This is a neat beach which is free to visit, a rarity in the Florida Keys. The beach has great white sand and views out to the ocean one way and across to mangroves the other. There is a small area of rock pools and there are beach volleyball courts for amusement. A decent anmpunt of roadside parking is available just outside the beach perimeter fence.
The Turtle Hospital is a great family destination. They do amazing work to support the Turtle community with innovative healthcare for injured and diseased sea turtles.
I was a little concerned that it might be sad or depressing to sea sick or distressed sea turtles, but it was a wonderful experience for all of us including the kids. They present the challenges and successes in an uplifting and inspirational way that was enjoyed by our entire group. We can't wait to return.
The Eco-Discovery Center features more than 6,000 square feet of interactive exhibits, which interpret the resources and management efforts of Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, two national parks, and four national wildlife refuges. Check out the exhibit on Aquarius, the world's only underwater ocean laboratory, the Living Reef exhibit, which includes a 2,500-gallon reef tank with living corals and tropical fish, the live Reef Cam, and other displays that highlight the coral reef environment. The Center is located in NOAA’s Dr. Nancy Foster Florida Keys Environmental Complex on the Truman Annex waterfront in Key West. Admission is always free (and so is parking), so be sure to stop by for a visit!
Meet the undersea residents of Key West at the island’s first attraction. With over a 100 species of fish, turtles, sharks and birds, the Aquarium features a Touch Tank where you can pick up amazing animals. The Atlantic Shores exhibit is a near the shore mangrove environment found in the Florida Keys. See stingrays, sharks, eels, lobster, tarpon, seahorses and colorful tropical fish. Feedings and tours take place at 11am, 1pm, 3pm and 4:30pm every day.
Ernest Hemingway lived and wrote in this for ten years. During that time he wrote seventy percent of his life-time works. Today we operate as a museum providing guided tours every fifteen minutes from nine to five. The Museum is available for weddings and corporate events. Visit this National Historic Landmark, Literary Landmark and recognized by the Library of Congress for it's importance in U.S. History. Grand Architecture, Lush Gardens, Educational Tours, Book Store/Gift Shop and the world famous Poly dactyl (six-toed cats).
Dolphin Research Center is a nonprofit education and research facility. Home to a family of dolphins and sea lions, we offer fun-filled narrated behavior sessions and educational presentations every half an hour. During your visit you can watch and learn all about these amazing animals including dolphin maternity, social groupings, physiology, natural abilities and more. You'll see how we care for them, how we're working with them in cognition and behavioral research and the importance of conserving them and their ocean habitat. DRC also offers a variety of interactive programs including the Dolphin Encounter swim program, Ultimate Trainer for a Day, Trainer Experience half-day program, Researcher Experience half-day program and Paint with a Dolphin. We are actively involved in programs for people with Special Needs, as well as veterans from the Wounded Warrior Project, Military families, and others. Most of our dolphins were born here. Others have come to us for a variety of reasons -- including those who were injured and rescued as youngsters and later deemed non-releasable by the government. We are deeply committed to providing all of them with a safe, healthy, happy home for life. The well-being of the dolphins and sea lions is our top priority. Your visit and participation in programs supports the care of our marine mammal family, the maintenance of their natural sea water home, and the rest of our mission to educate others about these animals and the importance of conservation. Thank you for your interest in Dolphin Research Center!
Recommend Hemmingway, Mallory Square, and Sunset Pier (if you were to choose 3).
If you're headed to Key West for a few days to enjoy the laid-back vibe and delicious island cuisine, here are eight hot spots to keep on your radar.
1. Ocean Grill & Bar
Set in the iconic Duval Street space that previously housed Square One, Ocean Grill & Bar opened its doors this past fall. The coastal chic indoor/outdoor place focuses on seafood reflecting a wide range of global influences, such as macadamia-encrusted cobia and black grouper in a Pernod saffron broth.
Insider tip: The popular shrimp and grits is available for breakfast (till late afternoon) and as a small plate at dinner.
1075 Duval St.; 305-296-43002. Mangoes
This longtime Key West favorite underwent a major renovation last summer. It still offers an impressive outdoor patio and prime opportunities for people-watching, but now boasts a fresh look and updated island-inspired seafood like Bahamian-style snapper, Cuban seafood stew and multiple preparations of conch.
Insider tip: Request a seat on the Duval Street side of the restaurant to watch passers-by.
700 Duval St.; 305-294-8002
Overlooking Key West Historic Seaport and Bight, this brewpub probably offers the best view of the entire Florida craft-beer scene. Anticipate a wide selection of Caribbean-inspired salads, sandwiches, land-based proteins and tons of fresh fish, including whole fried hogfish and Key West shrimp, to go with the suds. A game room, happy hour and twice-weekly tours of the brewery are extra perks.
Insider tip: The fish dip is top-notch.
201 William St.; 305-440-2270
This food cart developed a cult following when it started dishing up fish tacos, burgers and conch salad several years back. Recently Garbo’s got a major upgrade with a new location (behind Grunts Bar), a retro Airstream kitchen and ample seating under shade.
Insider tip: Adult beverages can be purchased at Grunts.
409 Caroline St.; 305-304-3004
Last year the Stoned Crab elevated Key West’s cocktail scene when it debuted Eco-Bar, serving sustainable wine and spirits, craft beers and organic cocktails made from Florida produce and the restaurant’s own garden. You're not going to find any concentrated juices or mixes here.
Insider tip: Do a full-day booze immersion with the “Chef’s Distilled” package, including an educational trip to Key West Legal Rum, followed by drinks at Eco-Bar and a four-course prix fixe at Stoned Crab.3101 North Roosevelt Blvd.; 305-296-1043
Tommy Quartararo and Kristen Onderdonk, the couple behind Blackfin Bistro and Antonia’s, opened this raw bar and seafood spot early last year. Since its debut, executive chef Ryan Shapiro has been racking up the praise for high-quality plates like a Maine lobster BLT, sautéed Bahamian conch and seared diver scallops with yuzu vinaigrette.
Insider tip: Arrive early (reservations are not accepted).
521 Fleming St.; 305-204-4828
It's not often that you get to travel to a restaurant by boat. You do at Latitudes. Part of the Westin Key West Resort on secluded Sunset Key, it offers stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico, complete with swaying palms and tiki torches. Dishes range from Florida lobster tail and coconut-crusted grouper to grilled meats like marinated lamb.
Insider tip: Hit the patio for spectacular views at sunset.
245 Front St.; 305-292-5300
Sample excellent homestyle Colombian food away from the hustle of Duval. Zelma Segura, owner of the now-defunct Colombian Grace, prepares family recipes passed down from her mother, like arepas and empanadas, plus dishes like sautéed shrimp and calamari in tomato basil broth. The signature is pan-seared yellowtail snapper encrusted in panko in a light cream caper sauce.
Insider tip: Both the red and white sangria are killer.
411 Petronia St.; 305-240-1281
Our favorites are square grooper (Dinner), Five Brothers, and Galley Drill (for Breakfasts), Boondocks (for Sea Food and Bar Ambience)
1. Square Grouper Cudjoe Key (seafood)
2. Boondocks Grille & Draft House ( seafood and bar)
3. Five Brothers Grocery Two (cuban)
4. Big Pine Rooster (variety)
5. No Name Pub (variety)
6. Galley Grill (variety)
7. Bella Luna Ristorante (italian)
8. Moritas (cuban)
The island of Cudjoe Key lies between Sugarloaf Key and Big Pine Key, along US Highway 1; one-hundred, eleven miles southwest of Miami and nineteen miles north of Key West. Cudjoe Key is part of the islands in southwestern Florida known as the Lower Islands of the Florida Keys. The 2000 census shows that the population of Cudjoe Key barely tops 1,700 full time residents. The island is famous for the relaxing vacation rental properties that line the beautiful stretches of beach along the island.Activities and attractions on Cudjoe Key center around the many water sports and boating opportunities. Rent a boat and glide through the waters off the coast or take advantage of the many charter fishing services located throughout the area. Snorkeling and diving trips are also extremely popular activities among tourists and locals alike. For those who want a taste of adventure, you can rent a kayak or canoe and paddle through the water channels winding through several outlying island areas.Away from the hustle and bustle of the larger cities scattered throughout the Florida Keys, Cudjoe Key is one of the best places to find a quiet spot to commune with nature, observe wildlife or settle back and enjoy a tropical sunset or dip in the ocean.You can also catch a glimpse of Fat Albert on Cudjoe Key; the long white blimp used by the US Federal government to patrol boat traffic and aircraft using radar devices. Surprisingly, Fat Albert is also used for the purpose of broadcasting a US television program to viewers in Cuba, only about 90 miles away. Cudjoe Key is conveniently located to many other cities and locations throughout the Keys. Seventy-three miles to the north lies Key Largo and Miami is only about a two hour drive to the north. Traveling up the keys and to the northwest, visitors will find the Naples area, 250 miles away.
Chamber of Commerce Lower Key
1. Key Deer Wildlife Refuge https://www.fws.gov/refuge/National_Key_Deer_Refuge/visit/plan_your_visit.html
2. Sky Dive https://skydivekeywest.com/
3. Looe Key https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g34340-d142746-Reviews-Looe_Key_Florida_Keys_National_Marine_Sanctuary-Florida_Keys_Florida.html
4. Blue Hole https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g34085-d142781-Reviews-Blue_Hole-Big_Pine_Key_Florida_Keys_Florida.html
4. Big Pine Area Attractions https://www.visitflorida.com/en-us/cities/big-pine-key.html
6. Big Pine Kayak Adventures https://www.visitflorida.com/en-us/listing.a0t40000007qvjFAAQ.html
7. Bahia Honda National Wildlife Park https://www.visitflorida.com/en-us/listing.a0t40000007qsnpAAA.html