If you have never been to Key West, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by all of the opportunities for sun, fun, and excitement you have there. From the amenities offered by your hotel, like swimming, spa treatments, happy hours, and bike rentals, to a long list of museums, art galleries, nature preserves, and restaurants, there are endless ways to fill your days here. These are the top three attractions, though, and are widely considered to be “must-do” activities in Key West.
Fishing with All In Fishing Charters
People come from all around the world to go fishing in Key West. There’s never a bad time to go fishing here, as the warm waters around the island ensure there are always fish biting. Depending on the time of year you come, you might be able to fish for tuna, cobia, mahi-mahi, grouper, tarpon, or snapper. The most convenient way to go fishing as an out-of-towner is to book a fishing charter with All In Fishing Charters. Everyone is welcome, even if you have never been fishing before. All of the gear you need is provided to you, and the friendly crew is always happy to provide pointers if you need them. The captain knows the waters well, whether you choose wreck, flats, backcountry, reef or deep water fishing. And if you make a great catch, it’s easy to find a cook-your-catch menu option at many area restaurants.
Snorkeling at Dry Tortugas National Park
If you enjoy the outdoors, you will love Dry Tortugas National Park. It might be one of the most well-known places to go snorkeling in the U.S., and because of the calm waters and great visibility, even novice snorkelers will be able to truly experience all the underwater reefs and sunken shipwrecks have to offer. The park is accessible only by ferry from Key West, and reservations are required. If you would prefer to stay above the surface of the water, the park has plenty of opportunities for kayaking, swimming, birdwatching, and picnicking. There are a small number of overnight campsites available by reservation only, too; be aware that the park is pack in/pack out, and services are limited.
Fish Tacos at Eaton Street Seafood Market
Key West is a foodie’s paradise, and it’s easy to see why. The culinary influences of Southern America, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, China, Peru, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, and Mexico can be found in many area menus. What unites them, typically, is a commitment to the freshest ingredients and local seafood. It can be a challenge to know which are the best restaurants for fresh seafood, but Eaton Street Seafood Market’s 5-star reputation is hard to beat.
At Eaton Street Seafood Market in Old Town Key West, you can get meals prepared with their daily catch, made to order. Choose your dishes from among the most popular menu offerings, including fish tacos, fish sandwiches, and fried fish baskets. You can also indulge in grilled lobster rolls, and eat like a true local by feasting on conch fritters and conch ceviche. The shady outdoor seating that surrounds this notable Art Deco building offers plenty of space if you can’t wait to dig into your meal immediately; otherwise, all orders can be prepared to go. What’s more, Eaton Street has online ordering available and ships across the country, so you can revisit your favorite vacation meals with authentic Key West seafood at home.
Shop Duval Street
For many visitors to Key West, Duval Street is really the center of everything. It’s lined with the most amazing shops that provide a curated selection of locally made gifts, including glassware, pottery, clothing and textiles, art, jewelry, and leather. You can also find food, alcohol, and cigars ready for gift giving. When you’re ready to take a break from shopping, stop at one of the cafes and restaurants along Duval for a quick meal, cold drink, or sweet treat. At night, when the sun goes down, make sure you’re at Mallory Square for the Sunset Celebration, held every evening. You’ll be joined by tourists and locals alike for live music, street performances, food and drink vendors, and unique arts and crafts vendors. Afterward, have a late dinner or enjoy drinks and live music at one of the many restaurants, bars, jazz clubs, and live music venues on and off Duval Street.
Make the Most of Your Key West Experience
While it is impossible to do all of the great activities and excursions that Key West has to offer in a single trip, by starting your itinerary with these three, you’ll be well on your way to hitting the highlights of all the island has to offer. You’ll get a great feel for the beautiful surroundings, natural resources, warm and friendly hospitality, and memorable experiences that keep visitors coming back year after year.