USA / Florida

Key West

Language English
Local Time
Currency US Dollar (USD)
Weather

Welcome in the Southernmost city of the contiguous United States

Key west is an island in the Straits of Florida, part of the Florida Keys. The city is Florida’s southernmost and most independent subtropical paradise. Initially it was called “Bone Key” (Cayo Hueso), in honor of Indian skeletons that Spaniards found on its shores when they landed here for the first time in the 16th century. Eventually, the name was Americanized to Key West.

The mild climate of Key West, the historic buildings and the atmosphere of everything have for a very long period of time provided a refuge for writers, artists and free spirits in search of a place to rest and satisfy the mind, body and body’ soul.

Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Frost and Jimmy Buffett are some of the famous people who have found comfort and inspiration in the island city.

What to see & what to do

Key West Island has a small downtown with everything within easy reach. Most of the attractions are museums and cultural sites, in regard to nature conservation and history. But also pleasant walks can be done to shop or have just a lunch break in one of the fancy restaurants of Duval Street. You can definitely combine more than one activity in a day visit.

Beaches

Higgs Beach

10 min by car from the Cruise Port. For those looking for an uncrowded and relaxing beach the best place is Higgs Beach. Located a few steps from Smathers, it does not attract the same crowds very likely because of the sea currents that flow in this area of the island. There are many oceanic debris, algae and the like in the area that can make it less attractive for swimming. But cleaners work hard to rake the beaches daily and eliminate any driftwood. The water is very clean and suitable for snorkeling.

Smathers Beach

15 min by car from the Cruise Port. Definitely the most popular beach on the island, Smathers Beach is the place to go for action all day long. Stretching for about two miles along Roosevelt Boulevard, Smathers offers vacationers everything they need for a day of fun and sports on the sand. Grocery vendors, water sports rentals and an abundance of beach volleyball are available for those looking for a busy beach.

South Beach Key West

15 Min by car from the Cruise Port. This isn't the same South Beach you know for Miami's most spectacular parties, rather Key West's South Beach got its name from its location on the island. This beach is very popular and chosen among families thanks to its calm and shallow waters. South Beach is a super relaxing place and boasts beautiful crystal clear waters.

Zachary Taylor Beach

5 min by car from the cruise port. Zachary Taylor Beach is part of the Historic State Park of Fort Zachary Taylor. It's good for snorkeling when there's not much wind. Wearing water shoes here is a must, due to rocky bottom after you walk from the beach. The area is well equipped with picnic places and bars.

Park & Landmarks

Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park

5 min car from the cruise port. This Florida State Park is a National Historic Landmark related to the Civil War-era. The old fort can be visited getting to know better the history and its artillery. In alternative you can enjoy time in the nature with lots of beach activities at the famous Zachary Taylor beach. It's a beautiful tour that can be even more fun by renting a bicycle.

Southernmost Point Buoy

20 min walking or 5 min by car from the cruise port. You might not miss this famous USA landmark. As the name predicts, this buoy is the southernmost point in the continental united states. Originally built and set as tourists attraction back in 1983, now is one of the most visited and photographed attractions in the United States.

Snorkelling

Higgs Beach

10 min by car from the Cruise Port. For those looking for an uncrowded and relaxing beach the best place is Higgs Beach. Located a few steps from Smathers, it does not attract the same crowds very likely because of the sea currents that flow in this area of the island. There are many oceanic debris, algae and the like in the area that can make it less attractive for swimming. But cleaners work hard to rake the beaches daily and eliminate any driftwood. The water is very clean and suitable for snorkeling.

Zachary Taylor Beach

5 min by car from the cruise port. Zachary Taylor Beach is part of the Historic State Park of Fort Zachary Taylor. It's good for snorkeling when there's not much wind. Wearing water shoes here is a must, due to rocky bottom after you walk from the beach. The area is well equipped with picnic places and bars.

Animal Encounter

Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center

5 min by car from the cruise port. This Center features great interactive exhibits, which shows the nature of Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. You can experience the Aquarius, an unique underwater ocean laboratory. Also the Living Reef exhibit, with a reef tank with living corals and tropical fishes inside. The Entrance is free.

Key West Aquarium

Located in the heart of Mallory Square and few meters from Fisherman Wharf and Pier B. That's a must if you want to keep your children entertained. Inside are represented the most fascinating creatures of the Florida Keys. The touch tank, shark, jellyfish & alligator exhibits, the sea turtles conservations tours & the stingray bay are all interactive attractions for actually all ages.

The Butterfly and Nature Conservatory

5 min car from the cruise port. This Nature Conservatory exhibits very educational gardens. The butterfly are everywhere, in a great colorful environment. Lots of different varieties can be observed, in addiction to beautiful plants and birds, like flamingos.

Family

Conch Tour Train

The tour begins at the Front Street Depot and ends in Mallory Square, so very close to the ship docks. The train loops through the Old Town, making three stops in the most significant locations. You can decide to join as soon as it resumes the run, or just stay longer to visit and take the next train.

Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center

5 min by car from the cruise port. This Center features great interactive exhibits, which shows the nature of Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. You can experience the Aquarius, an unique underwater ocean laboratory. Also the Living Reef exhibit, with a reef tank with living corals and tropical fishes inside. The Entrance is free.

Key West Aquarium

Located in the heart of Mallory Square and few meters from Fisherman Wharf and Pier B. That's a must if you want to keep your children entertained. Inside are represented the most fascinating creatures of the Florida Keys. The touch tank, shark, jellyfish & alligator exhibits, the sea turtles conservations tours & the stingray bay are all interactive attractions for actually all ages.

Key West Shipwreck Museum

The aim of the exhibition is to tell the story of the rediscovery of the wrecked vessel Isaac Allerton (sunk in 1856). It combines actors, films and artifacts from 1985, when the wreck was discovered. This and other facts are narrated to explain how the maritime patrimony of Key West made the island become the richest city of the United States back in the days.

The Butterfly and Nature Conservatory

5 min car from the cruise port. This Nature Conservatory exhibits very educational gardens. The butterfly are everywhere, in a great colorful environment. Lots of different varieties can be observed, in addiction to beautiful plants and birds, like flamingos.

History & Culture

Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum

5 min by car or 20 min walking from the cruise port. This is a top recommended tour when arriving in Key West. The museum shows interesting stories and facts about Hemingway, the home, and the grounds. The home has high quality artifacts, while the grounds are vey beautiful.

Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park

5 min car from the cruise port. This Florida State Park is a National Historic Landmark related to the Civil War-era. The old fort can be visited getting to know better the history and its artillery. In alternative you can enjoy time in the nature with lots of beach activities at the famous Zachary Taylor beach. It's a beautiful tour that can be even more fun by renting a bicycle.

Harry S. Truman Little White House

3 min walking from the cruise port. This Little White House was the winter White House for President Harry S. Truman for 175 days during 11 visits in 8 years. When it was built in 1890, it was waterfront. Truman arrived the first time in November 1946, when his doctor ordered him a warm vacation after 19 months in Office. From the first visit, S. Truman kept coming here, giving Key West a role in his presidential history.

Key West Shipwreck Museum

The aim of the exhibition is to tell the story of the rediscovery of the wrecked vessel Isaac Allerton (sunk in 1856). It combines actors, films and artifacts from 1985, when the wreck was discovered. This and other facts are narrated to explain how the maritime patrimony of Key West made the island become the richest city of the United States back in the days.

The Lighthouse and Keeper’s Quarters Museum

5 min by car from he cruise port. Originally completed in 1825, it measured 65 feet (20 meters) in hight. It was destroyed by the Great Havana Hurricane of 1846. The new tower was built in 1848, being 50 feet (15 meters) tall and with 13 lamps flashing at 15 feet (5 meters) above sea level. You can climb on the top and enjoy the panoramic views of the colorful surroundings.

USCGC Ingham Maritime Museum

Right in front of the cruise docks. This museum & National Historic Landmark hosts the famous USCG Cutter Ingham. The only Coast Guard Cutter afloat today to receive two Presidential Unit Citations for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy. In fact Ingham took part of Word War II and Vietnam War, contributing to make USA and Coast Guard history from 1936 to 1988. The ship can be visited to have an insight of how life was for soldiers working onboard.

Walking

Harry S. Truman Little White House

3 min walking from the cruise port. This Little White House was the winter White House for President Harry S. Truman for 175 days during 11 visits in 8 years. When it was built in 1890, it was waterfront. Truman arrived the first time in November 1946, when his doctor ordered him a warm vacation after 19 months in Office. From the first visit, S. Truman kept coming here, giving Key West a role in his presidential history.

Mallory Square

Right at the Fisherman Wharf Pier. The square is close to many tourist attractions and shops. It has a historical cemetery of local people including human rights activists with art work. The plaza has kiosks of various venders, sweets, art work, souvenirs, food. There are various live performances of acrobats, musicians, jugglers. It's famous for being the best spot to look at the sunset, but it's not for cruise guests since ships leave earlier.

Southernmost Point Buoy

20 min walking or 5 min by car from the cruise port. You might not miss this famous USA landmark. As the name predicts, this buoy is the southernmost point in the continental united states. Originally built and set as tourists attraction back in 1983, now is one of the most visited and photographed attractions in the United States.

USCGC Ingham Maritime Museum

Right in front of the cruise docks. This museum & National Historic Landmark hosts the famous USCG Cutter Ingham. The only Coast Guard Cutter afloat today to receive two Presidential Unit Citations for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy. In fact Ingham took part of Word War II and Vietnam War, contributing to make USA and Coast Guard history from 1936 to 1988. The ship can be visited to have an insight of how life was for soldiers working onboard.

Shopping

Duval Street

5 min walk from the cruise port. This is an original street in the very center of Key West. Historic homes are turned into restaurants, with bars and shops all around.

Best cruise deals: (Cruises are still suspended till 2021)

Pictures of Key West

instagram #keywest

Key West is waiting for YOU!

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Lost in paradise 🌴🌴🌴
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Bet you've never seen the #southernmostpoint from this angle! Pretty neato! #keywest #southernmostcity #birdseyeview

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There's a couple of chairs waiting for you at hogfish_bar
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Imagine this is your spot for the day. Photo by bakerscayresort ...

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I'd rather be traveling but visiting a local museum will do.⁠ ☀️🌴

This weekend Layton and I went to the Kimbell Art Museum and The Museum of Modern Art of Fort Worth, and we had a blast! There were some great pieces, and some weird ones too - especially at the modern art museum. ⁠

I mentioned this in my stories, but I just don't believe a crushed bumper of a car or a blob of goo in a corner could possibly compare to a Michelangelo sculpture or a Rembrandt painting.⁠

I've heard it said that art is whatever the artist intends it to be - so anything can be art - however, I believe that if everything is considered art, then nothing is (shoutout to danaberez saying this to me in a DM)!⁠

So what do you think? Is anything art or is there a standard?⁠ 🎨


If you want to be entertained, head to my story highlight titled 'Art?' for some funny commentary on the ridiculous art. ⁠


#keywest #drytortuga #LoveFL #dallasblogger ⁠
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🌴 You shouldn't give circumstances the power to rouse anger, for they don't care at all- Marcus Aurelius
📌 Marathon Key, FL
📸 aidavelezphotostudio
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Tag immortalflorida for a feature!!!
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Freakshake vanille ! ...

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Have you been to the Dry Tortugas yet?🌴 It’s definitely on our Florida Keys list of must do’s ✔️




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We caught Rhett and Scarlett in the middle of their yoga session this morning! ...

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You just can’t beat Florida skies 🌅

📷:sublime.imagery

Tag #PureFlorida and PureFlorida to share!
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How about a little tour of Old Town in this?
📷paulfuentes_photo
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#keywest #conchrepublic  #floridakeys #keywestflorida #southernmostpoint #keywestlife #keyweststyle #vacationvibes #roostersretreat #duvalstreet #islamorada
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Tag that special person who is sharing this view next to you. Fall is an amazing time of the year in the Florida Keys. C'mon down. Visit our website to make all your plans. Link in bio. ...

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We hope your Monday is as beautiful as this blue Morpho! ...

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Have a great weekend and spend some time with family and friends. Drinks provided by cheecalodge ...

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Follow enjoy_travel365 for more!! #keywest #florida ##usa #water #sunset #travel #travelphotography #travelgram #traveltheworld #travelblogger #travelusa #travelguide #travelguides #enjoytravel365
📸: benmuldersunsets
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Lead Role--Palm Trees
Supporting Role-Water
Cameo Appearance--Rainbow
Art Director-- marc_minisci_
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Life is cool by the pool. Our pool bars will help you get into a Key West state of mind. Our favorite way to take it Keysy at #BungalowBar is with our famous Rum Runner featuring local papaspilar rum. #WinslowsBungalows ...

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Suspended in the depths of her waters, she gave me wings 🦋
I can fly ~ km
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Photo by the very talented alessandrahally_photography
Fins : diver.usa
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Discover show-stopping views just out our doors.
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Weather

Key West has a regular tropical climate, with two defined seasons: dry and wet. Temperatures are not changing much during the year, recording a difference of about 15 °F (8 °C) between January (the coolest) and July (the warmest). The best time to visit Key West, is from March to May. This period is usually the driest, less warm and with smaller crowds. The Hurricane season present a threat to the Keys and Key West. In fact the area is exposed to the Westerly route which the storm usually have while approaching from the Atlantic Ocean. The last storm to hit the Keys was Hurricane Irma in 2017, making landfall as a Category 4, after smashing other Caribbean Islands.

Dry season

Dry season

From November/December to May. Rain disturbance is at a minimum and temperatures are moderately warm. A really comfortable period to visit Key West.

80°F 64°F

Wet season

Wet season

From May/June to October. In September tropical weather systems and the strongest. Hurricanes, tropical depressions and tropical make this month the wettest.

90°F 75°F

Good to know

 

  1. Clothing Dress code in Key West is very casual. The finest restaurant in town will welcome you wearing neat shorts and a collared shirt.
  2. Water Shoes Bring them if you go to swim or snorkel. Some of the water can be rocky after you walk from the beach.
  3. Sundries For convenience and cost concerns, bring your own everyday health and beauty products with you. If you head to the beach, bring your onboard towel.
  4. Port Regulation Be aware that often in port it's forbidden to take off the ship fruits, vegetables and unsealed food items for local agricolture concern.
  5. Time Zone AST (Atlantic Standard Time) UTC/GMT -4 hours. Make sure to keep the ship's time on your clock to come back board on time. Be aware of automatic changes of your smartphones.
  6. Currency The official currency is the US Dollar.

Terminal

The small cruise port of Key West has 3 docks for ships. The first two are practically in the city center. The third pier is a little further away but well connected with service buses. The port is located approximately 150 ml (240 km) from Miami, FL and only 90 ml (145 km) from Havana, Cuba.

Remind

The main dock in Key West is the Fisherman Wharf (by Mallory Square). Alternatively, there are also Pier B (nearby Mallory Square) and the Navy Mole (with shuttles to the town).

Transport

Key West is a very small island: two miles wide and four miles long. All attractions are within walking distances. A common way to move is by foot, so that the Key West spirit can be lived at its best. The Old Town Trolley is a popular mean of transportation as well, like a local bus. Also bike and scooter rental are good alternatives.

Nearby destinations:

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