist Ernest Hemingway, Key West allures visitors with its funky vibe, rich history, culinary treats, and outdoor adventures both on land and sea. From world-class watersports and dolphin encounters to historic forts and literary landmarks – Key West offers an array of one-of-a-kind attractions sure to delight travelers of all ages and interests.

To help you make the most of your Key West getaway, here is an overview of the top 10 attractions you won’t want to miss:

  1. Mallory Square Sunset Celebration

No visit to the Keys is complete without watching the sunset, and there’s no better place to do it than Mallory Square. Nightly two hours before sunset, this waterfront plaza comes alive with street performers, artists, food carts and more to celebrate the setting sun with flair and revelry. Grab a bench or claim some harborfront real estate, then sit back and soak in a sunset the way it was meant to be enjoyed – with new friends and live entertainment all around. Don’t forget to applaud after the glowing orb dips below the horizon!

  1. Duval Street

The pulsating heart of Old Town Key West, Duval Street offers one mile of shops, restaurants, galleries and watering holes housed within some of the island’s best preserved historic buildings. By day, duck into boutiques and bookstores before relaxing at an outdoor café with the Key West’s famous key lime pie and people watching. After dark, live music spills out of Sloppy Joe’s – a bar frequented by Hemingway himself – while Duval transforms into a lively party scene.

  1. Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum

Papa Hemingway lived and wrote here for over ten years, penning literary classics including For Whom the Bell Tolls. Wander through lush tropical gardens to tour his Spanish Colonial abode filled with Hemingway artifacts, original furnishings and over 60 descendant polydactyl (six-toed) cats lounging on the beds and patios. Read up on his adventurous life then roam the property to peek inside his writing studio where so many great American novels came to life.

  1. Southernmost Point Buoy

Standing in front of Key West’s iconic Southernmost Point buoy makes for a quintessential photo op. Step up for your picture in front of this landmark concrete buoy emblazoned with the words “90 miles to Cuba, Southernmost Point, Continental U.S.A.” Sweet snapshots come easy with views of North America’s southernmost locale visible just over your shoulder. Don’t forget to purchase a commemorative souvenir in one of the nearby shops!

  1. Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory

Escape the island heat while getting up close with butterflies from around the globe inside this glass-enclosed paradise. As you stroll along paved pathways beneath towering trees and flowering plants, hundreds of colorful winged beauties flutter freely all around you – landing on visitors in search of a taste of fresh fruit. With over 60 species represented and more than 50 exotic birds onsite, Key West’s only butterfly conservatory educates through peaceful natural beauty.

  1. Harry S. Truman Little White House

Tour Key West’s version of the White House, frequented by former President Harry S. Truman for 175 days during 11 working vacations. Explore Truman’s tropical retreat through rooms of period furnishings and exhibits highlighting significant events in history that occurred right onsite during his years in office. Beautiful beachfront views beyond offer a peek into the relaxing presidential lifestyle on “the First Island City”.

  1. Key West Historic Seaport

This lively waterfront district abounds with 19th century ships, salty sea captains and educational exhibits underscoring Key West’s maritime heritage. Walk the docks to chat with crews refurbishing historic vessels before watching a cargo net demo. Then explore a museum crafted from a circa 1891 warehouse explain how sponging, turtling, whaling and wrecking made this port prosperous. Top off your visit with a sail aboard a classic schooner or view sea life aboard a glass-bottom boat.

  1. Key West Aquarium

Pet a shark and feed tropical fish at Key West’s family-owned aquarium specializing in local sealife. Get eye-to-eye with rescued sea turtles and sharks circling the touch tank before heading underwater along moving walkways touring marine life enclosures. Kids can pretend to be marine biologists during interactive programs that teach about our oceans’ most fascinating creatures through hands-on animal encounters.

  1. Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park

Constructed during the Civil War to protect Key West, this waterside fortress still stands guard over the nation’s southernmost point. Tour the fort learning about its rich history before hitting the park’s picture-perfect beach touted for great snorkeling along coral formations and shipwrecks. Sunbathe, swim or hike nature trails winding through the peaceful grounds dotted with picnic areas beneath the shade of the Gumbo Limbo trees.

  1. Key West Shipwreck Treasure Museum

From the days of Spanish galleons to present day pirates, Key West’s island shores have seen fortune and tragedy at sea. This family-run museum bursting with one-of-a-kind artifacts and interactive exhibits tells the intriguing tales through inventive displays using special effects, illusions and floating snow. Eye patches welcome! Don’t miss the dazzling room with walls of gold sparkling with the salvaged treasures of conquistadors.

As this overview reveals, Key West offers no shortage of sites to see, history to uncover and adventures to savor. From literary lore to watersports, historic haunts and buzzing nightlife, Florida’s Isle of Enchantment lives up to its many nicknames. Use this list to guide your explorations then gear up for the Key West sunset celebration – the grand finale capping off your island day!

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