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Key West see + do

Much of Key West's sightseeing appeal is centered on the variety of exquisitely preserved historic houses. Cigar makers' cottages are scattered through Bahama Village, while the best examples of Key West's grand late-1800s Conch houses are along Caroline and Greene streets. These wooden homes were raised on coral slabs to avoid flooding and are decorated like San Francisco Victorians with gingerbread wood trim. The most famous homestead on the island is the Hemingway Home, where the author lived in the 1930s. Though the rocky coastal areas mean there is a lack of great beaches, Key West does not want for water activities: Take a day trip to the Dry Tortugas or snorkel right off Duval Street. And though it is a bit hokey, ending the day with a sunset stroll in Mallory Square continues to be a must-do.

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Beaches in Key West, Key West

Better known for its offshore reefs and onshore bars than its beaches, Key West is not the place to go with visions of endless sandy strands strewn with conch...more

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Dry Tortugas National Park, Dry Tortugas

These seven islands 70 miles west of Key West are a snorkeler's dream. The colorful coral reefs just a few feet offshore are populated by tropical fish and...more

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Hotel Photo
Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum, Key West

Ernest Hemingway is the most famous of the freshwater Conchs (the term of endearment for a Key Wester who wasn't born on the island), and he lived in this...more

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Fishing in Key West, Key West

The Key West marina is packed with fishing boats available for charter. Dream Catcher Charters will take you out into the flats, the four-foot-deep waters...more

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Key West Aquarium, Key West

Originally a WPA project in the 1930s, this huge aquarium is swimming with barracuda, eels, parrot fish, stingrays, and other exotic creatures that live below...more

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Key West Cemetery, Key West

This 19-acre site jammed into the center of Old Town dates back to Key West's 19th-century heyday, when the shipwrecking industry (salvaging goods from sunken...more

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Mallory Square, Key West

Locals avoid it and tourists flock to it, but there's still a lot to love about Mallory Square. Vendors selling everything from hand-painted coconuts to conch...more

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Mile Marker 0 and Southernmost Point, Key West

There are two key shutterbug sites in Key West. Mile Marker 0, at the junction of Fleming and Whitehead streets, is a small green sign that marks the southern...more

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Pirate Soul, Key West

Don't be put off by the Errol Flynn–ish music piped onto the sidewalk and the hokey gift shop—this attraction is a trove of pirate treasure. Pat...more

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Snorkeling + Diving, Key West

As a place to dive, the Keys may not measure up to, say, Belize, or off the shores of Phuket, but a surprising diversity of underwater creatures and wrecks can...more

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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