Key West has no shortage of things to see and do. The island has plenty of water activities like snorkeling, diving and fishing, as well as museums, shows, tours, bars and restaurants. For first-time visitors, choosing what activities to participate in can be overwhelming. This two-day itinerary outlines some of Key West’s must-dos. In addition to the popular sites and attractions, there are a few under-the-radar activities that will take you off the typical tourist path for a chance to explore some of the hidden gems of the island.
Sunset kayak fishing in Key West — Photo courtesy of Kayak Kings Key West
After you arrive in a new area, it takes some time to get an idea where everything. City View Trolley Tours allows tourists to hop and hop off when they see something that interests them. Kids ride free, and adult tickets are $19 when purchased in advance. The trolleys travel past Higgs Beach, Duval Street, Clinton Square and the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center, a lesser-visited jewel that is free to enter.
It’s not difficult to find happy hour in Key West. When that magical time rolls around, head down to the Boathouse for killer happy hour specials and a beautiful waterfront setting. From there, you’ll have your pick of restaurants in the Historical Seaport, where fresh fish is on every menu.
After dinner, head to the Green Parrot for live entertainment by talented musicians. Or swing by the tourist magnet Sloppy Joe’s, perhaps the most well-known bar in Key West.
Grab breakfast at Blue Heaven - if you don’t mind waiting for a table. If you’d rather not wait, newcomer Colombian Grace is nearby and serves brunch on weekends. After breakfast, hop aboard the Schooner Appledore - a classic 86-foot windjammer - for a scenic cruise and snorkeling tour and lunch.
Next, head down to Mallory Square for souvenir shopping, and stick around for the sunset celebration. Every night, street performers put on a dazzling display as the sun dips below the horizon. Entertainment acts include cats jumping through hoops of fire, jugglers, sword-swallowers, balloon artists, food vendors and more.
Another draw to Key West is the vibrant LGBT community. Several clubs in the area offer drag queen bingo and drag shows. Check out the Crystal Ballroom for outstanding performers and lots of laughs.
If shows aren’t your thing but you are looking for a unique evening attraction, try nightboarding, a new activity offered by Ibis Bay Resort. Illuminated paddleboards float along the bay and make for a peaceful activity for a low-key evening.
Or, if you are lucky enough to be in Key West for the full moon, do not miss Kayak Kings of Key West's full moon paddle through mangrove mazes. It's sure to be an adventurous experience that you will not soon forget.