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21 Fun & Unique Things to Do in the Florida Keys

Here are the best things to do in the Florida Keys, according to what I enjoyed most. Splash the cash and don’t miss out!

The Florida Keys are cool – laidback, flip flop wearing, beach loving, beer drinking, cocktail sampling cool. I had a great time there when I hung out for a week. I chilled in Key West, cycled in Marathon, ate my way through the restaurants in Key Largo and drove all the way back up to Miami in a fancy van.

The whole week was great, but here are my top moments from my week in the Florida Keys, and just some of the brilliant things to do in the Florida Keys, that I’d totally recommend you should too.

Unique Things to Do in the Florida Keys

Here are all the best activities in the Florida Keys, according to me!

1. The sea plane to Tortugas National Park

Tortugas National Park

The journey was just stunning. Absolutely incredible.

And I got to sit in the front on the way back. It wasn’t bad looking when we were actually there either!

Sitting in the front of the plane

I sat up front on the way back and had 360 views of the stunning ocean between the Dry Tortugas National Park, where we’d just been, and Key West, our destination. It was awesome.

The whole journey took 35 minutes. The varying blues of the waters were mesmerising. Our pilot told us how one of the islands belonged to just one guy, and if I really squinted I could definitely see those dolphins he told us would be playing about.

Seaplane in Key West

We’d been at the Dry Tortugas National Park – famous for shipwrecks, coral reefs and birdlife – where you can also looks Fort Jefferson on a guided tour or in your own time.

The fortress is unfinished, but was an important naval point in the late 1800s / early 1900s. It soon became too difficult and expensive to look after the building, and its 16 million+ bricks.

Tortugas Beach

I noticed all the tents in the bush – apparently as a National Park you can stay here for three nights for free – no chance. There was no civilisation on the island – I mean it would just be you, the fort, the animals and whatever ghosts had decided to stick around (yep, definitely spooked from the Key West ghost tour). I got our private sea plane straight out of there.

2. Sunset cruise

How about joining a Key West sunset cruise with food and drink included? It’s a great idea if you want to keep an eye on the budget for Florida Keys activities, and it’s also one of the best things to do while you’re there too. Two birds!

“Climb aboard ‘The Party Cat’ for a wonderful 2-hour cruise around the harbour. Enjoy a freshly prepared tropical food buffet in an enclosed air-conditioned dining room. Choose from dinner options such as roast pulled pork in mojo sauce, deep fried sweet plantains, black beans and rice, marinated grilled chicken, fried fish, mixed vegetables, mashed potatoes, pasta with mini shrimp and Cuban bread and butter. Sip on your choice of tipple — margaritas, rum runners, champagne, beer, wine or spirits. After dinner, stroll upstairs to the upper deck for live music. Dance the night away or simply listen to the beat as you watch the sun set over the horizon into the Gulf of Mexico.”

– GETYOURGUIDE

Book your Florida Keys sunset cruise here.

3. Wake up to the sunrise at Ibis

Ibis Resort in Key West

I love the first few days of jetlag when you go to the USA. I’m never up before 7 in real life, unless a flight is involved, but to wake up naturally to this sunrise just outside my window was incredible.

I’d arrived in the dark and went straight to sleep so had no idea this existed just outside my window. Make sure you book into a cool hotel on the waterfront in the Florida Keys to really make the most of it!

4. Do the Salty Goat fishing charter

The Salty Goat fishing charter is well known as one of the best things to do in the Florida Keys. It’s often mentioned as the best party boat in the Florida Keys. As well as drinks, you’ll get to enjoy fishing for a wide variety of game fish including several varieties of Snapper, Grouper and Mackerel.

Whatever you catch when you’re on board is yours. The Salty Goat crew can arrange for it to be cooked up at a local restaurant that night, especially for you.

Fish for your own dinner while you enjoy the sun and fun of a drink on board in the Florida Keys? Sounds incredible!

5. Eat loads of seafood

Best Moments of the Florida Keys

I had scallops as standard, mussels, lobster, stoned crab, calamari, sushi, Key West pink shrimp, and a lot of that was in just one meal at the Stoned Crab.

I ate at all the best places in the Keys, including…

– Blue Heaven, the best place for breakfast (cheesey shrimp omelette with banana bread)

Sunset Grille & Raw Bar, overlooking the Seven-Mile Bridge and right by the sea (epic sushi platter)

Latitudes, the fanciest restaurant in Key West (more on that in a minute)

Fish House, decked out like fisherman’s hut with all the trinkets (oysters and scallops)


MORE: 15 Best Restaurants in the Florida Keys


Hungry Tarpon, landmark on the marina where you can feed the beastly tarpons (fish tacos)

Marker 88, where we watched our chef make the dinner in front of us (8 courses of deliciousness)

Mrs Mac’s Kitchen, an institution and decorated with donated numberplates (spinach and shrimp omelette)


Here are all the best things to do in the Florida Keys, as a video…


6. Get the boat to a private island for dinner at Latitude’s

As if the seaplane wasn’t enough glamour for one day, that night we got a private boat to Latitude’s private island for dinner. Now this island is where Oprah Winfrey used to have a house, it is Faaa-aancy.

I drank gin and prosecco cocktails, ate Wagyu beef and scouted the place out for celebs. If I didn’t have the photos I’d think this whole experience so unlikely I’d made it up. The food and the whole experience were something I never imagined I’d do.

7. Jet ski the Key West coast

Jet skiing

The freedom of a jet ski is hard to beat. One of the best things I’ve ever done on my travels is my three-hour jet skiing trip in the Gold Coast in Australia. And so with the opportunity to jet ski in front of me, I did it in Key West too. It was the 20 minute free ride that got me going – I had my hands pushing the accelerator as fast as they it go, white knuckles and all.

Absolutely.

Loved.

It.

I’d definitely recommend lengthening your jet ski trip compared to mine and signing up to a tour with a company like this one who’ve been voted the best on the island and who offer 2-3 hour jet ski trips. Make the most of the stunning coastline and weather while you’re there!

8. Visit the Florida Keys Brewing Company

Serving beer in Florida Keys

I love the USA craft beer scene. One of the best things I did in the Adirondacks in New York over the summer was explore the breweries there, and it was the same in the Florida Keys.

We met Craig and Cheryl who started the Florida Keys Brewing Company up. They’ve decorated the place and built it up to be so popular it was very busy on the Thursday afternoon that we visited. I had a little go behind the bar and tried every one of the 12 different pints on this flight of booze put out in front of me.

The best was the hibiscus one, the worst, the chilli.

9. Eat flip flop shaped chocolates at Key Largo Chocolates

Outside Key Largo Chocolates

There I was, minding my own business looking round the kitchen of the Key Largo Chocolate Factory when I spotted a flip flop shaped mould out of the corner of my eye. Excitedly I located the chocolates, which weren’t actually on sale yet, and demanded to be sold them. In the nicest possible way of course.

Served them up with a proper brew when I got home and found the chocolate was limey, of course.

Yum!

10. Rent a bicycle in the Keys

If you have a bicycle in the Keys you can cycle around and visit everything. All the things to do on in the Florida Keys are very close together, and totally achievable via bike too.

If you rent a bike you can visit Smathers Beach, go to the reach hotel pier, the Southern Most Point, the ‘Mile One’ sign, Hemingway House, nature conservatory, rum distillery, and end the day at Mallory square for the sunset and watch the street performers.

Alternatively, you could combine the best things to do in the Florida Keys idea numbers 10 and 11 and go on this Key Lime Pie bicycle tour, definitely sounds like my cup of tea!

11. Go on an ‘official’ key lime pie taste test quest

Key Lime Pie in Florida Keys

When you’re on an important mission, like I was, it’s ok to eat 7 portions of Key Lime Pie over a week, especially when you’re sharing with others. I tried 7 portions of Key Lime Pie during my week in the Florida Keys, and although the one from Latitudes tasted the best, and Blue Heaven’s was the most photogenic, more research is definitely needed.

If you only have a day in Key West, make sure you get some Key Lime Pie in!

12. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is America’s first undersea park, and one of the best and most unique things to do in the Florida Keys. Get your snorkel or scuba gear and go underwater to explore the stunning coral reef.

things to do in the florida keys

If going underwater isn’t your vibe you can still enjoy the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park with a kayak or paddleboard and make your way through the mangrove forests. Or, you can even hire a boat for the day too.

13. Drinking on Duval Street

Duval Street is so colourful, it looks amazing!

Why can’t all streets be like this?!

things to do florida keys

Tourists and locals visit Duval Street for the restaurants, bars and clubs. This is where the party begins and ends!

Willie T’s serve up speciality Mojitos, and the Green Parrot Bar off Southard Street is the best spot for live music.

14. Southernmost Point Buoy 

Florida Keys what to do

Oh you’ve got to have a photo by the Southernmost Point Buoy. I mean, did you really go to the Florida Keys if you didn’t?

Getting your pic taken here is one of the most unique things to do in the Florida Keys, and a definite must.

The buoy is more symbolic than anything, as it’s the most southerly point in the USA – and only 90 miles from Cuba!

If you’re driving from Miami to Key West on a Florida road trip, then this is the final point you have to touch to say you’ve completed your journey!

15. Rent a boat in Marathon

How about a boat rental in Marathon? You can hire the whole boat privately here, and you get to see the beauty of Islamorada from a whole different angle. They book out fast so get in while you can.

Marathon in the Florida Keys

Here’s what you can expect…

“Experience the beauty of the Florida Keys, gorgeous turquoise water, and abundant fish found in the Marathon reef! View the beautiful scenery, while experiencing the thrill of a chance to catch species such as Sailfish, Wahoo, Mahi Mahi, Tuna, Snapper, Grouper, King Mackerel, and Shark. Your tour is guided by a licensed captain in a modern open fishing style boat with t-top for shade. All the fishing rods and reels, right and left handed and all the tackle you need, as well as all other necessities including safety equipment. Your captain provides fishing instructions and casting lessons for beginners and advanced techniques for the experts. Tours are suited for both first-timers, experienced anglers, elderly, youth, families and children of all ages and are handicap friendly. So everyone is sure to have a blast as you fish with ease and comfort during this offshore charter to the Marathon reef.”

– BOOK HERE ON GETYOURGUIDE

16. Do the Fury Ultimate Adventure

If you’re looking for things to do in the Florida Keys, the Fury Ultimate Adventure needs to come to the top of your list. Sign up to a day out with them and you can go snorkeling, parasailing, have a go on the jet skis, and basically just have lots of fun for a whole day.

Check out the Fury Ultimate Adventure excursions here, but book fast to secure your dates!

17. Hire kayaks and explore

You can go kayaking through the mangroves in the Florida Keys, for a stunning adventure. There are a few companies offering kayaks on the Florida Keys, but book in advance to get the dates you want.

If you’re nervous in a kayak, or you’ve never tried it before, then book onto a guided kayak adventure for the safety, and tour guide benefits.

On that note: this Key West Watersports pass looks pretty sweet!

18. Go to Key West Butterfly House

At the Key West Butterfly House and Nature Conservatory, you can walk in among the butterflies and colourful birds that call the house home. This is a great spot for some photos in among Florida’s beautiful nature.

Make sure to pop in and see Rhett and Scarlett, their awesome love bird flamingos too.

butterly house florida keys

Click here to check out their live webcam. Feels really weird to be able to see the people and animals wandering about!

19. Go on a floating Tiki boat

The floating tiki boat is pretty epic when it comes to things to do in the Florida Keys. Sign up for a day out on the floating tiki boat and you’ll get to watch the sunset from a two-hour cruise, with drinks too.

“We will cruise around the Historic Seaport, pass Sunset Pier and Mallory Square ending with the magnificent Key West Sunset. All cruises are BYOB for alcoholic beverages, food or snacks. We provide USCG certified captains, coolers with ice, water, sodas, cups, blender, and Bluetooth radio to play your favorite tunes.”

– FLOATING TIKI BOAT

20. Drag show and karaoke

Go to 801 Bourbon Street for the drag show and karaoke if you’re looking for something fun to do in the Florida Keys in the evening. Open 7 days a week with drinks deals and all kinds of events, this is the place to be if you’re looking for some fun after the sun.

There’s always something going on here but check the listings to find out exactly what before you go.

By the way, if you like drag queens how about this drag queen guided pub crawl in the Florida Keys?

21. Eco Safari Tour with Snorkelling

This eco safari tour with snorkelling lets you drive your own small speedboat through the back country of Key West to a picturesque sandbar set in the area’s turquoise waters. Then you can snorkel among the mangroves, and explore the area as a local too.

snorkelling in Key west

As you travel you may see ospreys – the only bird of prey to survive entirely on fish. There’s also the opportunity to spot manatees feeding on mangroves, sharks swimming beneath you, and pelicans diving for their meals.

More things to do in the Florida Keys


I was in the Florida Keys with Florida Keys & Key West tourism council. They showed me a brilliant week in the Keys, and all opinions and photos are mine. 


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