Ultimate Key West Road Trip Guide

Key West Road Trip

Embark on an unforgettable journey down the historic Florida Keys Highway, stretching a magnificent 113 miles. Reconstructed in the 1980s after a devastating hurricane obliterated the previous railway in 1935, this scenic route takes you through a string of idyllic islands, with each mile marker bringing you closer to the southernmost point of the U.S. — Key West. Welcome to your ultimate guide to a Key West road trip, where every mile is a memory waiting to happen.


Discover Islamorada, the resilient “Village of Islands” nestled in the heart of the Florida Keys, where history intertwines with natural beauty. Despite bearing the brunt of the catastrophic Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, which claimed 423 lives, Islamorada stands today as a testament to endurance and resilience.

A Picturesque Locale…

This picturesque locale, once a coconut plantation, now hosts a boutique resort featuring eight private cottages amid lush tropical landscaping, just steps away from the Atlantic’s embrace. Hammocks sway beneath verdant fronds, offering moments of serene relaxation, while adventurous spirits can paddleboard across the azure waters, immersing themselves in the vibrant marine life.

A Balance Between Tourism and Ecological Preservation…

Robbie’s Marina, a Florida Keys icon, awaits exploration, offering both bait and memories for just 7 dollars. Embrace Islamorada’s blend of leisure and environmental stewardship, where every moment spent amid its turquoise waters and coral-fringed shores underscores the delicate balance between tourism and ecological preservation. Plan your Key West road trip now and include Islamorada in your itinerary for an unforgettable journey through the Florida Keys.

Best Places To Stay in Islamorada

Fisher Inn Resort & Marina

Positioned ideally overlooking the captivating Atlantic Ocean, Fisher Inn Resort & Marina is a quaint, basic motel, yet it offers so much more than meets the eye. Just a three-minute walk lands you at the fascinating Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park, an open-air museum of prehistoric marine fossils. Within a brief nine-minute stroll, guests can also access the renowned marine park, Theater of the Sea, a haven for marine life lovers.

Rooms and Amenities

Rooms at the Fisher Inn come equipped with comfortable sleeping arrangements for up to four guests, making it an ideal choice for families or small groups. Select rooms also offer patios, where guests can unwind and soak in the warm Florida sun. Cottages with two bedrooms provide additional amenities like kitchenettes, perfect for those who prefer home-cooked meals. Awe-inspiring ocean views allow guests to witness the majestic Atlantic right from their windows.

Tranquility and Simplicity

Nestled against the gentle murmur of the Atlantic Ocean, the Fisher Inn Resort & Marina emerges as an emblem of tranquility and simplicity, embodying the essence of the Islamorada experience. A mere stone’s throw from the geological wonder of Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park and a leisurely stroll from the enchanting marine presentations at Theater of the Sea, this basic yet charming motel positions itself as a gateway to the natural and cultural riches that define the region.

Comfortable and Connected

Offering a range of accommodations from simple, well-appointed rooms that can host up to four guests to the more spacious cottages boasting kitchenettes and mesmerizing ocean views, the resort caters to varied preferences and budgets. With amenities including cable TV, complimentary Wi-Fi, and minifridges, coupled with some units featuring inviting patios, Fisher Inn Resort & Marina promises a stay that is both comfortable and connected, placing guests in the heart of the Florida Keys’ serene yet vibrant lifestyle.

Cheeca Lodge & Spa

Escape to the tropical oasis of Cheeca Lodge & Spa, a vibrant beachfront resort sprawled across 27 acres in the heart of the Florida Keys. Nestled just five miles from the captivating Windley Fossil Reef Geological State Park, this recreational haven beckons travelers seeking relaxation and adventure alike on their Key West road trip. Discover laid-back rooms adorned with island-inspired decor, offering modern amenities, such as free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, DVD players, coffeemakers, and balconies overlooking the serene surroundings.

Luxury and Comfort

Indulge in luxury and comfort within our suites, where rainfall showerheads and oversized tubs await to soothe your senses after a day of exploration. Some suites even boast pull-out sofas and fully equipped kitchens, providing the perfect retreat for families and extended stays. Whether you’re unwinding on the balcony, basking in the tropical sun on the beach, or embarking on outdoor adventures, Cheeca Lodge & Spa offers a seamless blend of relaxation and excitement for your Key West road trip experience.

Prime Beachfront Location

Immerse yourself in the laid-back island lifestyle at Cheeca Lodge & Spa, your ultimate destination along the Florida Keys Highway. With its prime beachfront location and an array of amenities, including a serene spa, tempting dining options, and water sports activities, this resort is the perfect base camp for your Key West road trip adventure. From exploring the natural wonders of Windley Fossil Reef Geological State Park to retreating to your cozy room or suite, every moment at Cheeca Lodge & Spa promises relaxation and rejuvenation amid the tropical paradise of the Keys.

Things To Do in Islamorada

Sun Seeker Private Boat Charters

Experience the thrill of ocean exploration with the Sun Seeker Private Boat Charter. Choose from flexible four-, six- and eight-hour trips tailored to your schedule and preference. Dive into the azure waters to explore the vibrant reef ecosystem, or venture offshore to the deeper waters. Experience the adrenaline rush of wreck fishing, or visit the Marathon Humps to catch tuna, a favorite spot among fishing enthusiasts. The Sun Seeker is also equipped with a unique tuna tower, an elevated platform that offers a bird’s-eye view of the surrounding seas, enhancing your fishing experience.

Comfort and Convenience

This vessel is designed with comfort and convenience in mind, featuring a spacious open deck that allows you to bask in the glorious Caribbean sun and the mesmerizing panoramas of the Florida Keys. A private restroom is available onboard, ensuring comfort throughout your journey.

Sandbar Tours

Embark on a private three-hour Islamorada Sandbar Tour, an ideal excursion for friends and couples seeking an unforgettable aquatic adventure. With the capacity to accommodate up to six guests, set sail and immerse yourself in the beauty of the Florida Keys. Rock out to your favorite tunes using the boat’s four tower speakers, adding a lively soundtrack to your journey. As you cruise, take advantage of the freshwater shower onboard to rinse off and stay refreshed amid the tropical heat. Keep your eyes peeled for captivating wildlife sightings, including playful dolphins, majestic seabirds, and colorful fish, enhancing the magic of your experience.

An Immersive and Enriching Experience

This exclusive tour not only offers relaxation and entertainment but also provides opportunities for memorable encounters with nature. Whether you’re on a romantic getaway or a Key West road trip with friends, the private three-hour Islamorada Sandbar Tour promises an immersive and enriching experience. Soak in the serenity of the turquoise waters, soak up the sun, and create lasting memories against the stunning backdrop of the Florida Keys.

Bike Tours

Unleash your adventurous spirit with the small-group electric bike tours in Islamorada. These tours promise an exhilarating ride in the pleasantly warm breeze of Florida, making for a perfect winter getaway during January and February. Crossroads’ electric bike tours offer not just an exploration on two wheels but a comprehensive experience of the Florida Keys.

Relaxation and Exploration

Relish the thrill of the ride while also taking time to unwind in the white sands of the beach. The tour provides ample opportunities for relaxation and exploration. You can spend some leisurely hours strolling along the shore, immersing yourself in the soothing rhythm of the waves, or try kayaking in the picturesque bay area for a unique perspective of the stunning coastline.

Shopping and Dining

But the fun doesn’t stop there; you’ll also have the chance to explore Islamorada’s renowned shopping scene. Browse the famous stores for unique mementos and experience the local culture in a tangible way. After a day filled with activity, treat your taste buds to delightful local cuisine at some of Islamorada’s most popular restaurants.

Intimate and Immersive Experience

The small-group electric bike tours in Islamorada offer an intimate and immersive experience of this enchanting town. Enjoy the diversity of activities and experiences on offer, all while soaking in the picturesque beauty of the Florida Keys.


Immerse yourself in the natural wonders of Islamorada’s picturesque landscape with a private eco-tour and snorkeling boat tour. With six captivating Florida Keys enveloped by glistening waters and vibrant coral reefs, this half-day excursion offers a serene exploration of the ocean’s tranquil side. Step aboard a boat helmed by a United States Coast Guard (USCG) licensed captain and venture into the lush mangroves that fringe the islands, providing a scenic backdrop for your journey. From the comfort of the boat deck, keep your eyes peeled for glimpses of wildlife, from graceful seabirds to playful dolphins, enhancing your connection with nature.

Discover a Vibrant Underwater World

As the adventure unfolds, don your snorkeling mask and slip into the crystalline waters to delve deeper into the marine wonders below. With each dive, discover a vibrant underwater world teeming with colorful coral formations and an array of exotic fish species. This private tour offers the perfect blend of relaxation and exhilaration, allowing you to unwind amid the beauty of the Florida Keys while indulging in thrilling snorkeling escapades. Whether you’re on a romantic getaway or a Key West road trip with friends, this unique experience promises to be a highlight of your island excursion, leaving you with cherished memories to treasure for years to come.


Places to stay in marathonMarathon, a haven for saltwater anglers, beckons with its reputation for big game fishing adventures, notably the pursuit of prized sailfish. For a quintessential experience, indulge in a hook-and-cook adventure at Hawks Cay Resort on Duck Key, just 20 miles south of Islamorada. Join seasoned locals for an immersive outing onto the shimmering waters, where lifelong Conchs share their expertise in navigating the bountiful marine landscape. While the resort offers a serene adults-only enclave known as Oasis Cay for ultimate relaxation, it’s the thrill of blue-water hunting that truly defines the experience. Specializing in reef fishing for delectable catches like snapper and grouper, the bounty can later be savored in a mouthwatering blackened dish. As you delve into Marathon’s rich history, trace back to the ambitious vision of Florida tycoon Henry Flagler, whose dream of an Overseas Railroad connecting mainland Florida to Key West laid the foundation for the region’s enduring allure. So, whether you’re embarking on a Key West road trip or seeking a tranquil retreat, Marathon promises an unforgettable blend of adventure, relaxation, and history.

Best Places To Stay

Tranquility Bay Beachfront Resort

Tranquility Bay Beachfront Resort, nestled along the Gulf of Mexico, offers a peaceful retreat amid stunning natural surroundings. This resort caters to a variety of preferences, whether you’re inclined toward adventure or are in search of tranquility. Its accommodation options range from quaint beach houses to tropical guest rooms, designed with privacy and comfort in mind.

A Peaceful Getaway

The resort features three pools, including a family-friendly lagoon-style pool and an adults-only option, providing a relaxing space for guests to unwind. Located on the Gulf, the resort offers beautiful views and easy access to water sports for those looking to add some excitement to their stay. For travelers exploring Key West, Tranquility Bay Beachfront Resort is an appealing choice for a peaceful getaway.

Isla Bella Beach Resort

Isla Bella Beach Resort stands as a refined option for those venturing through the Florida Keys, especially noted for its thoughtful integration into the lush landscapes and oceanfront views it resides within. Situated conveniently near the Seven Mile Bridge, it provides ease of access to nearby attractions and a serene retreat within its premises.

A Memorable Stay in the Keys

The resort is distinguished by its modern design, spacious accommodations that guarantee ocean views, and comprehensive amenities, including multiple oceanfront pools and on-site dining options. Its commitment to guest experience is further underscored by a full-service spa and a marina that caters to aquatic adventures. While it offers luxurious touches, the essence of Isla Bella is encapsulated in its ability to blend relaxation, natural beauty, and understated elegance for visitors seeking a memorable stay in the Keys.

Courtyard Faro Blanco Resort

Located just off the Overseas Highway, the unassuming yet charming Courtyard Faro Blanco Resort offers a unique beachfront experience next to the stunning Gulf of Mexico. Conveniently situated, the hotel is merely four miles from the loggerhead turtle nesting site at Sombrero Beach and three miles from the marine marvels at the Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters.

Prime Location

Families love the bright comfy rooms (some with Gulf views!), two refreshing pools, and endless activities, like beach volleyball, movie nights, and a game room. Evenings come alive with the Eventide celebration — fire, lights, and live music under the stars. Unwind in the hot tub, lounge by the waterfront, or explore the fitness center. Two restaurants are on-site, with more options nearby. The resort’s prime location grants easy access to the Turtle Hospital, Dolphin Research Center, and the magic of the Florida Keys.

Things To Do in Marathon, FL

Take in the Seven Mile Bridge

One of the iconic attractions in Marathon is the awe-inspiring Seven Mile Bridge. This architectural marvel, connecting the Middle Keys to the Lower Keys, stands as a testament to human ingenuity and engineering prowess. A drive across this bridge from Little Duck to Knight’s Key offers an unparalleled view of the stunning azure waters surrounding the Keys. As you traverse this magnificent bridge, you can witness the breathtaking panorama of the expansive ocean merging with the clear blue sky at the horizon, creating a mesmerizing spectacle. This drive is more than just a route — it’s a journey that allows you to fully appreciate the serene beauty and vastness of the oceanic expanse. The Seven Mile Bridge is more than an essential transportation route; it’s a symbol of the seamless blend of nature’s majesty and human innovation.

Marathon Air Museum

For aviation enthusiasts and history buffs, the Marathon Air Museum is a must-visit attraction. Nestled close to the Marathon Airport, this museum serves as a repository of the rich history of human flight. Visitors have the opportunity to view a plethora of aircraft on display, ranging from early flight models to modern jet fighters. Each exhibit is accompanied by informative plaques that detail the aircraft’s history, design, and role in the evolution of aviation. The museum offers informative and engaging guided tours that delve into the fascinating chronicles of human flight, offering insights about the pioneers who dared to fulfill mankind’s ancient dream of soaring through the skies. From the Wright brothers’ first successful flight to the advent of supersonic jets, the Marathon Air Museum encapsulates the indomitable spirit of human innovation and the relentless quest to push the boundaries of what is possible.

Crane Point Museum and Nature Center

The Crane Point Museum and Nature Center is a veritable tropical oasis, teeming with unique flora and fauna indigenous to the region. This 63-acre sanctuary takes you on an unprecedented journey through the cultural, historical, and natural aspects of the area. The museum and nature center, nestled amid lush botanical gardens, offer a rich tapestry of experiences that leave visitors enlightened and inspired. The trolley tour is an absolute delight, meandering through the verdant gardens, allowing you to witness the breathtaking beauty of the tropical landscape up close. Nature trails wind their way through the sanctuary, inviting visitors to explore and immerse themselves in the tranquility of the surroundings. The bird rescue center is a testament to the sanctuary’s commitment to wildlife preservation, housing a myriad of avian species and offering a rare opportunity to learn about these fascinating creatures. The marine touch tanks are another highlight, enabling hands-on interactions with a variety of marine life. The Crane Point Museum and Nature Center is not just a place to visit; it is an experience that captivates the senses and nourishes the soul.

Key West and the Lower Keys

Rooted in a rich history, Key West and the Lower Keys were originally inhabited by the Calusa and Tequesta tribes and were later charted by the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León in 1513. These islands form an enchanting blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage, offering a unique glimpse into Florida’s past and its vibrant ecosystem.

Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges Nature Center

Situated on Big Pine Key is the newly established Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges Nature Center. Showcasing exhibits that highlight the Keys’ four wildlife refuges, the center is a testament to Florida’s commitment to preserving its diverse wildlife. Established in 1957, the refuge spans approximately 9,200 acres of land on Big Pine and No Name Keys, serving as a habitat for the endangered Key deer — a species endemic to the Florida Keys.

Geiger Key Marina at the Fish Camp

Venture 30 minutes south to discover the authentic spirit of the Old Keys at Geiger Key Marina at the Fish Camp. Founded by local restaurateurs Michelle and Bobby Mongelli, the minds also behind the well-loved Hogfish Bar and Grill on nearby Stock Island, Geiger Key Marina at the Fish Camp is renowned for its legendary Sunday afternoon barbecue.

A Hub for Local Marine Life

This bustling marina also serves as an important hub for local marine life, providing a thriving habitat for manatees, sea stars, tropical fish, and a variety of shorebirds. Visitors are treated to a vibrant ecosystem teeming with life, offering a unique opportunity to observe these fascinating creatures in their natural environment. Whether you’re a keen wildlife enthusiast or simply seeking an authentic Keys experience, Key West and the Lower Keys offer an unforgettable journey, encompassing the essence of Florida’s natural and cultural heritage.

Best Places To Stay in Key West

The Marker Resort

Just steps away from the Historic Seaport, The Marker Resort is a tropical oasis that epitomizes the laid-back charm of Key West. Encapsulated by lush gardens, this upscale resort offers luxury accommodations with private balconies and sophisticated decor inspired by the beachfront setting. Featuring three sparkling pools, each offering a unique ambiance, guests can immerse themselves in the relaxing Key West lifestyle. The resort’s signature restaurant, Cero Bodega, serves a fusion of Californian and Mexican cuisine, offering guests an unforgettable culinary journey. With its prime location, The Marker Resort allows its discerning guests to easily explore vibrant Key West nightlife, boutique shops, and eclectic dining scene while providing a tranquil retreat to unwind.

Opal Key Resort

Opal Key Resort & Marina, positioned on the edge of Key West’s historic harbor, is an idyllic sanctuary that delivers an authentic Key West experience. Capturing the essence of island living, the resort features rooms and suites, each with their own private balcony that offers breathtaking views of the waterfront. Guests can rejuvenate at the full-service spa, take a dip in the heated outdoor pool, or relax at the poolside bar. The on-site restaurant, Latitudes, serves up gourmet island cuisine using fresh local ingredients under the guidance of award-winning chefs. Opal Key Resort’s marina gives guests access to a host of water sports, from deep-sea fishing to diving and sailing, making it the perfect spot for those seeking an active, yet relaxing, vacation in the beautiful Florida Keys.

Things To Do in Key West and the Lower Keys

Diving and Snorkeling at Looe Key Reef

Looe Key Reef, named after the HMS Looe that tragically ran aground here in 1744, is a remarkable underwater paradise that sprawls across just 5.3 square nautical miles. Despite its modest size, the reef boasts a staggering variety of coral structures and marine life. Snorkelers and divers can marvel at the vibrant coral, teeming with fishes of myriad colors and sizes, from the docile parrotfish to the wily barracuda.
The reef is renowned for its uniquely deep reef that gradually slopes into the depths, reaching over 100 feet. This depth provides a mesmerizing opportunity to witness the pelagic, or deep oceanic, species of the Florida Keys, a sight that is nothing short of breathtaking. From majestic rays gliding through the water to the elusive and awe-inspiring sharks, the deep reef is a testament to the region’s rich biodiversity. Whether you’re an experienced diver or a first-time snorkeler, Looe Key Reef offers an unforgettable underwater adventure, capturing the unrivaled beauty of the Florida Keys’ marine ecosystem.

Golf Courses in Key West and the Lower Keys

The Key West Golf Club

Nestled amid the island’s lush landscape, the Key West Golf Club provides golf enthusiasts with a championship-rated course that holds its own unique charm. Skillfully designed by golf legend Rees Jones, this 18-hole, par 70 championship course combines the thrill of the game with the serenity of the island’s tropical surroundings.

Seasoned Golfers and Beginners

The course is suited to players of all abilities, ensuring an enjoyable experience for both seasoned golfers and beginners. The Key West Golf Club is not just about the game; it’s about the total golfing experience. With a fully stocked pro shop, golfers can find everything they need, from high-quality equipment to the latest golf apparel.
Beyond the greens, the club offers a driving range, providing an excellent space to practice your swing or to warm up before your game. PGA professional instruction is also available for those looking to enhance their skills or for newcomers looking to get started.


Complementing the golfing amenities, the club houses a dining facility that can accommodate up to 150 people. This makes it an ideal spot to unwind, enjoy a meal, and reminisce about the day’s game. With its proximity to Key West’s famous attractions, the Key West Golf Club offers not just a golfing experience but a comprehensive Key West experience.

Bahia Honda State Park

Bahia Honda State Park, a jewel in Florida’s state park system, unfolds across Mile Markers 36 to 38.5, nestled between Ohio Key and Spanish Harbor Key. Located just 12 miles west of Marathon and near the western end of the iconic Seven Mile Bridge, it is more than just an island in the Florida Keys. This park is a perfect amalgamation of nature, history, and recreation.

An Array of Fun-Filled Recreational Activities

Whether your taste leans towards adrenaline-charged adventure or laid-back relaxation, Bahia Honda State Park caters to all. Explore the area’s rich natural and cultural heritage through its well-maintained nature trails and historical sites. Engage in an array of fun-filled recreational activities, including snorkeling, kayaking, and bird-watching, that offer a chance to admire the island’s diverse wildlife.

Bask in The Warm Sunshine

And for those seeking a serene day under the sun, the park’s sandy beaches are the perfect getaway. Bask in the warm sunshine, read a book, or simply enjoy the mesmerizing views of the turquoise blue waters. Bahia Honda State Park is not just a destination; it’s an experience that encapsulates the spirit of the Florida Keys. Don’t miss out on including it in your Key West road trip adventure.

National Key Deer Refuge

The National Key Deer Refuge, established in 1957, serves as a sanctuary for the unique Key Deer, a species found exclusively in the lower Florida Keys. Spanning over 9,200 acres of diverse habitats, including pine rockland forests, tropical hardwood hammocks, fresh- and saltwater marshes, mangroves, and beaches, the refuge plays a critical role in preserving and enhancing the natural ecosystems of the Florida Keys.

Key Deer

Key Deer, the smallest subspecies of the North American white-tailed deer, are the star attraction of the refuge. Their existence, confined solely to this part of the world, makes them a symbol of the unique biodiversity that the Florida Keys harbors.

A Must-Visit Spot

Beyond the Key Deer, the refuge is a biodiversity hot spot, providing a haven to over 20 endangered and threatened plant and animal species. This rich biodiversity makes it a must-visit spot for nature enthusiasts and wildlife photographers alike. Whether it’s a quiet walk on the refuge’s well-maintained trails or a guided tour to learn more about these unique species and their habitats, a visit to the National Key Deer Refuge promises to be a memorable, enriching experience encapsulating the true essence of Florida Keys’ wildlife.

Things To Do in Key West

Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory

The Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory, located at 1316 Duval Street, offers an enchanting experience amid a vibrant spectacle of nature. This butterfly park, situated in the heart of Key West, Florida, is a slice of paradise that introduces visitors to the fascinating world of butterflies. Within its climate-controlled, glass-enclosed habitat, the conservatory houses 50 to 60 different species of live butterflies from around the globe. As you meander through the lush tropical environment, thousands of these delicate creatures flutter around, creating a mesmerizing kaleidoscope of colors.

Learning Center

The conservatory is dedicated not just to the preservation of these beautiful insects but also to educating the public about their life cycle and their role in the ecosystem. It boasts a learning center where visitors can delve deeper into the intricacies of the butterfly life cycle, from the tiny egg to the awe-inspiring adult butterfly. Beyond butterflies, the conservatory is also home to a variety of exotic birds and plants, adding to the richness of the experience.

An Immersive Journey

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or just looking for a unique serene escape, the Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory offers an immersive journey into the wonderful world of butterflies that promises to captivate and inspire.

The Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum

The Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum, an iconic landmark in Key West, Florida, once served as the residence of the renowned American author Ernest Hemingway during the 1930s. Located at 907 Whitehead Street, this charming Spanish Colonial-style mansion is conveniently situated near the southern coast of the island, directly across from the Key West Lighthouse. The house, steeped in historical significance, offers unique insight into Hemingway’s life and his creative process during his most prolific period. The museum showcases the author’s personal collection of artifacts, art, and furnishings, still intact and on display as he left them. The lush gardens and the famous six-toed cat descendants of Hemingway’s original feline, Snow White, add to the allure of this unique attraction. A visit to the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum is not just a tour — it’s a step back in time that encapsulates the spirit of an author whose work has touched millions.

Duval Street

Duval Street, a bustling thoroughfare in Key West, Florida, is the heart and soul of the island city, making it an essential stop on any Key West road trip. Named after William Pope Duval, Florida’s first territorial governor, the street stretches from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean, acting as a vibrant artery pumping life through the city. With its unique blend of historic charm and modern allure, Duval Street offers something for everyone. It is zoned for commercial use, with its buildings reflecting architectural styles from different periods, contributing to the city’s unique aesthetic.

Shopping, Dining, and Art

The street is lined with a myriad of shops, restaurants, art galleries, and music venues, creating a lively atmosphere that captures the eclectic spirit of Key West. Whether it’s perusing local boutiques, indulging in the island’s culinary delights, or soaking up the vibrant nightlife, Duval Street offers a myriad of experiences. Furthermore, it’s the hub for many of Key West’s famous festivals and parades, including the annual Fantasy Fest and Key West Pride.

A Laid-Back Key West Vibe

But amid the hustle and bustle, Duval Street also offers moments of tranquility. Charming cafes provide a perfect spot for people-watching, while the side streets reveal picturesque houses and lush gardens, inviting visitors to take a leisurely stroll and soak up the laid-back Key West vibe. At its endpoints, visitors are rewarded with beautiful views of the ocean, making Duval Street not just a street but a journey capturing the essence of Key West.

Dry Tortugas National Park

Dry Tortugas National Park, located approximately 68 miles west of Key West in the Gulf of Mexico, is an American treasure renowned for its rich biodiversity and historical significance. Spread across 100 square miles, the park encompasses seven small islands along with an abundance of marine life, colorful coral reefs, tropical bird breeding grounds, and sunken treasures.

Dry Tortugas National Park

Snorkeling and Kayaking

The park’s vibrant underwater ecosystem is a paradise for snorkeling and scuba diving enthusiasts, offering a chance to explore the breathtaking coral reefs, shipwrecks, and the diverse sea life they harbor. Kayaking along the park’s clear blue waters is another popular activity, allowing visitors to discover the park’s beauty at their own pace.

Bird Watching, Fishing, and More

For bird watchers, the park serves as a haven for numerous species of migratory birds. Dry Tortugas also offers excellent saltwater fishing opportunities for anglers, and its serene environment makes it a perfect spot for picnicking or camping under the stars. The park’s historical highlight, the imposing Fort Jefferson, one of the most significant 19th-century American forts, adds an educational aspect to the visit.

Natural Beauty and Rich History

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, history buff, or thrill-seeker, Dry Tortugas National Park offers a unique blend of natural beauty and rich history that promises a memorable experience.

Things To Do in Dry Tortugas

A Ferry to Dry Tortugas National Park

Traveling to the breathtaking Dry Tortugas National Park has never been more exciting than via the exhilarating ferry ride that offers a blend of adventure, relaxation, and culinary delight. This journey, typically spanning approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes, is more than just a mode of transportation — it’s an experience in itself.

Yankee Freedom

As you enjoy the pure joy of sea air on the open upper deck of the ferry, taking in the panoramic vistas of the ocean and the soothing sounds of marine life, remember the added conveniences provided by the Yankee Freedom. While keeping an eye out for playful dolphins and the occasional flying fish, adding a touch of nature’s magic to your voyage, don’t forget that the Yankee Freedom ensures your comfort with beverages, breakfast snack, and a satisfying box lunch for day trips. Plus, there’s a galley onboard stocked with an array of drinks and snacks available for purchase, making sure you have everything you need for an enjoyable journey!

Cultural and Natural Resources of Dry Tortugas National Park

Dry Tortugas National Park is a beacon of cultural and natural wonders that are unrivaled in their diversity and beauty. Occupying a 100-square mile area in the Gulf of Mexico, the park consists largely of open water, punctuated by seven small islands that serve as jeweled crowns on the aquamarine expanse.

Fort Jefferson

The park is globally renowned as the custodian of the magnificent Fort Jefferson. This sprawling 19th-century fortress, the largest masonry structure in the Americas, serves as a stunning testament to human ingenuity and a window into America’s rich historical tapestry.

Coral Reefs

But the marvels of Dry Tortugas extend beyond human history and delve deep into the natural world. The park’s picturesque blue waters serve as a backdrop for some of the world’s most exceptional coral reefs. These underwater kaleidoscopes teem with an array of marine life, creating a vibrant ecosystem that is as beautiful as it is essential to global biodiversity.

Bird Life

Above the water’s surface, the park acts as a sanctuary for a vast assortment of bird life. Migratory birds from various corners of the world stop at Dry Tortugas, filling the air with a symphony of calls and lending the park a dynamic, ever-changing tapestry of fauna.

Cultural and Natural Resources

In its entirety, Dry Tortugas National Park is a testament to the harmonious coexistence of cultural and natural resources. It is where history’s echoes meet nature’s vibrancy, creating an atmosphere that is sure to captivate and inspire all who visit.


How many days is enough for Key West?

A Key West road trip can be as short as a day or as long as a week, depending on what you’d like to experience. However, a three-day trip is often considered ideal to enjoy the main attractions without feeling rushed. This gives you ample time to explore the historic sites, indulge in water sports, dine at local eateries, and enjoy the vibrant nightlife.

What month is good to go to Key West?

While Key West boasts pleasant weather year-round, the months from March to June are considered the best for visiting. During this period, the weather is warm but not overly hot, and the tourist crowd is less dense compared to the peak winter months. Rainfall is also relatively low, allowing for plenty of outdoor activities.

What are the best places to hang out in Key West?

Key West is teeming with lively spots to hang out. Duval Street is the heart of Key West’s nightlife, with numerous bars, restaurants, and shops. The Mallory Square area is famous for its Sunset Celebrations, street performances, and local vendors. For a laid-back beach day, head to Smathers Beach or Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park.

Where is the most scenic drive in Key West?

The Overseas Highway, also known as U.S. Highway 1, is considered the most scenic drive in Key West. This iconic road stretches over 100 miles, connecting the Florida Keys to the mainland. The drive offers stunning views of the surrounding turquoise waters, lush mangroves, and the occasional exotic wildlife sighting.