Do you love sand, the sun, the sea, animals, culture, and eating? Of course, you do! Because you are a real-life human person who likes to enjoy themselves.
In which case, there are plenty of awesome things to do in the Florida Keys that you will love.
The Florida Keys are a string of islands located between mainland Florida and Cuba. They enjoy a tropical climate and attract many water sports enthusiasts year-round.
But is there anything else to do during a trip to the Florida Keys besides water sports? You bet there are! This guide lists all the best things to do in the Florida Keys to help you plan your vacation.
1. Explore Dry Tortugas National Park
Dry Tortugas is a national park for a very good reason. Seven islands in the Florida Keys make up the park as well as the water that surrounds them so it covers 100 acres in total.
So, what is so great about Dry Tortugas National Park? Well, it is the perfect place to snorkel on a Florida Keys vacation because the abundance of marine life is awe-inspiring. There are acres of coral reefs, sea turtles, stingrays, and too many other colorful reef fish to mention.
Dry Tortugas National Park is home to Fort Jefferson, an impressive 19th-century fort. And last but not least, it is also the location of the 1875 Windjammer Wreck that divers can explore.
The national park is only accessible by ferry from Key West or seaplane. The ferry is the most popular option and it takes around two hours to travel. But boy, it is worth it.
2. Wander Down Duval Street
Duval Street is the main commercial high street on Key West which almost everyone ends up on when visiting the Florida Keys.
It spans the entire width of the island starting at Mallory Square and ending at The Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory.
Head to Duval Street for a huge choice of great restaurants, bars, and cultural experiences.
3. Check Out the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum
And one of those top cultural things to do in the Florida Keys is right off Duval Street. The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum is where the great American author lived from 1931 to 1939. But he still owned the house when he died.
Today, visitors can explore the delightful lemon yellow Spanish colonial home as well as his studio and garden. There is even speculation that the 50 six-toed cats that roam the grounds descend from Hemingway’s own six-toed cat.
4. Take a Helicopter Tour
You can look at the Florida Keys on a map, but you cannot appreciate the islands and their amazing geography from the ground. The only way to appreciate this stunning part of the USA is from the air.
Hop on one of the daily helicopter tours that rides over the seven-mile bridge connecting Knight’s Key with Little Duck Key. The ride also includes a detour to the Sombrero Lighthouse. There is so much to learn about the history of the bridges and structures in this part of the Keys.
A fascinating and exciting helicopter ride is the best way to learn more!
5. Eat the Best Key Lime Pie In the World
One of the cheap things to do in the Florida Keys is also a must-do. You have to try a slice (or five, who’s counting?) of Key lime pie.
The dessert dates all the way back to 1890 when a lady called Aunt Sally worked in Key West’s Curry Mansion kitchen and baked the delicious creation. But the origins are mysterious and unfounded.
Key lime pie is made from key limes, egg yolk, and sweetened condensed milk. The topping is often an egg white meringue or whipped cream. The crust is either pie crust or graham cracker crust.
Of course, everyone claims to make the best Key lime pie in the Florida Keys so the only thing you can do is taste as many as possible for yourself. Start with the pies at Blue Heaven, Key Lime Pie Co, and Pepe’s Cafe.
6. Unwind at Bahia Honda State Park
There are lots of museums, bars, and entertainment in the Florida Keys but there are lots of places to relax, too. Bahia Honda State Park is near the middle of the Keys and offers the best, award-winning beaches in the Keys.
Many families like to stay in the campgrounds in Bahia Honda State Park. There are lots of kayaking, snorkeling, and boating excursions from this island. Or, you can rent the gear and explore to your heart’s content yourself.
7. Shed Your Inhibitions at Fantasy Fest
Visiting the Florida Keys in the last week of October? Then you are in for a treat! Fantasy Fest is a 10-day Halloween celebration for adults. There are parades, shows, and lots of crazy costumes with around 75,000 in attendance each year.
Every year, there is a theme (2009’s Villains, Vixens, and Vampires for example). So, if you want to attend, start planning your costumes now!
8. Enjoy Countless Water Sports and Activities
There are two reasons why there are so many things to do in the Florida Keys for water sports fans. The first is the warm year-round water temperature. The second is that the waters are so calm and inviting.
You can try paddleboarding, fishing, scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, windsurfing, parasailing, and even yachting. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is a popular diving spot.
Try something new or reignite a spark for an old passion in the Florida Keys.
9. Head to the Southernmost Point of the Continental US
And if you are heading to Key West, you have to snap a selfie with the Southernmost Point of the Continental US marker.
Sure, you might have to wait in line. And is it the authentic southernmost point? Not likely since some of the Keys are a little further south of this point.
But it’s fun and something you can say you did!
Check Out the Best Things to Do In the Florida Keys
Think the Florida Keys is great for water sports and nothing more? Think again! There are plenty of amazing things to do in the Florida Keys no matter what you are into.
You are bound to find activities that the whole family will enjoy.
Check out our other travel articles for more tips and inspiration!