Florida is great for finding outdoors, back-to-nature adventures. Despite the explosive growth in recent years, there are still plenty of wilderness areas to explore. None more so than in the Florida Keys … from Key Largo to Key West eco-travel adventures abound. The Keys are also known as the Conch Republic because, in a not-so-serious attempt, they seceded from the United States for a couple of days in 1982. There is even a flag.
Naturally, in an area surrounded by water, adventures out on the water are available all along the Keys. Kayaking, stand-up paddle boards, fishing charters, and kayak fishing, diving on the reefs, are all readily available in the Keys. If you’re a cyclist there is the Overseas Heritage bike trail, a paved trail that runs over 90 miles, following the route of the old rail line that connected Miami to Key West.
Everything in the Keys is measured by mile markers along U.S. Highway 1, so follow along as we take you from Mile Marker 106 in Key Largo, to Mile Marker 0 in Key West.
The Upper Keys
1. Mile Marker 103 — Get Outdoors In Key Largo
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is located in Key Largo. Here you can dive the offshore reef system. There are outfitters for both SCUBA and snorkel divers, and they take you to the best spots along the reef, which is located in 20-30 feet of water in most places.
Working with Florida Bay Outfitters you can rent kayaks and stand-up paddle boards. The waters around the park are usually pretty calm, protected by the reef.
There is also a campground at Pennekamp for tents and RVs. Wear mosquito repellent and beware of aggressive food stealing raccoons in the campground.
On the other side of the road is Florida Bay, with shallow and protected waters. Kayak fishing is popular in the bay. The mangroves provide scenic kayak and paddle board trips in the waters of the Everglades.
2. Mile Marker 91 — Head To Tavernier For Two-Wheeled Adventures
Key Largo Bike and Adventure Tours can set you up with bike tour packages. It offers anything from one day to multi-day tours of the Keys. Casual riders can stick to the Heritage Trail for a scenic day trip, separated from traffic. More experienced riders can choose to ride on U.S. 1, some going as far as Key West. It offers a Keys Bike Guide that gives you information about the different bike routes and tour packages.
3. Mile Marker 82 — Angle In Islamorada
Islamorada bills itself as the “sport fishing capital of the world,” with a large charter fleet to take anglers on deep sea fishing trips in the Atlantic. Local restaurants are happy to prepare your catch of the day.
There are several small state parks in Islamorada. The Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological Park is actually an abandoned quarry, which was used to mine rock for some of the bridges on the Overseas Railroad. The Lignumvitae Key Botanical State Park has tropical forest and hiking trails. Here you will find the monument to those who died in the catastrophic 1935 hurricane.
4. Mile Marker 78 — Kayak To History
Indian Key Historic Park is located just offshore on the Atlantic side of the highway. It’s a short kayak paddle to see what remains of a once-thriving village. The main business on Indian Key was “wrecking,” the salvaging of boats and cargos that ran aground on the reefs. You can walk the streets and see the foundations of what used to be homes and businesses. The island was abandoned after the hurricane of 1935.
5. Mile Marker 68 — Stay Awhile At Long Key
Long Key State Park offers camping, hiking, and paddling. The park was originally a luxury fish camp that was a popular stop for the Overseas Railroad. The fish camp was an attraction to the rich and famous who stopped to try their luck at saltwater fishing. The camp and the railroad were washed away in the 1935 hurricane. The state park opened in 1969.
The Middle Keys (A Good Resting Point)
6. Mile Marker 61 — Splash Around On Duck Key
Duck Key is home to Hawk’s Cay Resort, a good midway point along the Keys highway. The resort offers watersports like kayaking and paddle boarding. There are boat excursions to the reef and sandbar just offshore in the Atlantic. You can also sign up for saltwater fishing trips.
7. Mile Marker 56 — Head Into The Wilderness At Curry Hammock
Curry Hammock State Park is on an uninhabited island on the Atlantic side of U.S. 1. There are mangrove forests, hardwood hammocks, swamps, and seagrass beds… a relatively unspoiled ecosystem. The park has a campground, beach, and nature trails. There is a kayak trail that leads paddlers through the mangroves and circumnavigates the entire island.
8. Mile Marker 50 — Maximize Marathon, The Keys’ Midpoint
Sombrero Beach is arguably the best sand beach in the Keys. The Keys are mainly a coral rock formation, and not known for sandy beaches. Sombrero is popular with locals, and out-of-town visitors have to know how to find it because it isn’t widely publicized.
Marathon is another spot for finding deep sea fishing charters. You can also try your luck at kayak fishing, especially under Seven Mile Bridge as fish swim with the tides washing in and out between the Atlantic and Florida Bay.
Seven Mile Bridge was originally built in the early 1900s as a long railroad trestle spanning the widest channel in the Keys. The railroad was destroyed by the 1935 hurricane, and work to replace it with the highway was started under the Civilian Conservation Corp of the Great Depression era. Most of the workers were unemployed veterans of World War 1, and many perished in the hurricane. The modern bridge opened in 1982.
9. Mile Marker 37 — Noted Sunrises And Sunsets
Bahia Honda State Park is located a short distance south of Seven Mile Bridge. It has two campgrounds, one primarily for RVs, the other for tent campers. There is a long, gently sloping beach which is great for families with small children. The water is shallow and protected by the offshore reef. You will also find the remnants of the railroad bridge that spans the deepest channel in the Keys. Park visitors can walk the bridge to observe beautiful sunrises and sunsets.
10. Mile Marker 31 — Where Key Deer Roam
Big Pine Key is home to the endangered diminutive Key Deer, a species no bigger than a greyhound dog and found only here. The highway has high fencing to keep deer off the road, but you can easily find the deer grazing along neighborhood roads and streets off the main highway.
This area of the Keys has some of the best kayaking trails. There are lots of small islands and mangrove forests on the bayside of the island. The water here is very shallow in spots so you have to be aware of the tide schedules to avoid being stranded and having to drag your kayak to a deeper channel. I recommend the guide book, Kayaking The Keys by Kathleen Patton, University Press, available from Amazon.
South of Big Pine Key there are a number of smaller Keys, some inhabited, some not. The kayaking in these areas is outstanding. Hire a guide and try fishing on the bayside for snook, the popular game fish.
The Lower Keys Mean Party Time
11. Mile Marker 9 — Restricted Access
Boca Chica Key is home to the Key West Naval Air Station, which is a prime air-to-air combat training post. The Navy has had a station on the Key going back to the 1820s when the primary mission was to stop piracy. Much of the Key is restricted access but there is a little-used highway on the Atlantic side of the Key that makes for great bicycling.
12. Mile Marker 0 — Funky Key West
At last, you have arrived! Mile Marker 0 is the place for your ubiquitous selfie pictures in Key West. You will always find a crowd of people angling to get in the picture.
Duval Street is the main street through Key West, lined with bars, restaurants, and gift shops. Here you will find Sloppy Joe’s, Ernest Hemingway’s old haunt. It seems every bar on the street has a guitar-playing singer crooning Jimmy Buffett songs.
Mallory Square is the place to go for sunsets, but be warned, it gets very crowded and has become overly touristy. You will find panhandling musicians, jugglers, stilt walkers, and other exotic entertainment. The Square even has its own website. The Shops At Mallory Square include boutiques and art galleries. A lot has changed since the hippy hangout days of the 70s.
Dry Tortugas National Park
Just because you reached Mile Marker 0 doesn’t mean your adventures are over. Hop aboard the Yankee Freedom ferry in Key West and take the 3-hour boat ride to Fort Jefferson and the Dry Tortugas National Park.
The Dry Tortugas is a chain of seven small islands about 70 miles west of Key West. It’s home to Fort Jefferson, built as a southern waters defense fort in the 1840s. The fort was never used for defense by the military and later became a federal prison where Samuel Mudd, the doctor who treated John Wilkes Booth, was jailed.
Most people visit for a day trip, giving them a scant few hours to explore the fort and Garden Key, the island the fort is built on. But there is another option. Camping is permitted on the island. It is very primitive, with no water, no electricity. You have to pack in all the food, water, and camping supplies that you need.
Even if you’re just daytripping, bring plenty of water. There is none on the island. That’s why they are called the DRY Tortugas.
The Florida Keys are America’s tropical island getaway. The best way to travel there is driving on U.S. 1 from the Upper Keys to Key West. Don’t try to make the trip in one day. Stop often, enjoy all the Keys has to offer. My recommendation is, if you have a week’s vacation, spend 2 days in each of the Upper and Middle Keys, and 3 days in Key West, including a day trip to the Dry Tortugas.
— Update: 01-01-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article 29+ PERFECT THINGS TO DO IN KEY WEST FOR EVERY TYPE OF TRAVELER from the website 365atlantatraveler.com for the keyword adventurous things to do in key west.
If you’re heading way down South, we’ve got the perfect list of things to do in Key West has to offer every type of traveler.
We’re going to share our top picks — tours we love, things for cruise ship stops, what we recommend for visiting with kids, touring on the cheap, hanging with your girlfriends, or managing a rainy day.
Grab your favorite fruity drink, and let’s get planning your Key West, Florida vacation!
OUR TOP KEY WEST PICKS
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These are our absolute favorite things to do whenever we’re lucky enough to be visiting Key West.
CONCH TRAIN TOUR
The Conch Train is an absolute must-do! It’s been around since 1958, and it’s still one of Florida’s most popular attractions.
The open-air Conch Train takes you around Key West, with hop on/off options allowing you to explore and learn simultaneously. We recommend making this your first adventure so that you get a lay of the land, and an understanding of the culture and history of the island.
Skip the Line: Key West Conch Train Tour
FURY WATER ADVENTURES
There are just so many options with Fury Water Adventures, from snorkeling to sunset rides. Our favorite experience was opting for BOTH on the Rum & Reggae Snorkel Sunset Combo.
We rode out to the reef, enjoying antics from the crew the entire way! Such a fun group. Then we snorkeled the reef — even seeing a lemon shark! Great music was blaring and everyone was dancing and cutting up.
After rounding up all the snorkelers, the crew poured copious amounts of Rum Punch, plus beers (and sodas for the kiddos). About a half-hour from hitting shore, the boat slowed and we experienced a glorious sunset on the water!
Whether you are a couple with no kids (like most everyone on this excursion) or you have kiddos yourself (we were one of about 4 other families) this is SUCH a fun experience! Heck, this is the ONLY coral reef in the U.S., and the 3rd largest in the world. You must, must, must head out to experience it.
Need to knows: You can bring your own gear, but unless you’re a professional, their gear will be better. Trust me. Bring towels and a sweatshirt, the wind gets cold when the sun goes down and you are wet. Bring snacks for the kiddos. You’re onboard for 3 hours total…and snorkeling is hard work. Bring a cash tip for the crew (about $10 per person is customary). You will want to tip them – they are amazing and make this one of the best businesses to work with in Key West.
But Your Tickets Now: Rum and Reggae Afternoon Snorkel and Sunset
In our opinion, the best money-saving option for exploring the city is the Key West Sightseeing Pass. Pick the FLEX Pass, and then select from 7+ different attractions, big and small.
The Hemingway House was the residency of Ernest Hemingway when he lived in Key West, and is now a museum. Because of the stories about 6-toed cats…and The Old Man and The Sea being one of my favorite books of all time, well we HAD to visit!
With the kids, we opted to forego the guided tour and roam around ourselves. I wish the boys had the patience for the full tour, but it was a late afternoon and I was already pressing my luck. We still learned quite a bit by reading placards and eavesdropping on other tours.
The stories about the 6-toed cats are true! Descendants of Hemingway’s original 6-toed feline roam the property (there is even a cemetery for those who have passed). Some are shy, but others will take all the affection you can offer.
Featured Tour: Hemingway’s Life and Local Food Walking Tour
KEY LIME PIE
Having Key Lime Pie is a must when you are in the Florida Keys, and there are a lot of options available. I wish I could tell you that I had time to nosh my way through the city, ranking each option as I progressed…but in all honesty, we only visited Kermit’s – as recommended by Facebook readers and friends. I’m not sure how it could have been any tastier, though!
There are a few locations — including one in DeLand, which is where our 18-day Florida road trip began — but we opted for the original in Key West. It did not disappoint! We had a slice of key lime pie, a key limonade, key lime taffy, and a frozen key lime drink!
Featured Tour: 3-Hour Guided Bicycle Tour with Key Lime Pie
THINGS TO DO IN KEY WEST WHEN IT RAINS
Florida is known for getting a lot of rain, but that doesn’t mean there still isn’t plenty to do! Here are our favorite places to go when the rain starts falling.
KEY WEST AQUARIUM
At Key West Aquarium, you’ll find sharks, stingrays, an alligator exhibit, jellyfish, and a sea turtle conservation tour, too!
Plan your trip to Key West Aquarium at the right time of day so you can feed the sharks! They also have a touch tank, and multiple shows that go on throughout the day.
The aquarium is pretty small as aquariums go, but all the fun offerings make it a great place to visit — whether it’s raining outside or not.
Skip the Lines: Key West Aquarium Tickets
KEY WEST BUTTERFLY AND NATURE CONSERVATORY
When it’s raining outside (and even when it’s not) you’ll find nothing but sunshine in the Butterfly Conservatory. Stroll through the conservatory where hundreds of butterflies and birds fly among tropical plants, waterfalls, trees, and you!
Don’t miss the short film before you go in! My boys adored the bright gift shop with so many interesting items for nature-lovers.
TRUMAN’S LITTLE WHITE HOUSE
In the late 40s/early 50s when Harry Truman was president, The Little White House served as the White House for him during the winter months. The home then continued to be a place of relaxation for presidents and dignitaries after that. In fact, it’s called a “living museum” because it continues to host functions for government officials today.
You can tour the Truman Annex area of the house every 20 minutes or so, getting a look into his private life and politics in America during his presidency.
Skip the Lines: Truman Little White House
FIRST LEGAL RUM DISTILLERY
When it rains in Key West, you drink! Key West’s First Legal Rum Distillery runs free tours every 20 minutes from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., and your kids and pets are welcome, too. If you miss the guided tour, you are welcome to tour on your own.
The real fun, though, comes at 4:30 Monday – Saturday. They offer a free Mojito class and tasting. These guys trained in Mojito-making in Cuba, and they want to teach you how to do it right!
THINGS TO DO IN KEY WEST KEY WEST WITH THE KIDS
Key West is not just a place for adults to have fun — there’s plenty to do for the littlest members of your party too!
SHIPWRECK TREASURE MUSEUM
Arrrrgh! No trip to Key West with kids is complete without a visit to the Shipwreck Museum, where kids can learn all about the Key West Pirates!
Take a guided tour, or just walk at your own pace through the museum to check out all of the artifacts. The museum has actors, films, and actual artifacts from a vessel that sank in the reef in 1856! You can also go into the basement where you are actually below Sea Level. Spooky!
Our favorite part about the museum was climbing to the top of the tower so we could look out over all of Key West. Buy Tickets Now!
Skip the Lines: Key West Shipwreck Treasure Museum Tickets
KEY WEST TROPICAL FOREST & BOTANICAL GARDEN
The Key West Tropical Garden is the only frost-free, natural conservation habitat, botanical garden in the continental United States.
After you watch the short video, pick up a garden guide that describes the eight self-guided information tours, two wetland habitats and two butterfly gardens! Kids are free with an adult ticket.
LAGERHEADS BEACH BAR
I won’t lie – Lagerheads saved the day for us. If you travel with kids, you know that you can only cram so much into one day. Just as the boys reached a breaking point — you know, they were weary and hangry — we came across Lagerheads.
It’s tucked in a backstreet, so there weren’t many people there. Grab a lawn chair on the sandy beach and relax while the kids frolic in the water.
We ordered some snacks and a few drinks, and relaxed here for a good hour or so…with no hurry and no schedule…giving everyone time to re-energize. We didn’t do this, but you can also rent hydro-bikes here — which would be a super fun way to end a day.
Good food, a great atmosphere, live music, and fun activities for the whole family? No wonder it’s Key West’s favorite beach bar.
LUCY’S RETIRED SURFERS BAR
Lucy’s has a few locations around the world, but don’t let that stop you. It’s still a spot the locals adore – and so did we!
Go in the evening and get a table outside where you can enjoy the Key West vibe and live music. The musician the night we were there was Ike Kanakanui, and he was amazingly talented! He even gave the boys a tambourine and maracas to play along with him!
I highly recommend you stop here – it was the best food and the best prices we experienced in Key West. Get the Tsunami Tuna Salad, for sure…and a Flamingo Punch! Yum!
In our opinion, the best money-saving option for exploring the city is the Key West Sightseeing Pass. Pick the FLEX Pass, and then select from 7+ different attractions, big and small.
FREE AND CHEAP THINGS TO DO IN KEY WEST
Want to know a secret? Some of the best things in Key West are free (or almost free)! Here are our favorites.
SOUTHERNMOST POINT OF THE US
When people think of what to do in Key West this always comes to mind. Is it exciting? No. But do you have to do it? Yes!
We planned to stop by on the way back to the hotel one day, but the line was so long! Like…around-the-block long. Why? Cruise ships! The best thing to do is go early in the morning, so that’s what we did – the second time. We were in the area about 8:15ish — you’re close to White Street, so stop there and grab a Cuban coffee to go — then drive over to the point.
Before 8:30 there is plenty of street parking available, and no lines. We had one person in front of us, and then almost immediately 2 people behind us. You don’t want to be by yourself anyway – someone has to take the photo! Just swap cameras with the other people in line.
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ECO DISCOVERY CENTER
The Key West Eco Discovery Center is a 6,400-foot environmental facility where visitors can experience the underwater eco system of the area – all without getting wet!
The Eco Discovery Center features interactive exhibits, films, a reef tank, and a mock-up of Aquarius — the world’s only underwater ocean laboratory.
It showcases the local underwater habitats and upland barriers, and gives you special insight into the nearby living, contiguous barrier coral reef. It’s a great place to visit before the Fury reef tour we mention above! And it’s free!
MALLORY SQUARE SUNSET CELEBRATION
Come down to Duvall Street and Mallory Square about an hour before the sunset (give or take ) to catch the street performers, watch the sunset, and celebrate with the locals and tourists at Sunset Celebration.
There are performers swallowing swords, walking on tight ropes, and doing all sorts of tricks – it’s tradition. Once the sun starts going down, find a place along the wall to sit and take it in!
While you are there, be sure to walk over to the Memorial Sculpture Garden. It features 36 cast bronze busts of the men and women who have had the greatest impact on Key West.
FORT ZACHARY TAYLOR STATE PARK
Fort Zachary Taylor State Park is an old fort that you can walk around and explore. It’s a cool experience to see and imagine how the soldiers used to live here. You can also climb the stairs to the top of West Martello Tower to get a great ocean view.
There is a big area at the back of the parking lot where you can tailgate or set up your own picnic looking out over the ocean. This is also an amazing place to catch the sunset. As the sun sets, you get to see all of the sunset cruise sailboats trying to give their passengers the best view.
Smathers Beach is located on the Atlantic side and is off of A1A. Key West isn’t generally known for its beaches, but this is a nice one – and the largest, and a half-mile. If you only do one public beach while here, make it this one.
You can rent chairs and umbrellas and water toys here. Plus there is a nice bike trail/sidewalk right off the beach. You could easily ride your bike here, hang out at the beach, then get back on your bike to ride to a restaurant or to head into Key West.
PS. Traveling with a four-legged friend. Check out this post for dog-friendly beaches.
Higgs Beach Park is truly unique on many fronts as it hosts the only shore-accessible underwater marine park in the United States and is also the terminus of the Florida Overseas Heritage Trail, one of only 31 nationally designated All American Highways in the United States.
HISTORIC SEAPORT AT KEY WEST BIGHT
The Seaport is just a great place to walk around, do some shopping, and grab a bite.
There are catamaran and tall ship sailing excursions that leave from here, so the boat-watching is beautiful. There is also a neat museum highlighting the island’s history!
COMING OFF A CRUISE SHIP
Take advantage of the time you have away from the ship with these awesome stops.
Find a local coffee stand and purchase a Cuban coffee. You’re only 90 miles from Cuba — now’s the time to do it!! I guarantee once you have one, you will want to have another one. They really are addicting – and oh-so-good!
You can sign up for a pub crawl excursion with your cruise ship — but why not go on your own?
Start at Schooner Wharf Bar for their morning happy hour. It’s where you will get a taste of true old Key West.
Captain Tony’s is another stop you need to make. It was established in 1851 as an icehouse, and then Key West’s first morgue! It also includes the “hanging tree,” which was used to kill 16 pirates, plus a woman who killed her family. After several other transformations, it finally became a bar – said to have been frequented religiously by men who need no first name introductions – Hemingway, Capote, Silverstein, Williams and Buffet.
Green Parrot was voted the best bar in Key West. You’ll want to check out any events going on – like a Poetry Slam or a Divorce Celebration. Leave your pretense at the door.
Finally, muster up to the bar at Hog’s Breath Saloon. You’ll love the live music and a Hogarita!
KEY WEST SCAVENGER HUNT
How did Old City Hall become one of the city’s oldest treasures? Which world-famous writer hung out on Duval Street? Find out on a scavenger hunt around Key West — it doesn’t require a tour guide, and you can do it at your own pace!
We adore Let’s Roam for their scavenger hunts, and their Key West hunt is no exception. It’s by far the easiest way to learn the MAX about this awesome place while mastering your own schedule.
Visit the Audubon House, and its glorious tropical gardens, ride the Conch Train, or climb the 88 steps at the Key West Lighthouse Museum. Word on the street is that parasailing and the Conch Train Ride are the most popular options for cruisers.
RECOMMENDED FOR TOUR-LOVERS
When we travel, our FAVORITE way to explore a new city is with a tour. We couldn’t take all the tours on our 3-day visit to Key West, but here are some from a partner we know and trust.
These are great ways to explore the island (and save some money)!
Key West Cocktail Crawl : Sip, stroll, and party your way through Old Key West as you sample some of the best drinks in town.
Guided Old Town Bike Tour: Take a leisurely bike ride on this guided tour that will hit all the local hot spots, provide great photo opportunities, and ends with a slice of Key Lime Pie.
Tropical Fruit Bike Tour: This is a tropical bike ride tour down quiet streets and hidden alleyways. You’ll also have a chance to taste fruits right from the trees — like coconut, mangoes, and key limes.
Southern Food Tasting & Cultural Walking Tour: Your guide will take you to six of the best local eateries, while explaining the history of the city along the way.
Seafood Lover’s Tasting & Cultural Walking Tour: Explore the beautiful city, making stops at five eateries along the way. You’ll enjoy fish tacos, a Cuban sandwich, and other local delicacies.
Private Harbor Day Sail Aboard the High Tide: This 90-minute, private sightseeing cruise is a great way to experience the beauty of Key West with your family and friends.
Half Day Deer & Wildlife Tour: This 3.5 hour tour takes you to explore the world-famous Bahia Honda State Park & walk on a historic railroad bridge, photograph endangered Key Deer on Big Pine Key, and search for alligators in the Blue Hole.
DAY TRIPS AND FULL-DAY FUN
DRY TORTUGAS NATIONAL PARK
When putting your list together of things to do in Key West, this should be at the top. It is expensive and will take all day, but my friends at Crazy Family Adventure say it’s totally worth it.
The Dry Tortugas are located 70 miles off of Key West and is a true paradise. You have to take a 2-hour boat ride to get there – and it is choppy – so bring your Dramamine. But once you pull up to the island — it’s all worth it!
There is an old fort on the island that you can explore (Fort Jefferson), beautiful beaches, snorkeling, and a ton of conch shells to find (you can’t keep them – but they are still fun to find).
You can either go for a day trip or you can plan on camping there for a few nights. Plan to catch the YANKEE FREEDOM III FERRY from Key West Historic Seaport. Head out on the open deck, or take a seat in the air-conditioned cabin.
Planning a National Parks road trip? The America the Beautiful Pass covers entrance for an entire year to all the US National Parks and over 2,000 federal recreation fee sites. Fees are covered for everyone in the car for per-vehicle sites and for up to 4 adults for per-person sites. This is a no-brainer, friends. While fees vary, you’ll likely break-even after two visits. Plus, REI will donate 10% of pass sale proceeds to the NPS Foundation.
FURY ULTIMATE ADVENTURE
This Fury Ultimate Adventure trip should NOT be missed! It is a 6-hour catamaran boat ride that will take you snorkeling, jet skiing, parasailing, and to an inflatable playground in the middle of the ocean. It is all you can drink (soda and water – then beer and wine after you are done jet skiing,) and they provide breakfast, lunch and snacks. You can get a ton of adventures marked off your bucket list in one day!
You may think that 6 hours sounds like a long time, but when our trip was done, we weren’t ready to get off and could’ve stayed on longer! The crew does an amazing job making you feel comfortable, and with all of the activities — you are never bored.
You do have to sail to the snorkeling destination, and then go for a little ways to get Fury’s “island,” where they have the jet skis, parasailing, and water playground. So be prepared for that.
Also bring tip money for the parasailing crew, and know that the food they provide is OK but nothing to special. So if you have dietary restrictions, you may want to bring your own food. As a side note — kids under 6 get on the boat for FREE, but you have to be at least 6 to go parasailing.
If there is one trip I would recommend doing with your family to get out on the water when you are in Key West — the Fury Ultimate Adventure is it. Pick a day, book it, and enjoy!
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO KEY WEST
- YOUR FLORIDA VACATION
- WHERE TO EAT: Where to Eat in Key West [including local favorites]
- HOTEL LAUREATE: Review of Hotel Laureate Key West: Family Suites in the Florida Keys
- SUNSET CRUISES: THE BEST FLORIDA KEYS SUNSET CRUISES
- MORE THINGS TO DO: 4 Can’t Be Missed Fascinating Places To Visit In Key West
- SEA ANIMALS: 3 Places To See Enchanting Sea Animals In Key West, Florida
- FLORIDA BEACHES: 25+ Best Family Vacation Destinations
- BEST OF FLORIDA: 20+ Things To Do In Florida On The Ultimate Sunshine State Road Trip
- NPS ROAD TRIP IDEAS: 6 EPIC NATIONAL PARK ROAD TRIP IDEAS [MAPS INCLUDED]
- FLORIDA ROAD TRIP: 31 AMAZING PLACES YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS
OUR ACCOMMODATION PARTNERS
While hotels are abundant here, we cannot recommend Havana Cabana more highly! They are spectacular! Great rooms, great location – and Key West’s largest pool!!
— Update: 02-01-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article Outdoor Things To Do In Key West from the website www.furycat.com for the keyword adventurous things to do in key west.
Key West is home to sunshine, blue waters and a multitude of watersports. If sunbathing on the beach with a margarita isn’t for you, there are plenty of other outdoor activities in Key West for you. Whether you’re looking for high-adrenaline, action-packed activities, laid-back experiences or anything in between, you set the pace. The warm, tropical climate means you can play outside all year long, and there’s no shortage of fun to be had including romantic sunset cruises, dolphin watching tours, exploring the wonders of the reef and much more.
Cruise on the Water
Warm up with an awesome 90-minute Jet Ski tour. You’ll motor around the island on a 28 mile tour that takes you through the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean and past must-see attractions like Mallory Square and the Southernmost Point Buoy. On this guided tour, you’ll have the opportunity to carve up the water and also chill out while taking a dip at a sandbar beach and observing the local wildlife. One of the top outdoor activities in Key West, Jet Ski tours are the perfect adventure for both beginners and experienced riders. Feel the wind in your hair as you make some waves while exploring and discovering some of the most scenic spots on the island. You’ll make unforgettable vacation memories and see Key West from the water, as it was meant to be seen! (Jet Ski Tours are subject to change due to weather conditions)
Fly Like a Bird
For those looking to let up on the throttle, try parasailing. Escape the hustle and bustle while your boat captain guides you high above the water’s surface. Soar 300 feet in the sky on 600 feet of line for a bird’s eye view of Key West and the beautiful waters surrounding the island. Gentle takeoffs, dry landings and the option for a quick ocean dip on the way back ensure that you get the experience you’re dreaming of when you parasail with Fury. Enjoy the incredible tranquility and peacefulness of floating above the crystal sea, among the clouds–it’s unlike anything you’ve ever done before!
Strap on a Mask and Fins
Once you’ve explored the surface of Key West, it’s time to head underwater. Seven miles offshore lays the third largest coral reef in the world. This snorkeling haven allows you to swim in open water with yellow-tail snappers, parrot-fish and colorful coral. Keep your eyes peeled! You might even spot sharks and stingrays. The reef in Key West is home to an abundance of colorful marine animals who are just as curious about you as you are of them–which means you may get a chance to meet some of them face-to-face. Our state-of-the-art catamarans feature a stairway to the sea, making it easy to get in and out of the water. And once you’re in, get ready to be awed by the sights beneath you.
Paddle the Day Away
Spend the day like a local on Fury’s Island Adventure! We’ll transport you to a remote oasis out at sea where you can hop in a kayak and explore the backcountry. Enjoy the incredible beauty of this secluded area among lush mangroves and striking natural beauty. Try your hand at paddle boarding and snorkeling in the warm crystal waters. Soak in the sun on a sandbar or relax in the shallow waters and keep an eye out for some of our most popular residents–bottlenose dolphins and sea turtles. It’s a day of sea, sun and serenity that’s among the top outdoor things to do in Key West!
See to the Bottom of the Sea
If you’re wanting a water adventure that’s a bit more laid back, then the glass bottom boat might be the right excursion for you. Enjoy the wonders of the coral reef all in the comfort and safety of an air-conditioned, state of the art glass bottom boat with “windows to the sea.” Every seat in the cabin offers a front-row view to the fascinating underwater world that thrives beneath the boat, so everyone has the chance to witness the majesty of the reef without ever getting wet. Onboard naturalists make the experience even more exciting by sharing interesting facts about the wildlife that lives on the reef. Climb aboard and get ready for a unique Key West outing you’ll always remember.
Looking for some more outdoor fun on land after a day on the water?
Have Lunch at the Historic Seaport
This popular area of Key West has plenty of walk-able sightseeing and in addition, several waterfront restaurants where you can enjoy delicious Key West seafood along with a spectacular view. Take a stroll along the seawall to watch the boats sailing by and witness local fisherman pulling into the dock with the day’s catch. Be sure to stop at Fisherman’s Cafe–a walk-up eatery that has a rich history dating back to the 1970s. Order one of their top dishes including Lobster Enchilau Tacos or Cracked Conch Salad–among the many specialities that is made to order from the freshest local seafood. (Fisherman’s Cafe Window Service Is Temporarily Closed)
Enjoy a Drink at a Beach Bar
Follow Simonton Street all the way down to the beach & you’ll find Lagerheads Beach Bar. Order your beverage of choice and sip on it with your feet in the sand and the sea breeze in your face. This local hangout is home to an array of outdoor activities, live music, great food and a laid-back Key West vibe. Bring a beach blanket or chair and stick around until the sun begins to set, it’s one of the top places to witness the dramatic Key West sunset over the water.
Watch the World Famous Key West Sunset at Mallory Square
Home of the famous Sunset Celebration that occurs nightly all year long, Mallory Square is a must-visit on your Key West vacation itinerary. Arrive in the late afternoon to enjoy the shenanigans, there are street performers, arts and craft vendors, delicious food and drinks and much more to take part in. Order a conch fritter and a frosty margarita, then find your spot on the edge of the seawall to discover why the Key West sunset is revered as one of the most beautiful on the planet.
Experience All The Things On The Water with Fury’s Ultimate Adventure H2.0
July is historically one of the warmest months of the year in South Florida and temperatures will hover above 85 degrees on the regular. That means many of the locals and visitors of Key West like to cool off in the surrounding waters (and local bars)! Fury offers an all-day Ultimate Adventure H2.0 that combines our most popular watersports with refreshing beverages and fun times cruising on a state-of-the-art catamaran. Lucky for you, we have added a brand new expansive waterpark and a thrilling banana boat ride to maximize your adventure! The trip runs everyday from 10:30am-4:30pm. Reserve your spot now on this very popular trip!
Take Memorable Photos at the Southernmost Point
Believe it or not, the Southernmost Point buoy is one of the most photographed spots in Key West. It’s here, at this massive, colorful concrete buoy, that people gather to capture their vacation memories. Just 90 miles from this spot to Cuba, the iconic landmark is one of those authentic outdoor activities that you cannot do anywhere else on earth. Located at the Corner of Whitehead and South Streets, it’s the Southernmost Point of the Continental USA, where the pavement ends and the water begins! Don’t miss seeing it!
Lay Out on a Sandbar like a Local
Surrounded by sparkling aquamarine waters, Key West is the top destination for outdoor activities, including sunning on the beach as the tide rolls in. For a truly unique experience, hop on Fury’s catamaran for the Island Adventure–where you’ll spend the day discovering spots that only the locals know about. In the backcountry, you’ll enjoy snorkeling, relaxing on a sandbar and explore the mangroves on a guided kayak tour.
Stroll Through the Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden
A haven of natural beauty, the Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden is the only frost-free botanical garden in the continental United States. Here, you can stroll through a tropical forest where rare butterflies and migratory birds flit and flutter above and where you can walk amongst indigenous and endangered flora and fauna. Take a self-guided tour of the lovely flowers, lush plants and trees and two wetland habitats as well as two butterfly gardens. This unique sanctuary is the perfect outdoor activity for those with an appreciation for nature.
Explore the Island by Bike
Rent a bike from Fury and enjoy exploring the island at your own pace. Ride through historic downtown, stop in one of the many restaurants and pubs for breakfast or lunch and visit some of the many unique shops for a Key West souvenir. Fury bike rentals are available daily and weekly and include everything you need–helmets and locks and keys–so you can peddle your way around and enjoy all the sights and attractions without worrying about parking. As you ride around town, you’ll find it’s one of the best ways to see Key West and experience all the most popular spots.