Ultimate Key West Packing List - Pack Like A Pro For Your Trip

Key West Packing List

Are you putting together a packing list for Key West? While there’s no dress code for paradise, it is helpful to know exactly what to bring along on your Key West vacation.

The Florida Keys enjoy a tropical climate. Yes, the temperatures here linger near 75 degrees Fahrenheit in the middle of winter. During summer, it’s common to see daily temperatures hit 85 degrees to 90 degrees. While breezes from the Atlantic Ocean certainly help to provide refreshment, the general rule is to dress for summer weather whenever you’re visiting Key West.

Of course, what you’ll need to pack for the Florida Keys also depends on how you intend to spend your time once you arrive. For everything from boating to checking out Old Town Key West, your needs for attire and gear can be quite different. Here’s what you need to know to put together your Key West packing list!


Essentials For Your Packing Cubes

There are some items for your Key West packing list that are universal simply based on the climate of South Florida. Don’t skip these essentials:

  • Reef-safe sunscreen to help you stay protected against UV rays from Key West’s year-round sunshine

  • Reef-safe bug spray that offers protection against mosquitos and other pests

  • A wide-brimmed sun hat with a strap

Key West Packing List - Essentials


What To Pack For Kayaking

At Night Kayak Key West, we know a thing or two about packing for Key West because we help countless visitors enjoy the best time of their lives on our guided after-dark kayaking excursions. Our excursions let you explore the Florida Keys in LED-illuminated glass-bottom kayaks.

There’s nothing like glowing your way through amazing mangrove tunnels of the Florida Keys as you watch robust marine life swimming under your kayak through a glass bottom. While we provide your life jacket and kayaking gear, we do have a few recommendations about what to bring along:

  • Waterproof dry bag for your phone, hotel keys, wallet, and camera

  • A light rain jacket for cooler nights

  • Water shoes or strapped sandals that provide better stability compared to flip flops. Brands like Chaco, Teva, and Eddie Baur often sell affordable styles that are perfect for vacation

  • Bathing suit

Make sure that any liquids you’re packing for sun and bug protection are compliant with TSA guidelines!

Our local guides know all the details to help you enjoy the nocturnal marine wonderland of Key West. With each tour having room for 6 single kayaks and 12 double kayaks, reservations fill up quickly. That’s why we recommend that you don’t wait to book your excursion until your bags are packed.

Book your magical tour with Night Kayak Key West today!

Night Kayaking In Key West


What To Pack For A Boat Trip

Is a boat tour on your mind for your upcoming trip to the Florida Keys? Some casual island wear should be perfect. If you’re opting for a sunset cruise, consider packing a light jacket that will keep your shoulders warm once the evening chill settles in.

If you’re planning a sandbar trip, bringing along some water shoes is a great idea for exploring without getting your regular shoes or sneakers dirty.

What To Pack For A Boat Trip In The Florida Keys


What To Pack For Nights Out During Your Key West Vacation

If you’re planning to hit up Duval Street for margaritas or mojitos, you may be wondering about nightwear in Key West. Overall, the bars and restaurants have a casual dress code. Most people wear tank tops, t-shirts, shorts, or sundresses. Loud patterns and bright colors are encouraged! Fancier restaurants might suggest polo shirts for men.

It’s also important to wear the right fabrics for comfort! Avoid thick cotton, flannel leather, wool, and other heavy materials. Linen and rayon offer better breathability in the Key West heat. Bringing along a light sweater or lightweight jacket to pull on for the walk back to your rental home or hotel is also a good idea.

What kind of shoes should you wear in Key West? While flip flops may be good for the beach in Key West, sandals are better for bar crawls because they offer better stability and protection.

What To Pack For Nights Out In Key West


What To Pack For The Beach In Key West

You may find that you wear your bathing suit for most of the day in Key West if you plan to hit the beach or lounge at your hotel pool. In fact, one of the best packing tips is to bring along multiple bathing suits in order to rotate suits while you give fabric a chance to dry. How many bathing suits should you pack for Key West? Plan for a minimum of two to ensure that you’re never putting on a damp suit.

In addition to the sun protection mentioned above, your Florida Keys beach bag should have bathing suits, flip flops, sunglasses, a UV-blocking sun hat, and a refillable water bottle. If you’re driving to the Florida Keys, you can consider packing along your own beach towel.

However, you may not want to take up room in your luggage with beach towels. Before stuffing your bags, contact your resort or rental to ask if beach towels will be provided to you. If you do need to pack towels for the beach, consider foldable beach mats that take up less space.

Beach Bag In Key West, Florida Keys


What To Pack For Scuba Diving Or Snorkeling In Key West

If you plan to book a diving excursion to Florida’s beautiful coral reefs through a tour provider, you can almost guarantee that all of your diving and snorkeling gear will be provided to you.

It’s highly recommended that you wear a wetsuit while snorkeling or scuba diving. In addition to making you more comfortable, a wetsuit will help to keep your body temperature stable. Body heat is lost around 25% faster in water. Even a day that’s hot enough for t-shirts and tank tops on land can see uncomfortably chilly water temperatures below the surface.

Wetsuit For Scuba Diving And Snorkeling


Is A Packing List For Key West Different During Hurricane Season?

Hurricane season in South Florida lasts from June 1 through Nov. 30. If you’re coming during this time, you might want to consider adjusting your Florida Keys packing list to include a rainproof jacket, some plastic rain ponchos, and a pair of rain boots.

One essential item to consider bringing along during hurricane season is an extra phone charger that you carry in your everyday bag to ensure that you’re able to communicate if you get stranded during an outbreak of bad weather.

Key West Hurricane Season


Get Ready For Key West

Before you start packing for Key West, you need to know exactly what you’re packing for! We are here to make your time in the Florida Keys as magical as possible with our after-dark guided kayaking tours in glass-bottom kayaks that illuminate the water all around you.

These are the best underwater views you can possibly get without putting on scuba diving or snorkeling gear. With our incredible team taking care of everything, this excursion doesn’t require you to add any extra loads to your Florida Keys packing list.

Book your Key West after-dark kayaking with us today!

Night Kayak In Key West

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!