Travel Tour Reviews

The 5 Best Snorkel Tours In Key West, Florida – [2020 Reviews]

Snorkeling is a great way to observe marine life and explore beautiful rock formations. Key West is the best place in the US to enjoy snorkeling around tropical reefs. That’s why there are many Key West snorkeling tours to choose from.

I’ve selected 5 of the top-rated boat tours to examine in these Key West snorkeling tours reviews. Each of them is unique in some way. Maybe you want to snorkel and experience a sunset over the Gulf of Mexico. Perhaps you want to see dolphins frolicking in Key West. Whatever your interest, there’s a great snorkel tour in Key West for you.

Best Snorkel Tours In Key West, Florida

 Miami: Key West Day Trip with SnorkelingKey West Double Dip: 2-Stop Reef Snorkeling TripKey West Dolphin Watch and Snorkel Eco Tour
editors choice

Departure PointHoliday Inn, Port of Miami, or Hotel pick-up631 Greene Street (corner of Greene & Elizabeth)631 Greene Street, Key West
Departure Time6:00 AM10:30 AM, 2:00 PM00 AM, 2:00 PM (starting times vary by month)
Duration 1 day3 hours3 hours
IncludesLocal guide, transport from Miami, cruise off the Florida Keys, safety equipment, and snorkeling gear hire Local guide, catamaran cruise off the Florida Keys, two stops for snorkeling, soda, water, beer, champagne, wine, safety equipment, and snorkeling gear hireLocal guide, catamaran cruise off the Florida Keys, visit Key West National Wildlife Refuge, bottled water & soda, beer, wine, or champagne, safety equipment, and snorkeling gear hire

Quick Answer: The 5 Best-Rated Snorkel Tours In Key West, Florida

  1. Miami: Key West Day Trip with Snorkeling
  2. Key West Double Dip: 2-Stop Reef Snorkeling Trip
  3. Key West Dolphin Watch and Snorkel Eco Tour
  4. Key West: Rum and Reggae Afternoon Snorkel and Sunset
  5. Key West: Dolphin Combo Boat Tour

Best Snorkel Tours In Key West, Florida Reviewed

#1 Miami: Key West Day Trip with Snorkeling

Tour Highlights at a Glance:

  • Departure Point: Holiday Inn, Port of Miami, or Hotel pick-up
  • Departure Time: 6:00 AM
  • Duration: 1 day
  • Includes: Local guide, transport from Miami, cruise off the Florida Keys, safety equipment, and snorkeling gear hire
If you’re visiting Miami and wondering where to go for the best Florida snorkeling tours, Key West is your answer. You can visit Key West on a day trip from Miami.

Have you seen images of the amazing Overseas Highway that links Miami to Key West? This remarkable piece of engineering has featured in many movies, such as 2 Fast 2 Furious and True Lies. During this fascinating day trip from Miami, you’ll travel along the famous Highway 1 Overseas Highway, including the iconic Seven Mile Bridge—one of the longest bridges in the world.

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Once in Key West, you’ll board the boat for a scenic 2-hour cruise off the Florida Keys. Your expert guide will instruct you in the safe use of the snorkeling equipment provided. Then you’ll be free to explore the tropical reefs around Key West. In the clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico, you can admire beautiful endemic fish and come face-to-face with turtles.

Upon your return to Key West, you’ll have 3 hours to explore the most southerly city in the USA. You can have your photograph taken next to the Southernmost Point Monument. Maybe you’ll learn about the Conch Republic and Key West’s famous declaration of independence from the US, which is celebrated every year on 23rd April.

There are many beautiful historic houses around Key West, which was the most wealthy and populous city in Florida during the late Victorian period. Don’t miss The Little White House, which has been used as a winter vacation home by numerous US Presidents. And if you visit the Ernest Hemingway House, watch out for those 7-toed cats!

For tour prices, transportation and availability:



#2 Key West Double Dip: 2-Stop Reef Snorkeling Trip

Tour Highlights at a Glance:

  • Departure Point: 631 Greene Street (corner of Greene & Elizabeth)
  • Departure Time: 10:30 AM, 2:00 PM
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Includes: Local guide, catamaran cruise off the Florida Keys, two stops for snorkeling, soda, water, beer, champagne, wine, safety equipment, and snorkeling gear hire
This is one of the best snorkeling tours in the Keys if you love exploring tropical reefs and coming face-to-face with marine life. What makes this boat tour special is that you’ll spend time snorkeling in two separate locations in the reefs chosen by your expert local guides for the diversity of marine life.

The fast, 57-foot-long catamaran will speed you out to the reefs to maximize the amount of time available for you to snorkel through the tropical reefs. However, the professional guides will ensure you’re fully equipped and instructed in the safe use of the snorkeling equipment provided.

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You’ll have the use of a snorkel, fins, mask, and snorkeling vest. The guides can also answer all your questions about the local marine life and ecology. Tell them what you’re most interested in seeing during your snorkel, and they can point you in the right direction.

During your return, you can relax on the decks and enjoy the view. You can also take advantage of the complimentary beer, champagne, and wine.

For tour prices, transportation and availability:



#3 Key West Dolphin Watch and Snorkel Eco Tour

Tour Highlights at a Glance:

  • Departure Point: 631 Greene Street, Key West
  • Departure Time:00 AM, 2:00 PM (starting times vary by month)
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Includes: Local guide, catamaran cruise off the Florida Keys, visit Key West National Wildlife Refuge, bottled water & soda, beer, wine, or champagne, safety equipment, and snorkeling gear hire
If you’re concerned about the environment and wildlife conservation, this is the best Florida Keys snorkeling tour for you. There are many Key West boat tours, but this cruise is provided by the only company with Dolphin SMART certification.

This educational cruise is organized in a way that will not cause harm to the bottlenose dolphins you’ll see frolicking off the Florida Keys. Dolphin SMART certification is overseen by the Dolphin Ecology Project, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the National Marine Sanctuary of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society.

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Expert guides will accompany you on this adventure to maximize your experience. They will direct the catamaran to the best places to observe bottlenose dolphins in the wild. You’ll have the opportunity to see them feed, play, and swim in the turquoise waters.

Once you reach the wildlife refuge, your guides will instruct you in the safe use of the snorkeling equipment provided.

They’ll also direct you to the best places in the tropical reef where you’ll be delighted to discover sponges, sea rods, and sea fans as well as colorful endemic tropical fish. During your return cruise, you can relax and sip complimentary beer, champagne, or wine.

For tour prices, transportation and availability:



#4 Key West: Rum and Reggae Afternoon Snorkel and Sunset

Tour Highlights at a Glance:

  • Departure Point: Fury Key West Snorkeling Booth, Margaritaville Resort Pier
  • Departure Time: 4:00 PM, 5:00 PM (varies by sunset times)
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Includes: Local guide, catamaran cruise off the Florida Keys, rum punch, reggae music, safety equipment, and snorkeling gear hire
This is one of the best Key West snorkel tours for anyone who loves sunsets and reggae music. This relaxing cruise provides a full Caribbean-themed experience.

Your snorkel tour begins with a visit to North America’s only living reef system. Your professional guide will instruct you in the safe use of the high-quality snorkeling equipment provided. Then you’ll be free to explore the tropical reefs underwater.

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In the crystal-clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico, you’ll come face-to-face with huge turtles and colorful fish. Many of the beautiful marine species you’ll discover during your undersea adventure are endemic to this reef system.

After your snorkeling adventure, you’ll return to the catamaran to enjoy a delicious rum punch or other beverages if you prefer, such as champagne, wine, or beer. Reggae music will help you get into the Caribbean theme. And while you enjoy the ambiance, your catamaran will sail into a sublime sunset over the Gulf of Mexico.

For tour prices, transportation and availability:



#5 Key West: Dolphin Combo Boat Tour

Tour Highlights at a Glance:

  • Departure Point: William Street, Key West
  • Departure Time: 11:00 AM
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Includes: Local guide, cruise off the Florida Keys, cold beer, visit to Key West National Wildlife Refuge, safety equipment, and snorkeling gear hire
If you like dolphins, you’ll love this boat tour from Key West. You’ll be transported northwest to Cottrell Key in the Gulf of Mexico where you’ll have an opportunity to explore the Key West National Wildlife Refuge.

The crystal-clear waters surrounding Cottrell Key are a great location for observing dolphins in their natural environment.

Because your local guide knows the best places to look, you have a good chance of seeing them swimming alongside the boat and surfacing nearby. The experienced guide will tell you all about the dolphins’ life cycle and explain their seemingly playful behavior.

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Around the smaller islands near Key West, you’ll see lots of interesting wildlife around the reefs, such as turtles, sharks, and other fish. Using the provided equipment, and with guidance from your guide, you’ll be able to snorkel through the reefs and come face-to-face with some of the amazing underwater creatures.

On your return journey, you can relax aboard the boat and enjoy an ice-cold beer. Chat with your fellow travelers and exchange stories about the amazing things you’ve seen in the water. This is one of the best Key West snorkeling tours for anyone who loves marine wildlife.

For tour prices, transportation and availability:



Key West Travel Guide

Do you want to explore a beautiful tropical island without leaving the continental U.S.? Key West is the answer. The island of Key West is the most southerly place in the nation. It’s a great place to swim in tropical waters, snorkel through coral reefs, and see dolphins in their natural environment.

best snorkeling tours key west

Airports & Entry

Key West is in a unique location at the southernmost point of the US that places it closer to Havana than Miami. It is possible to reach Key West by boat or plane. But the most interesting way to get there it to drive along Florida’s historic Highway 1.

Driving

U.S. Highway 1 begins and ends at Key West. The section of the highway through the Keys is one of the most scenic highways in America because it crosses a series of islands linked by bridges providing fantastic views of the Florida Keys and the Gulf of Mexico. These bridges include the iconic Seven Mile Bridge featured in several Hollywood movies. Driving across this bridge, you are truly driving over the turquoise waves.

Key West is almost 90 miles from the mainland, so it’s a long drive. If you include the mainland portion, it takes around 4 hours from Fort Lauderdale or 3 hours from Miami. However, it enables you to experience the whole of the Florida Keys. And, when you’re driving, you have the flexibility to stop at places along the way to admire the view and maybe stop off at a tiki bar.

Note that the speed limit through the Florida Keys is strictly enforced. Around Big Pine Key and in the Key Deer Zone, the limit is 45 mph through the day and 35 mph at night. If you’re traveling from Orlando or further away, the fastest route to Miami to join Highway 1 in the Florida Turnpike. Tolls are charged via your license plate or through your car rental company.

Sea

There is a regular ferry service from Fort Myers to Key West. The journey takes around 3½ hours and you can buy a round trip ticket for $146 or a one way for $86. Key West is also a popular stop for large cruise ships sailing around the Gulf of Mexico.

Note that for your return ferry to the mainland, the port facility in Key West is government operated and your luggage will be inspected just like at an airport. So, you won’t be able to carry hunting knives or guns on the ferry.

Air

Key West International Airport is a relatively small airport handling around 1 million passengers a year. Although it’s officially an international airport, this is only because of its history and the presence of a customs office. You can’t fly directly to Key West from outside the US on a scheduled flight.

As with any other destination, check online ticket comparison sites for the best deals on flights. Skyscanner indicates one-way flights from Miami ranging from $134 to $2,379! You might save hundreds by shopping around.

Despite its small size, the airport has a reputation for swift service at the check-in, baggage claim, and security checks. But you won’t find the amenities here you’re used to in genuine international airports. Key West is a small island, so your taxi won’t have far to travel to your accommodation. There are also regular buses and shuttle services from the airport.

Planning Tips

Key West is a unique location in the US. Although it’s connected by road and law to Florida, it boasts the atmosphere and appearance of a Caribbean island. These 5 tips will help you plan your stay.

Tip #1: Decide what you want to do before planning when to visit Key West

Winter is the most popular time to visit Key West. While the rest of the US is shivering under the snow, the Florida Keys are enjoying temperatures in the 70s and 80s. However, this means that accommodation prices are high, and the attractions are crowded in winter.

If you don’t mind high humidity and rain, the cheapest accommodation is found during the summer. However, watch out for festivals such as Fantasy Fest and Key West Pride. Due to the small size of the island, these festivals leave the hotels fully booked and push the prices high.

The best time to visit is between March and May or during fall. April 23rd sees the Conch Republic Independence Celebration, which is a fun, tongue-in-cheek local activity. The weather during spring and the fall is similar to summer but accommodation costs less and there are fewer crowds.

Tip #2: Be prepared for the heat and humidity

If you do decide to visit during the summer, be prepared for the combined extreme heat and humidity. You will need to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of bottled water. And when you go out to hike or on a boat tour, remember to take light rain clothes or an umbrella. It will probably rain.

Tip #3: Be polite to the locals

Less than 25 thousand people live in Key West, so Conches are vastly outnumbered by tourists. This means that occasionally needless friction can occur between locals and visitors. Conches hate to find tourists parked in their marked residential parking spots. You’ll definitely find your vehicle ticketed upon your return. And respect their desire for a peaceful life rather than beeping your car horn at 3 am.

Tip #4: Book in advance, especially during winter

Key West is a small but popular destination. This combination means that you’ll find accommodation and tours will be fully booked well in advance, especially around Conch Independence Day or Key West Pride. Book early to avoid disappointment.

Tip #5: Don’t kill the chickens!

Key West boasts a lively wild chicken population. Please keep your eyes open. The chickens are protected under local law, so you’ll get ticketed if you accidentally run one over on your scooter.

You’ll also see iguanas during your stay. You may think they’re cute, but please don’t feed them. Emboldened by generous tourists, these legally protected lizards have become aggressive in obtaining food. If you appear to be a good source, you will be hounded.

Restaurants & Eating Out

Because of its proximity to Cuba and position in the Gulf of Mexico, Key West offers you varieties of food you won’t often find on the mainland. However, its small size, low population, and remote position mean you can forget about the brand name outlets found in larger cities. The single McDonald’s in town is probably the lowest rated in the nation (3-stars on TripAdvisor & 3.2 on Google) and you can queue for an hour for a Starbucks or visit a local café with authentic Columbian beans for a fraction of the price.

Seafood

Conch chowder is a popular local dish. In Key West, this is prepared in a spicy tomato base with locally caught seafood, potatoes, and fresh vegetables. And Conch fritters are made using mollusks plucked from spiral conch shells. Note, however, that the conch is a protected species in Florida, so all the conches cooked in Key West come from the Bahamas.

The spiny lobster endemic to Key West is served at more upmarket restaurants. Unlike their cousins in Maine, Key West lobsters have antennas in place of claws. But they taste just as delicious if slightly sweeter. And Key West pink shrimps can be found in sandwiches and salads around the island.

You can sample local seafood, including Conch chowder and Conch fritters, at the Conch Republic Seafood Company found in the historic seaport. You’ll find it’s rather better rated than McDonald’s (TripAdvisor 4 & Google 4.4)!

Cuban & Caribbean food

Because of its location and history, you can enjoy popular Cuban dishes in Key West. For example, you can find camarones al ajillo (sautéed garlic shrimp) and ropa vieja (stewed shredded beef) in authentic restaurants, such as El Meson de Pepe in Mallory Square. Enjoy a taste of Havana served with black beans, sweet plantains, and yellow rice.

Something I love is coconut water drunk straight from the nut. Although coconut water from a bottle is popular throughout the States, you can’t beat this natural refreshment wrapped in Mother Nature’s own packaging.

And for a real taste of the Caribbean, look out for locally distilled rum used in cocktails around the island. If you’re going to drink pina coladas and get caught in the summer rain here in Key West, you might as well make sure you’re drinking the locals’ favorite Key West First Legal Rum.

Dessert

The most famous food associated with Key West must be Key lime pie. You’ll find this tart pie on many local dessert menus, such as at the Blue Heaven Restaurant 3-minutes-walk from the Ernest Hemingway House (4.5 on Google & TripAdvisor, 4.8 on Facebook).

Nightlife & Entertainment

Even though Key West is a small town, it has earned a reputation for big parties. The Cuban and Caribbean influences make it a great place to let your hair down and go wild. And Key West is a fantastic place to sip a cocktail while watching a sunset over the Gulf of Mexico. Check out the Sunset Pier bar for fantastic views.

However, do remember you’re still in the US. Conchs regularly complain about the abuses of tourists who seem to believe they’ve left the laws of the US behind on the mainland. You must be 21 to purchase or drink alcohol, and the same drugs are illegal here as on the mainland. If you wander the streets with a glass of alcohol in hand, you’re asking for trouble.

Duval Street is the main hub for bars and is renowned for the Duval Crawl as drinkers proceed from dive to dive along the road. But you can find clubs and bars all over the island to suit any taste.

Couples

There are plenty of bars with a romantic ambiance suitable for happy couples to sip cocktails or sample the local beers. Check out Virgilio’s cocktail lounge on Duval Street. They offer live music and outdoor dancing. There’s a popular Latin dancing night on Thursdays and a Martini promotion night on Mondays.

If you enjoy seafood and live music, you might like to visit the Conch Republic Seafood Company mentioned in the food section above. In the evenings, they provide live music along with delicious seafood on the marina.

The younger crowd

Many of the bars in lower Duval Street are popular with students during Spring Break. Check out Sloppy Joe’s sports bar. It’s been around since 1933 and is renowned for its variety of live bands and lively dancing. Or, if you love variety, go to Rick’s Bar. Rick’s is a complex of 8 different bars each with its own unique theme, enabling you to crawl from bar to bar with ease. The different areas offer live music, relaxed lounges, and a lively dance club.

Live rock

Many live music venues around Key West feature local rock bands. Check out Schooner Wharf on the historic harbor walk and the historic Green Parrot on Whitehead Street that offers a jukebox throughout the week and loud and live music on the weekends. The Green Parrot was founded in 1890 and boasts that it is the first and last bar on the oversea highway—US Highway 1.

LGBT

The Bourbon Street Pub (actually on Duval Street) and nearby 801 Bourbon Bar (801 Duval Street) are popular with the LGBT community. At the pub, you’ll find theme nights and drag shows. The bar offers a nightclub with a gay bar as well as drag shows and karaoke. The 801 also offers a nightly cabaret act.

Getting Around

The whole island of Key West is only 4 miles from east to west and 2 miles from north to south. Getting around anywhere is easy. However, there are a surprising number of options for getting around.

Public transport

The City of Key West provides a FREE bus for visitors to explore the most visited areas on the island. The Duval Loop Service provides buses every 30 minutes from 6 am to 10 am followed by every 15 minutes from 10 am to midnight. There are 18 stops along the route, all marked with clear pink Duval Loop signs. The Duval Loop is a fantastic way to explore the historic quarter for free.

Walking

Because the historic Old Town is only 2 miles square and relatively flat, it’s easy to get anywhere by walking. Walking enables you to take in the town at your pace and mingle with the locals.

Cycling

Because Key West is so flat, it’s a great place to cycle. Lots of bike rental companies on the island offer bikes for around $50 per week. Cycling is an eco-friendly way to get around and enables you to explore quicker than walking. Some of the bike hike companies also offer guided cycle tours of the island.

If you don’t want to peddle your own cycle, you can hire a pedicab. These are cycle-powered rickshaws that can take you around the island. However, they can be expensive, charging around $1.50 per minute.

Trolley bus

Key West has two trolley bus companies offering hop on and hop off services. These run hop-on-hop-off services focused on the main tourist attractions. They provide more coverage than the free bus service, but you have to pay around $27 per day.

Cars & mopeds

Taxis are a great option in Key West because the island is so small that any journey won’t break the bank.

I wouldn’t recommend you rent a car in Key West. If you used one to get here, that’s great. But if you’ve flown in or come on the ferry, hiring a car is an unnecessary expense. Parking places are at a premium, and you’ll get a ticket if you park in a resident’s spot. And with free buses around the central area, why would you want to struggle around with a car?

Many visitors hire mopeds in Key West. They are faster than cycles and can access many of the same areas. However, I wouldn’t recommend you rent one. Scooter and moped accidents are frequent in Florida. Within such a small area, bicycles are better.

Accommodations

Like any popular vacation destination, Key West offers a broad variety of lodging to suit every taste and budget. However, it does have a reputation for being expensive.

The hotels and guest houses are busiest through winter and during key festivals, such as the lobster mini-season in late summer and October’s Fantasy Fest.

Key West

Most of the events and activities focus on downtown and the old town of Key West, so you might want to stay in that area. However, the bars and clubs in the areas around Duval Street stay open throughout the night, so a central hotel might not be as restful as you might like. There are many less central hotels to consider, such as the Ibis Bay Beach Resort on Roosevelt Boulevard.

Quiet places near the center tend to be expensive, but you may think they’re worth the expense. The Tropical Inn on Duval Street is a popular boutique hotel right in the center of the action. It is an exclusively adult hotel that aims to provide private lodgings just a few feet away from the liveliest bars and clubs.

As mentioned under nightlife, Key West is a popular destination for members of the LGBT community. This extends to accommodation especially aimed at the gays and lesbian community. For example, Alexander’s Guesthouse on Fleming Street (which crosses Duval Street) offers a historic house and a friendly welcome for LGBTs and friends.

Nearby

You can often find cheaper accommodation out of the center or on one of the neighboring islands, such as Big Pine Key & Marathon. The Barnacle B&B in Big Pine Key is highly rated and has been recently refurbished following Hurricane Irma. And if you’re traveling on a budget or have access to an RV, check out the Pelican RV resort and motel in Marathon.

Weather

Key West boasts a tropical savanna climate, making it a perfect destination for warm winter holidays. There is little difference between winter and summer temperatures with an annual average range of only 150F. Because of cooling easterly trade winds, the summer highs rarely reach 950F, but there are around 55 days in the year with highs of 900F or higher.

January is the coldest month with an average daily high of 750F and a low of 650F. By April, the temperatures have risen to an average high of 820F and a low of 720F. The hottest months are July and August. August sees an average high of 890F and a low of 790F. In November, the average daily high drops to 800F and the low 710F.

The biggest weather change during the year is the transition from dry to wet season. The 6 months November through April see only 25% of annual rainfall. The following 6 months through the summer see 75%. This means that summer becomes very humid with frequent heavy rainfall. These showers most frequently occur during the early morning.

Hurricanes are a problem in Key West, with the most recent being Hurricane Wilma in 2005 and Hurricane Irma in 2017. However, most years the island escapes major storms.

Attractions

The one attraction everyone seems to have heard of in Key West is the Southernmost Point Monument—the black, red, and yellow concrete post at the corner of South and Whitehead. But there’s lots more to see and do in this tropical haven.

The Mel Fisher Maritime Museum

I’ve always loved history and archaeology, so it’s no surprise that my favorite attraction in Key West is the Shipwreck Treasure Museum. A local diver called Mel Fisher discovered many shipwrecks around Key West and recovered lots of interesting artifacts that told the story of those ships and the people who sailed them.

As well as treasure, the museum holds artifacts recovered from a slave ship that sank in 1700. The Henrietta Marie is the oldest slave shipwreck ever discovered and studied. The museum bolds everyday sailor’s possessions, navigational instruments, and gold and silver coins and jewelry.

Fort Zachary Taylor

History lovers will also be fascinated by Fort Zachary Taylor. Built between 1845 and 1866, this fort protected Florida’s coastline during the Civil War. Today it contains an impressive collection of Civil War memorabilia and armaments.

The fort is located within a state park that offers dedicated snorkeling areas, nature trails, swimming, and beautiful scenery. It’s also a great spot to take your lover for a romantic picnic.

Historic houses

Key West boasts a collection of amazing historic houses now converted into museums. The most interesting is the Harry S. Truman Little White House. This restored building was originally constructed in 1890. Since then, it has served as a winter vacation home for several Presidents, including Truman, Eisenhower, and Kennedy.

The most famous historic house is the Ernest Hemingway Home near Duval Street. It’s an impressive Spanish Colonial house built in 1851. Hemingway lived there from 1931 to 1940. The house contains Hemingway’s collection of 17th and 18th-century Spanish furniture and the descendants of his cat, Snow White. He wrote several of his novels in the house.

Many more historic structures can be see on or around Duval Street, which is Key West’s main nightlife hub and tourist strip. These include the oldest house in Florida built in 1829. Inside you’ll find a small museum about the history of Key West.

The Key West Aquarium

Not all Key West’s attractions are historic. The Key West Aquarium is a popular destination for families who love nature. You’ll find a touch tank, where you can get close to sea life such as starfish and conch. If you want to learn about local marine life, there are tanks holding angelfish, pufferfish, and snappers. There are also tanks containing sharks and barracuda. If you take one of the tours, you can watch the feeding of the sharks.

The Butterfly Conservatory

Nature lovers will also enjoy the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory. Here you can walk through a habitat filled with over 50 species of butterfly and 20 species of exotic birds. Visitors are educated about the life cycle of butterflies through watching a film in the Learning Center. Youngsters will love the live caterpillar viewing area, where you can see butterflies emerging from their chrysalis and preparing to take flight for the first time.

Other features

Key West is surrounded by other, small islands that are worth a visit. For example, Dry Tortugas National Park 65 miles to the west is the location of Fort Jefferson, where Dr. Mudd was held prisoner after being accused in connection with the assassination of President Lincoln. The islands can be reached on boat tours, many of which combine island visits with snorkeling or dolphin watching.

Anyone interested in local rum production would enjoy a tour around the Key West First Legal Rum Distillery. Free tours (kid-friendly!) are offered every day of the week, though they are set times and there are more tours on weekdays. You even get free rum tastings!

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Robert Baker

I had the good fortune to be born in a first-world country at a time when fast international travel became possible for average people. Having shared meals with families in huts with no electricity and dirt floors, I appreciate the "little" things that my fellow Englishmen take for granted. Over the years I've worked in many different fields. I've been an archaeologist in the Scottish Hebrides, an accountant in London, and taught English in China. However,I've never enjoyed any other job as much as writing.

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