My first two visits to the Florida Keys were with my family—first as a high schooler and then as a college student. And while Key West's boozy Duval Street has a reputation for being an adults-oriented spot, there are more than enough family-friendly activities to keep the whole clan entertained in Key West.
Spending time on the water is an obvious passtime, though there are fewer beaches than you might expect an island to have. Cultural and historical landmarks join museums and a number of quirky and creative attractions as to-dos spread throughout the island. With three days in Key West, your family will find plenty of fun and sun to soak up.
Sunshine might as well be the official weather of Key West.
If you only have time for one thing, make it watching the buskers on Mallory Square.
Welcome to the former Conch Republic. Get your trip off to a great start with a ticket to the hop-on hop-off trolley. Though you can ride the circuit as a tour, you’re also free to use it as transport around the island’s best sites at your own pace. Central Mallory Square is on the route.
Next, get that swimsuit on and spend a half-day snorkeling the Great Florida Reef. Crystal blue waters offer exceptional visibility, giving your family the chance to spot lobsters, dolphins, crabs, and heaps of fish.
Make day two the day you do it all on the water. A 6-hour watersports tour will give the kids an opportunity to paddleboard, water-ski, kayak, and try other wet and wild activities.
Take a break from the fun in the sun and introduce an educational element into your trip with a museum visit. The Key West Shipwreck Treasure Museum contains 400 years of artifacts and is a must for your little pirates.
Alternatively, a trip to the Key West Aquarium is a fascinating and a great way to get a closer, drier look at local marine life.
Save this catamaran tour for last in case anyone in your group needs to warm up to the idea of seeing sharks. This wildlife adventure offers a safe way to see sharks, turtles, dolphins, and more in the wild. Plus, snacks and soda are provided to keep the kids energized.