It’s summer and there’s no better time to head south to Key West, one of the world’s most popular destinations. A tiny island paradise at the Southernmost Point in the United States, Key West is surrounded by shimmering water, topped off with gorgeous powdery blue skies and a bunch of friendly locals. Read on for the top things to do in Key West during the summer.
1) Spend The Day At Key West’s Best Beach
Fort Zachary Taylor is more than one of the last remaining Civil War fortresses on the island, it’s home to the island’s most popular beach. You can swim, snorkel, fish off the pier, hike the nature trails, grill some lunch or dinner or just hang out under a shady palm. There are also bike paths, a café that’s open daily and tours and demonstrations of the cannons at the fort. Make it a day to remember, but don’t forget sunscreen, hats and cold beverages to beat the heat.
2) Take A Ride On The Conch Tour Train
This hometown train has been entertaining guests since 1958 and is still one of the best tours on the island. The train’s open-air design allows for cool breezes and great views for everyone on board. During the 90-minute journey, you’ll see Ernest Hemingway’s house, the Key West Lighthouse, the Southernmost Point, the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory and much more. You’ll be minutes away from all the excitement, shopping and dining on Duval Street and have a chance to get off at the Historic Seaport to see the sights and grab a bite before catching another train.
3) See Sword Swallowers And Sample Conch Fritters
Like no place else on earth, Key West is home to the most breathtaking sunsets you’ll ever behold. The evening is also the perfect time of day to experience Key West in the summer. So while you’re on the island, be sure to head to Mallory Square in the late afternoon or early evening to celebrate nature’s most colorful and fiery phenomenon. The famed sunset celebration begins when street performers, artists, musicians, comedians and food and drink vendors hit the street. Check out the famous cat man, tightrope walkers, fire jugglers and more, sample homemade conch fritters and frosty margaritas and then find a spot along the water to witness the glorious sight of the sun melting into the horizon. A totally authentic Key West experience you just cannot miss.
4) Check Out The Annual Fishing Tournaments
When you visit the Keys in the summer, be sure to check a local events calendar to find out more about the popular fishing tournaments that take place every year. The most well known tournament is perhaps the Key West Fishing Tournament, established in 1965. Fishing events for all ages take place from March to November, and participants with the best catches are eligible to win cash prizes.
5) Discover Why Harry Truman Never Wanted To Leave
When you need an escape from the summer sun, visit the historic Truman Little White House. President Harry Truman came to Key West to get away from the harsh Washington, DC winter and enjoy a few days of rest and relaxation. But when he got here, he never wanted to leave. The house he stayed in became government headquarters and he ran the business of the country from there for more than 175 days! Was it the weather, the warm and friendly locals or the awesome fishing that drew him in? These are many of the same reasons why visitors to Key West return to their hometowns only to pack and come back. Today, you can tour through the Little White House and see many of his personal belongings and artifacts and learn all about our 33rd president.
6) Climb Aboard The Orange & Green Trolley
If you love history and sightseeing, a ride on the Old Town Trolley is definitely in order. You’ll stay cool during the breezy, fully narrated trolley ride and visit more than 100 of the most important sites in the city. You’ll see the Key West Lighthouse, the Southernmost Point, Mel Fisher’s Maritime Museum, the Audubon House, the Custom House Museum, the Key West Shipwreck Treasures Museum, the Key West Aquarium and tons more. Get off, shop, grab some lunch or dinner and get on the next trolley since there are trolleys coming and going all day long. This is the most comprehensive and flexible tour in Key West and perfect for adults and children.