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4 Things Every Person Should Do When Visiting Key West, Florida

Posted by Ben Shepardson on 05/06/2016

Key West is a small island, but for such a small place there’s a lot to do.  Although Key West is well known as a drinking and bar hopping destination, you should know that there is a lot more to this tiny island than just bars and Duval Street.

Here are fours things every person should do when visiting Key West.



Key West is a sport fishing destination known around the world. It is a fisherman’s paradise boasting more environments and species of fish to target then pretty much anywhere else.

In Key West you can jump on a flat boat and sight fish in the shallow flats for game fish such as bonefish and tarpon. You can run offshore on a 40-foot sport fisher to troll for Mahi Mahi and Marlin. You can fish the reef for delicious eating fish such as black grouper and yellowtail snapper.

Theoretically, you could do all 3 things in one day if you wanted to.

The spring and early summer are the best times to come if fishing is your thing, as Key West tends to have flatter seas, and the fishing is the best.

Not a hardcore fisherman but still want to wet a line? There are plenty of bridges and piers in Key West where you can spend the day fishing and relaxing.

Fishing in Key West Florida

Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum


You can’t visit Key West and not visit the former home of its most famous resident, writer Ernest Hemingway. The Hemingway House is a pilgrimage for any lover of literature, as it’s where he wrote some of his best novels and also where he lived for nearly a decade.

The museum is loaded with memorabilia and artifacts related to the author’s life and career, and seeing them is well worth the price of admission. Even if you’re not a fan of his work, the scenery both inside and outside the house is spectacular, as there are beautiful gardens and architectural features that anyone can enjoy.

There are also dozens of cats that live on the property, so be on the lookout for some feline friends wandering around. These cats are notable because they possess far more toes then a regular cat: sometimes 6 toes on a foot sometimes even more.

Front gate at Ernest Hemingways House

Scuba Diving

The scuba diving in Key West is rated among the best in the world. At the very least, it’s the best within the 48 contiguous states. Under the sea, you’ll be privy to the only living coral barrier reef in the United States, scores of fish, and ship wrecks that are centuries old.

Key West is also home to the Hoyt Vandenberg artificial reef, which is a huge military vessel, sunk purposely in 150 feet of water south of Key West. It is over 500 feet long and the high points of the ship come to within 40 feet of the surface. It teems with sea life and is a must-see for any scuba diver visiting the island.

Boat Tours

Key West is packed with tour boats of different styles and flavors.

You can take a boat all the way around the island to view the coastline and then explore the waters that surround the Keys.

There are eco-tours, which will take you to visit mangrove islands and channels. Often you then take kayaks to navigate the shallow flats and channels that surround these islands. You will see numerous birds and sea life including small sharks and rays.

Sunset cruises can be particularly enjoyable, especially if you’re on holiday in Key West with that special someone.