must do in key west

Traveling to Key West is one of the most fulfilling vacations that you can take. Not only does it offer a look into unforgettable natural beauty, but there are also plenty of tourist attractions to explore.

For those who aren’t quite sure how they should plan their trip, we’ve put together some of the most entertaining things you must do in Key West. Let’s get started.

Take a Trip Down Duval Street

For those who are looking to get a full tourist experience, you’ll want to ensure that you take some time to stroll down Duval Street. Many visitors find that this is a perfect location to either begin or end their trip.

Depending on when you travel to Key West, you might be able to attend one of the numerous festivals that are held at this location throughout the year. Perhaps the most famous is the Hemingway Days Festival, an event that takes place each summer.

Regardless of whether or not you attend the festival, however, Duval Street has plenty of other exciting attractions. Visitors often choose to pay a visit to the gorgeous waterfront area or book a tour that guides them through the most interesting parts of the area.

Regardless of what you choose to do, Duval Street is sure to be one of the highlights of your trip.

Check Out Mallory Square

In the past, Mallory Square was an area full of warehouses that would receive imported cargo. Today, it is an iconic location to watch Key West’s famous sunsets.

Additionally, Mallory Square frequently hosts live entertainment, such as musicians, street performers, and magicians. This makes it one of the most lively and unique places that you can visit on your trip.

To get the most out of this experience, you should head down there in the late afternoon — most of the fun happens shortly before and after the sun begins to set.

Book an Aerial Tour

Sometimes, it can seem overwhelming to get a taste of everything that Key West has to offer. This is particularly true for those who are only able to make a short trip to the area.

However, an aerial tour can provide you with a comprehensive look at all of its natural beauty. For those who are unfamiliar with what this entails, it involves a short helicopter ride that offers breathtaking views of the natural landscape.

You also get to see major areas of the city that you might not be able to get a look at otherwise. As you might guess, booking an aerial tour just before sunset is an unforgettable experience that you simply can’t have anywhere else.

So, keep this in mind when planning out your trip’s activities so that you can take advantage of this opportunity and what it has to offer.

Visit the Key West Aquarium

Florida’s aquariums in general are renowned across the entire country as being some of the best. The Key West Aquarium, in particular, is one of the most notable.

It was first opened nearly 100 years ago and has undergone a large number of renovations since then. One of the most prominent attractions is its touch tank, which allows visitors to interact closely with starfish, conches, and similar invertebrates.

Children often find this segment of the aquarium to be the most entertaining.

The aquarium is home to a diverse range of local marine life. This includes angelfish, pleasure fish, barracudas, and sharks. So, you’ll find that you get a full experience of the animals that live in Key West from a single visit to the Key West Aquarium.

Dive Into the Shipwreck Treasure Museum

In the past, a large component of the Key West economy was a process known as wrecking, which involved salvaging cargo from ships that were destroyed along nearby reefs. Professionals who participated in this activity were known as wreckers, and they would spend much of their time scouting for damaged vessels nearby.

By law, the first party to the site could claim the majority of the salvage.

This museum is dedicated to the artifacts that were recovered during this time period. It also provides insight into the history of the wrecking industry and the impact that it has had on Key West. Visitors often find that this museum is one of the most interesting parts of their trip.

Climb the Key West Lighthouse

Although this lighthouse was decommissioned decades ago, it remains an important part of Key West history. Currently, it has been restorative to reflect the life and conditions of the mid-20th century.

This is achieved by including the original furniture that was present here, along with household items and pictures of the numerous different lighthouse keepers that tended to the building.

In addition to being a noteworthy historical monument, it also provides a stellar view at the top. So, it’s customary for visitors to climb to the very top of the lighthouse in order to get a unique look at the open sea.

These Are Things You Must Do in Key West to Make the Most Of Your Trip

So, be sure that you keep them in mind. From here, you will likely find that this list of things you must do in Key West drastically improves your overall experience.

Want to learn more about what we have to offer? Feel free to get in touch with us today and see how we can help.

aerial tours

The Florida Keys are magical. With the blue-green water, the coral reefs, and the abundant history, it is easy to see why so many people dream of visiting. Famous artists and writers from Judy Blume to Jimmy Buffet to Ernest Hemingway have made the Florida Keys their home.

What is the best way to experience the Keys? For many people, aerial tours are the answer. These tours offer the best photo opportunities while also offering a private experience for you and your family or partner.

Are you looking to get an unmatched view of the Florida Keys? Keep reading to learn more about the views from aerial tours.

A New Perspective on the Islands

If you have been vacationing in the Florida Keys before, you know that this place has a unique beauty all its own. But Florida aerial tours can provide you with a whole new perspective on this unique part of the state.

When flying overhead, the white and yellow houses and businesses pop out from between lush clusters of dark green leaves. The boats and yachts shine in the glistening harbors. The bridges stretch farther than what seems possible.

Getting out over the islands can be just what you need to fall in love with this beautiful place. 

Aerial Tours Over Sparkling Blue Waters

For many people who live inland or further North, the water like we have in the Florida Keys is a marvel. With its turquoise glow and clarity, the water in the Keys has been drawing visitors for years.

From the helicopter, you can see the signature blue/green hue and the white trails of boats floating through the water. 

The Florida Keys is home to the United States only coral barrier reef—something that you should see from above.

Marine Wildlife Like You’ve Never Seen Before

Because of the heat, the coral reef, the abundant vegetation, and the freshwater wetlands, the Florida Keys is home to an amazing amount of wildlife. If you are walking along the coast of the islands, you are sure to see some species of birds and fish. However, the best way to see as much wildlife as you can is through Key West helicopter tours.

From the air, you can see the extent of the coral reef, flocks of different species of birds, and some larger species of marine wildlife. Dolphins and manatees are plentiful in this area, but it might be difficult to get close to them in the water. Manatees can weigh up to 1,200 pounds! 

With a helicopter tour, you can observe the movements of these majestic animals. You can do this without getting so close that you are disturbing them or their habitat.

Get in Touch With History

If history, engineering, and architecture interests you, then participating in aerial tours of the Florida Keys is a must. For example, you can spend 20 minutes flying over Seven Mile Bridge. The older bridge in this area, the Knights Key-Pigeon Key-Moser Channel-Pacet Channel Bridge, was built back in 1912, and it was one of the longest bridges ever built at that time.

However, automobile and pedestrian traffic have been closed. They are planning repairs this year, but for now, the only way to experience this amazing piece of history is through aerial tours and boat tours!

Helicopter tours can view another amazing historic site called Pigeon Key. This small island is only five acres, but it has eight buildings on the National Register of Historic Places!

The Florida government put this beautiful, 142-foot lighthouse out of commission in 2015, and the island that once housed 400 workers is now a base of educational and nonprofit work.

Experiencing this island through Florida helicopter tours is an amazing way to get in touch with the history of the Keys.

Finish Your Day With an Amazing Sunset

Maybe you want to see your lighthouses while standing firmly on the ground. Or you want to explore the reef with a snorkel in your mouth and fins on your feet.

One view that just can’t be experienced any other way is a sunset from the view of aerial tours. You can see the light change and dance across the islands and the water. You can watch as the lighthouses, bridges, and trees turn into nothing but dark silhouettes. And in the background, a backdrop of brilliant pink and yellow and orange sky.

If you want a romantic view to share with your romantic partner, or you want a special experience for your family or friends, then a sunset tour is an amazing choice.

Choosing Your Tour

There are many Key West tours to choose from in Marathon. The beauty of this is that you can tailor your helicopter tour experience to your interests and the interests of your family.

Whether nature, history, engineering, marine biology interests you, or you want to see the sunset with someone you love, there are aerial tours for you.

As we move closer to a post-pandemic world of travel options, a helicopter tour can be a fantastic option for privacy with your family and increased safety.

Are You Ready to Soar Above Marathon, Florida?

Are you ready to fly? Aerial tours are the best way to see the Florida Keys. With a wide range of tour options at differing price points, there is something for every visitor to the Keys. Have you planned your vacation yet? Are you considering an aerial tour? Check out our Blog for tips on how to prepare for aerial tours.

what to do in the florida keys

The Florida Keys consist of 44 islands connected by 42 bridges, and they stretch over 100 miles off the southern tip of Florida. Every year, hundreds of thousands of tourists arrive to experience the islands’ natural beauty, clear blue water, and sandy beaches.

In the islands’ robust tourist trade, thousands of activities compete for your attention. Tourist spots in the Florida Keys are numerous. Figuring out what to do in the Florida Keys can be overwhelming to new visitors. 

So what are the best things to do in the Florida Keys? Whether you’re a nature lover, history buff, or simply love to relax in the sun, read on for the ultimate guide on how to make the most of this tropical paradise.

What to Do in the Florida Keys: Take a Helicopter Tour

A helicopter tour of the Florida Keys lets you get a sense of the geography of the area, gives you the chance to see wildlife and natural wonders, and makes for a one-of-a-kind vacation experience.

Whether it’s for only 10 minutes or an hour or more in the air, an aerial tour by helicopter is one of the most unique things to do in Florida. You’ll swoop over reefs, by lighthouses, and over aquamarine water. You can not only see the larger inhabited islands, but also the tiny uninhabited ones that few visitors get a chance to see up close.

Helicopter tours also give you the chance to see marine life such as turtles, manatees, and sharks. You can even go up at sunset for an unforgettable romantic journey.

No matter what else you find yourself doing in the Keys, a helicopter tour is a great way to get a full sense of the scale and beauty of the islands.

Driving Down the Keys

A road trip is a classic way to experience the Florida Keys. The Florida Keys Overseas Highway runs through the entire island chain, connecting them all by bridges. It is the southernmost stretch of U.S. Highway 1, which begins at the Canadian border.

The 100-mile stretch can be driven in an afternoon, but most tourists take two to three days so they can experience the highlights of the Keys at their leisure. 

Key Largo and Upper Keys

18-mile long Key Largo marks the start of most Florida Keys adventures. The island is only an hour from Miami but feels far away from the grit and glamor of the city. Its proximity to the South Florida metro area makes it one of the biggest tourist spots in the Florida Keys.

Key Largo is also one of the world’s best places to snorkel or scuba dive and the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is the country’s only underwater state park. It encompasses 70 square miles of reefs populated by tropical fish, barracuda, sharks, octopuses, and more. Tour the park in a glass-bottomed boat, by kayak, or descend into the depths with a scuba or snorkel outfitter.

After Key Largo, affluent Islamorada is home to world-class sport fishing, one of the most popular activities in Florida. The Upper Keys are also home to bird sanctuaries and other state parks. From Islamorada, you can paddle out to Indian Key State Park and visit the remains of a 19th-century fishing and salvaging village.

Cinephiles can also check out the filming locations of the Netflix series Bloodline and the 1948 John Huston classic Key Largo, both of which were filmed in the Upper Keys.

Middle Keys

The Middle Keys are home to commercial fishing and roadside seafood shacks, as well as nature tourism. Marathon is home to both the Dolphin Research Center and the Turtle Hospital, both of which are open to the public via guided tour. 

The Turtle Hospital rehabilitates hundreds of injured turtles per year, allowing the population to stay steady in the face of pollution and boat injury. The Dolphin Research Center does the same for dolphins and offers visitors the chance to swim with the gentle creatures.

The Middle Keys are home to the darkest skies in the Florida Keys and some of the only protected Dark Sky Areas in South Florida. Stargazers can take guided tours from many resorts in the Middle Keys to spot the Milky Way, roving satellites, and more.

When you’re done in the Middle Keys, drive over the stunning Seven Mile Bridge, a long road over a beautiful stretch of crystal-blue water.

Key West and Lower Keys

Key West is the main draw of the Lower Keys, attracting both bar crawlers and literary types. The former can make their way down rowdy Duval Street’s legendary beachside bars, while the latter can visit Ernest Hemingway’s preserved Hemingway House.

The house sits just as it was left by the famous writer, and is famously home to descendants of his beloved six-toed cats. Every July, the Hemingway Days celebration brings fans of the writer to one of the most popular events in the Florida Keys.

You’ll also find the southernmost point in the continental United States in Key West, marked by a famous buoy reading “90 miles to Cuba”.

The Lower Keys hold more than just Key West, though. You can meet the tiny, three-foot-tall Key Deer at the National Key Deer Refuge, or rent a kayak and paddle into the empty, mangrove-covered islands.

Exploring the Florida Keys and Beyond By Helicopter

Now that you know all about what to do in the Florida Keys, it’s time to book your aerial tour for an unforgettable vacation experience.

Located in Marathon, Florida, we offer helicopter tours in a variety of flight lengths. We fly to many of the islands’ natural wonders, seven days a week from 9:00 until sunset. If you’re ready to see the Florida Keys as you’ve never seen them before, book a helicopter tour today.