10 Amazing Things to Do in the Florida Keys

At the southernmost point of the continental United States, the Florida Keys are made up of 1,700+ natural isles that each resemble a Caribbean paradise, with grand beach homes and subtropical-style living. The Keys were first formed by an ancient reef and still hold extraordinary treasures that can be explored above and beneath the surface, from the unexpected cat sanctuary at the Hemingway House to the many diving sites for shipwrecks and coral reefs found just off the coast.

When you’re not island-hopping by boat or your own private yacht charter in the Florida Keys, the beach towns make for a scenic refuge. Slow the pace to island-time in Key West, where you can navigate by bike or moped, the sunsets are endless, and the Key Lime Pie is famous.

Take a guided bicycle tour of old town Key West

Key West houses

Familiarize yourself with the island city of Key West, also known as “The Conch Republic” by the locals. The best way to get around is by bicycle, so take a guided tour of the beach bars, island-living shops, fresh, local eats, such as signature conch at the restaurants, and sites of historical significance in Old Town Key West. Here you’ll find Duval Street is a prime nightlife hotspot for entertainment and drinks after dark, making Marti Gras an everyday event.

Meet the feline residents of the Hemingway Home and Museum

A centerpiece among the many amazing things to do in Key West is the Hemingway House. Don’t miss the 1930s home of the famous author, and islander, Ernest Hemingway. The Hemingway House tour takes you through the author’s home, originally built in 1851, and now home to a cat sanctuary and its residents, an estate full of polydactyl or six-toed cats. You’ll find this French-colonial style home at 907 Whitehead Street across from the Old Key West Lighthouse.

Sip a cocktail while watching one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world

Florida Keys sunset

With views that stretch from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic, and Cuba just 90 miles in the distance, this subtropical paradise is the perfect place for a picturesque sunset. Stay awhile at your favorite beachside restaurant and watch the sun go down with a fruity cocktail in hand. You’ll find that when the sun sets over the Gulf to the west it truly is one of the most spectacular shimmering scenes on the planet.

Dive or snorkel at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

In Key Largo, the spectacular site of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park presents a 70-square-mile underwater sea park that can be explored by guided tour. This is where you’ll find enchanting marine seascapes, tropical fishes, reef life, and even a statue of Christ, submerged beneath the surface.

Take a day to explore Dry Tortugas National Park

Dry Tortugas National Park

This remote island and fortress can be reached by boat or seaplane, so having a private yacht charter in Key West is a huge advantage. You’ll be able to reach the nature park and museum on your own time, allowing you to explore the remains of Fort Jefferson—an unfinished octagon fort and the largest brick masonry structure in the Americas—in Garden Key at your leisure. Between seven islands, coral reefs, and aquamarine waters, there are enough wonders to fill the days.

Stroll the gardens at Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory

If you’re looking for a unique experience among the many things to do in the Florida Keys, look no further than the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory. The garden acts as a sanctuary for live butterflies that give it a fairytale feel, while birds, turtles, and flamingos, as well as a variety of subtropical plants and trees, add to the rich habitats on display.  The conservatory is just a 2-mile walk from the Southernmost Point Buoy, marking the southernmost point in the continental U.S.

See 100+ bird species at Wild Bird Sanctuary in Key Largo

The variety of birds found in the Florida Keys offer plenty of birdwatching opportunities, and there’s no better place to see them up close than the Wild Bird Sanctuary in Key Largo. This rehabilitation center is home to more than 100 bird species, from owls and hawks to pelicans, songbirds, and more, that are permanent residents of the center.

Shop at the Rain Barrel Artisans Village

If you’re looking to take home a “piece” of the Florida Keys, then Rain Barrel Artisan Village is the place to shop for souvenirs. The centerpiece to the village is a giant lobster, which sets the tone for the quirkiness of the island-style shops and local vendors who gather here with their best Key West-inspired goods and attractions, from art galleries to gardens.

Visit Turtle Hospital for sea turtle tours

Turtle Center in Florida Keys

Turtles are such a huge part of the Keys that they have their own hospital. While visiting Marathon, stop by the Turtle Hospital, a medical facility dedicated to the care of injured sea turtles. Here you’ll find an educational experience with volunteers that can guide you through local conservation efforts and the steps taken to rehabilitate and release turtles back into the wild.

Don’t miss out on a chance to feed the turtles after the tour!

Dive or snorkel the Vandenberg Shipwreck

Beneath the surface, the USNS General Hoyt S. Vandenberg shipwreck presents a unique World War II-era diving subject. It’s the second-largest ship to ever be scuttled to create such an artificial reef that can be found at the southernmost point of the Florida Keys Shipwreck Trail. Having your own private yacht charter in the Florida Keys allows you to venture off into the 1,000 or more shipwrecks submerged off the coast of this island chain with ease or create your own itinerary of the best diving sites.

There is No End to Amazing Things to Do in the Florida Keys

If you’re looking for things to do in Key West, look no further than the charming city of Key West or the remote tropical paradise isles that skirt the southernmost point of the continental US. Having a luxury yacht charter in Key West allows you to island-hop, dive the sites, and set sail through the days at your own leisurely pace, and we’ll be here to help make your stay the perfect getaway.