Planning a family vacation is tough when everyone has different interests. But that’s what makes Key West such a great choice for your next family get-away. From up-close opportunities to interact with nature and restful beach days to a wide range of exciting cuisines–whether you enjoy familiar favorites or prefer adventurous meals–the city of Key West, FL has the activities and amenities for every family’s need.
1. Even Novice Snorkelers Can Enjoy Dry Tortugas National Park
While some visitors to Dry Tortugas National Park go because they enjoy visiting historical sites like Fort Jefferson or kayaking around the small keys where shorebirds make their home, the park’s biggest draw is the snorkeling. And while there are plenty of places to enjoy this sport around Key West, perhaps none is more popular with novice snorkelers than this national park. The waters are crystal clear and shallow enough for comfort. Visitors swim among exciting underwater sites like coral reefs and aged shipwrecks. There’s even a nocturnal snorkeling program that allows swimmers to see first-hand how active ocean life can be at night. For anyone in the family who’d prefer to stay dry, Dry Tortugas National Park offers a small beach area and a great opportunity to get panoramic views of the water and the park from the fort’s surrounding wall.
2. Explore New Foods From Around the World and Familiar Favorites with Ease
Visiting Key West opens up the world of exciting foods without needing your passport. Try Santiago’s Bodega for an authentic tapas-style menu for lunch and dinner. Guests rave about the shrimp and chorizo dishes, as well as the croquettas and the spicy lentil soup. The mini quesadillas are always a crowd-pleaser, too. Santiago’s warm and welcoming dining room features reclaimed wood and recycled stained glass windows, too, giving it an old-world feel that’s still fresh and exciting. All along Key West’s Duval Street and the smaller side roads, you’ll find restaurants like Santiago’s Bodega, serving the best Italian, Spanish, Caribbean, Vietnamese, French, and Peruvian favorites, as well as popular American classics like fresh lobster roll from Eaton Street Seafood Market. Located in Old Town Key West, this restaurant offers outdoor seating and a take-out menu offering fresh-caught, made-to-order dishes. Enjoy the expertly prepared conch fritters, fish sandwiches, and fish tacos that keep visitors coming back.
3. A Fishing Charter Makes Family Bonding Fun
The quickest way to make kids roll their eyes is to suggest a family bonding activity. But booking a fishing charter allows everyone to enjoy an activity together without any pressure, which allows all members of the family to relax and enjoy the experience. A fishing charter can be tailored to your preferences, from a half- or full-day trip to deep water, wreck, reef or flats fishing. All In Fishing Charters’ boat captain and crew ensure that guests have everything they need for a successful expedition, from rods and reels to bait and tackle. All you need to bring is a packed lunch and sunscreen. The skilled crew can provide guidance if needed, and the captain’s expertise ensures you’ll be right where the action is, whether you’re fishing for grouper, tuna, mahi or any of the other delicious fish that frequent the waters around Key West.
4. Enjoy Beach Days for All
Whether you enjoy sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling or just building sandcastles, Key West’s beaches have something to make it a great beach day for everyone. Even though it’s a small city, Key West offers four public beaches open to visitors. Guests on the island can also enjoy the beach at Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park, which describes its beach as the largest in Key West. Most beaches offer chair and umbrella rentals, as well as snorkeling gear rentals. Travelers who bring their pups with them should check out Dog Beach in particular, where four-legged friends are welcome.
5. Book Custom Experiences
If you’re planning a trip to Key West to recognize a milestone birthday or accomplishment, there are a couple of great ways to make the experience even sweeter. Consider booking a customized picnic experience with Key West Picnic Company. Discuss your dream picnic with them for an amazing, one-of-a-kind experience. In addition to a basket packed with food, you may get luxury linens and pillows to sit on, real cutlery and plates, and even a Bluetooth speaker for a little light music. Or book tickets on a sunset sail to nowhere. Several sailboats offer evening cruises out of Key West and back again. Guests are typically served light snacks and beer, wine or liquor. There’s usually live or recorded music to enhance the evening and set the mood, too. It’s a great way to honor a graduate, mark a wedding anniversary or celebrate a big birthday.
Take some of the stress out of planning your next family vacation and arrange to spend it in Key West. There are activities to suit any intensity level and a range of opportunities that foster togetherness. Discover why so many families choose Key West.