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Things to Do in Key West on a Cruise

On the Florida Keys website, the tagline for Key West is “Close to Perfect, Far From Normal.” I don’t think I could sum it up much better than that.

Key West is pretty close to perfect. With amazing weather year round – the average temperature is 77 degrees – and plenty of things to do and see, the Southernmost point of the continental United States is a must-see destination. If you don’t believe in love at first sight, you haven’t been to Key West yet. The island captures your heart the minute you step foot on her soil.

There’s a lot of things to do in Key West on a cruise. There’s the pull of the ocean and the water-based Key West excursions like snorkeling and sailing, diving, boating and parasailing. There’s the history of places like the Ernest Hemmingway House and Truman’s Little White House. And, of course, there’s the food – fresh seafood and delish key lime pie. Even if you’re just taking a day cruise to Key West from Miami, there’s an endless amount of fun things to do!

Key West Beach Day Cruise - Shore Excursions Group

Getting Around

In Key West, bikes rule and pedestrians always have the right of way. Bike rental stands are located all over the island, even right at the cruise ports. Biking is one of the best and most relaxing ways to see all Key West has to offer. Duval Street is just a few blocks over from Mallory Square and the cruise terminal. Pretty much everything on the island is within walking distance. Looking for something different? The World Famous Conch Tour Train has been transporting visitors for over 50 years now.

Drinking in Famous Footsteps

A few years back, you’d find many of Key West’s famous locals, including Ernest Hemmingway, drinking the afternoon away in the local bars. Today, you’ll find many tourists sitting on those bar stools, carrying on the tradition. Many of those bars are still serving up drinks today including Sloppy Joe’s. Other local favorites include Green Parrot and Hog’s Breath. For the daring, you can try your hand at the Duval Crawl to experience some of the most famous and popular bars in Key West.

Famous Sights 

Key West offers more than just laid-back vibe and beautiful beaches. The island boasts some important history as well.

Most are familiar with Ernest Hemmingway’s influence on the island. His home is open to tours today and includes the house, grounds and his famous six-toed Hemingway cats.

You’ve probably seen pictures of the southernmost point of the continental states marker. There’s usually a line for pictures, but it’s a Key West tourist must-do.

The island is also home to different types of architecture, including Spanish influence and Victorian buildings. Just take a walk around Key West and let the island’s stories and secrets surprise you. You never know what’s waiting for you around the next corner in Key West!

Southernmost Point in Key West, FL - Shore Excursions Group

There’s so much more about Key West, but the best piece of advice: Just go. You won’t regret it and then you too will fall under Key West’s seductive spell.


  • Cell phone service works great in Key West so don’t be afraid to brag a little to your friends.
  • You can walk the whole island of Key West but seeing the island by a hop on hop off trolley is a lot more informative and provides a complimentary breeze.
  • Key West is in the Eastern Time zone, so always pay close attention to the ship’s time, the bars on Duval Street are sometimes a little too much fun.

For more things to do in Key West on a cruise, check out more Key West shore excursions.


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