Key West, Florida
Key West has the best diving, snorkeling, fishing and boating in the continental U.S. Just a three-by-five mile Island, Key West offers a treat for the masses that flock here. Locals and tourists alike stroll down Duval Street each night to witness the Sunset Celebration, where they find hand-made souvenirs, munchies, cold drinks and a show so spectacular, only nature could have created it.
Key West is an island in the Straits of Florida, at the southernmost tip of the Florida Keys in the United States of America.
Bikes and mopeds are the most popular modes transport for both locals and visitors.
‘Conch Cruisers’, slow-moving electric vehicles similar to golf carts and pedicabs are also available for hire.
The Old Town Trolley Tours and the Conch Tour Train offer hop on/hop off all day transport. Tickets are available onboard or at Mallory Square where it departs from.
A tour of the Ernest Hemmingway Home and Museum takes you inside his book-filled writing studio, and out to the swimming pool (the first one in Key West). You’ll also see some 60 cats, descendants of the ones which lazed on Hemingway’s lap while he wrote, roaming throughout the property.
Climb nearly 90 steps to the top of the Lighthouse and Keepers Quarters Museum for fantastic views.
Stroll the 2 mile Harbor walk, which runs from Front to Grinnell streets.
There are endless shopping opportunities here including more unusual items found in the numerous art galleries, boutiques and craft emporiums.
Other attractions include the Key West Audubon House and Tropical Gardens, Key West Aquarium, the oldest attraction on the island and the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory.
The Truman Little White House Key West Home and History Museum, originally built as officer quarters for those stationed at the Navy Station.
The Mel Fisher Maritime Museum has treasures salvaged from the 17th century Spanish galleon “Nuestra Senora de Atocha,” shipwrecked off of Key West.
Take a glass-bottomed catamaran trip. The reef surrounding the city is the only living coral reef in North America and is full of exotic fish.
Nearly two centuries of black history in Key West can be found at the Lofton B. Sands African-Bahamian Museum.
The popular and busy Smathers Beach off South Roosevelt Boulevard has plenty facilities including food stalls, toilets and rentals such as chairs and watersport equipment.
Rest Beach near White Street Pier is only around 300ft long but is quieter, however there are less facilities here and the toilets are walking distance away.
Fort Zachary Taylor Beach at the end of Southard Street features a historical fort and a Civil War Museum. There are picnic tables, grills, toilets and showers.
The disabled cruiser visiting Key West
Where You’re Docked
Cruise ships usually dock at either Pier B, near the Truman Annex, or the Navy-owned Outer Mole pier, near Fort Zachary Taylor State Park. If docked at the latter, a tourist trolley shuttles you off the base into town. There is also a smaller dock at Mallory Square.
Key West is an island, or Key, that is just two miles long by four miles wide, so all the essentials are near the docks — bars, restaurants, shopping, scuba diving and beach-going. Mallory Square, on the waterfront near the docks, has restaurants, shops and public restrooms.
Good to Know
Sunburn, thirst and vacation-induced absent-mindedness. The sun is quite intense and very deceiving. Liberally apply sunblock to avoid a subtropical burn.
Water bottles aren’t an accessory in the Keys, they’re a necessity. Take a moment to hydrate before heading out under the island’s blue skies and cotton candy-spun clouds. South Florida mantra: The best parking spot isn’t the one closest to your destination; it’s the one in the shade.
Also, the Key West Police Department reports are filled with lost-and-found property reports from visitors. Keep an eye on your belongings while you’re downing a rum drink or frosty brew, or while singing along with the whole bar to a Jimmy Buffett or Kenney Chesney classic.
Currency is the U.S. dollar, and ATMs are readily available.
English is spoken in Key West.
A traditional Key Lime pie, with a luscious tang and flaky crust, or a single piece dipped in chocolate and frozen on a stick shipped to a friend’s home or yours, from Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe.
For an elegant yet casual culinary experience with a fabulous atmosphere that feels miles away from the craziness of Duval Street, Louie’s Backyard is a longtime locals’ favorite. Sit on the outdoor deck, right on the Atlantic and shaded by lush sea hibiscus trees. It’s the only restaurant in Key West where you can hear the sound of the waves breaking on the beach.
Points of Interest
- Key West- a seven-
Key West Accessible Excursions
Whether your cruise ship stops in
Key West Accessible Guided Tour
This 4 hour accessible