What To Do In The Florida Keys - 11 Best Activities You Must Try

What To Do In The Florida Keys

The Florida Keys are right around the corner from the States, yet many magical worlds away. A beautiful coral archipelago, the Florida Keys are a subtropical utopia that instantly spellbinds you into a vacation state of mind. Whether you’re lured by its aquamarine waters, shimmering beaches, countless activities, or delicious fresh food, it’s the perfect island getaway.

If you’ve never been to the gorgeous, world-renowned Florida Keys, you’re in for a treat. However, if you’re wondering what to do in the Florida Keys (can you say “road trip!”), consider visiting these intriguing destinations.


1) Discover Fun-Filled Adventures At Night

Ready to check out Florida Keys nightlife? Then join Night Kayak Key West, and explore the Keys’ fascinating nocturnal marine life in our glass-bottom kayaks. Our unique kayaks are equipped with bright LED lights that breathtakingly illuminate the sea creatures below.

We’ll also slip through labyrinths of mangroves – we’re exceptional because we’re the only night kayaking company that explores them. Intrigued? Then book your tour with Night Kayak Key West today!

Exploring Key West Nightlife With Kayak In Florida


2) Explore Key West, The Ultimate Tropical Getaway

You’re officially off the clock! Key West, the southernmost point in the continental US, is a great place to throw away the rule book and embrace a live-in-the-moment lifestyle. It’s a spirited location with a party atmosphere.

Key West boasts gorgeous beaches, and it also abounds in nature, culture, history, boat tours, and plenty of water activities. The southernmost point is marked with a colorful, anchored, concrete Southernmost Point Buoy.

If you’re wondering what to do in Key West, your vacation won’t be complete without visiting:


The Hemingway Home And Museum

Renowned for his economical writing style, Ernest Hemingway is also famous for his love of six-toed cats (polydactyls). Nicknamed Hemingway cats, visitors can see them contentedly basking in the sun, sprawled on poolside benches, or even roosting in the property’s palm trees.

There are about 60 of these furry residents, and all are descendants of a cat named Snow White, a gift from a ship’s captain in the 1930s. As the author quipped, “One cat leads to another.”

Today, his yellow house in Old Town operates as a museum filled with Hemingway memorabilia. Here he wrote some of his most acclaimed works, including “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” and “A Farewell to Arms.”

The Hemingway Home And Museum


Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory

Your heart will flutter when you enter the winged kingdom of the Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory located at the southernmost end of Duval Street. This magical conservatory is home to hundreds of kaleidoscopic butterflies, 20 exotic bird species, and two showy flamingoes.

Housed in a glass-domed, tropical haven, these delicate creatures fly freely and may even perch on your shoulders! The conservatory also has an art gallery, learning center, and gift shop.

Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory


Duval Street

Less than a mile long, Duval Street is the heart of Key West, a lively hub of pubs, shops, restaurants, and tourist attractions in the Florida Keys. It runs from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico and is a block away from the vivid Southernmost Point Buoy. The street is named for William Pope Duval, Florida’s first territorial governor.

Duval Street


Mallory Square

Mallory Square is a waterfront plaza in Old Town Key West. A popular gathering spot, the Square is a great place to people-watch and soak up the intoxicating Gulf of Mexico views. Mallory Square is laden with touristy gifts and trinkets. Luckily, there are also unique, one-of-a-kind items such as woven baskets, mouth-blown glass, and paintings crafted by local artisans.

Want to wet your whistle or whet your appetitive? You’re in the right place. From conch fritters to Cuban coffee, you’ll find it here.

Mallory Square is also home to one of the most popular Florida Keys attractions, the famed, nightly Sunset Celebration. Hundreds of visitors convene two hours before the sun sets to watch its sherbet hues melt over the horizon. The lively celebration includes jugglers, magicians, psychics, clowns, and live music. If you’re wondering what to do in the keys, Mallory is a great place to start.

Mallory Square - Key West


3) Dive Into Paradise – Experience The Magic Of Key Largo

There could be no better endorsement of Key Largo than Humphrey Bogart filming a movie there. It acquired fame when “Key Largo,” the 1948 movie starring Bogart and Lauren Bacall, lit up the silver screen.

Known as the “Diving Capital of the World,” Key Largo has exceptionally clear, turquoise waters and intricate coral reefs near the ocean floor that draw scuba divers from around the globe. Unlike party-hearty Key West, Key Largo is a low-key destination.

Scuba Diving In Key Largo


4) Hit The Road To Paradise – Drive Along The Epic Overseas Highway

One of the most scenic drives in the Keys, the Overseas Highway is 113 miles of two-lane pavement straddling the open waters between Miami and Key West. A stunning feat of engineering, the Overseas Highway spans an astonishing 42 bridges and 44 tropical islands. It’s perfect for a road trip between the islands. The bridge even shared screen time with Timothy Dalton in 1989’s James Bond movie, “License to Kill.”

The Seven Mile Bridge is a scenic section of the Overseas Highway that links Knight’s Key (Middle Keys) with Little Duck Key (Lower Keys). There are actually two bridges located here: The modern Seven Mile Bridge, which is open to vehicles, and an older bridge (nicknamed Old Seven), which is only open to pedestrians, joggers, and cyclists.

Seven Mile Bridge In Florida


5) Key Lime Pie Delight – Savor The Sweet And Zesty Goodness

Key Lime Pie isn’t just dessert – it was named Florida’s official pie in 2006. The pie is deceptively simple to make: just combine lime juice, egg yolks, and sweetened, condensed milk in a graham cracker crust. Condensed milk is a primary ingredient because in the 1930s when the pie originated, fresh milk and refrigeration were uncommon in the isolated keys.

There are many variations of the tangy dessert, including:

  • Topping it with strawberry whipped cream

  • Topping it with macadamia nuts

  • Topping it with raspberry sauce

  • Drizzling it with chocolate syrup

Key limes are so special to Key West that they’re celebrated in an annual Key Lime Festival.

Key Lime Pie


6) Big Pine Key, Where Adventure And Relaxation Collide

Big Pine Key is a great destination for an escape from life’s stresses and troubles. Big Pine is part of what is called the Lower Keys. About 30 miles north of Key West, Big Pine is known for its gorgeous scenery and idyllic environment. Walk, bike, fish, and discover its abundant wildlife. You may even encounter cute, petite, wild Key deer in their natural habitat. Try to resist endlessly saying, “Awww.”

Big Pine Key is highly regarded as having one of the best, clearest snorkeling and diving reefs in the Keys. For divers, the big attraction on the key is Looe Key Reef. Part of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, which spans 2,900 nautical miles, it’s teeming with breathtaking schools of reef fish, eagle rays, sea turtles, and huge parrotfish and pufferfish.

National Key Deer Refuge Nature Center - Big Pine Key


7) Dive Into Adventure At Bahia Honda State Park

Close to the west end of the Seven Mile Bridge, Bahia Honda State Park is the perfect place for both divers and landlubbers. The 524-acre park is part of Bahia Honda, a virtually uninhabited island in the lower Florida Keys.

The park has some of the most translucent waters in the Keys, making it a paradise on Earth for snorkelers and scuba divers.

The park boasts three stunning beaches:

  • Sandspur Beach

  • Calusa Beach

  • Loggerhead Beach

Florida Keys Beach Day - Bahia Honda State Park


8) Visit Dry Tortugas National Park And Fort Jefferson

Contrary to its name, Dry Tortugas National Park is anything but that. Less than one percent of its 100 square miles is dry land. Remote and scantly visited, its seven islands can only be accessed by seaplane or boat.

One of its biggest claims to fame is the sprawling Fort Jefferson. This 16-acre, historic fort was constructed during the Civil War to help the military protect Florida’s coastline.

The national park has a rich variety of wildlife to explore. At Dry Tortugas, you can immerse yourself in nature. It’s a haven for myriad species including:

  • Swirling schools of tropical fish

  • Ancient coral reefs

  • Sea turtles

  • Three-hundred bird species

  • Lobster

  • Squid

  • Octopus

The park is perfect for people who want to put as much space as possible between themselves and civilization.

Dry Tortugas National Park In The Florida Keys


9) Embark On An Unforgettable Adventure To Fat Deer Key

Situated within Marathon, Fat Deer Key is an unspoiled gem offering plentiful outdoor activities and pristine natural beauty. The island boasts soft, sandy beaches, varied wildlife, and flourishing mangroves. You may be familiar with mangroves from images of Everglades National Park. Originally called Bonefish Key, it was whimsically renamed in the early 1900s for the rotund deer residing there.

Its jewel-hued waters teem with tarpon, grouper, and snapper, making the island a fishing enthusiast’s delight. If you prefer to simply observe the marine life, you may even glimpse frisky dolphins and burly manatees.

Fishing For Grouper On Fat Deer Key


10) Discover The Quirky Charm Of Duck Key

If you’re looking for a relaxing island location where people are strolling, leisurely riding bikes, or moseying along on golf carts, then you’ve found Duck Key. Comprised of five islands linked by old-world-style Venetian bridges, the Key is a mecca for water sports, including swimming, snorkeling, and paddleboarding. It’s also populated by warm, welcoming residents who’ll make you feel right at home.

For the ultimate encounter with marine life, visit the Dolphin Connection. Experience a once-in-a-lifetime meet and greet with these sociable animals, which includes:

  • Melon (head) rub

  • Handshake

  • Dolphin kiss (This one sounds particularly good!)

These animals were originally trained as US Navy dolphins and, like many retirees, are living their best lives in the tropics.

Dolphin Playing


11) Encounter Playful Dolphins In Grassy Key

Grassy Key, part of the island chain that comprises the city of Marathon, Florida, is home to the 50-year-old Dolphin Research Center. One of the Key’s centerpiece attractions, its two acres of closed lagoons are dedicated to researching and preserving these clever mammals.

The research center also offers opportunities for tourists to interact with or swim with the center’s aquatic residents. According to legend, this small, sleepy key wasn’t named for its foliage, but for a settler named Grassy.

Grassy Key Dolphin Experience


Visit The Florida Keys And Unlock The Vacation Of A Lifetime

When you visit the Florida Keys, endless possibilities await. From lively Key West, where the party never ends, to laid-back Dry Tortugas, you’ll find your perfect vacation paradise.

Want to kick your trip up a notch? Then Night Kayak Key West is at your service! Our LED-lighted, glass-bottom kayaks will brighten a magical world of nighttime sea creatures gliding through the ocean’s dark depths.

Our glass bottom boat tours will also explore a must-see place that other kayaking companies don’t: the mysterious Florida Keys mangroves. Let us illuminate your next vacation, and book your tour today!

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!