10 Best Places to Visit in the Florida Keys

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The Florida Keys is one of the most popular archipelagos in the United States. It consists of over 1,000 tropical islands that span 356 square kilometers in Florida.

These islands are ideal destinations for numerous water-related activities like boating, fishing, kayaking, snorkeling, and scuba diving. If you’re looking for some of the best places to visit in the Florida Keys, we’ll briefly overview several of them in this article.

Whether you’re single, in a relationship, or married with kids, Florida Keys has many fantastic places you’d love in Florida, United States. From its natural beauty, coral reefs, nature & wildlife areas to its overseas highways, the Florida Keys have vast notable places of interest and serve as a weekend getaway for everyone.

Before we delve into the subject matter, here are the major things you should know about the Florida Keys:

About the Florida Keys

The Florida Keys is a collection of approximately 1,700 islands on the Florida Straits. These islands have more than 82,000 residents and a total area of 356 km2, equivalent to 137 mi2. Only a few of these islands are uninhabited. Millions of people visit the Florida Keys annually, including its uninhabited islands.

Famous islands on the Florida Keys are as follows:

  • Garden Key
  • Windley Key
  • Plantation Key
  • Boot Key
  • Key Largo
  • Bahia Honda Key
  • Lower Matecumbe Key
  • Little Duck Key
  • Rubicon Keys
  • Long Key

Let’s explore some of the best Florida Keys places to visit alone or with your partner/spouse, family, and friends.

1. The Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory

  • Address: 1316 Duval St, Key West, Florida, United States
  • Telephone: +1 (305) 296-2988

The Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory is open daily from 9 am to 4:30 pm, including on weekends. It is a butterfly garden with over 50 species of butterflies in a glass-enclosed habitat.

You will also see different species of fish and birds, including flamingos, orchids, tropical finches, quails, turtles, and caterpillars.

The Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory is undoubtedly a place to adore in the Florida Keys, with an indoor garden amidst lush plants, a charming fountain, and a gift shop. They charge an entry fee of $18.5 per adult, while children under three years old can enter free of charge.

In addition, the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory has quite some picturesque spots and is more fun for families, especially those with children.

2. The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum

  • Address: 907 Whitehead St, Key West, Florida, United States
  • Telephone: +1 (305) 294-1136

If you have read a novel, short story, or non-fiction work by Ernest Hemingway, you should check out the home he lived in before his death. We highly recommend the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum as one of the best places to visit in the Florida Keys. It is accessible from 9 am to 5 pm daily.

The house is formerly the residence of Ernest Hemingway, an American novelist, journalist, and short-story writer in the 1930s. It is a French Colonial-style house constructed in 1851 but restored and augmented to become a tourist attraction. While living in this home, he wrote The Green Hills of Africa, Islands in the Stream, and the Snows of Kilimanjaro.

Related: 5 Best Springs in Florida Panhandle.

3. The Harry S. Truman Little White House

  • Address: 111 Front St, Naval Air Station Key West, Florida, United States
  • Telephone: +1 (305) 294-9911

The Truman Little White House is a wooden duplex built in 1890. It was the house where the former US president, Harry S. Truman, lived, worked, and held important meetings during his tenure. It was the president’s winter White House for 175 days. The building is accessible on all days of the week from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm.

It is a home-turned-museum in Key West, Florida. You can opt for a guided tour to explore the building for an entry fee ranging from $21 to $30 per adult.

4. Mallory Square

  • Address: 420 Wall St, Key West, Florida, United States
  • Telephone: +1 (352) 727-0403

The Mallory Square is one of the best places to visit in the Florida Keys, especially if you appreciate nature and would like to take photos in picturesque spots. Mallory Square is a plaza open 24 hours in Key West, Florida. It is home to the Sunset Celebration, which hundreds of tourists witness each night to adore the stunning sunset views over the ocean.

Not only does Mallory Square serve as a unique picturesque spot, but it also offers a calming experience and has the presence of street performers and arts & crafts exhibitors.

5. Dolphin Research Center

  • Address: 58901 Overseas Hwy, Grassy Key, Florida, United States
  • Telephone: +1 (305) 289-1121

The Dolphin Research Center is an 8,400-square-meter dolphinarium with several saltwater lagoons in Grassy Key, Florida. It is home to 25 dolphins, comprising 24 bottlenose dolphins and an Atlantic-spotted dolphin.

The facility is also a habitat for three California sea lions, two African-spurred tortoises, and various exotic birds.

You can visit anytime from 9 am to 4:30 am, including on weekends and public holidays. Check out some tips on what to wear to an aquarium.

6. Bahia Honda State Park

  • Address: 1200 S. Crandon Blvd., Key Biscayne, Florida, United States
  • Telephone: +1 (305) 872-2353

The Bahia Honda State Park is a recreational park with three sandy beaches, a snack bar, and a marine sanctuary. It is a great place to snorkel and observe the marine life.

Kayak rentals are also available, allowing you to improve your flexibility and aerobic fitness by doing one of the most popular water sports in the world. The Bahia Honda State Park is also remarkable for its beautiful views of the sunset, water, and sea life. You can visit the park any day from 8 am until sunset.

7. Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park

  • Address: 601 Howard England Way, Key West, Florida, United States
  • Telephone: +1 (305) 292-6713S

The Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park is made up of a 35-hectare recreational park established in 1971. It is open all days from 8 am to 5 pm with an entry fee ranging from $1 to $5 per adult.

Fort Taylor has a variety of wildlife, including iguanas, pelicans, manatees, dolphins, and tropical fish. If you’d love to relax and watch them, you can hang a hammock on the branches of the numerous trees or rent a lounge chair & umbrella.

Also Read: Is Florida City a Good Place to Live?

8. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

  • Address: 102601 Overseas Highway (MM 102.5), Key Largo, Florida, USA
  • Telephone: +1 (305) 451-6300

If you desire to go on a boat tour in the Florida Keys, you can book one with John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park for $400 or $500, depending on your preference. The park is among the best places to visit in the Florida Keys.

Each tour boat operated by the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park has at least one vessel equipped for wheelchair users. Other activities you may also enjoy include swimming, canoeing, picnicking, kayaking, scuba diving, snorkeling, and walking on short trails.

Fishing is allowable only in designated areas around the beach.

9. African Queen Canal Cruise

  • Address: 99701 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, Florida, United States
  • Telephone: +1 (305) 451-8080

The African Queen is a cruise line company among the best places to visit in the Florida Keys. They open daily from 9 am to 8 pm, providing canal cruises on a restored 1912 steamboat. The boat is exactly the one in ‘’The African Queen,’’ a 1951 adventure/romance film produced by Sam Spiegel and John Woolf.

Regardless of if you’ve seen the movie, you should go on an African Queen Canal Cruise. The tour explores the canals to the Atlantic and lasts up to 1.5 hours. You will also get the chance to learn about the boat’s story and movie, keeping you entertained throughout the day.

10. Mel Fisher Maritime Museum

  • Address: 200 Greene St, Key West, Florida, United States
  • Telephone: +1 (305) 294-2633

The Mel Fisher Maritime Museum is a Key West-based museum open to visitors from 10 am to 4 pm. It exhibits a vast collection of artifacts from the seventeenth-century shipwrecks. Some examples include the Santa Margarita, Atocha, and Henrietta Marie shipwrecks.

The museum displays all sorts of history for an entry fee of around $17. You can also pay $1 extra for a guided headset that describes each exhibit as you explore them. Payments are acceptable via cash or credit card.

Are The Florida Keys Worth Visiting?

Yes, the Florida Keys are among the best places to explore in the United States, and you would love to visit multiple times. The islands have numerous beaches, ample wildlife, and offer stunning views.

In addition, there are plenty of water-related sports and activities to give you a memorable experience, no matter your interests.

Final Thoughts

As you’ve discovered the best places to visit in the Florida Keys, wait no more and start creating your travel itinerary. You deserve some fun experiences and should get them anytime, regardless of your age and interests.

Remember that you can book your visits to these places up to two weeks in advance. Kindly comment below if you have any opinions or recommendations we might have forgotten to include in this article.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Some Of your questions that were not answered in the post
The Bahia Honda State Park is the best place for visitors to explore and have fun out of all the islands in the Florida Keys. It is a vast recreation park with sandy beaches, marine life, kayak rentals, and a snack bar.
Key Largo is the most beautiful key in the Florida Keys. It has a land area of 31.21 square kilometres and a water area of 8.27 square kilometres. Key Largo has over 12,000 residents and welcomes thousands of visitors yearly.
Key West is widely known as the safest island in the Florida Keys. Its entire area is relatively safe, and you can even explore the island and its attractions at night.

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