5 family-friendly ideas for Key West vacations

By Jennifer Kelly Geddes, Jan 2020

Key West sunset

Key West may sit at the southern tip of Florida, but once you arrive, you'll feel as though you've been transported much farther. Whether you and your family land at Key West's own tiny airport or traverse the Florida Keys on the drive down from Miami, arriving at the southernmost point in the continental U.S. inspires a sense of awe.

To help you plan your next Key West vacations, we've compiled some ideas for family-friendly adventures. Get ready to bask in the sun and marvel at the beauty of this amazing little island paradise.

Bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus swims along the shoreline of Key West, Florida in summer.

Spot playful dolphins and other marine life on a Dolphin Safari Charters trip.

1. Go on a Dolphin Safari Charters adventure

Book a boat trip and get up close and personal with a pod of dolphins. These playful creatures can be viewed from Dolphin Safari's six-seat craft; you might also see stingrays, barracuda, sea turtles and even a manatee. Finish up your trip with a snorkeling experience near a reef, or simply drift in the warm water on a provided float. Fruit, snacks and drinks are usually included.

2. Ride a bike or hop the train

Got bigger kids who are steady on two wheels? Rent bikes for an hour or two and cruise along the harbor to Key West's historic Old Town or out to the most photographed spot in town: the iconic red, yellow and black concrete buoy that marks the land's end. If you have a tot whose legs tire easily, grab a seat on the Conch Train, which makes three stops while your engineer gives you a humorous tour of the town's history.

3. Indulge at Conch Republic Seafood Company

Take a break and catch some shade on Conch Republic's cool patio, a restaurant famous for its seafood specialties. The conch chowder is a must, or maybe try the cracked conch fried in tempura batter or the conch fritters served with Key Lime mustard. Check out the cute gift shop and two saltwater aquariums, which make for great distractions for kids who get antsy before the food arrives.

4. Visit the Shipwreck Museum

Hundreds of ships have met their fate in the waters around Key West, and their stories are immortalized at this expertly crafted museum experience. Visitors are drawn in with a short story told by costumed performers and then directed through the exhibition, which features artifacts from the Isaac Allerton, which sank in 1856. Be sure to climb the museum's tower to take advantage of its 65-foot bird's-eye view of the surrounding waters.

Key West popular tourist attraction on Florida Zachary beach, wooden direction signs signaling distances which way to famous places travel the world.

Let this sign put your location in perspective while enjoying beautiful views at Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park.

5. Stop by Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park

Swimming is on every kid's wish list on a warm-weather vacation, so make a jaunt to this state park for its sandy beaches and a short history lesson. Tour the fort, which was built in 1866 and was active during the Civil and Spanish-American wars, then walk a few of the nature trails on the 54-acre property. Have a picnic or grab some ice cream at the nearby cafe. Lucky history buffs who happen to visit on the third weekend of every month can enjoy historic reenactments starring local actors.

Combining history and natural beauty all in one place, Key West is one of the crown jewels of the United States. Bring your crew to this Southern gem and take in everything that the island has to offer.

Check out our packages for Key West vacations to get your adventure started today!

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