Florida Keys Travel Guide
Spend the day at the 1850s park (don’t miss the fascinating antique desalination plant). Here, you’ll also find one of the few beaches in Key West with showers and picnic tables. Tip: bring waterproof sandals—the beach is pebbly.
Almost every item in this ocean-themed shop is covered in seashells. There are handmade sand dollar– and starfish-rimmed mirrors and frames, along with gorgeous sea-glass chandeliers, all of which come wrapped in tissue paper decorated, yes, with shells.
This three-acre green that housed the railroad builders who constructed the Seven Mile Bridge to Key West in 1912 is now a charming museum complex surrounded by grassy fields and shady palm trees.
It's a shame to come to Hemingway's tropical hideaway and not take the official tour, which start every 10 minutes and are led by a ramshackle group of stand-up comics turned literature lovers.
This annual arts exhibit of contemporary, large-scale outdoor sculptures and installations started in 1995 as an informal exhibit. Now, it showcases emerging and established artists from around the world.
Self-proclaimed environmental artist Nancy Forrester is the mastermind behind this oasis off Simonton Street. Like a patch of rainforest, it has dense foliage, squawking birds, and plenty of hidden nooks.
Just off the Overseas Highway, Robbie’s Marina is a boat rental and tour company cantilevered over the Florida Bay waters. Possible activities include deep-sea fishing, kayaking through the mangroves, and snorkeling in the nation’s largest barrier reef.
A jazzy live band accompanies the rough-looking bartenders, who serve $3 brews to a wide range of characters beneath twinkling green lights.
Yacht owners tie up their boats and grab seats on the wraparound porch at this marina bar and slurp Key lime–garlic oysters during happy hour (4–6:30 p.m., when starters and drinks are half-price).
The Mel Fisher Maritime Museum celebrates its namesake's 1985 discovery of the hull of a 1622 Spanish Galleon named Atocha, uncovered about a one-hour boat ride from Key West that divers and the Fishers still explore.
The museum dates to 1834.
The famed shop produces a frozen version, dipped in chocolate and eaten from a stick, lolly-style.
This recently renovated hotel restaurant hosts its very own cabaret; men in drag do nightly impersonations of celebrities like Madonna and Cher at the Crystal Room. Skip the overpriced poolside restaurant for a fresh mojito on the black-and-white-marble patio.
Just a five-minute boat ride from Marathon, Seabird Key is a 10-acre private island available for rent by the week. The island is home to an eight-person guesthouse, surrounded by tropical gardens; a bird sanctuary filled with pelicans and herons; and a white-sand beach strung with hammocks.
The Museum of Art & History at the Custom House occupies a prime location on the port, but for Art Basel–quality work, head to this one-room gallery. The small collection of contemporary Cuban artists includes vibrant canvases by Luis Abreux and painted wooden folk carvings by Mario Sanchez.