Your ship has arrived. The dock lines are secured, the gangway lowered, and you’re free to explore the island city of Key West. Chances are you’ve only got a few hours to explore before your ship leaves the harbor for your next destination. Here’s a roundup of some essential Key West shore excursions perfect for a short stay on the island. You might not have time to do them all, but this is a great list to pick and choose from.
1. Get On The Water
When you visit an island destination, the experience is as much about the water as it is about the land. This is where Fury Water Adventures comes into play. They’re the official water sports partner to the cruise ships. Book your shore excursion with Key West Information Center before you even reach Key West. You can choose from parasailing, jet ski tours, snorkeling trips and much more. They’re all amazing Key West experiences.
2. Ride The Conch Tour Train
To get the lay of the land, opt for a ride on the Conch Tour Train. You can book their Key West tours ahead of time on your mobile device, tablet, or regular computer. Hop aboard the train near Mallory Square and take the 90 minute sightseeing adventure that snakes around the island, exploring its architecture, history, and other fun facts.
3. Sample Key Lime Pie & Conch Fritters
If ever there was an official food of Key West, it would be a close race between key lime pie and conch fritters. While you’re here, you might as well try both. We suggest Kermit’s for the best key lime pie. Opt for a traditional slice with meringue or for the frozen key lime pie on a stick dipped in chocolate. Our favorite spot for conch fritters is at the Conch Seafood Republic in the Historic Seaport. Not only are their fritters the best, it’s also a great spot to enjoy the local color at this open air bar and restaurant on the marina.
4. Tour The Historic Seaport
If you’d rather explore the island on your own without an organized excursion, a walk along the Historic Seaport is a must. You’ve probably heard about Duval Street and its wealth of shops, bars, and restaurants, but for a more authentic Key West experience, take the path less traveled. At the end of Front Street, the sidewalk turns into a wooden boardwalk along the marina where fishing boats, sail boats, yachts, and charter boats are all docked. You’ll pass great bars and restaurants, perfect for a scenic meal or drink, including Alonzo’s Oyster Bar, The Commodore, Conch Seafood Republic, and Turtle Kraals.
5. Rent Bicycles
This is another great way to get off the beaten path and explore the island on your own. Grab a map of the island and rent bicycles to explore the quiet side streets bursting with tropical flowers and lots of charm. Make plans to cycle by the Key West Cemetery, the Hemingway House, the Southernmost Point, and maybe even Fort Zachary Taylor Beach. On an island that’s only 2 x 4 miles, it’s the best way to get around. You’ll feel like a local in no time!