Key West is the IDEAL place for a tropical vacation, especially if you live in Florida because it’s right in your state and it’s pretty much another world! Key West is beautiful and filled with so much sunshine, tropical waters, unique events, and history! Key West is also one of the most haunted places in the united States and pirates came here to bury their booty so you never know what you’ll find!
1. Dive Into The Molasses Reef
The Molasses Reef is popular scuba diving and snorkeling location and has been argued as the most beautiful reef located in Florida. The Molasses Reef is riddled with numerous dive sites marked by mooring buoys with each buoy indicating an interesting site at the bottom (there are 40 by the way)! One notable site is at buoy #7 and is variously referred to as The Winch, a large mechanical winch from the Slobadana, a 170 foot wooden hulled schooner that sank in 1887 after only three years in service. Rather than a single site, Molasses is an extensive reef complex with diving depths from about 10 feet to more than 70.
2. Check Out Fort Zachary’s Beach
Completed in 1866, Fort Zachary Taylor played important roles in the Civil War and contains the largest collection of Civil War artifacts in the US. The fort is a beautiful piece of history with brick archways and craftsmanship. Feel free to snorkel here, the waters here are clear with rocky bottoms that attract a multitude of tropical fish.
3. Snorkel The Dry Tortugas
3. Visit Hemingways House
Home to Nobel Prize author Ernest Hemingway for nearly 10 years, this incredible property is full insight into the life of one of America’s most notable and revered authors. Today, guests can step back in time and visit the space where some of Hemingway’s most iconic literary works were formed and drafted. Guided tours through the tropical grounds and historical halls introduce guests to both Hemingway’s life in Key West and the multitude of cats (who mostly happen to be 6 toed). Hemingway loved 6 toed cats, and the ones roaming around the house now are thought to be the ancestors to Hemingways original Moogie.
4. Check Out Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square
5. Visit the Curry Mansion Inn
This beautiful inn was home to Florida’s first millionaire, William Curry. The Curry Mansion is the epitome of historic Key West homes and when you enter you will understand why. The construction of this home started in 1869 and was completed in 1899. The Curry Mansion reflects the lifestyle befitting the Curry family with priceless antiques, Tiffany glass sliding doors, and solid gold Tiffany flatware. As you wander through the home you can imagine life in 19th century Key West.
6. Climb The Key West Lighthouse and Keepers Quarters
Opened in 1848, the Key West lighthouse is one of the few inland lighthouses in the world. Guests can walk up the 88 steps to the top of the lighthouse for a 360 degree view of Key West. In the Keepers Quarters visitors can learn about the families who lived there and maintained the lighthouse even through threats of war and the fatal dangers that Florida weather can often bring.
7. Try the Key Lime Pie
Key West is FAMOUS for its key lime pie. You can find it pretty much anywhere, key lime heaven.
8. Experience Haunted Key West
Key West is referred to as one of America’s “most haunted” cities. Key West comes alive after dark with stories of haunted quarantine barracks and unwelcome gifts crafted with voodoo. Pirates, rum-runners and refugees are said to haunt the 19th century buildings that that riddle Key West, many of which have been converted into hotels or restaurants.
9. Dive Down into John Pennekamp’s Coral Reef State Park and Visit The Christ of the Abyss
John Pennekamp State Park has 178 nautical square miles of coral reefs — and Christ of the Abyss‚ a 4,000-pound bronze sculpture of Jesus Christ rests on the ocean floor. While the mangrove swamps and tropical hammocks in the park’s upland areas offer visitors a unique experience, it is the coral reefs and their associated marine life that bring most visitors to the park. Many enjoy the view of the reef from a glass bottom boat tour, but visitors get the best experience by snorkeling and diving.
10. Walk Down Duval Street
The famous downtown Street in Key West is Duval Street. Plenty to see and eat and buy on this little strip of heaven that runs north and south from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean. From shore to shore this street runs about a mile in length. Near the southern terminus of Duval Street is the buoy marker for the southernmost spot in the United States!!! A great tourist attraction and spot for pictures and it is not too far from the southernmost house, a striking Victorian architecture mansion built in 1896. There is plenty to do and lots to see on this lively street.