11 Amazing Islands Near Key West You Must Visit This Summer

Islands Near Key West

The Florida Keys is the closest you can get to an island paradise in the continental United States. There are countless white sand beaches, mangrove forests, and natural habitats to explore while visiting the Key West islands. From wildlife excursions for nature lovers to watersports in some of the hottest locations in Key West, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in Key West!


1) The Most Exciting Features Of Key West

Arguably the most famous of the Florida Keys islands is Key West! Not only can you find some of the nation’s tastiest Key lime pie at locations like Kermit’s on Duval, but one of the region’s most visited tourist locations is found along the shore.

Southernmost Point is a busy location where you’ll find tourists from all over the country lined up to take photos with the massive colorful buoy marking the country’s Southernmost point. When you’re done with your photo-op at the buoy, you must try a sandbar excursion with Key West Paddle.

We make the most of your Key West experience by taking you to locations most tourists can’t get to, leaving you with a private sandbar adventure with your loved ones! Set up your tour with us before your Florida Keys vacation to ensure you won’t miss out on a sandbar at Snipe Point or the Mud Keys.

Private Sandbar Adventure Around Key West


2) See Why Key Largo Is Known As The Diving Capital Of The World

Key Largo is home to the headquarters of the National Marine Sanctuary and John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and other top tourist attractions that make this area of the Florida Keys Islands regarded as the diving capital of the world.

You can snorkel and go scuba diving in the waters around Key Largo, holding the National Marine Sanctuary to view some of the most stunning marine life and sea creatures in the Atlantic Ocean. The John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is well known for its incredible underwater views in Florida Bay, which also makes it a great place for diving in Key Largo.

John Pennekamp’s Park is the first undersea park in the U.S. where you can explore the sea on glass-bottomed boats or on snorkeling and scuba diving excursions with expert guides. If you’re looking for an above-the-sea adventure, check out the Everglades National Park in Key Largo.

The Everglades National Park protects many rare and endangered species in the largest subtropical wilderness in the U.S. You’ll see animals like:

  • Manatees

  • The American Crocodile

  • Florida Panther

Key West Manatees


3) Experience The Wildlife Of Key West At Big Pine Key

Big Pine Key is another wonderful stop on your Florida Keys adventure, with lots of wildlife experiences to enjoy in the Lower Keys. You’ll find the National Key Deer Refuge, an 8,542-acre National Wildlife Refuge where the endangered Key Deer resides. The000 Key Deer is a subspecies of the white-tailed deer and shares its home at the refuge with 21 other species of flora and fauna.

Expect to see some of these creatures on your adventures in the refuge:

  • Masked Duck

  • American Eel

  • Saltmarsh Sparrow

  • Key Ring-necked Snake

  • Loggerhead Turtles

  • American Alligator

Key Deer

You’ll also want to set a time to visit Bahia Honda State Park in Big Pine Key! This state park offers iconic Florida Keys scenery like sugary white beaches lined with swaying palm trees. A magnificent location to lounge along the shore to enjoy the balmy breeze or take in the sunset.

Bahia Honda State Park is known for the ideal birdwatching of wading birds and shorebirds alike. You can rent kayaks or snorkeling gear here and take a boat trip to the coral reefs for guided snorkeling instruction!


4) Have An Adult Only Vacation On Little Torch Key

Little Torch Key is a Lower Keys tropical paradise found off the 28th-mile marker on the Overseas Highway. This tiny island offers an adults-only resort with 15 thatch-roofed bungalows with every comfort you would want in a tropical paradise.

You’ll enjoy a copper soaking tub, a furnished deck, outdoor showers to wash away the salty water of the Atlantic Ocean, and breathtaking views of the waters. Little Torch Key is also ideal for a quiet fishing retreat with some of the best deep sea and fly fishing in Key West.

Little Torch Key


5) Explore Dry Tortugas National Park At Garden Key

Head to Garden Key for an unforgettable adventure at the Dry Tortugas National Park. This Florida Keys island is home to the park’s headquarters, a visitor center, campgrounds, and impressive swimming and snorkeling access.

The only way to access this Key West island is by boat or seaplane, so it’s not a simple last-minute addition to your family vacation or trip with friends. The Yankee Freedom Ferry is a popular and affordable option, but spots fill up quickly so you’ll have to plan accordingly!

Dry Tortugas National Park


6) Visit The Luxurious Island Of Long Key In Key West

Long Key is in the Middle Keys of Key West and was once a place of luxury for the rich and famous. The Long Key State Park is now a tranquil haven for swimming, kayaking, watching the many species of birds, and lounging along the shoreline.

Explore the mangroves in a kayak or hike into a tent-only campsite where you can spend the night under the stars in the heart of the Florida Keys Islands on Long Key.

Long Key State Park


7) Take In The Beauty Of Sunset Key

Sunset Key is one of the tiniest Keys Islands you can visit. This small residential island is also an unforgettable island getaway with resort cottages for rent. You can only access the island by a Ferry that operates behind the Opal Resort and Marina.

This pristine island has no cars, so you’ll have to rely on a golf cart to get around the island. You can enjoy luxurious amenities like a high-end restaurant, tennis courts, and beautiful, quiet beaches on this Key West island.

Sunset Key


8) Catch Loggerhead Turtles Nesting At Marathon

Marathon Key is in the Middle Keys and is comprised of 13 smaller islands making up the city of Marathon. Sombrero Beach is one of the most famous beaches in the Marathon Keys because the local Loggerhead Turtles make this beach their annual nesting place.

This is also one of the few Islands near the Florida Keys that’s mangrove-free, so it’s the best spot for cozy beach islanders. Marathon Key is best known for its popular bars, exciting sea adventures, and stunning sunsets!

Sea Turtles


9) Explore The Mangroves Of Marquesas Key

The Marquesas Key is home to uninhabited islands with lots of mangrove beaches and forests to explore. Mangrove tunnels and shorelines are some of the best places to explore the shallow waters of the Florida Keys, where most tropical fish are born.

This island is surrounded by the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, so be mindful of the signs showing you where your beach adventures must stop.

Marquesas Key


10) See The History Of The Florida Keys At Islamorada

Islamorada is one of the Keys Islands, full of history and fun tourist attractions. Check out the History of Diving Museum to see how the famous pastime has transitioned over the years, or head to the Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park to see some of the most stunning natural sites on the island.

Robbies of Islamorada is a popular tourist destination with a marina and waterfront restaurant, Tarpon feeding, fishing excursions, and so much more. There’s no lack of fun when you come to Islamorada on your vacation.



11) Experience Dolphins At Little Duck Key

Aside from visiting the last living coral barrier reef in the country, getting up close and personal with dolphins is one of the most sought-after experiences in the Florida Keys.

Little Duck Key is home to interactive dolphin experiences and tons of watersports rental opportunities. This is the perfect Florida Keys island for those who love being in the water and interacting with the natural wildlife on these tropical islands.

Dolphins At Little Duck Key


Get The Most Out Of Your Key West Vacation

There’s no better way to experience an island adventure than taking a guided tour of the sandbars or mangrove tunnels with Key West Paddle. Whether you want to glide along the waters of the islands near Key West at night in a glass-bottomed kayak searching for sea life or spend the afternoon lounging on a sandbar in the midst of the shallow waters around the Mud Keys or Snipe Point.

Visit our site to get your trip scheduled now!

1 hour 30 minutes
Group Size
Up to 18

Night Kayak Guided Tour

Get a single or double glass-bottom kayak illuminated with lights and follow our tour guide on this one of a kind, unforgettable and simply magical adventure.

This slow paced, immersive, and very relaxing experience will allow you to see some cool, active at night marine life as you are gliding through crystal clear waters of Key West.

Guests will experience going through narrow mangrove tunnels at night, floating around shallow and calm waters as the tour guide will look for interesting critters for everyone to see.

3 hours
Group Size
1 to 6

Key West Sandbar Trip

Key West sandbars are our local well kept secret. This is where we take our families to hang out and relax on our days off. This is the perk of our island lifestyle. Now we want to share this experience with you.

Turquoise shallow waters, epic picture worthy sights all around you that look like a postcard - that is what you're signing up for!