Dolphin Adventures in Key West

When you visit Key West Florida,  you will notice several things. First, you’ll find an island that  runs on its  own sense of time. If you’re accustomed to rushing about, this is not the place to do it, so leave the past-pace at home, because time grinds to a halt. But even so, Key West Florida is also home to some exciting ocean excursions, and this contrast that makes it one of the best places to take a vacation.

Once you reach your tropical accommodations, taste some exquisite local fare and lounge at pristine beaches, you can take it up a level and hop aboard an Eco-wildlife and Eco-shark viewing excursion. It’ll be more exciting than Shark Week even if you don’t actually engage with sharks intimately. But how neat would it be to get a little more up close and personal with one of man’s most feared predators? State-of-the-art tour boats will take you out to the high seas, where you will learn about myriad species of wildlife that call the coast of Key West home, meanwhile showing you some of Florida’s toughest residents. Visitors  have the chance to view and photograph bull, hammerhead, lemon, nurse, black tip, and they’re really lucky, tiger sharks. An onboard guide will teach guests about local marine life and the migratory patterns of the local birds. Nature lovers, this adventure is made for you!

You’d miss out on a lot if you didn’t explore the pristine waters off the coast of Key West Florida, but getting above it all is just as exhilarating. If you want the best view in Key West you can soar above it all on a parasailing excursion. You’ll have the option to take off from the beach or from the water, where a speedboat and professional guide will get you into airborne so you can let your feet dangle 600 feet above it all. There are amazing views for as far as the eye can see, and  Caribbean breezes will kiss your tanned skin. It’s one of the most thrilling experiences available in Key West, so be sure to throw that on your Key West Florida bucket list.

The waters around Key West Florida are not only home to some of the world’s fiercest predators,  they’re also home to the some of the ocean’s friendliest mammals, the Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin. Go on a Key West Dolphin Tour, and you’ll have the opportunity to observe these jovial creatures in their natural habitat. Your onboard professional guide will share  why these beloved mammals are so intelligent. Not only will you have a chance to watch them frolic and play with one another, but there will be snorkeling gear on board so you can slip into the warmth of the Atlantic and spend an afternoon exploring coral reef gardens, viewing passing tropical fish, and maybe even experience swimming next to a wild dolphin!

Key West Dolphin Tours

The Best in Key West History and Culture

Even though Key West is small,  a mere 5.27 sq miles in size, there arguably more than a hundred things to do in Key West. The most exciting and most interesting of all the Keys, is the place that literary greats and American presidents made it their home away from home. Key West is isn’t just a  relaxed seaside resort town, it is woven into the greater American cultural fabric with a history all its own. Check out these spots to get your fix.

Tour the Harry S. Truman Little White House

One of the most popular things to do in Key West, is see the 19th century naval station that the 33rd president of the United States, President Harry S. Truman turned into a beautiful vacation home after successfully concluded the Second World War and witnessed the beginning of the Cold War.  History states that he spent 174 days of his leisure time in the exquisite little plantation house. The house later served as a command post during the Bay of Pigs stand-off, and  as a refuge for President Dwight Eisenhower after he suffered his 1956 heart attack. These walls echo with stories, so it is easy to see why it’s one of the most popular things to do in Key West

Visit the Shipwreck Historeum Museum

The history of key west is enlightening while also being interesting. One of the most interesting things to do in Key West is to meander through the Shipwreck Historeum Museum. You will see artifacts from the mid 19th century, taking a trip  through the mysterious period of shipwrecking.  Live actors, props, artifacts, and laser technology, will help you experience the treacherous days of old, and tell you all about how shipwrecking was turned from tragic events to an enterprise of treasure. The  industry was once the only reason Key West prospered, and families became unbelievably rich because of other people’s suffering. This museum experience is a must-see so if you have time, you should enjoy the show.

View The Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum

Hemingway, who was by no way a boring man, wrote seven novels, six short story collections, two non-fiction works, a Pulitzer prize for non-fiction and a Nobel Prize for Literature.  One of the most influential novelists in American literature, and undoubtedly one of the most memorable, Hemingway traveled the world, taking part in some of the most historic moments of his time, so his life was lived to the fullest. A visit to Key West wouldn’t be the same without seeing the sites American writer frequented, or, for that matter, visiting the Hemingway Home & Museum. The halls of this remarkable home ooze masculinity and the descendants of Hemmingway’s original polydactyl cat, Snowball, still live on the grounds. Open 365 days of the year, so be sure to squeeze it in.

There are many more historical things to do in Key West, so if you want to learn more about this unique little island, know that there are plenty more places to learn about history.

Five of the Best Kept Key West Secrets

When you arrive in Key West as a final destination or just stop by as part of a larger Florida Keys trip, you’re bound to be immediately bombarded by two distinct contradictions of atmosphere. Between the gorgeous beaches and enough Old Florida charm to live up to the well-deserved reputation of “Sunshine State,” you’ll be at no loss of places to eat and shop–and you’ll have more than enough places to go see.  There will certainly be more places to have fun than you’ll know what to do with, especially if you’re looking to have a quality Key West vacation in a short amount of time. So in the interests of having the best vacation, here are five of the best kept Key West Secrets in no particular order:

The Unmarked Home of Tennessee Williams

If you go check out Williams’ cottage at 1431 Duncan St., you’ll not only get to  miss the lines of visitors who line up everyday to see Ernest Hemingway’s digs, you’ll get pass by the compound he build around the place that included a swimming pool and a writing room he called the “Mad House.”  Other less-traveled sites to check out on a Key West vacation for the literary inclined could include Elizabeth Bishop’s clapboard house that she once owned on 624 White Street and several of the other properties Hemingway was known for frequenting.

Garbo’s Grill

Marked one of  Yelp’s “Best of Key West” by locals, this permanent-fixture food truck is operated by a husband and wife team who serves up the best mahi and Korean beef tacos in town. Located on Greene St. just down the road from Hemingway’s favorite bar, Sloppy Joe’s, you might not find a place to sit down, but you’ll enjoy the food and the inspiring “Van Sharkson” artwork on the van.

Epitaphs at Key West Cemetery

Okay, so it might seem odd that anyone would recommend  a cemetery outing while you’re on a laid-back beach getaway, but some one-time residents of Key West took their morbid senses of humor with them to the grave, and had it carved in as an epitaph. You’ll want to see such gems as “I told you I was sick,” “Devoted Fan of Julio Iglesias,” and “At least I know where he’s sleeping tonight” in person. Bonus sights to see include three pink-granite gravestones for someone’s beloved Yorkshire terriers, and a pet deer that has been forever immortalized alongside them.

The Old Town Parking Garage

At the corner of Caroline and Grinnell Streets, you’ll find one of the best places to see all of Key West after nightfall. From the top of this location you can look down and see several historical sights in all their glory without all the hustle and bustle of the Lighthouse Museum or the La Concha Hotel. If you enter from the rear stairwell on James St., you can just head over after having a few drinks at Finnegan’s Wake.

Nancy Forrester’s Secret Garden

Whether you have children, or don’t, this location is a wonderful destination if you need a few moments to collect yourself around a tremendous collection of parrots, macaws and cockatoos among lush fruit trees and orchids on your getaway.

That said, it may also be tempting to simply meander in and out of all the haunts on Duval Street, often referred to as the “longest street in the world” since it runs across the island from the Gulf of Mexico. You don’t want to have too many plans, right? Keeping it laid back and simple is why you’re here. It’s your Key West vacation, you can always do that  if you want to. If spending time weaving out of expensive souvenir shops and  bars filled with tourists and expensive main attractions is your idea of a laid-back keys getaway, then by all means have at it. But if you’re like us, and you want to hit some of the best “off-the-beaten-path” locations, you’ll have to journey a little further inward, be a little more adventurous, and be ready to meet some locals who can give you a real taste of Key West’s amazing flavor.