9 Unique Things To Do In Key West For A Trip You'll Never Forget

Unique Things To Do In Key West

There are so many unique things to do in Key West for nature lovers, luxury seekers, romantics, history buffs, and beyond! As the southernmost point in the continental United States, Key West beckons visitors with its year-round sunshine and consistently warm temperatures. This place is a perpetual paradise!

One of the most surprising things for people who venture to the Florida Keys in search of tropical conditions is that Key West’s landscape offers so much more than just beaches and palm trees. Key West is home to a number of historical attractions, natural wonders, and hidden gems. That’s probably why around 5 million people decide to visit Key West every year.

With so much to do and see, you may be wondering where to start with planning a getaway. This list of nine unusual things to do in Key West will help you discover the authentic Key West attractions that will leave you with life-changing memories!

An Unforgettable Trip To Key West


1) Book A Sandbar Charter In Key West

If you’re all about unique things to do in Key West that involve getting on the water for amazing views and wildlife experiences, look no further than a private boat tour! Key West Sandbar Tours lets you experience the magic of the Florida Keys like no other company by bringing guests on private excursions to sandbars that ordinary tour groups never get to see! An itinerary can include:

  • Exploring mangrove mazes

  • Stopping at the Snipe Point sandbar

  • Cruising through the Mud Keys

  • Snorkeling in crystal-clear waters

  • Boarding a sunset cruise to the sandbars

  • Dining on a luxurious seafood feast during your excursion

Our cruises and sandbar tours are perfect whether you want to book a snorkeling tour, get close to the natural habitat of dolphins, or watch the sun setting over the Atlantic Ocean! When you cruise with us, our small-boat fleet allows you to customize your experience. Don’t miss your chance to commune with Key West’s natural beauty. Book your adventure with the pros at Key West Sandbar Tours today!

Mud Key Mangrove Safari - key west


2) Stroll Around Old Town Key West

There’s nothing “touristy’ about exploring a place that’s as authentic and culturally rich as Old Town Key West. Occupying the western half of the island, Old Town is a designated historic district where most of Key West’s businesses are centralized.

Once a bustling port, the Old Town section of the island has slowly transitioned into a laid-back and whimsical hub for art, literature, music, and the lost art of giving into pure relaxation. The best thing to do here is to enjoy lush courtyards, charmingly narrow alleyways, and gorgeously preserved pastel buildings while making no particular plans!

Of course, the highlight of any jaunt through Old Town is a proper tour of the Hemingway Home and Museum. Built in 1851, this National Historic Landmark is where Hemmingway wrote portions of “Farewell to Arms” and “For Whom the Bell Tolls.” The home’s greatest legacy is the collection of Ernest Hemingway’s six-toed cats still occupying the home day!

All of the sightseeing is bound to make you hungry! Luckily a spot called Blue Heaven located near Truman Avenue and Duval Street in the Bahama Village portion of Old Town offers the casual fare you’ll be craving. It doesn’t hurt that Blue Heaven is also regarded as having some of the best Key Lime Pie around!

Planning fun after dark: Old Town turns magical at night when live music and vendors move into Mallory Square for the Sunset Celebration. To get there, simply get to the waterfront in Old Town just west of Duval Street’s northern end.

Old Town, Key West


3) Feel The Key West Vibe At Fort Zachary Taylor Beach

Fort Zachary Taylor Beach is one of the most essential Key West attractions. The fort itself actually predates the Civil War. As an official National Historic Monument today, the fort contains the largest cache of Civil War armament in the world.

You won’t only be swimming in history when you come to Fort Zachary. The park is also home to what nearly everyone agrees is Key West’s favorite beach! You’ll see people swimming, paddling, fishing, or snorkeling on any given day when visiting this treasured spot.

Snorkelers and divers enjoy this beach for its exceptional collection of coral reefs. Visitors will discover starlet, tube, and knobby brain corals among the many coral species found between grassy beds and the shore here. This beach is also home to large populations of snappers and barracuda.

Key West's Fort Zachary Taylor Beach


4) See Where The Past Is Buried In Key West

Visiting the Key West Cemetery, located on Passover Lane, definitely makes the list of unusual things to do in Key West. While such a macabre destination might seem out of place when planning an itinerary for sunny Key West Florida, this landmark is actually an important place to learn about Key West’s history.

Established on high ground far above sea level in 1847, Key West Cemetery is the final resting place of nearly 100,000 people who helped to define Key West as we know it today. Among the names of those buried here, visitors will find mariners, cigar makers, moguls, peasants, and soldiers. Due to Key West’s role as a headquarters for the United States Navy during the Spanish-American War, a number of Spanish-American War veterans are buried here.

Planning a respectful visit: The cemetery’s office hours are from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. from Monday through Friday. Requesting an appointment ahead of time is highly recommended!

 Key West Cemetery


5) Tour Fort Jefferson At Dry Tortugas National Park

Located inside Dry Tortugas National Park of Florida, this fort is the largest brick masonry structure in all of the Americas! For those keeping count, the structure spreads 16 million bricks across 16 acres. Other places to visit within Dry Tortugas National Park include:

  • Bush Key

  • Loggerhead Key

  • Garden Key

Important: Due to this attraction’s remote location, you’ll need to plan your journey thoroughly ahead of time. Currently, the fort is only accessible by boat or seaplane.

 Fort Jefferson At Dry Tortugas National Park


6) Get Lost In The Lushness Of Key West Tropical Forest

Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden makes the list of unique things to do in Key West due to its status as the only frost-free, subtropical natural conservation habitat in the United States. Here’s what’s waiting for you in this secret garden of treasures:

  • More than 15 acres of native garden and forest

  • Bicycle racks

  • ADA-compliant walking paths and boardwalks

  • Dog-friendly paths

  • Native birds

  • Native butterflies

The garden is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you’re coming with a group, you can book a group tour for up to 14 people in advance.

Key West Tropical Forest And Botanical Garden


7) Get Close To Wildlife At The Key West Aquarium

If you’re excited to learn all about the marine species that inhabit the Florida Keys, there’s no place like the Key West Aquarium! Located on Whitehead Street within Key West’s famous Mallory Square, this highly-rated aquarium is home to:

  • Sea turtles

  • Jellyfish exhibits

  • Shark exhibits

  • Touch tanks

The Key West Aquarium is the only public aquarium on the island. Since opening during the Great Depression in 1933, it has gone on to become one of the nation’s most enduring attractions and conservation centers!

You’ll definitely want to experience this attraction that combines the history and ecology of Key West!

Excitement At The Key West Aquarium


8) Spend Time Exploring Key West’s Historic Seaport

There’s no place that embodies the spirit of Key West Florida quite like this lively waterfront area! You don’t want to skip the incredible surf shops, art galleries, restaurants, and fun events found here.

Consider Key West’s Historic Seaport the top spot to shop for souvenirs to bring home! You also might have the best meal of your life out on the marina if you’re “in the know.”

According to locals, Conch Republic Seafood Company overlooking the seaport and marina from Green Street is the best place for Caribbean-style fare on the island!

Key West Historic Seaport


9) Bring The Fun To New Heights At The Key West Lighthouse

The majestic Key West Lighthouse invites guests to walk up 88 steps to the top to enjoy incredible views. Along the way, visitors can walk through history as they admire photographs, letters, and personal belongings that were owned by the lighthouse’s keepers over the years

If you really want to appreciate the history of Key West, Florida, don’t miss the opportunity to stand in the place where generations of men and women bravely kept the island’s maritime heritage burning brightly throughout storms and historical turmoil!

The Majestic Key West Lighthouse


Plan An Unforgettable Vacation To Key West Florida

If this is your first time visiting Key West, be prepared to be shocked by just how unique the experience of visiting the nation’s southernmost point can be! A dream itinerary can take you from lively bars and clubs in downtown Key West to remote forts that stand tall against battering waves. Of course, even people who have been to Key West before can still feel like they are discovering the island for the first time.

Don’t miss your chance to experience the best sandbar tours in Key West Florida! A private boat tour is an incredibly unique way to experience Key West. When you plan your dream boat tour with Key West Sandbar Tours, you’ll enjoy an elite experience that will stay with you forever. Book your Key West sandbar boat tour today!

3 to 4 hours
Group Size
Up to 12

Sandbar Tour For Large Groups

If your group is larger than 6 and you have a hard time finding a boat ride to the sandbars because of the 6 passengers limit, we are here to help. You can book our 2 identical Hurricane 27 foot deck boats and our captains will drive them side by side so you can take cool photos and they will raft up the boats on the sandbars so you can enjoy and share this amazing time together.

3 to 4 hours
Group Size
Up to 6

Hopping Sandbars In Key West

What a perfect day to take a boat ride! You will see not one but several different sandbars on this tour! It will only take 25 minutes to get there on our epic adventure, and we can stop as long as you want at those sandbars that interest you the most. This is something you cannot miss!

Experience the mangrove trails of Mud Keys and hang out with locals at Snipe Point after. You won't want the day to end.

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2 hours
Group Size
Up to 6

Key West Sunset Cruise

Ocean, meet our captain! One of the best things about the backcountry waters is how it’s never too crowded. So jump in and enjoy the peacefulness and remoteness as you stand in the "middle of the ocean" with nothing but water around you. Optionally, bring some champagne to enjoy with the sunset as a backdrop. Then, just sit back and relax as you cruise on out into the middle of nowhere, leaving behind any stress or worries.

2 hours
Group Size
Up to 6

Mud Key Mangrove Safari

It's time for some adventure and excitement with a boat trip through the backcountry. After only a short ride, we'll take you on a leisurely cruise down to Mud Key Sanctuary, where you can enjoy the countryside and take in all the wonders of nature that surround you. Stop by the sandbar for a refreshing dip or just stroll around and soak up the sun. Capture your memories and cherish them forever.