Key West has more to offer than noisy bars and extravagant nightlife, even during Spring Break. Families of any age visiting the island during this time will find delight aboard a glass bottom boat tour of the coral reef, a guided trip through Old Town, a stroll through Mallory Square’s sunset celebration and more. To avoid the party, steer clear of Duval Street, especially at night, and Smathers Beach during the day.
Glass Bottom Boat
If you’re traveling with small children who aren’t confident swimmers yet or elderly adults who’d rather not take a dip, Fury Water Adventures’ glass bottom boat is a fantastic way to see the coral reef and all of its wonders in a comfortable, air-conditioned, state-of-the-art vessel. This two-hour tour whisks you out to the reef and includes a harbor tour and a narration of everything that you see through the “windows to the sea.”
Conch Tour Train
The Conch Tour Train is a great way for the family to spend an afternoon in Key West. This informative tour transports you around town while teaching the fascinating history of Key West, the quirky characters that shaped the island and the eye-catching architecture that still exists today.
Fort Zachary Taylor State Park & Beach
While the college kids party at Smathers Beach, other beach goers will practically have Fort Zach to themselves. Arguably the most beautiful beach in Key West, Fort Zach has a concession stand for snacks and a place to rent snorkel equipment. Slash around and discover fish swimming right offshore, relax on the rocky beach, hike nature trails and discover the historic fort.
Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory
The Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory is one of the best family-friendly attractions on the island. Located on the quiet end of Duval Street, this lovely conservatory is home to many species of butterflies that flutter about freely. It’s a must visit if you have children who are curious about science and nature.
Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square
A visit to Key West is simply incomplete without taking in the sunset. Gather at Mallory Square where every night the sunset is celebrated with tightrope walkers, musicians and magicians all with the backdrop of Mother Nature at her finest. Vendors sell conch fritters and mojitos, and the whole atmosphere is festive and family friendly as the sun slips into the western horizon.
Ernest Hemingway spent most of the 1930s in Key West with his second wife Pauline at their home on Whitehead Street. Today, that home is a museum dedicated to his life on the island. It’s a fascinating glimpse into the life of a writer who won both a Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize in his lifetime.
There’s no better way to escape Spring Break mayhem than by spending a day offshore. Set sail on the Yankee Freedom III ferry for a full day at Fort Jefferson and the Dry Tortugas. Seventy miles west of Key West, you’ll venture into unspoiled waters and spend the day touring the fort, snorkeling and enjoying a picnic lunch. All of this is included with a ferry ticket - so it doubles as a cost effective way to enjoy the day with the whole family.