Few cities in America offer such a charming and rich historical travel experience than that of Key West. With today’s new normal, it’s important to find approved activities around the breathtaking city, worth exploring. Whether it be visiting a historical landmark or strolling a lush garden, there’s a ton of approved activities worth discovering. Here are just a few of the exciting options around Key West that are open right now.
Top 10 Activities & Attractions
When it comes to one of the most scenic and photographed spots on the island, this one ranks high on just about any list. Standing as big as day on the corner of Whitehead & South Streets, is a decoratively painted, hulking mass of stone known as the Southernmost Point marker. Fashioned to look like a buoy, this is where the crowd waits their turn to take a pic of this landmark and the turquoise sea that stretches for 90 miles to Cuba behind it. A lot happened around this seawall back in the day from vendors hawking seafood to a Bahamian guy known as the Bishop who once entertained passers-by with his exceptional ‘conch-playing.’ He is remembered fondly with a bronze statue located here.
This nighttime event brings together people at Mallory Square, open now, and makes for a lively evening of community by the water. This Key West tradition of saluting the sun on its way beneath the horizon is a prime photo op to capture the brilliance of the island’s legendary sunsets. Golden strands streak through the sky interwoven amongst brilliant pink and purple hues that make for some breathtaking views!
This unusual and magical island oasis, located 70 miles west of Key West, is one of the most unique (and Insta-worthy) national parks in the United States. The centerpiece of the island is an old, decommissioned military fort from the Civil War-era that was once the largest of its kind in the United States Navy. This hexagonal fortress, made of over 16 million bricks, is a photographer’s dream offering an endless variety of ways to shoot it. The scenic views surrounding the fort are also excellent with its quiet, virtually undisturbed beaches, migrating birds and marine life. But, there’s only one way to get there. Book your trip to paradise on the Yankee Freedom, open now, Key West’s only state-of-the-art, high-speed catamaran making daily trips to the Dry Tortugas.
The Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden is the only frost-free sub-tropical native 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 will take you back in time and allow you to be among butterflies, birds, plants and seasonal flowers.
On the far southeastern stretch of the island you’ll find East Martello Tower, a Civil War era fort built with eight-foot thick granite walls to withstand bombardment.
Although it never saw hostile action during the war, today it’s an off the beaten path point of interest for its historic architecture and its art collection. Home to wood carving paintings and drawings by Mario Sanchez that depict Old Key West, the tower is also rumored to be haunted. A visit here will reveal the spooky tale of Robert the Doll.
While Key West was never a slave port, three slave ships heading for Cuba were intercepted by the US Navy in 1860 and the slaves on board were brought to Key West for care. Of the 1,432 African slaves aboard these ships, 295 did not survive in spite of the city’s best efforts. Their burial site is memorialized today near the White Street Pier on Higgs Beach.
Well before the internet, people would share their travels with others through postcards. German-born printer Curt Teich designed the classic “Greetings from..” style of postcard that is instantly recognizable to all generations. Located at 284 Margaret Street next to Mac’s Sea Garden is a mural done in the same vintage style. This is a great photo spot that lets everyone know exactly where you’ve been!
The northbound corridor of United States US Route 1 stretches and winds for almost 2,500 miles to the edge of the Canadian border. And its origins are located right here in Key West. The iconic green and white ‘Mile 0’ sign at the corner of Whitehead & Fleming Street became so popular that an opportunistic t-shirt shop owner was able to trademark it after a lengthy and expensive court battle. After you take some selfies and group photos next to the landmark, skip over to the “End of the Road” shop for some great local souvenirs at 405 Fleming Street!
Open right now, visit Fury Water Adventure, where the sky is literally the limit! Strap in and take to the skies, high above the crystal waters of Key West, and get treated to scenic views. The trip includes a ride on a state-of-the art watercraft and even allows for parasailing of up to three people (weight restrictions apply.) For an added bonus, you can ask for an exhilarating dip in the ocean before rocketing back skyward to play amongst the clouds!
Hit this beach for a socially distant Key West day at the beach! The picturesque scenes here make it popular among destination wedding planners and locals love it too. The white sand and wooden pier make ideal photo spots (and the sunbathing isn’t too shabby, either!) The beach also offers umbrella rentals for those who prefer to doze in the shade as well as tennis courts, a restaurant, volleyball courts and more!
With every passing day, more attractions and activities around the country are incorporating social distancing practices. The list above was just a sampling of all the fun you can still enjoy around the beautiful city of Key West, while still adhering to all social distancing protocols. With social distancing procedures being implemented throughout all businesses, pretty soon it will be nearly impossible to find a location that is not considered social distancing approved.
Open in Key West right now, the friendly and knowledgeable conductors on America’s favorite Trolley Tour will take you on a fully narrated journey filled with humor and history as you explore all the major sights of the Conch Republic. This entertaining spin through the heart of sunny and scenic Key West includes highlights like the historic waterfront, Simonton & Greene Streets in the city’s Old Town, Bahama Village, and the East Martello Fort to name just a few.
The safety and well-being of our guests and team members remain our highest priority. Read about our safety information.