Never A Dull Moment at Casa Marina in Key West
Located on the only Caribbean island in the United States, Casa Marina, A Waldorf Astoria Resort is a historic resort surrounded by a thrilling variety of attractions and activities in Key West. Quaint Old Town, museums, historic homes, and aquariums are just minutes from our seaside oasis. And Duval Street – with its unique shopping, delectable dining, and vibrant nightlife – is only a mile away.
Search for famous shipwrecks. See the breathtaking riches discovered by one of the world's greatest treasure hunters. Visit the home where Ernest Hemingway wrote some of his best-loved works.
Key West Activities and Things To Do
Audubon House & Tropical Gardens
As Key West's first restoration project, the Audubon House & Tropical Gardens play many roles: tranquil oasis, education center, a doorway into history. Take a guided tour through the house, complete with authentic furnishings, then visit the fish pond, medicinal/herbal garden, and thriving gardens. The property is also available for weddings, events and receptions. To learn more, please visit www.audubonhouse.com.
Dry Tortugas National Park
Wander off the beaten path to discover Dry Tortugas, a 100-square mile park spread over seven small islands set in stunning, technicolor waters that are ideal for snorkeling. Home to Fort Jefferson, a 19th century fort, the park can only be reached by seaplane or boat... but we guarantee that the trip is well worth the effort. To learn more, please visit www.nps.gov/drto
Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum
Step into the home of one of America's literary giants at the Hemingway Home, where Ernest Hemingway resided for some of his most productive writing years. Take a guided tour, explore the verdant grounds, and meet over 40 of the famed cats who now call this tranquil oasis their home. To learn more, please visit www.hemingwayhome.com.
Flagler Station HISTOREUM®
History buffs, take note: The Flagler Station HISTOREUM® should be on the top of your to-see list while in Key West. Offering a reconstruction of a railway station, a themed merchant shop, historic film presentations and reenactments, this spot will propel you into the captivating history of Key West's storied railway. To learn more, please visit www.flaglerstation.net.
Fort Zachary Taylor State Park
Whether you're seeking a midweek beach escape or a stunning party venue, Fort Zachary Taylor State Park accommodates varied desires. Sparkling waters meet a sugar sand beach at this state park, which offers a selection of dining spots, watersport rentals and exquisitely hidden spots in which to relax and unwind.
To learn more, please visit www.fortzacharytaylor.com.
Harry S. Truman Little White House
Today the Harry S. Truman Little White House is a popular museum, but its previous incarnations – as a naval headquarters during the Spanish-American War, World War I and II; as the "winter White House" for President Truman; and as a Cold War response site – mean that it is also a place where the past jumps vividly to life. Explore historical documents, such as logs that provide fascinating details about President Truman's life while on vacation in Key West.
To learn more, please visit www.trumanlittlewhitehouse.com.
Heritage House Museum
Uncover the history behind six generations of Key West treasures at the Heritage House Museum, a hotbed of local culture and the former gathering spot for literary luminaries like Tennessee Williams, Gloria Swanson and Robert Frost. (Insider's tip: Be sure to check out the onsite Robert Frost Cottage, where the poet whiled many a winter.) To learn more, please visit www.heritagehousemuseum.org.
Key West Art & Historical Society
The Key West Art & Historical Society spans three museums, showcasing over 25,000 riveting artifacts, archives, photographs, paintings, and more. Each piece helps reveal the story behind the Florida Keys. Visit the Society's sites, including the Custom House Museum, the Lighthouse & Keeper's Quarters, and Fort East Martello, to experience life in the Keys as it was... and as it is today. To learn more, please visit www.kwahs.org.
Key West Aquarium
Greet Key West's colorful creatures at the Key West Aquarium. Bring the family along to meet alligators, sharks, sea stars, giant hermit crabs, and other marine life, and learn about both their habitats and their habits! To learn more, please visit www.keywestaquarium.com.
Key West Butterfly Conservatory
Float in to the Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory to experience 50 to 60 butterfly species hailing from around the globe, bright blooms bursting with color, and calming waterfalls. Learn all about butterfly physiology, anatomy and life cycle in the onsite Learning Center, stop by the gift shop, or even host a wedding or event here, at TripAdvisor’s top tourist attraction in Key West. To learn more, please visit www.keywestbutterfly.com.
Key West Express
Rely on Key West Express' fleet of thoroughly modern and comfortable ferries, each appointed with sun decks, snack bars, cocktail options and big screen TVs -- though we guarantee that the views alone are enough entertainment! Ferries run to Ft. Myers Beach, Marco Island, and Key West. To learn more, please visit www.seakeywestexpress.com.
Key West Lighthouse Museum
Opened in 1848, the Key West Lighthouse was first kept by a woman – which was highly unusual at that time. In 1969, the Lighthouse was decommissioned, as technology replaced the need for a full-time lighthouse keeper. These days, visitors are welcome to climb the 88 steps to the top, and to learn about lighthouse keepers' unique lifestyles. To learn more, please visit www.kwahs.org.
Follow the hum of excitement each evening to Mallory Square, a waterfront plaza that offers a stunning nightly Sunset Celebration. Hundreds of sunset seekers gather to watch the sun go down, grab snacks from food carts, and browse vendors’ arts and crafts goodies. Start time is two hours before sunset. To learn more, please visit www.mallorysquare.com .
Mel Fisher Maritime Museum
Sneak a little educational fun into your next vacation at the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum. The museum boasts charming collections of treasure, and compelling exhibits on the transatlantic slave trade, real-life pirates, shipwrecks and more. To learn more, please visit www.melfisher.org.
Oldest House Museum
Old Key West springs vividly to life in the Oldest House Museum. Featuring authentic period furnishings, ship models, interesting historical documents and a serene garden, the property is free to visitors and offers a knowledgeable staff to address your questions. To learn more, please visit www.oirf.org.
Sebago Key West
One of the top tour operators, Sebago Key West proudly offers fun-packed tours and impeccable watercraft. Indulge in the Catamaran Champagne Sunset Sail, set off on a Half Day Snorkel Reef Cruise, or try any number of other excursions that are sure to restore the wind in your sails. To learn more, please visit www.keywestsebago.com.
Shipwreck Treasure Museum
All aboard for a wild journey through Key West's florid past. Visit the Key West Shipwreck Museum to experience the city's own wrecked vessel, the Isaac Allerton, which sank in 1856 on our reef and was rediscovered in 1985."Master Wrecker" Asa Tift and his capable crew share with visitors the story behind our area’s wrecking industry. To learn more, please visit www.shipwreckhistoreum.com.
Key West culture inspires its own unique brand of art, and nowhere is a better spot to view it than at the world's largest Wyland Gallery. Stop by to view marine life bronzes, dolphin sculptures, and an array of varied contemporary art shows. To learn more, please visit www.wylandkw.com/galleries.
Annual Events in Key West
World Sailfish Championship — April
This renowned championship is hailed as the "richest sailfish tournament in the world," boasting more than $1,000,000 in prize money. The World Sailfish Championship raises funds for charity and also provides guests with five adventure-filled days of gourmet cuisine, entertainment and, of course, high-stakes action.
Conch Republic Days — April
The Conch Republic is less a place and more a state of mind. With the motto, “We seceded where others failed,” the Republic celebrates its "independence" from Key West each year with parties, concerts and good-natured, tongue-in-cheek fun.
Taste of Key West — April
Support a good cause while wining and dining on local cuisine, courtesy of over 50 restaurants and 100 wineries and vineyards. The Taste of Key West event raises funds for the organization, AIDS Help. Admission is free, and food and wine tastings start at just $3.
Songwriters Festival — May
The globe's grandest songwriters' gathering, the Key West Songwriters Festival has been celebrating the art of songwriting since 1997, with a five-day-and-night party that thrills writers, musicians and crowds with fantastic music and even better company.
Key West Pride— June
Key West Pride started with a march down Duval Street about 25 years ago, with gay and straight men and women sharing our community’s message of acceptance and inclusion. Today, Pride, with a motto of "One Human Family," celebrates the same simple message on a grander scale, with themed parties, events, activities and a whole lot of fabulous fun.
Womenfest — June
A tropical party just for lesbians and their friends, Key West Women Fest has been rocking the island for more than 25 years. From themed beach and pool parties to trolley rides and sets from the chillest DJs around, the party manages to be both warm and wild.
Hemingway Days — July
Literary stalwarts unite for fun and fandom at Hemingway Days, a festival dedicated to the renowned writer and punctuated by readings, book signings, an awards ceremony for a literary competition, and even a Hemingway lookalike contest. For the still more adventurous, a marlin tournament, a "Running of the Bulls," and a paddleboard race promise to get hearts pounding.
Lobsterfest — August
Lobster lovers hightail it to Key West for the annual Lobsterfest, a four-day-and-night long celebration of everyone's favorite crustacean. Partake in some of our favorite festivities: a lobster boil, a bar crawl that benefits a local scholarship fund, a street fair, concert and the indulgent lobster brunch.
Poker Run — September
Starting with just 46 riders gathered to promote the motorcycle industry in Key West over four decades ago, the Poker Run has evolved into South Florida's greatest biker party weekend. More than 10,000 riders from across the country make their way to Key West, picking up a card at each stop – whoever draws the best hand wins; those drawing the top ten hands are offered the chance to play a round of Texas Hold 'Em. Even non-riders can enjoy this outdoor festival, a mini Mardi Gras, replete with music, food, entertainment and ice-cold brews.
Fantasy Fest — October
Hailed as the infamous "party in paradise," Fantasy Fest is a raucous festival for adults looking to get a little wild, Key West style, on their next vacation. Ten days packed with parades, cocktails, cosplay and costumes add up to one unforgettable Fest.
Goombay Fest — October
Start off the legendary Fantasy Fest with a bang at the Bahama Village Goombay Festival. This heart-pounding street party features costumed dancers, lively music, an array of African crafts, and delicacies from the world over. Don’t forget to swing by the main stage for around-the-clock Caribbean music and entertainment.
ART! Key West — November
Colorful, creative and extraordinary, ART! Key West is a three-day-long art festival held throughout the island, celebrating our local artists, galleries, boutiques, theaters and restaurants. Browse collections from up-and-coming artists alongside seasoned veterans' works while sipping carefully crafted cocktails and indulging in local specialties.
Powerboat Races — November
Hailed as the world's "biggest and fastest" offshore racing series, Super Boat International draws crowds to Truman Waterfront each year. The action-packed racing schedule and impressive watercraft fleet inspire racers and audience members alike.
Pirate Fest — December
Pirate invasions, plank walking championships, bone-chilling reenactments: the Pirates in Paradise Festival has it all. Kids and kids at heart can catch a thrill at this multi-day affair designed to invoke the swashbuckling spirit of the Keys.