Should You Visit Key West?

Is Key West worth visiting?

Yes, you'll find numerous reasons to visit Key West, and it's a town that everyone should see. We had an amazing time here. We first visited Key West in in our childhood and returned as young adults several times. During our time here, we fell in love with its quirky and eclectic atmosphere, nice beaches, blue water, and fun street performers.

Whether you're a traveling as a family or a couple, this town has a lot to offer. Any local will tell you what makes it special is the amazing nightlife and fantastic resorts.

It's often mentioned as one of the best places to visit in major publications, such as in American Express's Best Travel Destinations of 2023.

Key West has long been known for its quirky personality and its welcoming atmosphere for all personalities. It is at the southernmost point of the Florida Keys, and for many, this is their top pick for a Florida Keys vacation. The town has both charm and personality, with pastel houses and a beach town atmosphere. There are also many opportunities to experience wildlife and beautiful beaches.

Key West Key West

6 Reasons to Visit Key West

1. Nightlife

This area has some of the most lively nightlife in the Florida Keys. There are quirky bars and fun hangouts where you can spend the evening. The party starts at Mallory Square around sunset and many bars stay open well into the early hours. You can also enjoy sunset cruises or pass your time at one of the many tiki bars.

2. Resorts

There are a number of high end resorts around the island, many with recognizable names such as the Hyatt and Hilton. Prices can be high, but these resorts often come with reliable luxury.

3. Beaches

One of the best beaches in the area is Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park. The beach has soft sand and stunning turquoise water. As is typical in the Keys, the water stays shallow for great distances.

4. Historical Sights

The town has the most charming Old Town areas in the Florida Keys. Head to Mallory Square for the sunset street performers and explore the historic streets around Duval Street.

5. Food

Head to town for local restaurants with quirky atmospheres. There are many local dishes to sample, be the town is most known for its stone crabs, conch fritters, and Mahi Mahi sandwiches. You'll also find cold drinks and waterfront dining areas.

6. Scuba Diving & Snorkeling

There are a number of dive shops and snorkeling excursions that leave from Key West. Like many tourist areas these days, the coral shows its damage from the crowds, but you'll likely see some barracuda or a Grouper.




Expert Advice from Local Travelers

We're asking our community members and registered users to contribute their experiences about Key West.

How can you save money during your time in Key West?

We've tried several times to book state campgrounds in the Florida Keys, but they always fill up a year in advance. If you're better planners than we are, then this is a great way to save money.

Janet_609
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Sep 23 2023

What was your favorite thing about Key West?

We've visited Key West so many times! The best beach is at Fort Zachary Taylor Park and you must see Mallory Square at sunset.

tropical_vibes
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Jun 17 2023

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Is Key West worth visiting in the Summer?

The warm weather in summer is one of the reasons people visit at this time of year. Temperatures average around 29°C (84°F) with daily high temperatures often more than 32°C (89°F).

Summer is the shoulder season for travel in Key West, which means slightly less visitors than in the peak season. As a very touristy destination, even in the shoulder season you'll see plenty of tourists when you visit. However, good prices and deals are to be found at this time of year. Summer in Key West is hot, but there's often a nice breeze.

Visiting the nearby beaches is one of the most popular things to do this time of year, so give yourself some time to enjoy the waves and sand. This is a great time of year to relax at the beach, take in the local charm, and enjoy the amenities of a resort. Also, you can admire the historic sights and enjoy an evening out.


Summer Weather in Key West
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
July 29°C (84°F) 83 mm (3.3 in)
August 29°C (84°F) 98 mm (3.9 in)
September 29°C (83°F) 144 mm (5.7 in)

Is Key West worth visiting in the Autumn?

Autumn is the shoulder season for travel in Key West. This is an extremely touristy destination, so in the shoulder season you'll still see plenty of other tourists when you visit. However, good prices and deals are to be found on hotels and tours.

The weather in Key West is fairly warm during autumn, and stays around 27°C (80°F). But it can get as warm as 29°C (84°F) at times, too. It's also quite rainy during this season, so be prepared.

Soaking up that old town charm in the autumn is one of the favorite activities of visitors. The quaint scenery combined with the weather this time of year is quite nice. You'll find plenty to do during autumn, as you'll be able to admire the wonderful scenery, browse around the old town, and admire the quaint atmosphere. Also, you can check out the small town charm.


Autumn Weather in Key West
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
October 27°C (80°F) 129 mm (5.1 in)
November 24°C (76°F) 50 mm (2 in)
December 22°C (72°F) 35 mm (1.4 in)

Is Key West worth visiting in the Winter?

The high season for travel in Key West is the winter, so expect to see more tourists than usual. This destination is very popular with tourists, and in the high season it's even busier than usual as this is when most people like to visit. Expect tourist crowds to be very large, and prices to be higher than normal. However, there's plenty to do here this time of year, too. Winter is an ideal time to visit Key West and escape the colder temperatures from up north.

The warm weather in winter is one of the reasons people visit at this time of year. Temperatures average around 21°C (70°F) with daily high temperatures often more than 24°C (75°F).

During this season it's fun to experience the cuisine, the historic old town, and the nightlife scene.


Winter Weather in Key West
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
January 21°C (70°F) 43 mm (1.7 in)
February 21°C (71°F) 36 mm (1.4 in)
March 23°C (74°F) 42 mm (1.7 in)

Is Key West worth visiting in the Spring?

The warm weather in spring is one of the reasons people visit at this time of year. Temperatures average around 25°C (77°F) with daily high temperatures often more than 28°C (82°F).

The peak season for travel is spring in Key West, so expect to see more tourists than usual. This is an extremely popular destination, and in the high season it's busier than usual as this is when most people are able to travel. Expect large crowds of tourists, longer lines, and higher prices for hotels. On the other hand, you'll find that everything is open and you'll have a wide array of activities, things to do, and places to eat.

The scenery of the town this time of year is absolutely beautiful. Admire the gardens, parks, and fantastic architecture, too. Soaking up that old town charm in the spring is one of the favorite activities of visitors. The quaint scenery combined with the weather this time of year is quite nice. This is a great time of year to appreciate the quaint setting, admire the wonderful scenery, and wander through the small town. Also, you can experience the historic old town and the nightlife.


Spring Weather in Key West
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
April 25°C (77°F) 21 mm (0.8 in)
May 27°C (81°F) 68 mm (2.7 in)
June 28°C (83°F) 114 mm (4.5 in)

Things to Consider Before Visiting Key West

Shopping: Key West isn't exactly a shopper's destination. While it definitely has its share of gimmicky souvenir shops and t-shirt stores, there are still a number of art galleries and local shops around Key West where you can enjoy shopping.

Lots of Tourists
Key West sees a high number of visitors every year, which means you might have to wait in line and deal with large crowds during your visit.

Getting Around
The area is not very walkable, and public transit is not great here, so it might be difficult to get around without arranging your own transportation.

The Cost
Depending on your budget, schedule, and travel style, Key West might be an expensive destination for you. You can find out the travel costs for Key West here or see if Key West is expensive here.

Related

What is Key West most famous for?

Key West is most famous for its festive nightlife, quirky town center, colorful personality, adrenaline-filled watersports, stunning beaches, turquoise water, and location at the southernmost point of the continental U.S. The town is very popular for its nightlife, resorts, beaches, and historical sights. It's also known for food and scuba diving & snorkeling. It is often described as bustling, active, lively, quaint, laid-back, quirky, and eclectic.


What is the most famous sight in Key West?

The most popular sight in Key West is Duval Street. You can see prices and costs for this and other sights in Key West on our travel costs page.

Or, see tickets, activities, and tours for Duval Street and other attractions here.

How touristy is Key West? Is it a popular town to visit?

Key West is a very touristy town that attracts travelers from around the globe. Here are some of the most popular activities and tours. (Prices in US Dollars)


    • Parasail Adventure in Marathon: $120
    • Key West Art History Private Tour: $60
    • Guided Sunset Bicycle Tour of Old Town: $49
    • Hemingway Tour: $69
    • Private E-Pedicab 1 Hour Sightseeing Ride of Old Town Key West: $100
    • 1 Hour Key West Jet Ski Freestyle Adventure: $155
    • Private E-Pedicab 1/2 Hour Sightseeing Ride of Old Town Key West: $55
    • Maritime Village to Micro State: A Self Guided Tour of Key West: $12

    How long should I spend in Key West?

    The ideal length of time for a trip to Key West is at least five or as many as seven days. Since Key West has activities such as nightlife, resorts, beaches, and historical sights, many visit for up to seven days.

    If you have a specific amount of time for your trip, see our advice about how much time to spend here: Should I spend 1, 2, or 3 days in Key West?, Should I spend 3, 4, or 5 days in Key West?, and Should I spend 1 or 2 weeks in Key West?.