Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1973, Florida’s southernmost state park is popular for recreation, as well as U.S. military history. The fort was one of a series built in the mid-1800s to defend the nation’s southeastern coastline. Guided tours of the fort are available daily.
100 Southard Street
Come celebrate the triumph of Henry Flagler and his determination to connect Key West with the rest of the U.S. by train at the Flagler Station Over-Sea Railway Historeum. The Railroad was completed on January 22, 1912 after seven years of hard labor, torrential weather and mosquito infestations.
Experience a journey like no other aboard the Yankee Freedom III. Take your comfortable seat and enjoy the relaxing ride to the Dry Tortugas National Park Fort Jefferson, just 70 miles west of Key West. The Yankee Freedom III is recognized for its speed and luxurious accommodations and for transporting thousands of visitors annually to the beautiful collection of islands called the Dry Tortugas.
The Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden is the only frost-free botanical garden in the continental United States. Here you can see many endangered and threatened flora and fauna. A beautiful and serene respite, this special place allows you to be among butterflies, birds, plants and pretty flowers.
This lovely Key West home is where legendary author Ernest Hemingway lived and worked for more than ten years. The home and gardens are visited by thousands of people each year, offering a glimpse into Hemingway’s life and a chance to meet some of the descendants of his beloved six-toed cat, Snowball.
This historic tower was built in 1862 during the Civil War and is one of three remaining Civil War era structures on the island. Although it was often used for target practice by the United States Navy, the fort was never actually involved in a battle. It is now home to the Key West Garden Club.
The oldest house in South Florida was built in 1829 by Captain Francis Watlington who was, among other things, a wrecker. Watlington and his wife and their seven (of nine) surviving daughters lived in the house for many decades. A beautiful example of the kind of colonial architecture found in the Caribbean, the house is now a museum that welcomes visitors from around the world. Guests see gold that was salvaged from shipwrecks, paintings, model ships and a separate kitchen. Furnishings, carpets and the house décor all reflect the era of the wreckers and their success that made Key West the richest city in America at one time. There’s also a lovely garden with benches offering a shady spot to rest and relax. Learn a little history, admire the ancient architecture and more at the Oldest House Museum.
People from all over the world come to Key West for the unique atmosphere, world-famous attractions and, of course, the refreshing turquoise waters that surround the island. Whether you’d like to dive in and snorkel, fly above the water in a parasail, go on a glass-bottom boat excursion, take a sunset cruise or try your hand at jet skiing, Fury Catamarans offers a myriad of exciting adventures.
Located at the southernmost end of Duval Street, the Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory is one of the island’s most popular family-friendly attractions. It’s home to more than 60 species of butterflies and 20 species of exotic birds. A visit to the Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory is divided between the climate-controlled conservatory where the butterflies flutter freely, the learning center, an art gallery and a gift shop.
Embark on an adventure to the world-famous reefs off the coast of Key West. Aboard the Pride of Key West — the magnificent Key West Fury catamaran with a glass bottom, you’ll enjoy the fresh sea air as you voyage above the lively marine world underneath. Once you arrive above the reefs, be ready to catch your breath as vibrant sea life abounds right beneath your eyes.
The Audubon House marks the beginning of the restoration movement in Key West. Saved from being demolished in 1958, the 19th century Key West gem is a historic museum featuring the artwork of John James Audubon. Famous for his exquisite drawings of birds in their natural habitat, Audubon stayed in the home in 1832.
“Today’s the day” was Mel Fisher’s mantra. Fortunately, his lifelong hunt for ancient buried treasure was realized before he died so his mantra held true. The day was July 20, 1985, when, after 17 years of searching, Mel Fisher and his crew recovered $450 million worth of buried treasure from ocean floor just offshore from Key West. The Nuestra Senora de Atocha and the Santa Margarita, two Spanish galleon ships that sunk in 1622, carried 40 tons of gold and silver, Pieces of Eight gold coins, Columbian emeralds, over 1,000 bars of silver and other gold artifacts.
The East Martello Fort, complete with an eight-foot thick granite wall, was built during the Civil War Era to withstand any bombardment but was never completed and never saw any hostile action. The casemates, citadel and courtyard today make up the museum. Among its collection are Key West artifacts, historical records and military memorabilia. Also on display are the state’s largest collections of painted wood carvings and drawings by Mario Sanchez. In addition, the fort is also home to Robert the Doll, the most famous haunted plaything in the world.
For a bit of history and a look at how Key West got to where it is today, stop in at the Key West Museum of Art and History inside the Custom House. Built in 1891, the Custom House had many uses including a post office, court house and government center. Today, after a $9 million restoration, the beautiful red brick building is as glorious as it was back in the day and is home to moving works of art that portray the colorful past of Key West and historic national events.
A place where an array of leaders, legendary inventors, dignitaries, visionaries and many prestigious visitors were drawn to throughout its history, Key West’s Harry S. Truman Little White House holds a special place in the history of America. Constructed in 1890 to serve as the naval station’s command headquarters during the Spanish-American War, World War I and World War II, this historic site later became the second White House.
Feel the exhilaration as you climb 65 feet in the air to the top of the observation tower for panoramic views of Key West. Inside the Key West Shipwreck Treasure Museum, you’ll have that opportunity and more. Find out how those who made their living off shipwrecks in the 1850s watched and waited for ships sinking off the coast in Key West.
If you’re up for a climb, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of Key West and the ocean. The Key West Lighthouse was built in 1825 to help the many ships entering the port avoid the hazardous reefs. Today, you can climb the 88 iron steps to the top of the tower for a scenic look at what the lighthouse keepers watched over for more than 120 years. Tour the grounds to see the Keeper’s Quarters which have been restored to their original charm and view the displays of nautical artifacts, antique furnishings, maps and vintage photos.
Welcome to Key West’s first attraction. Meet stingrays and pet a shark! See them eat and watch in wonder as a variety of sea creatures swim around in their natural environment. Come to the Key West Aquarium for an encounter with some of the world’s most mysterious and beautiful marine animals. Since 1934, the aquarium has been wowing guests with its variety of sea species. Listen and learn as knowledgeable guides explain the underwater world that surrounds the Florida Keys.