Key West Travel Guide

Complete guide for things to do & see in Key West. Plan to enjoy island life.

    Key West, Florida

    Key West's most photographed spot, the Southernmost Marker.Laid back, free-spirited, artistic, quirky, and scenic, Key West is one of the most unique places in the United States. Known for its live-and-let-live attitude, tropical climate, and seemingly continuous happy hour, this tiny Florida Keys island has been welcoming visitors seeking a vacation from the normal for two centuries.

    Since its earliest days, individuals have come here to fish, write, carouse, and rejuvenate. From the famous, including Ernest Hemingway, John J Audubon, and Tennessee Williams – to infamous, Key West has always been a place where you can be yourself, find yourself, or re-invent yourself.

    Key West Travel Guide is an extensive, up-to-date guide packed with local information and concierge advice.

    Learn from the local experts about restaurants, hotels, nightlife, boat cruises, attractions, and other fun things to do in Key West.

    Best Wishes from Key West,
    -Gordon & Dave

    Quick facts about Key West

    • Date first explored: 1521,
      Ponce de Leon visits Dry Tortugas
    • Date as a U.S. territory: 1822
    • Size: 2 x 4 miles
    • Population: 24,909
    • Average hi/lo temperature, winter (F): 76°/66°
    • Average hi/lo temperature, summer (F): 89°/80°
    • Sunny or partly-sunny days per year: 259
    • Area code: 305
    • Zip code: 33040
    • Distance from Miami: 160 miles
    • Distance from Cuba: 90 miles
    • Geographic fact: Southernmost point in the U.S.

    Fun things to do in Key West

    Ultimate Watersports Package

    Ultimate Watersports Package

    Six-hour trip includes breakfast & lunch, beverages, snorkeling the coral reef, sailing, parasailing, jetskis, kayaks, and big water toys
    Backcountry Snorkel, Kayak, & Sail

    Backcountry Snorkel, Kayak, & Sail

    Instead of visiting the reef in the Atlantic, this trip heads to the Gulf Side for snorkeling smaller patch reefs and exploring the mangroves with kayaks.
    Private Snorkeling Charters

    Private Snorkeling Charters

    Have the boat and Captain to yourself, allowing for custom trips to suit your wishes. Six passenger limit on these vessels.
    SNUBA

    SNUBA

    Snorkeling, but you can breath underwater thanks to scuba air tanks floating on the surface.
    SCUBA Diving

    SCUBA Diving

    With some of the world's best warm-water wreck and reef diving, Key West is a great place to scuba dive.
    Parasailing in Key West

    Parasailing in Key West

    Tethered by parachute to a slow moving boat, it's an exciting way to get a bird's-eye view of Key West and the ocean.
    Party Boat Fishing

    Party Boat Fishing

    Fish with a large group for snapper, grouper, and other pan fish. Stable boat provides inexpensive fishing trip.
    Light Tackle Fishing

    Light Tackle Fishing

    Catch snapper, grouper, tarpon, and more on these versatile fishing charters.
    Flats Fishing

    Flats Fishing

    Stalk bonefish, tarpon, and permit in the shallow, calm water of Key West's backcountry.
    Deep Sea Fishing

    Deep Sea Fishing

    Key West deep-sea fishing is world class - legendary for large and powerful game fish.
    Kayak Tours

    Kayak Tours

    Easy and rewarding kayaking trips that explore offshore mangrove islands and seagrass habitat.
    Glassbottom Boats

    Glassbottom Boats

    Explore the coral reefs, located six miles offshore of Key West, aboard an air-conditioned, glass bottom vessel.
    Dolphin Encounters

    Dolphin Encounters

    See local Key West dolphins in the wild & up close. Swim and snorkel nearby patch coral reef.
    Bike Tour

    Bike Tour

    Relaxing, laid-back bicycle tour in the historic quarter of Key West, sampling wild grown island fruit along the way.
    Dry Tortugas Camping

    Dry Tortugas Camping

    Information for camping in Dry Tortugas National Park, including campsite map, regulations, and advice.
    We Just LOVE These Tiny Key West Houses by Artist Ronny Bailey

    We Just LOVE These Tiny Key West Houses by Artist Ronny Bailey

    Local fine folk artist skillfully builds tiny replicas of old Key West buildings from found building materials.

    Without knowing otherwise, you might think one of the photos is of an actual Key West building. But these are artworks by one of the Florida Keys’ most talented and inventive artists, Ronny Bailey. Ronny Bailey is a 5th generation local Conch who has been making miniature versions of Key West’s classic architecture. Using material…

    “Key West” Records: Songs, Bands and Albums from Around the World

    “Key West” Records: Songs, Bands and Albums from Around the World

    Albums and records from recording artists using the name Key West

    While searching the history of an old 45-record (“Key West” by Houston & Dorsey) a strange world of album-cover art revealed numerous mentions of Key West – either as a band name, record title, or song. Seems Key West has served as some sort of inspiration for numerous recording artists around the world. It is…

    Dry Tortugas National Park Fee to Increase. Again.

    Dry Tortugas National Park Fee to Increase. Again.

    Just three years since the last increase, entrance fees are again rising, from $10 to $15 per adult.

    The last time the Dry Tortugas National Park increased its entrance fee, from $5 to $10, it had been eighteen years since the previous increase. But just three years later, park fees are again set to rise. Effective June 1, 2018, the Dry Tortugas National Park entrance fee will be increased from $10 per adult…

    Pictures of Key West Five Months After Hurricane Irma

    Pictures of Key West Five Months After Hurricane Irma

    Five months after a major hurricane narrowly missed Key West, the island has no major damage and is as scenic and fun as ever

    Five months have now passed since Hurricane Irma, a major category 4 storm, struck the Florida Keys. The destructive eye of the storm thankfully missed Key West by twenty miles and caused little major damage to the southernmost city. (The islands that were directly hit by the eye saw significant damage, and those include Cudjoe…

    Track of Hurricane Irma: Key West Narrowly Dodged Cannonball

    Track of Hurricane Irma: Key West Narrowly Dodged Cannonball

    Despite news reports, Key West was not wrecked; the storm's eyewall passed just 20 miles to the east

    Key West, one of 43 islands that comprise the Florida Keys, very narrowly dodged not just a bullet, but more aptly a cannonball known as Hurricane Irma. The center of Hurricane Irma passed approximately 30 miles east of Key West, leaving Key West on the western, relatively calmer side of the storm, and just outside…

    19 Florida Keys Environmental Regulations You Should Know

    19 Florida Keys Environmental Regulations You Should Know

    The beautiful ecosystem of the Florida Key is fragile and protected by state and federal regulations. Learn about the most common rules you must know when visiting the area.

    The Florida Keys and Key West are a fragile and unique environment brimming with life and complex ecosystems.  Numerous state and federal regulations exist to protect the Florida Keys and surrounding ocean. Recent reports of wildlife violations prompted us to create this guide to the many environmental protections that everyone, visitors and residents, should know.…

    Key West Race Week Organizer Discusses Event Cancellation

    Key West Race Week Organizer Discusses Event Cancellation

    Contributing factors include declining participation, a changing sport, sponsors and costs

    For thirty years, sailboat racing teams from around the world have descended on Key West for a week of highly competitive races. Last year, fourteen countries participated in Key West Race Week. Considered one sailing’s ideal locations, especially at that time of year when frozen sailors from the North crave the warmth of the Florida…

    What You Get in Key West – $799,000

    What You Get in Key West – $799,000

    Price comparison of houses currently for sale in the Key West area

    What will $799,000 get you in today’s Key West real estate market? Below are three houses currently for sale, each in a different neighborhood. Old Town What – Wood-framed Key West “cigar” cottage, built in 1919, with three bedrooms and two bathrooms How Much – $795,000 Size – 1,007 square feet Price Per Square Foot – $789…

    MTV’s The Real World – Key West, 10 Years Later

    MTV’s The Real World – Key West, 10 Years Later

    MTV reality show had cast members living outside of Key West in pricey house

    Ten years have passed since the final episode of MTV’s Real World Key West. During its season, the cast members lived outside of Key West on a neighboring island called Key Haven. This kept them largely isolated from, strangely enough, the real Key West. This isolation was confirmed in a recent interview with cast member…

    Some Basics: Florida Keys Geography & Early History

    Some Basics: Florida Keys Geography & Early History

    Scratch the surface of the Florida Keys' vast history and unique geography

    The “keys” are a chain of rocky islands, stretching some 180 miles from Biscayne Bay to the Dry Tortugas. On the north and west they touch the shallow waters of Florida Bay; on the east and south lie the deeper waters of the Straits of Florida and the deep-blue Gulf Stream. The City of Key…

    Dry Tortugas Entrance Fee Doubles, Camping Fees Changed

    Dry Tortugas Entrance Fee Doubles, Camping Fees Changed

    First fee increase in 18 years affects daily visitors and overnight campers.

    Visiting one of America’s most scenic and unique national parks just got a bit more expensive. Effective October 1, 2015, the Dry Tortugas National Park entrance fee has been increased from $5 to $10 per adult. This will affect day visitors as well as those camping at Fort Jefferson. Additionally for campers there is a new…

    5 Tourist Traps to Avoid on Your Key West Vacation

    5 Tourist Traps to Avoid on Your Key West Vacation

    Avoid these 5 tourist traps to keep your Key West vacation relaxing and enjoyable.

    Key West Travel Guide is here to help you have a fantastic vacation while getting the most out of every vacation dollar. We LOVE our little island! One thing really annoys us: tourist traps. Shady businesses that prey upon people on vacation. There are five Key West tourist traps that we suggest you avoid (or, at least,…

    Key West’s For-Profit Hospital & Reported Price Gouging by its Owner, Community Health Systems

    Key West’s For-Profit Hospital & Reported Price Gouging by its Owner, Community Health Systems

    Study shows Florida's for-profit hospitals are charging the highest markups for services.

    The numbers are head spinning. And the deed, dare we say, is dasterdly. It is a problem rampant in Florida – thanks to the private hospital corporation Community Health Systems, the owner of Lower Keys Medical Center. The latest issue of Health Affairs published a study that shows Florida is the leader, by a large…

    Pigeons “Smuggled” Cigars from Cuba to Key West

    Pigeons “Smuggled” Cigars from Cuba to Key West

    Artist Duke Riley, in a 2013 statement about Cuba/US relations, used homing pigeons to fly embargoed cigars from Havana to Key West.

    In 1962, just prior to signing the Trading with the Enemy act, President Kennedy requested and received 1,200 Cuban Cohiba cigars: his signature rendered them contraband, as these cigars remain today, coveted symbols of status in a country just 90 miles from Havana’s shore. The maritime passageways between Cuba and the Florida Keys have for…

    Pac-Man on the Streets of Key West

    Pac-Man on the Streets of Key West

    For a limited time, Google Maps lets you play the retro game in Key West

    For a limited time (and only for non-mobile users), Google Maps is letting you play Pac-Man on the streets of Key West. Mobile users can’t play the Key West game, but can play a select number of places, each hidden behind a riddle. Here are the rules, according to Google: You can now play the classic arcade…

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