There’s no shortage of great parties, music and dancing, and lively nightlife to enjoy in Key West. With countless bars and restaurants up and down Duval Street, there’s always a comfy spot at the bar with your name on it. It’s quite easy (and enjoyable) to spend your entire vacation with a rum cocktail in hand!
But when you need a break from the partying, climb off the bar stool to explore historic Old Town’s daytime hot-spots. Here are five of our favorite family-friendly Key West attractions.
1 Whitehead Street | 9am – 5:30pm
Once upon a time, Key West’s economy was largely based off of the “wrecking “ industry. Ships that wrecked off-shore would have little choice but to pay a hefty price to the local wreckers to salvage their cargo and crew.
At this Key West attraction, the staff, dressed in period clothing, perform an introduction in character before allowing you to wander the rest of the museum, viewing artifacts from the wrecking days. Once you get to the top of the museum, climb up to the roof-top deck to enjoy the second best view of Key West (the best view being from Top Spa at the La Concha hotel).
Ernest Hemingway House
907 Whitehead Street | 9am – 5pm
At the Ernest Hemingway House, 53 descendants of Hemingway’s six-toed cats have the run of the place. Partake in a tour of the property Hemingway and his then-wife, Pauline, called home from 1928 to 1939. In this fully furnished house-turned-museum, you may find a sweet “polydactal” feline sleeping on the bed upstairs! The tour guides are knowledgeable and will answer your questions about the author’s time in Key West. Once you’ve had your Hemingway fill, try the Six Toed Cat Cafe next door.
West Martello Tower
1100 Atlantic Blvd | 9:30am – 5pm
Not to be confused with the home of Robert the Doll at East Martello Tower, the West Martello tower is home to the Key West Garden Club. In this Civil War fort with a view of the Atlantic Ocean, the countless tropical plants are donated and maintained by volunteers, keeping this one of the Key West attractions that is free to enjoy. Take a stroll through the historic fort, and then head next door to enjoy Higgs beach and Salute! restaurant on the beach for the afternoon.
Fort Zachary Taylor State Park
601 Howard England Way | 8am – Sundown
What better way to recover from last night’s cocktails than a day at the beach? Fort Zachary Taylor State Park, or “Fort Zach,” as locals call it, is the biggest green space on the island. Admission costs $6 for vehicles and $2 for bikers and walkers, but with a receipt, you can come and go all day. In addition to the large beach area, Fort Zach features several grilling areas, a trail next to the ocean, and it’s namesake civil war fort, Fort Zachary Taylor. There is a daily tour of the fort at noon and you are free to explore for yourself until 5pm. Check out the awesome view from the top!
40 Wall Street | Sunset Celebration starts about an hour before sunset
Perhaps one of the most famous Key West attractions, Mallory Square is the perfect spot for sunset. Every evening, no matter rain or shine, street performers, artists, and food and drink vendors gather in the square. The entertainment performs dangerous stunts on unicycles and tall ladders with fire and knives. Among the vendors, you’ll find some of the best guacamole you’ve ever tasted, and the best mojito on the island. Even as the sun sets below the horizon, the show goes on. Grab a seat on the pier and watch the commercial sailboats return to the marina after sunset cruises and snorkeling day trips.
There are plenty more Key West attractions, so get out there and explore. You never know what you’ll find in the Conch Republic – in our outside of a bar.
Ready to see for yourself? Check our availability to start planning your own Key West adventure!