Best and Fun Things to Do in the Florida Keys

Looking for the best things to do in the Florida Keys?? Here’s the list with all the travel information that you need to plan a family tour.

One of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States is the Florida Keys. A string of tropical islands, the Keys stretch from just south of Miami to the uninhabited Dry Tortugas National Park, 70 miles west of Key West.

While the Florida Keys are not particularly crowded, there are plenty of places to eat and drink. The ambiance is relaxing and laid-back. 

Let’s discover the complete list of the best and most fun things to do in the Florida Keys. Just check and add them to your bucket list.

Things to Do in the Florida Keys

1. Things to Do in the Florida Keys: Dry Tortugas National Park, Key West

Located in the Gulf of Mexico, Dry Tortugas National Park in Key West, Florida is a must-see destination.

Things to Do in the Florida Keys Dry Tortugas National Park, Key West
Dry Tortugas National Park, Key West

The seven islands of the Dry Tortugas National Park are only accessible by seaplane. And these islands are home to protected coral reefs. So, there is much to do on these small islands, including scuba diving and snorkeling.

Visitors will want to take a tour of Garden Key, with its 19th century Fort Jefferson and beach. Other highlights include Loggerhead Key, with its lighthouse and sea turtles.

You can snorkel with a stingray or see a dolphin in the clear water. For those who like to kayak, you’ll love the quiet solitude of the Bush Keys.

Paddleboarders can reach remote areas in just a few hours. You’ll also find water paddles in the Bush Keys. Or you can even kayak across the deep open water to the Loggerhead Key.

On the other hand, Dry Tortugas National Park area is home to over 200 avian species, including hundreds of species that migrate in the winter and spring.

In fact, at peak migration, you may see up to 70 species in a single day. So, you’ll find a wide variety of birds here, including the majestic frigatebird, masked booby, and sooty terns. (Sooty terns can be found in Bush and Windjammer Wreck, with their abundant marine life.)

You’ll have a great time seeing the diversity of life in the region!

Address: Dry Tortugas National Park, Key West, FL 33040, United States    Phone: (305) 294-7009

2. Things to Do in the Florida Keys: Higgs Beach, Key West

A small beach with a pier and monuments marks the site of an African slave cemetery from the 1800s. You can enjoy a day at the beach while exploring the town. And you may even spot a turtle or two.

Things to Do in the Florida Keys Higgs Beach, Key West
Higgs Beach, Key West

This historical site is in the heart of Key West. The historic area of Higgs is worth a visit if you love history and culture.

In addition, if you visit during the day, you can view the incredible sunset over the Gulf of Mexico.

While hiking through Higgs Beach, make sure you don’t get lost. There are so many beautiful spots to explore. One of the best places to do this is to rent a kayak or other watercraft and head to the pier to go fishing. This is a great activity for families with young children.

If you’re going to have a party, you’ll want to stay at the Higgs Beach Pavilion. It has a playground, kayak rentals, and plenty of room for your group to hang out.

The shady coconut palms at Higgs Beach add a touch of sophistication to the beach. And the pier has volleyball nets, and the renovated wooden pier is perfect for catching rays.

There’s a small restaurant on the beach and free parking. Also, there are concrete picnic tables.

Address: 1000 Atlantic Blvd, Key West, FL 33040, United States    Phone: (305) 295-4385

3. Things to Do in the Florida Keys: Duval Street, Key West

The famous Duval Street in Key West, Florida is a 1.25 mile long commercial zoned street that runs from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico.

Things to Do in the Florida Keys Duval Street, Key West
Duval Street, Key West

This city got its name from William Pope, the first territorial governor of Florida, and is one of the most famous streets in the U.S. The area is known for its arts and crafts. And the name of the street is a testament to the unique character of the island.

If you’re interested in exploring the history of the island’s most popular thoroughfare, the “History of Duval Street: The Longest in the World” exhibition by the Key West Art & Historical Society will give you a window into the past.

Cori Convertito has curated the exhibit, which features historical photographs and re-enactments of Key Western’s past. While you’re there, be sure to visit the Old Town Trolley Museum, which houses an incredible collection of local art and a replica of Hemingway’s house.

Duval Street is dotted with pastel-colored Victorian estates, museums, local shops, and famous restaurants. The Conch Tour Train is a 90-minute narrated tour that offers a unique perspective on the history of the island.

Address: Duval Street, Key West, FL 33040, United States    Phone: (305) 395-8807

Things to Do in the Florida Keys

4. Anne’s Beach, Islamorada

One of Islamorada’s most popular beaches, Anne’s Beach is located on Lower Matecumbe Key. It’s dedicated to local environmentalist Anne Eaton and features two parking lots approximately 1/4 mile apart.

Anne’s Beach, Islamorada FL
Anne’s Beach, Islamorada

The beach is also lined with covered picnic tables, has a boardwalk, and has bathrooms. There are also restrooms and a snack bar on site. Therefore, it is great family-friendly.

If you’re planning a day trip to the area, you might want to consider a stay at Anne’s Beach.

It’s near mile marker 73.5 and offers plenty of sand to enjoy. It is a popular choice for day trips, but you can get there year-round, especially in the summer attracts a huge crowd.

The water is always clear and warm, so it’s ideal for swimming and sunbathing. While the beach itself isn’t crowded, it can get very busy.

On the other hand, you’ll find a variety of bird species here, including some rare bird species.

Despite the rocky shoreline, Anne’s Beach is a good choice for a day trip to Islamorada. And the island’s friendly atmosphere will make it easy to meet locals.

Address: Mile Marker 73.5 Lower Matecumbe Key, Islamorada, FL 33036, United States

Things to Do in the Florida Keys

5. Bahia Honda State Park, Big Pine Key

If you’re planning a family vacation, you may want to plan a day trip to Bahia Honda State Park in Big Pinkey.

Bahia Honda State Park, Big Pine Key
Bahia Honda State Park, Big Pine Key

This Florida park is known for its wildlife, especially sea turtles and bottle-nosed dolphins. There are also many species of birds and plants to see.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day out with the kids or you’re looking to experience a unique adventure, Bahia Honda State Beach is a great destination.

Fishing is a popular pastime, and there are several options available to you. This park is also an excellent place to watch wading birds. You can do this from the shore, or from a boat ramp.

If you prefer snorkeling, you can also take a guided tour. If you’re into nature, the Bahia Honda State Park is an excellent choice. It’s a great spot to experience the wonders of this pristine island.

Whether you’re camping with your family or just passing through, this state park has everything you need to make a fun family day trip.

Campgrounds are open year-round, and you can camp on the beach with your RV or tent. Some campsites can be reserved, and there are three cabins for rent if you want to stay overnight.

If you’re traveling by car or RV, this park is an excellent choice. The campgrounds are well-maintained, and there are restrooms and outdoor showers to keep you and your family clean and dry.

There’s also a concession stand and gift shop, and you can picnic or have a barbecue in the picnic areas.

Address: 36850 Overseas Hwy, Big Pine Key, FL, United States    Phone: (305) 872-2353

6. Key West Shipwreck Museum, Key West

A shipwreck museum is a fascinating way to learn about history. The Florida Keys were home to 400 years of shipwreck salvage.

Shipwreck Treasures Museum
Keys West Shipwreck Treasures Museum

Key West Shipwreck Museum tells that story using actors, films, and actual artifacts. The building dates back to the early 19th century and was originally used as a warehouse.

Visitors will learn about how these treasures were brought to shore. It features a replica of a 19th-century freight yard and the history of the local community.

The museum includes a 65-foot observation tower, as well as artifacts from wrecked ships. You can also view underwater footage, and view video presentations about the industry.

Isaac Allerton is one of the richest shipwrecks on display, and you’ll get a chance to see how he made his fortune. The Isaac Allerton and Asa Tift are two of the most famous shipwrecks in Keys.

The Keys Shipwreck Museum is a great place to learn about the wrecking industry. You’ll learn how ships were sunk without the use of diving equipment, and you’ll see how some of them were recovered.

And you’ll be amazed at the number of treasures that were found in these wrecks.

Address: 1 Whitehead St, Key West, FL 33040, United States    Phone: (305) 292-8990

Things to Do in the Florida Keys

7. Things to Do in the Florida Keys: Mallory Square, Key West

Waterfront Square is the heart of the town and is home to several shops, restaurants, and nightly festivals. The Waterfront Square is also a great place to watch the sunset. You can enjoy a meal here or just take in the sights.

Things to Do in the Florida Keys Mallory Square, Key West
Mallory Square, Key West

For something different, head to Mallory Square to watch the sun go down. This historical square is known for the sunset, which is breathtaking. There are also many souvenir shops in the area.

In addition to offering the best sunset views, Mallory Square is also home to a number of restaurants that serve an array of food.

For example, El Meson de Pepe, located in Mallory Square, is an excellent Cuban restaurant that serves conch fritters.

Mallory Square Sunset
Mallory Square Sunset

You can also try the Rooftop Cafe for a panoramic view of the city. Duetto, a pizzeria in the city, serves up a tasty pizza. The Commodore is another good place to grab a bite to eat in Key West.

During the day, Mallory Square is a great place to catch the sun’s setting. You can watch the sun go down and enjoy the sights and sounds of the island.

The Sunset Celebration is another fun way to spend the evening. The Sunset Celebration is a nightly festival, where local performers and jugglers perform for visitors. There are plenty of photo opportunities to take during the Sunset Celebration.

Address: 400 Wall St, Key West, FL 33040, United States    Phone: (305) 809-3700

Looking for more things to do in Key West?? Here’s the list to add to your bucket list. 

8. Theater of the Sea, Islamorada

The Theater of the Sea in Islamorada, Florida, has been a tourist attraction since 1946. It is located on Windley Key in the Florida Keys and features an aquarium where visitors can swim with dolphins, sea lions, stingrays, and even sharks.

Theater of the Sea Islamorada
Theater of the Sea

It offers a wealth of information about marine life, including endangered species. If you are in the mood for an adventure, the Aquarium offers a variety of different activities and events.

The Theater of the Sea is a great place for children to see dolphins. They will enjoy the swimming experience as well as the educational activities.

For families with small children, the Aquarium hosts an interactive Dolphin Wade. There are also plenty of other activities to keep the kids entertained.

Once you’ve finished your aquarium tour, take a dip in the lagoon for a close-up view of some of the area’s most beautiful marine life.

When visiting Islamorada, don’t miss the Theater of the Sea. This park is a must-see for all ages. It features an interactive aquarium with dolphins and sea turtles.

Admission includes a bottomless boat ride and a nature tour. There are even educational programs that involve animals. A four-hour tour is a great way to spend your vacation with your family.

Address: 84721 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036, United States    Phone: (305) 664-2431

Looking for more fun things to do in Islamorada?? Check this list. 

9. National Key Deer Refuge, Big Pine Key

No Name Key and Big Pine are two islands in Florida’s Monroe County that are home to the 8,542-acre National Key Deer Refuge.

National Key Deer Refuge, Big Pine Key
National Key Deer Refuge, Big Pine Key

If you want to learn about the wildlife that inhabits the area, you need to visit this sanctuary. It is an excellent place to observe the birds and other animals that live in the protected habitat.

The area is home to numerous species of birds and other wildlife, including flamingos, alligators, and the endangered Florida white-tailed deer.

If you’d like to view a lot of nature in one place, visit the Blue Hole Wildlife Refuge. This is the largest freshwater body in the Florida Keys.

The nature trail includes an observation platform and a beautiful landscape, which is teeming with wildlife. The Fred Manillo Nature Trail is a wheelchair-accessible boardwalk that winds through pine rockland.

And the trail ends on a viewing platform overlooking a wetland where you can watch the birds and other wildlife.

If you’d like to observe the endangered Key deer, drive on the National Key Deer Boulevard. The park’s trails are the best place to observe these animals. The best time to view them is in the early morning or late afternoon.

You can even view them in their natural habitat on No Name Key, an island east of Big Pine Key. The best time to see the deer is early in the morning or late at night.

You’re not allowed to feed them, as this puts them at risk. Just make sure that you don’t speed down KeyDeer Boulevard, as it is the wilds.

Address: 30587 Overseas Hwy, Big Pine Key, FL 33043, United States    Phone: (305) 872-0774

10. History of Diving Museum, Islamorada

The compact History of Diving Museum in Islamorada features diving equipment and relics from around the world.

History of Diving Museum, Islamorada
History of Diving Museum

The exhibits are fascinating and offer a look at the evolution of diving. And the museum also includes an interactive exhibit that teaches the basics of diving. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced diver, you’ll find something interesting at this museum.

Here, you can learn all about the history of diving and its evolution from ancient times to modern times.

History of Diving Museum’s unique design offers a glimpse into diving history throughout the ages. It is located on five small island keys, including Windley, Tea Table, Plantation, and Lower Matecumbe.

The museum offers a FREE seminar called Immerse Yourself!, which introduces a range of topics related to diving.

While visiting the History of Diving Museum, be sure to bring a camera because you can’t resist the chance to snap a few photos.

It’s an easy way to remember the history of diving and explore what it is all about. And if you’re not feeling up for a trip to the deep blue sea, you can always visit a museum that is open to the public. For example, the Museum of Flight will host a virtual Immerse Yourself presentation.

Address: 82990 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036, United States    Phone: (305) 664-9737  

Things to Do in the Florida Keys

11. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Key Largo

The John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is a Florida state park located in Key Largo, Florida.

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Key Largo
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Key Largo

It includes over 70 nautical square miles of adjacent Atlantic Ocean waters. This area is approximately 25 miles long and extends three miles into the ocean.

The park is home to over 200 species of marine life and is a popular destination for snorkeling, diving, and more.

Fortunately, the State of Florida has protected the most accessible portion of its coral reef. There are tours available, as well as equipment rental, to allow visitors to experience this natural phenomenon up close.

Just six miles from Key Largo, this state park is a popular destination for families with children. The beach is shallow, and visitors should be prepared to wade in up to six feet of water.

The state of Florida protects its only living coral reef in the continental U.S. The park has a number of attractions that attract visitors from around the world, including a saltwater aquarium and nature films.

Paddleboarding is also a popular water sport in Key Largo, where the calm waters are ideal for beginners and experts alike. It’s a great way to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the island.

Address: 102601 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, FL 33037, United States    Phone: (305) 451-6300

Things to Do in the Florida Keys

12. Turtle Hospital, Marathon

The Sea Turtle Rescue & Rehabilitation Center in Marathon, Florida, is home to an impressive collection of sea turtles that have been rescued from the wild.

Turtle Hospital, Marathon FL
Turtle Hospital, Marathon

The facility offers guided public tours and gift shops for visitors to purchase souvenirs. The center also offers a unique opportunity to learn about endangered species and their care.

Founded in 1986, the Turtle Hospital in Marathon, Florida, is a non-profit organization that rescues and rehabilitates injured sea turtles.

The facility provides education to guests about sea turtle anatomy, diet, and common injuries. Guests will leave with a better understanding of how to care for these creatures.

Whether you’re visiting for the first time or taking your family on a trip, this unique experience will leave you inspired to care for your favorite animals.

The facility has plenty of space for its residents, which is why it can house over 200 turtles at a time.

Most of these patients are treated and released back into the wild. However, there are some who stay in the facility permanently. These are the ones that get in trouble and need care and have suffered injuries.

These injured turtles often require surgery. Fortunately, these veterinarians are available at the hospital to treat their injuries and help them get on their way.

Address: 2396 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL 33050, United States    Phone: (305) 743-2552

Things to Do in the Florida Keys

13. Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, Key West

Located at 1316 Duval Street in Key West, Florida, the Keys Butterfly and Nature Conservatory is a glass enclosure with a climate-controlled environment that houses 50 to 60 species of live butterflies.

Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, Key West
Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, Key West

Whether you’re a butterfly lover or a novice, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at this exhibit. The butterflies are all well-fed and look beautiful. The staff is helpful and knowledgeable, and it’s easy to get lost in the exhibit.

So, the Butterfly & Nature Conservatory is a great place for a family outing. This attraction features more than 50 varieties of tropical birds and butterflies.

The winding paths are lined with flowering plants and tropical vegetation. The gift shop features unique gifts for butterfly lovers, and the Learning Center is home to a 15-minute film on the life cycle of different species.

Whether you are a beginner or an expert, you’ll find something to delight everyone at this amazing facility.

Visitors will be amazed by the variety of tropical plants and tropical birds in the butterfly garden.

Address: 1316 Duval St, Key West, FL 33040, United States    Phone: (305) 296-2988

14. Things to Do in the Florida Keys: Key West Aquarium, Key West

If you’re visiting the island of Key West, you should make time to visit the Key East Aquarium. The city has only one public aquarium, located at 1 Whitehead Street.

Things to do in Key West Key West Aquarium
Key West Aquarium

It’s marked by Historic Marker 52, and it’s an excellent place to learn about local aquatic life. The museum has a wealth of information about a range of marine species and is an ideal place to see a variety of tropical fish.

Key East Aquarium was opened in 1934, a year after Hurricane Andrew destroyed the Overseas Railroad. The Overseas Extension to Florida East Coast Railroad was the only way to get to Key West at the time, and the Aquarium was supposed to help clear the way for other attractions.

Unfortunately, the hurricane ruined the Overseas Attraction, and the Keys Aquarium closed after only seven months. The original plan for the museum was to open another, larger aquarium in the city, but the storm wiped out the idea.

For those who enjoy marine life, the Keys Aquarium offers a chance to get close to indigenous sea creatures. It features exhibits of barracuda, moray eels, sea turtles, and even sharks.

There are also hands-on activities that allow visitors to touch the animals and learn about the aquatic world in the Keys. This place is a must-see for anyone visiting the island.

Address: 1 Whitehead St, Key West, FL 33040, United States    Phone: (305) 296-2051

Things to Do in the Florida Keys

15. Things to Do in the Florida Keys: Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park, Key West

If you’re looking for a unique place to visit while in Key West, Florida, then look no further than the Fort Taylor Historic State Park.

Things to Do in the Florida Keys Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park, Key West
Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park, Key West

Located near the southern tip of the island, this Florida State Park is centered around a Civil War-era fort. The fort and surrounding park are perfect for families and visitors of all ages. And the fort is open to the public, and the surrounding park is full of historical sites and artifacts.

For those who are interested in snorkeling, Fort Zackary Taylor State Park is the perfect place to do so. The beach at Fort Zachary Taylor is the most beautiful on the island, and you’ll find a variety of tropical fish and sea turtles there.

For those who are more adventurous, there are plenty of opportunities to explore the boat and snorkel amongst the colorful fish. You can also take a trip to the nearby beach, and enjoy some of the island’s best snorkeling and swimming.

Another popular feature of Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park is home to several Civil War cannons. You’ll find plenty of picnic tables and grills here, and the park’s wooded nature trails make it a perfect spot for bird-watching.

The beachfront park is also one of the few shady spots on the beaches of Key West, and the area is a popular spot for weddings and family get-togethers.

Address: 601 Howard England Way, Key West, FL 33040, United States    Phone: (305) 292-6713

16. Things to Do in the Florida Keys: Audubon House & Tropical Gardens

You can visit the Audubon House & Tropical Gardens in Key West, Florida, by car. It’s located at 205 Whitehead Street.

Audubon House and Tropical Gardens
Audubon House and Tropical Gardens

The museum’s gift shop has souvenirs for sale. And the museum is free and open to the public. Its hours are from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm. Admission is free.

You can also learn about the history of the Audubon House. Its location on a peninsula makes it a perfect destination for a tropical vacation.

The Audubon House & Tropical Gardens are located on Duval Street in Key West. Built-in the 1840s by Captain John Huling Geiger, this house has been home to many people.

It was saved in 1958 by the Mitchell Wolfson Family Foundation, a nonprofit educational organization. Its restoration was the first in Key West and is the inspiration for other historic properties.

The museum offers guided tours of the beautiful garden and a variety of other exhibits.

The grounds are beautiful and worth exploring. If you’re interested in nature and tropical plants, then the Audubon House & Tropical Gardens is the place for you. Its gardens are among the most beautiful in the Florida Keys.

Guests can wander along the paved brick paths and enjoy the lush landscapes. In the garden, they can see a variety of rare and colorful tropical plants, including orchids, bromeliads, and crotons.

Address: 205 Whitehead St, Key West, FL 33040, United States    Phone: (305) 294-2216  

Things to do in the Florida Keys

  • Dry Tortugas National Park, Key West
  • Higgs Beach, Key West
  • Duval Street, Key West
  • Anne’s Beach, Islamorada
  • Bahia Honda State Park, Big Pine Key
  • Key West Shipwreck Museum, Key West
  • Mallory Square, Key West
  • Theater of the Sea, Islamorada
  • National Key Deer Refuge, Big Pine Key
  • History of Diving Museum, Islamorada
  • John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Key Largo
  • Turtle Hospital, Marathon
  • Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, Key West
  • Key West Aquarium, Key West
  • Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park, Key West
  • Audubon House & Tropical Gardens

Things to Do in the Florida Keys