If you are like most people, there are probably more things on your vacation wish list than there is time to do them all. Instead of experiencing frustration by trying to cram everything in, make a list of your top Key West activities and then fill in the extras from there. Starting with this list is a great way to ensure you hit all the highlights that Key West has to offer.
Lunch or Dinner at Eaton Street Seafood Market
Discover the best local seafood with casual alfresco dining or takeout available at Eaton Street Seafood Market. In Old Town Key West, this restaurant prepares your order from the day’s freshest catch. The menu concentrates on seafood, including lobster rolls, fish tacos, shrimp salad sandwiches, conch ceviche, conch fritters, and shrimp tacos, although there are also a few non-seafood choices, too. There is no mistaking the distinctive Art Deco exterior of Eaton Street Seafood Market, and the shady outdoor seating allows you to really relax and enjoy your meal as soon as it’s ready. If you’d rather buy fresh fish to prepare back in the kitchen of your rented vacation home, you can do that, too, giving you total flexibility. And what’s more, Eaton Street ships, too, so you can order Key West’s freshest fish from home any time of year.
Experience World-Class Fishing with All In Fishing Charters
No trip to Key West is complete without fishing. Visitors come from all over the world to fish for snapper, grouper, tarpon, tuna, cobia, and mahi-mahi. But not to worry if you didn’t come down on a boat or have the resources to rent a boat by yourself and figure out where to go. That’s the beauty of booking a fishing charter. With All In Fishing Charters, all you need to do is make your reservations and show up–everything you need for a day of fishing is provided to you. The experienced crew can provide pointers so even inexperienced anglers can have an enjoyable time, and the knowledgeable captain has a great understanding of exactly where the fish are biting, depending on the time of year you’re in. And because so many local restaurants offer a cook-your-catch menu option, you can really reap the rewards of your fishing trip by dining on your own fish, grilled, blackened, or broiled and served family-style.
Shopping on Duval Street
Duval Street is lined with the kind of specialty boutiques, shops, and art galleries that offer truly unique gifts for yourself and others. Browse clothing, jewelry, pottery, glassware, art, leather, candles, frames, and more, plus typical souvenirs like magnets, mugs, and t-shirts. When you want a break from shopping, stop at any of the small restaurants and cafes for a light meal, glass of wine, ice cream cone, or slice of key lime pie. Jazz clubs and bars offer upscale experiences and intimate gathering places where you can get away from it all, too. At the end of Duval Street, the Sunset Celebration takes place at Mallory Square. This nightly street party is a local tradition that showcases local musicians and street performers as well as food and drinks vendors and arts and crafts vendors. It’s an all-ages event that’s open to all and provides some of the best views of the setting sun.
Underwater Adventures at Dry Tortugas National Park
Dry Tortugas National Park is famous for its snorkeling, but visitors also go kayaking, birdwatching, and swimming. The historic fort located here also offers historical re-enactments and tours. Because it is so popular with travelers, you will want to book your ferry passage from Key West well in advance of your trip. Seating is limited and reservations are required. On Garden Key, the biggest of the islands that make up the park, you can prepare to snorkel in calm and clear waters that are gentle enough for novices to feel comfortable in. The numerous shipwrecks and coral reefs offer amazing opportunities to get up close to sea life, and special night snorkeling programs are sometimes offered that highlight nocturnal sea life.
Climb the Key West Lighthouse
Many years ago, Key West’s lighthouse was an essential communication tool that alerted nearby sailing captains so they could avoid getting shipwrecked on the reefs off of the island. Today, the lighthouse still stands, and now it’s open to visitors, along with an adjacent museum so you can see how the early lighthouse keepers lived. Climb the 88 steps to the top and see for yourself what it must have been like more than 100 years ago.
Do It All in Key West
If you’re looking for a memorable vacation in a convenient location, Key West is it. The most notable experiences, like fishing, shopping, snorkeling, and world-class shopping make it popular year after year. By choosing these top-rated activities, you can be assured of having the best time possible.