About Key West, Florida

Key West is a top travel destination in the United States, with over 2 million tourists visiting this small island at the southernmost point of the country annually. It’s known for warm weather, beautiful architecture, and coral reefs that host some of the best scuba diving and deep-sea fishing opportunities in the entire country. With warm weather year-round, you can visit at any time and have a wonderful vacation in Key West.

Planning a trip to south Florida but can't decide between Miami or Key West? Check out this Miami vs Key West travel guide!

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Boating & Water Experiences in Key West, Florida

Whether spending just one day in Key West or your entire vacation, getting out on the waves and soaking up the sun on a deck boat is essential. Boating in Key West is a favorite activity for locals and visitors alike, so be sure to schedule at least one boat rental during your stay. If you need more information on what types of excursions you should seek out in Key West, read this article by Outdoorsy Diva - 7 Adventurous Key West Excursions to Step Up Your Itinerary.

Boat Rentals & Charters in Key West

If you’ve never driven a boat before, charter a boat in Key West with a captain to take you around for hours of cruising. With watercraft options like sailboat rentals, houseboat rentals, pontoons, glass-bottom boats, and yacht charters available in Key West, you can find the perfect vessel for your desired boat day. Ferry boat trips in Key West are also popular, as they are a way to see other beaches and islands, or you can take the ferry from Fort Myers or Miami to Key West as your method of arriving. Book a private boat charter from Key West to Dry Tortugas for an unforgettable glimpse of this secluded national park.

To host an event in Key West, a charter on a large schooner, catamaran, or houseboat is a fantastic choice. Sunset sailing tours of Key West are a beautiful way to experience the keys. From weddings and family gatherings to corporate events, a captain and crew can cater to every need. Let them handle the details, including dinner and drinks, live music and entertainment, and whatever else you desire for your guests.

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Jet Ski Tours in Key West

Jet skiing is a fantastic activity to enjoy while in Key West. Since the Florida Keys are a group of islands, exploring the different spots by jet ski is a fun adventure. Rent a jet ski on your own or book yourself on a guided jet ski tour leaving from Key West. Stop at spots like the Sunset Key, Stock Island, and see wildlife as you fly through the waves in the Caribbean.

Fishing Charters in Key West

Spending a day on a fishing charter in Key West is one of the most popular tourist activities. There’s nothing better than getting together with your fishing buddies or family and soaking up the sun with your line in the sea, reeling in catches like Tarpon, Grouper, Kingfish, Amberjack, and Yellowfin. This region offers incredible fishing opportunities, great for beginners and expert anglers alike. Sportfishing and deep-sea fishing charters are popular choices for visitors and locals in Key West. Head out on a center console, sport fishing boats, trawler or another motorized fishing boat for a full-service charter with a captain. No need to rent or buy equipment, bait, or tackle, all of this is included in your booking.

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Watersports in Key West

While some people love to just lay out on the beach during their vacation, other travelers need to infuse some adventure and fun into their time off. Booking a watersports day in Key West is guaranteed to be fun, whether you’re trying something new or you’re experienced. 

Scuba Diving & Snorkeling Trips in Key West 

The coral reefs off the coast of Key West are one of the major draws for tourists and visitors to this Floridian island. Book a snorkeling tour in Key West to make the most of your vacation. Get up close with marine life-like corals, starfish, vibrant colored fish, and have fun swimming in the pristine waters of the keys. Spend hours gently kicking at the surface, breathing through your snorkel in this crystal clear waves, making memories with your travel companions on your Key West adventure. 

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If you’re scuba certified, or want to earn your certification, book a day of boat diving during your stay in Key West. Enjoy multiple tank dives in the Caribbean, exploring beneath the surface with a dive instructor to help you improve your skills or lead you on a relaxing dive day.

Kitesurfing in Key West 

Kitesurfing is a great workout and a cool watersport to learn. Taking a kitesurfing lesson under the warm sun in Key West is a fantastic choice during a vacation. Have fun riding the waves as you steer, with your kite pulling you along the coast. Enjoy one day of lessons or book several to build on your kitesurfing skills during your stay in Key West.

Kayak & Paddleboard Rentals in Key West

Vacation is a wonderful time to relax, but for fitness-focused travelers looking to maintain their healthy lifestyles, it can be difficult to find things to do. This is where paddlesports come in. Kayak and paddleboard rentals in a tropical place like Key West are the perfect way to combine leisure and exercise during a vacation. Rent a kayak and paddle yourself around coves and beaches on the shoreline, or take a kayaking tour with a guide in Key West. Stand-up paddleboarding or SUP is another great way to get exercise, you can even try SUP yoga while you’re out on the water. You can explore the open ocean or the mangroves and waterways around Key West. 

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Travel Tips for Key West, Florida

Arriving in Key West

To get to Key West, you can catch a flight to the Key West International Airport and take a taxi to your accommodation. While you usually need a car rental in most of Florida, Key West is an exception where getting around on foot or with car services is a better option. Parking is scarce and renting a car is very expensive, generally more of a hassle than a help. You can also arrive in Key West by bus from Miami Beach, with departures every day.

Accommodation in Key West

While most accommodation and travel in Key West is focused on luxury experiences, modest vacation homes and villas are available to rent for travelers on a budget. There are many beachfront hotels and resorts to choose from, including charming B&B's and inns that will give you a taste of the Key West that Hemingway and Truman sought during their time spent on the islands.

Top Things to See and Do on Land in Key West

While on land in Key West, there are plenty of activities and sights to see. For history enthusiasts, take a tour of Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park, one of the top-rated things to experience during a visit to Key West. You can also tour Harry S. Truman Little White House, Ernest Hemingway Museum, and the Key West Lighthouse & Keeper's Quarters Museum. Immerse yourself in the history of these icons who frequented Key West, and learn why they fell in love with this slice of paradise at the southernmost point of the United States.

Nature enthusiasts can enjoy the outdoors exploring at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Smathers Beach, and the Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory. Spend hours walking the trails, seeing beautiful birds and other wildlife, including an impressive amount of colorful butterflies.

No matter your budget, #travelgoals, or boating desires, you can find the perfect experience in Key West to make your adventures and vacation in the Florida Keys one you’ll never forget. Start planning your trip to Key West today!