Visitors are drawn to Key West because it’s a picturesque island retreat. From the shallow blue-green seas surrounding the island to colorful conch cottages with palm trees and bougainvillea lining the streets, Key West is also a dream for photography buffs. Read on for the best photo opportunities in Key West.
Situated 70 remote miles to the west, the Dry Tortugas are an unspoiled diamond in the rough surrounded by endless aquamarine seas. Whether it’s wildlife under the sea or the architectural beauty of its historical fort, the Dry Tortugas offer countless vistas for the shutterbug in search of the perfect shot that can only be described as out of this world.
La Concha Hotel
Climb to the top of La Concha Hotel, the tallest building in Key West at six stories, for unparalleled bird’s eye views of the island. It’s particularly captivating at sunset when you can see all of Duval Street leading to the Gulf of Mexico where ships cruise the harbor as the sky changes color.
Key West Lighthouse
Another great spot to take in Key West from a lofty vantage is the Key West Lighthouse, located directly across the street from the Hemingway House. You’ll capture unobstructed views of the island and sights leading out to the Atlantic Ocean.
Southernmost Point Buoy
The ultimate Key West photo opportunity is found at the Southernmost Point Buoy at the end of Whitehead Street. Framed by the Atlantic Ocean, gather your group for a photo by this famous buoy where the saying “90 Miles to Cuba” is famously scrawled.
Just down South Street you’ll encounter the Southernmost House, easily one of the most beautiful historic Victorian mansions on the island. In dreamy shades of sea foam and conch shell pink complete with a spindly tower and interesting architectural details, the photographer in you will find artful angles to shoot this captivating home.
Second only to the Southernmost Point Buoy, a shot at the Mile Marker 0 sign is another popular photo stop. Head to Whitehead and Fleming Streets where the end, or the beginning, of the road is marked with “Mile Marker 0.” Be sure to smile for the camera!
Eastern Dry Rocks
If you have an interest in underwater photography, Key West is home to the third largest barrier reef in the world. It’s famous for incredible visibility, thriving coral and diverse marine life. Eastern Dry Rocks is a less frequented spot on the reef, making it an ideal place to snap up some one-of-a-kind pictures.
Key West Shipwreck Treasure Museum
Join master wrecker Asa Tift and his wrecking crew on the 65 foot climb to to top of this museum’s wooden lookout tower for amazing views of the surrounding landscape. Be transported back in time to the days when Key West’s maritime industry thrived and the tiny island was the wealthiest city in the United States. After capturing a few photos, make your way back to ground-level for more swashbuckling fun.
The drive to Key West is full of incredibly scenic vistas, especially once you get past Key Largo. If you decide to make the drive, keep your eyes peeled for the Seven Mile Bridge as you approach Marathon Key. Appropriately named for the length of this epic floating bridge, it’s a great place to capture some fish eye GoPro footage from the passenger seat on your drive.
With the Sunset Celebration taking place every night offering views to one of the world’s greatest sunsets, Mallory Square is a feast for photographers. From street performers to craftspeople and Mother Nature unfolding in a fleeting color show, pick up that camera and shoot away.
One of Key West’s most historic neighborhoods, Bahama Village is filled with captivating characters and local color. It’s a portrait photographer’s dream. There are also plenty of charming and quaint street scenes to capture in this wholly original neighborhood with some of the best restaurants and shops on the island.