Key West is an incredible island escape at the end of Florida’s Overseas Highway. While the island itself is a mere eight square miles, there’s plenty to explore beyond its boundaries, both offshore and up the Keys. Whether you’re a first time visitor or a regular eager to explore something new, these are the best day trips from Key West.
Seventy miles west of Key West, the Dry Tortugas National Park and Fort Jefferson awaits. You’ll embark from the Historic Seaport aboard the Yankee Freedom III high-speed ferry and traverse unspoiled aquamarine water past uninhabited keys. Upon arrival to Fort Jefferson, enjoy an afternoon tour of the historic fort, snorkeling and lunch. It’s one of the most remote destinations in the Keys and an exciting day trip.
Fury Water Adventures
For an offshore adventure closer to Key West, consider Fury Water Adventures’ All Day Water Adventure day trip. You’ll embark aboard Fury’s 65-foot catamaran and enjoy breakfast as you sail to the reef for a morning of snorkeling seven miles offshore. Next, you’ll sail to Key West’s backcountry where you’ll spend the afternoon jet skiing, parasailing and kayaking. There’s also a theme park of inflatable adventures, like a water trampoline and iceberg climbing wall. The day trip also includes lunch and all-you-can-drink wine and beer once you’ve finished jet skiing.
Bahia Honda State Park & the Seven Mile Bridge
Located at Mile Marker 36, Bahia Honda State Park is one of the most picturesque stops on the Overseas Highway. With remnants of the Historic Overseas Railroad overhead, the beach at Bahia Honda is an excellent place to while away the day. You can walk out along the old railroad bridge for incredible views and embark on snorkel trips to Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary. The park is located at the foot of the Seven Mile Bridge, the longest floating bridge in the Florida Keys. It’s an iconic drive that truly captures the unique beauty and charm of the Florida Keys.
Mini Golf, Dinner Out & Key Deer
Head to Boondocks Grill, Draft House & Miniature Golf in Ramrod Key at Mile Marker 27 for a fun afternoon. The 18-hole course has a caveman theme with two giant waterfalls and four fountains. It’s a great activity for a family or a group of friends. After a round or two of miniature golf, hop back in the car and head south to Mile Marker 22 at Cudjoe Key. This is where you’ll find Square Grouper Bar & Grill, one of the most popular destination restaurants in the Florida Keys. With a variety of large and small plates, enjoy everything from seared scallops to fried green tomatoes, almond encrusted grouper and pasta with lobster tail. For dessert, the chocolate fondue platter can’t be missed. Afterwards, take a drive through the residential neighborhoods nearby and see if you can spot some key deer.
Little Palm Island
For a day trip of unparalleled luxury, make your way to Little Palm Island for lunch. A wooden boat ferry departs from Little Torch Key at Mile Marker 28 every half hour to whisk you away to this private island resort for the afternoon. Enjoy lunch on a beautiful, shaded patio overlooking the sea where the menu changes daily. Expect everything from fresh caught fish to fine steaks and champagne. Afterwards, enjoy a romantic stroll along the seashell-laden path circumnavigating the five-acre island.
Turtle Hospital & Lazy Day South
For an educational day trip that nature lovers will adore, make the drive up to Mile Marker 48 at the Turtle Hospital. This rehabilitation center rescues sick or injured sea turtles, nurses them back to health and releases them into the wild. Their educational center conducts tours daily every hour where you can view the sea turtle rehabilitation area, learn about these gentle giants and feed them. Afterwards, drive to the southern edge of Marathon Key and enjoy a bite to eat on the water at Lazy Days South. It’s a laidback grill serving fresh seafood with incredible views of the Seven Mile Bridge.