Key West, Florida Bucket List: 50 Must-Do Experiences

Key West, the southernmost city in the continental United States, extends a warm welcome and offers a treasure trove of experiences. This tropical paradise, nestled at the end of the Florida Keys, enjoys a delightful climate year-round, making it an ideal destination for a fun-filled holiday.

Renowned for its vibrant culture, breathtaking sunsets, and rich history, you’ll find a multitude of activities and sights that belong on any bucket list. Here are some must-do experiences in Key West:

Visit the Southernmost Point: Snap a photo at the iconic Southernmost Point buoy, just 90 miles from Cuba! It’s a great place to capture a memory at one of the most photographed spots in the United States.

Eat a slice of key lime pie! No trip to Key West is complete without trying the famous dessert that originated here. Head to Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe for a delicious and authentic taste.

Go snorkeling at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, where you can have adventures that bring you face to face with colorful coral reefs and an assortment of marine life

Tour the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum: Visit the home where the famous author lived and wrote. You’ll get to meet the six-toed cats that are descendants of Hemingway’s pets.

Snorkeling and Scuba Diving: Discover the vibrant coral reefs and marine life in the waters surrounding Key West, including at the famous Key West Marine Park and Dry Tortugas National Park.

Take a boat tour: Explore the crystal-clear waters surrounding Key West on a boat tour, whether it’s a relaxing sunset cruise or an exhilarating adventure to see dolphins and other marine life.

Watch the sunset at Sunset at Mallory Square: Experience the nightly Sunset Celebration with street performers, local artists, and a beautiful view of the sunset over the Gulf of Mexico.

Go on a Fishing Charter: Enjoy a day of deep-sea fishing, where you can catch a variety of fish such as tarpon, marlin, and snapper.

Go on a Jet Skiing Tour: Take the excitement up a notch by hopping on a jet ski and cruising around the island. Tours often include a stop at a local sandbar where you can relax and soak up the sun.

Harry S. Truman Little White House: Tour the winter White House of President Truman and learn about its historical significance. You may even get to see the famous resident six-toed cats!

Visit the Dry Tortugas National Park: Take a boat or seaplane to this remote park to explore Fort Jefferson, enjoy pristine beaches, and snorkel in crystal-clear waters.

Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center: Learn about the unique ecosystem and wildlife of the Florida Keys at this interactive museum, perfect for all ages.

Eat a galette and sip on mimosas at La Crêperie French Café: Indulge in a sweet or savory galette, a traditional French dish, and wash it down with a refreshing mimosa at this charming café.

Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory: Dive into a tropical paradise brimming with vibrant butterflies and exotic birds! Walk through the glass-enclosed conservatory and learn about these beautiful creatures.

Take a Conch Train Tour: Get a comprehensive and entertaining overview of Key West’s history and landmarks on this charming tour.

Your historical exploration of Key West must include its maritime history, and there’s no better place to start than the Shipwreck Museum. This museum brings to life the era of the wreckers, who salvaged goods from ships that fell to the unforgiving reefs. At the museum, authentic artifacts, and a lookout tower create an immersive experience.

Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park: Visit this Civil War-era fort and enjoy the park’s beautiful beach. It’s perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and picnicking!

Go on a Ghost Tour: Learn about the spooky side of Key West with a guided ghost tour through some of the island’s most haunted spots.

Eat Cuban food at El Siboney Restaurant: Experience the flavors of Cuba at this family-owned and operated restaurant, serving up delicious dishes like ropa vieja and Cuban sandwiches.

Visit the Key West Cemetery: Take a self-guided tour to see unique gravestones and learn about the island’s colorful past.

Kayaking and Paddleboarding: Explore the mangroves and coastline via kayak or paddleboard for a more intimate encounter with local wildlife.

Take a Day Sail: Enjoy a sailing trip, whether it’s a daytime adventure or a romantic sunset sail.

Visit the Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park: Immerse yourself in the history and geology of the Florida Keys by visiting this park, a testament to the area’s natural wonders and a previous quarry used in the early 1900s railroad construction.

Eat banana bread at Blue Heaven: This iconic restaurant is known for its delicious banana bread, a must-try while in Key West. Don’t forget to try their famous key lime pie as well!

Attend a Key West Fest: Experience the vibrant culture of Key West by attending one of its many annual festivals, such as Fantasy Fest or Hemingway Days.

Go on a Dolphin Encounter Tour: Get up close and personal with dolphins in their natural habitat on a guided tour.

See The Kapok Tree: Admire the beauty and history of this ancient tree that has been standing in Key West for over 100 years.

Eat shrimp and grits at Louie’s Backyard: This iconic restaurant serves up delicious seafood dishes with a stunning ocean view.

Sauteed Yellowtail Snapper at Louie’s Backyard! via Facebook

Take a Helicopter Tour: See the Florida Keys from a whole new perspective with a thrilling helicopter tour.

Visit Bahia Honda State Park: Relax on the beach, go for a swim, or hike through nature trails at this beautiful state park.

Join a Pub Crawl: Experience the lively bar scene and meet new people on a guided pub crawl through Key West’s famous Duval Street.

Take a photo at Mile Marker 0, the famous endpoint of U.S. Highway 1, which stretches over 2,000 miles from Maine down to this vibrant island. It’s not just a sign; it’s a landmark symbolizing the laid-back vibe and quirky charm that Key West is famous for.

Visit Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park Beach: Relax on the white sandy beach, go for a swim, or take a stroll along the nature trails in this beautiful state park.

Key West Lighthouse and Keeper’s Quarters Museum: Climb to the top for panoramic views of the island and learn about the lighthouse’s history.

Take photos at ‘GREETINGS FROM KEY WEST’ mural: Located on the side of a building in Old Town, this iconic mural is a must-see and perfect for capturing memories of your trip.

Go to the farmers market at Truman Waterfront Park: Sample fresh local produce, browse unique crafts and soak up the lively atmosphere at this popular weekly market.

Explore Key West’s Street Art: Take a walking tour or rent a bike to discover the colorful murals and street art hidden throughout the city.

Sample some tapas at Santiago’s Bodega: This tapas-style restaurant offers a variety of small plates to share, featuring local seafood and ingredients.

Take your dog to the beach at Clarence S.Higgs Memorial Beach. This dog-friendly beach is a great spot to let your furry friend run and play in the sand and water.

West Martello Gardens and Fort: Stroll through this beautiful botanical garden and explore the historic fort, complete with stunning ocean views.

Shop for souvenirs: Key West is known for its unique and quirky shops, so take a stroll down Duval Street and pick up some one-of-a-kind souvenirs to remember your trip.

Enjoy a Key Lime Pie at Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shop: Indulge in the famous dessert and try it in different forms, such as on a stick, dipped in chocolate, or as a frozen pie.

Parasailing: Get a bird’s eye view of the island and surrounding waters while parasailing with one of the many tour companies in Key West.

Satisfy your sweet tooth at Better Than Sex Dessert Restaurant: Indulge in decadent desserts with cleverly themed names such as “Between My Red Velvet Sheets” and “The Morning After.”

Have a luxury meal at Latitudes: Located on a private island, this restaurant offers delicious food and breathtaking views of the ocean. It’s a perfect place to enjoy a cup of lobster bisque!

Rent a bike and explore: With its flat terrain and beautiful scenery, Key West is perfect for biking around. Rent a bike from one of the many rental shops and discover hidden gems on the island.

Take a walking tour to view Key West’s historic homes. Learn about the architecture and stories of the island’s past residents.

Visit the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Ingham: Tour this decommissioned cutter and learn about its role in the history of Key West and the United States.

Watch people fish along the Edward B. Night Pier! Stop by this iconic spot to watch locals and tourists alike fishing for their catch of the day. You may even see some impressive fish being reeled in.

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