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7 Super Things to Do in Key West

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When you’re ready to book your dream trip to Key West, you might be wondering about how to best plan your time there. Whether it’s for a weekend or a week, there is so much to see and do, it can be hard to know where to begin. Here’s a great checklist of some of the most highly rated places to go and things to do in Key West:

1. Key Lime Pie from Kermit’s Key Lime Pie Shoppe

Among the many things that Key West is famous for, perhaps none is more widely recognized than key lime pie. And you can get it at any number of places in Key West. But it won’t be Kermit’s, and that makes all the difference in the world. The spark of citrus and the flaky crust of the homemade pie stands out so much, they offer it for sale online, too, and ship it anywhere in the country. Be sure to check out the Elizabeth Street location where there’s a full cafe menu and outdoor seating near the charming koi pond. Kermit’s also carries a wide selection of key lime-inspired cookies, candy, chutneys, and snacks, plus pampering treats like lip balms, soaps, and lotions. 

2. Snorkeling at Dry Tortugas National Park

For the adventurous types, head to Dry Tortugas National Park on the ferry from Key West. It’s about an hour away and your reservation needs to be made well in advance of your trip to get a spot, but it’s worth it. Snorkeling here is outstanding because of the clear and calm waters. There’s plenty of coral reefs and shipwrecks for novice and advanced snorkelers, and even if you don’t snorkel or dive, there’s plenty to do. Tour historic Fort Jefferson, picnic, swim, kayak, and go birdwatching here. 

3. Conch Fritters at Eaton Street Seafood Market

Everyone has their favorite seafood dish, but the conch fritters at Eaton Street Seafood Market are out of this world. They’re fresh and flavorful, and made with the day’s catch. The restaurant’s full menu includes other familiar dishes like lobster roll, fish tacos, and for those who aren’t fans of seafood, chicken tenders. You can take your meals to go or get comfortable at the restaurant’s outdoor seating adjacent to its charming Art Deco-style building. 

4. Visit the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum

Ernest Hemingway’s legacy is more than just the many books he wrote. He was a fixture in Key West for many years, and his family’s home is now open for tours. Feel like you’ve taken a step back in time as you walk through the house, and wander the gardens where numerous specimen plants and trees thrive. The grounds include a beautiful in-ground pool, which was a technological feat when it was installed around 100 years ago. You can even catch a glimpse of the polydactyl cats that still roam the property, descended from those that originally belonged to Papa himself. 

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5. Tour the Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden

Key West’s climate is unique when compared to the rest of the continental U.S., so it’s well worth checking out the tropical forest and botanical garden here. It features a wide variety of trees, shrubs, and other plants you won’t find anywhere else. What’s more, the lush vegetation makes a great habitat for many species of tropical birds, too, so while you’re enjoying the gardens and forests, you can also see birds in their natural homes, too. Bring your binoculars and pack a lunch to make a day of it. The park has boardwalk-style paths and picnic areas, too. 

6. Fishing with All In Fishing Charter

Many of the visitors to Key West return year after year expressly for the fishing. Even if you’ve never fished before, you can still participate in this exciting sport when you book a trip with All In Fishing Charters. The friendly and knowledgeable captain and crew provide all the fishing gear you need plus pointers to get started if you’re new to catching fish. Charters run all year long, although the type of fish available varies from season to season. For added fun, if you land something great, visit Dante’s restaurant where there’s a cook-your-catch menu option. 

7. Visit Southernmost Point

One block off of Duval Street is Southernmost Point, a large concrete buoy on land that serves as a landmark. Having your photo taken in front of it is practically a rite of passage for visitors to Key West. Afterward, check out the nearby Southernmost Beach Resort’s cafe, which is open to the public. It’s open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and drinks, and the creative menu showcases international flavors prepared with local ingredients in a seaside bistro setting. Popular menu items include the brined pork chops, drunken scallops, and fish fry; there’s also an option where your own freshly caught fish can be prepared by expert chefs with soy citrus, lemon glaze, herb panko macadamia, and blackened seasonings.

As you can see, it’s easy to fill your days in Key West with a wide range of fun activities and adventures. From fishing to great food, exciting snorkeling, and engaging museums, it’s the kind of vacation destination that’s got more than enough to keep you coming back again and again.

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About Chef Lilian

Your favorite recipe author, faithful to every course. Mail me at chef@foodwellsaid.com

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