Attractions in the Florida Keys and Key West

From the upper to the lower keys, there’s plenty of exciting things to do and attractions in the Florida Keys with no shortage of fun in the sun! From the treasures of a shipwreck, to more than a dozen museums, the Florida Keys offer more than 100 miles of opportunities.

In addition to the water and sky views on both sides of the Overseas Highway, the scenic drive south from Miami to Key West (about three hours) also includes plenty of opportunities to learn about the history of this island chain.

Attractions in Islamorada

The History of Diving Museum is hard to miss when passing on the road as paintings of underwater sea creatures decorate the building in ocean blue colors along with an old diving helmet. The museum (mile marker 83 bayside) houses a large collection of diving helmets and artifacts, charting 4,000 years of diving history. Finds include a gallery on treasure hunter Art “Silver Bar” McKee; an exhibition of 45 historic diving helmets from 24 countries; nearly 2,500 books on underwater exploration; and free monthly seminars. Open daily (except holidays), 10 am-5 pm Adults, $15; kids 5-11, $7.

Cheeca Lodge Beach in Islamorada

The Keys History and Discovery Center is located at the Islander Resort, Guy Harvey Outpost (mile marker 82 oceanside). Exhibit topics include the early inhabitants of the Florida Keys, shipwrecks and salvage, pioneer families in the island chain, offshore and sport fishing legends, and the Flagler Railroad. Open Thursday through Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Adults, $12; Children 13 and under enter free.

For some retail therapy and local artisan gifts, stop by the Village Square. This enchanting bohemian village features an open air, curated collection of island shops including homemade gifts and home decor at Boo Kee Sue Botanics, delicious burritos at Bad Boy Burrito, and much more. Perfect for a chill Islamorada afternoon.

Attractions in Marathon

Pigeon Key Foundation and Marine Science Center located on the old bridge parallel to the Seven Mile Bridge on a coral island used as a camp between 1908 and 1912 for the 400 workers working on the Henry Henry Florida Keys Overseas Railroad Flagler that spread from Miami to Key West. The island is home to quaint homes and a museum filled with old photos, artifacts, and memorabilia. Marine educational programs are held on the island, which is also a great place for picnicking and snorkeling. Adults, $15, children 5-13, $12. Ferries sail to the island from the Pigeon Key Visitor Center (mile marker 47, ocean side of the road), 10 a.m., noon, and 2 p.m.

Pigeon Key Visitor Center in the Florida Keys

Crane Point Museum and Nature Center, mile marker 50 bayside, features nature trails, a butterfly garden, a children’s activity center, and a natural history museum . Artifacts in the museum’s collection include a 600-year-old canoe and the remains of pirate ships. Open Monday through Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm; Sundays.

Attractions in Key West

Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum, 907 Whitehead St., offers guided tours of the house where he lived for most of the 1930s and wrote some of his most notable works, including “To Have and Have Not.” Between 40 and 50 cats have taken over the house and gardens, and many of them have an extra toe, just like a six-toed cat that Hemingway owned. Open daily from 9 am to 5 pm Adults, $17, children 6-12, $7, one of the most popular attractions in the Florida Keys and Key West.

Custom House Museum, 281 Front St., near Mallory Square, is a national landmark operated by the Key West Art & Historical Society. The four-story building was once home to the island’s customs office, post office, and district courts and now displays art and historical collections, among other artifacts related to the history and culture of the Florida Keys. Open daily (except Christmas), 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Adults $16; children 7 and over, $8. Pro tip: save $2 off admission if you purchase online!

The Hemingway House in Key West

Mel Fisher Maritime Museum, 200 Greene St., displays treasures from the 1622 Spanish galleons discovered by Fisher, an American treasure hunter known for his 1985 discovery of the wreck of the Nuestra Señora de Atocha. The museum includes a rich collection of 17th century maritime and shipwreck artifacts. Open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; weekends and holidays, 9:30am-5pm Adults, $17.50, children 6-12, $8.50.

With 100 miles ready to be discovered, there are plenty of attractions in the Florida Keys!

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