Key West is the most popular of all of the Florida Keys, and for good reason. You'll find a wide variety of attractions and destinations in the area that the whole family can enjoy. All you have to do is determine where you want your road trip to take you. With a car at your disposal, you can potentially visit all of these Key West destinations on your road trip.
1. Stroll down the main strip of Duval Street
The main strip in Key West is called Duval Street, and it alone is packed full of exciting attractions. Just about every feature is designed with travelers in mind, so you can see old historic homes and museums as well as try delicious restaurants including a pie shop. You may want to time your road trip to catch some of the numerous annual festivals here.
2. Visit the historical Ernest Hemingway Home
One of the most influential American writers of all time was Ernest Hemingway, and he lived in Key West for a while. The Spanish colonial Ernest Hemingway Home has since been turned into a museum that you're free to explore to learn more about the famed author. You'll find a vibrant garden along with more than 40 cats all descended from Hemingway's pets.
3. Find beauty at the Butterfly and Nature Conservatory
If you're interested in the natural beauty of butterflies, Key West is one of the best road trip destinations imaginable. Head to the Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, and you'll find yourself surrounded by more than 50 different species of butterflies. That's just the beginning, however, as the conservatory is also home to more than 20 different kinds of exotic birds.
4. Spend the evening in Mallory Square
There's plenty to do in Key West at night, but as the sun sets, you may want to head to Mallory Square. This area of town offers stunning views of the sunset over the gulf in addition to street performers, musicians, and vendors offering seemingly endless entertainment. There's even a treasure hunting store and several surf shops.
5. Explore history in the Little White House
Numerous presidents have frequented Key West during their working vacations, beginning with Harry Truman back in the World War II era. They would stay at the Little White House, which you can see for yourself with a guided tour. The tour itself shows off several historical artifacts as well as the surrounding botanical gardens.
6. Experience the iconic Martello Towers
When you embark on your Key West road trip, seeing the Martello Towers is an easy way to tell that you're in the right place. The towers are impressive in their own right, however, as they've been standing since 1858. The west tower has since been converted into a garden center, while the east tower is now home to an art and historical museum.
7. Venture through the historical Fort Zachary Taylor State Park
At Fort Zachary Taylor State Park, you can explore history in style. As the name suggests, this park is designed to preserve Fort Zachary Taylor, a Civil War fortress. While there are plenty of artifacts from the era to peruse, it's important to note that the area is also useful for its swimming beach and nature trails that are good for hiking and biking.
8. See a shark feed at the Key West Aquarium
No Key West road trip would be complete without a visit to the Key West Aquarium. At this incredible facility, you'll find a wide variety of marine life including sharks. The juvenile nurse shark can even be touched, while older sharks have live feedings. Additionally, kids are sure to enjoy the invertebrate touch tank with starfish and conch.
9. Rifle through salvage at the Shipwreck Treasure Museum
The Shipwreck Treasure Museum is dedicated to the history of salvaging in Key West. The building itself is designed like a 19th-century wrecker's warehouse, and it's home to incredible examples of salvaging. This dangerous job recovered wreckage from downed ships in the area, a practice that once bolstered the Key West economy.
10. Venture out to Dry Tortugas
About 65 miles southwest of Key West, you'll find Dry Tortugas National Park. These reef islands are only accessible by boat or seaplane, but taking a road trip to Key West will put you in a convenient position to access these options. In the park itself, you'll find the remnants of Fort Jefferson in addition to numerous beaches perfect for swimming and snorkeling.