Is Key West Worth Visiting? 15 Reasons To Visit

Is Key West Worth Visiting: Key West is often overlooked as a beach vacation destination because of its close proximity to Florida, many don’t realize how fantastic the weather is or how much Key West has to offer. So when we get asked, “is Key West worth visiting?,” the answer is always a resounding yes! The subtropical island not only boasts sea water that is the brightest blue you’ve seen but a host of activities for adults and kids to enjoy and a number of quirky events that run throughout the year. Immerse yourself in the local culture, gourmet food, beaches and beautiful sunsets.

Is Key West worth visiting? Yes! Here’s why…

Is Key West Worth Visiting?
Is Key West Worth Visiting?

First of all, there is so much to love about Key West! It’s famous for:

  • It is located at the southernmost tip of the United States
  • It has some of the most beautiful sunsets you’ll ever see
  • Roosters are common in Key West and you’ll often find them just roaming the streets
  • Famous novelist and Nobel Prize winner Ernest Hemingway called Key West home in the 1930s
  • With an annual Key Lime festival it’s no wonder Key West is known for its Key Lime Trees and Key Lime pies.

15 reasons to visit Key West

Is Key West Worth Visiting? Yes! Here's Why.
Is Key West Worth Visiting? Top 15 Reasons to Visit.

When answering the question, “is Key West worth visiting?,” these are just 15 out of so many reasons why it is always worth visiting the beautiful island of Key West.

  1. Duval Street

As the main street in Key West, Duval Street is the right spot to start exploring. Along this palm-line street you will find many historic homes, quaint little coffee shops and a generally relaxing atmosphere. Take your time strolling along the main street and getting acquainted with the town. As a bonus Duval Street ends at the Southernmost Point, your next must-see on the island.

  1. Incredible Food

There is a strong Bahamian and Cuban influence in Key West, however you can find a mix of global cuisine at most restaurants. Definitely do yourself a favor and sample the local culinary delights which include conch fritters and Key Lime Pie.

  1. Southernmost Point in the Continental USA

As we mentioned, Key West is considered the southernmost point of the continental US. Stand at the Southernmost Point concrete buoy and tick that off your bucket list! The buoy is painted in bright red and yellow, so you can’t miss it.

  1. Ernest Hemingway’s House

Famous writer and Nobel Prize recipient Ernest Hemingway called Key West home for over 10 years in the 1930s. He lived in a beautiful Spanish colonial home complete with cheerful yellow shutters, much of which has been preserved. Visiting the home will take you on a trip back in time, plus if you’re a cat lover you’ll definitely run into the home’s new residents… polydactyl cats!

  1. Harry Truman’s Little White House

President Harry S. Truman used this historical home as his “winter White House” back in the 1940s, prior to which it was a naval station command centre. If you’d like to see first-hand where a former American president once resided you can book a guided tour any day of the week or year, it’s always open.

  1. Key West Butterfly Conservatory

Bird watchers and nature lovers won’t want to miss out on visiting the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservancy. 50 butterfly species and over 20 exotic bird species can be found in the conservatory with visitors being offered a rare opportunity to walk amongst hundreds, if not thousands, of colorful butterflies. The conservatory also has a learning centre with resources to teach you about all the beautiful butterflies you’ll have encountered.

  1. Fort Zachary Taylor State Park

If you came to Key West to do some snorkeling, this is where to do it! The sea water is crystal clear and perfect for snorkeling. The park was developed during the 1800s Civil War era so guided tours operate twice a day for those who want to know more about its history. There are also barbecue facilities and plenty of space to relax and unwind.

  1. Dry Tortugas National Park

If you’re open to taking a quick day trip, definitely visit Dry Tortugas National Park which lies 70 miles west of the island and is home to Fort Jefferson. The station was built to protect the shipping channel and was also used as a jail. Nowadays, Fort Jefferson is part of the National Park which is known for its reef system and bird life. Definitely take the opportunity to do some snorkeling during your visit.

  1. Friendly Locals

There’s nothing worse than unfriendly locals who couldn’t be bothered to give you the time of day. The locals in Key West are some of the friendliest and most helpful people you’ll ever meet and make visiting the island all the more enjoyable.

  1. Key West Boat Tour

Do yourself a favor and hop aboard a boat tour if getting to see some of the best views is high on your priority list. Our top pick is the sunset cruise. Glide through the blue waters on a Schooner America 2.0 and get a glimpse of the ‘Green Flash’ phenomenon at sundown. You’ll also spot marine life and lots of birds throughout the tour.

  1. Mallory Square Dock

Mallory Square Dock is the best place to watch the sunset apart from being on the water. In the worn square you’ll be entertained by jugglers, performers and street vendors with a number of shops and restaurants in the area as well.

  1. Audubon House and Tropical Gardens

Travel back in time and experience the life of the wealthy folk who once lived on the island. This home still has all the original furniture, fixtures and artworks, capturing a moment frozen in time.

  1. Shipwreck Treasure Museum

Discover all the salvaged cargo from shipwrecks dating back to the 1800s. There are also actors and film recreations of the shipwrecks which are fascinating to watch.


Is Key West worth visiting? If all that didn’t convince you then nothing will! You won’t regret visiting an island that perfectly fuses history, nature and food into an indulgent experience for all who are lucky enough to visit it.


See Also:

Best Time To Visit Key West (& Monthly Events)

What To Pack For Key West: 14 Things to Bring & What to Leave Behind


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