Some might say that March is the perfect time to visit Key West. We can’t argue with that – the weather is ideal and there’s plenty to do. And if you live in a cold, snowy climate, you’ll be eager for a sunny getaway by the time March rolls around.
Although spring begins in March, it equals mud season for a large swath of the country. Not in Key West. The rich history of the area, the scene on Duval Street, and gorgeous sights like the Key West Lighthouse all combine to make this a prime destination.
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Whether you’re spring breakers looking for a party or honeymooners on a romantic getaway, Key West Florida will have you covered.
A Closer Look At Key West March Weather And Other Conditions
We don’t think there’s a bad time to visit Key West. That said, there’s no denying that some months are better than others. So where does March fall on this spectrum?
If you’re already thinking about visiting Key West during this month, you’re in luck! The spring “shoulder season” from March to May is widely regarded as the best time to go.
Why is that? Well, for one thing, the weather in Key West is highly cooperative at this time. The average daily temperature falls in the mid-70s range, with slightly cooler nights. Hurricane season has not yet begun, and the humidity is relatively low.
The months of December through February represent the busy season for the Florida Keys in general, so you’ll be arriving after the heaviest crowds. However, since Key West is a popular spring break destination, there will still be plenty of people around.
Now for the bad news: While the prices may drop somewhat after the high season ends, you can still expect to pay more than you would during the rainy season. Low season in Key West runs from June to October, and that’s when you can find the best deals. We think the trade-off is worth it, though, as you’re essentially paying for the best weather Key West has to offer.
We should note that if you’re trying to avoid the spring break crowd, there are plenty of quieter beaches where you can relax and recharge. While spring breakers do make their way to Key West, the crowds are nowhere near as insane as what you’d encounter in Miami or Cabo.
Things To Do In Key West In March: The Top 7 Reasons To Visit
Before we start exploring, we urge you to consider booking a sandbar tour with us during your Key West vacation. This is a unique experience that everyone in your group will remember for a lifetime. Check out our home page to decide which tour is right for you.
Now, let’s take a closer look at Key West and everything it has to offer its visitors during March!
1) Party Like Rock Stars On Smathers Beach
Let’s say you do want to get rowdy during your Key West getaway. You can find beach parties that last all day on Smathers Beach, the longest swath of sand on the island.
Stretching out over 2 miles along the island’s southern shore, Smathers Beach requires no admission and is a hot spot for anyone looking for a good party. You can graze from the vendors and food trucks throughout the day, and even buy a chair or raft if you forgot yours.
Feel free to take a refreshing dip in the Gulf waters – the swells are minor in the designated swimming zone. Other popular activities include tanning, beach volleyball, and just plain relaxing.
2) Enter The Conch Shell Blowing Contest
If you’re visiting Key West in early March, check out this annual competition.
Held for over 50 years, the contest allows entrants to try to make music through a conch shell. This cone-and-swirl shell has long been considered the symbol of Key West, as evidenced by the “Conch Republic” phenomenon. The first contest was devised by the Old Island Restoration Foundation and carried out in the garden of Key West’s Oldest House Museum.
Some competitors simply blow into the shell to see how much noise they can make. Others attempt to wow the crowd by imitating notes from popular songs. In 2023, the winner of the male competition played Jimmy Buffett’s “Fins” on his conch.
Visit the Oldest House in Duval Street for more info.
3) Take Flight At The Key West Butterfly And Nature Conservatory
People throw around the word unique a lot without really thinking about what it means. But this nature conservatory, which houses over 50 species of butterflies in a lush tropical setting, is as unique as it gets.
As soon as you step through the doors, you’ll feel as though you’ve been transported to an exotic rainforest. In addition to the butterflies, the conservatory plays host to numerous bird species, as well as the plants and flowers that the butterflies call home.
Don’t forget to pay a visit to the gift shop and onsite art gallery before you leave. It’s well worth investing in a treasure or two to ensure that you never forget your time here.
4) Cruise To Dry Tortugas National Park
Once you’ve paid a visit to the Dry Tortugas, you can boast to your friends that you’ve been to the most remote point of the Florida Keys. Even if the bragging rights don’t interest you, this idyllic spot in the Florida Keys is well worth the trip.
The park consists of seven small islands, but the crown jewel is the historic fort known as Fort Jefferson. The fort was used as a prison during the Civil War, and you can learn all about its rich history during your visit.
Although we consider Fort Jefferson a must-see, it’s not the only draw. Birders will enjoy scanning the horizon for all the native species that live on the islands. The underwater environment is rich with coral reefs, which makes for excellent snorkeling. You’ll have so much fun, that you might consider camping in the park for the rest of the trip instead of returning to Key West.
Dry Tortugas National Park is accessible only by boat or plane. If you didn’t bring your own watercraft to Key West, you can board the ferry from the Grinnell Street terminal. Parking is available at the Old Town Garage.
5) Go On A St. Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl
Visitors who come to Key West in March are in for a treat, especially if they enjoy revelry as much as we do. Join a pub crawl through Old Town and enjoy the live music and entertainment at the local pubs. Food and drink specials are abundant, and the green beer flows like a sparkling emerald river. As a bonus, the greenish hue of Key Lime Pie makes it an appropriate choice for dessert!
Here are a few of the Key West pubs and restaurants that have been known to participate in this Key West tradition:
Nine One Five
Hard Rock Cafe Key West
Southernmost Beach Cafe
6) Join The Sunset Celebration In Mallory Square
This is one of our favorite Key West activities all year round, but the temperate weather in March makes it especially appealing.
Every evening around two hours before sunset, Key West visitors and locals alike gather in Mallory Square to celebrate the setting of the golden sun. Depending on what day you visit, you can expect to enjoy live music, street performers, local artists, food vendors, and much more.
The view of the Key West sunset is so extraordinary that it has captured the hearts of numerous iconic figures. Mark Twain and Tennessee Williams are two examples, but there have been plenty of others. As soon as you watch the sun dropping into the ocean from a pink-and-lavender sky, you’ll be just as smitten.
7) Take A Virtual Dive At The Key West Aquarium
Even if you steer clear of the rainy season, you may encounter a downpour or two during your time in the Florida Keys. Should that happen, pop by the Key West Aquarium to get up close and personal with the local marine life.
This is the only aquarium in Key West, and it’s located in the bustling heart of the town. As such, you can expect to encounter crowds if the weather is less than stellar. Don’t let that scare you off – there are enough top-notch exhibits here to delight guests of all ages.
The shark exhibit is arguably the most spectacular attraction, but we find the jellyfish tank to be just as entrancing in its way. Young kids should enjoy the touch tank, where they can find out what a sea cucumber or sea urchin feels like. Don’t miss the Sea Turtles Conservation tour, which is as enlightening as it is engaging.
Get Set To Spend Your Spring Vacation In The Lower Florida Keys
After finding out everything that Key West has to offer in March, you should be all revved up to start your adventure.
The activities we’ve listed will keep you plenty busy, but you should still try to fit in a sandbar tour before you leave Key West. We offer tours to suit all tastes and budgets, and you’ll enjoy the experience of a lifetime to cap off your Key West vacation. Visit our home page to find out more!