Four Must-Try Summer Activities in Key West

Summertime in the Florida Keys is perfect for a relaxing getaway, with beaches to lounge on and marine life to discover. However, there’s a lot more to Key West than just scuba diving and suntanning. From the island’s fascinating history to its quirky culture, no trip would be complete without experiencing everything this picturesque destination has to offer. Read on to learn about four of our favorite activities in Key West.

Fort Zachary Taylor

Built in 1898, Fort Zachary Taylor is one of Key West’s most impressive historical sites. And thanks to its location, next to one of the island’s most beautiful beaches, you’ll probably find yourself in the area during your stay. Tour the fort to learn about its role in the US Civil War and to see the country’s largest collection of Civil War cannons.

Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum

One look at the tropical paradise of Key West, and it’s easy to see how Ernest Hemingway fell in love with the island. One of America’s most celebrated authors, Hemingway lived here with his wife for over ten years. Tour his exquisite colonial-style home, built in 1851, and admire the spectacular collection of furniture, art, and antiques, all carefully restored and preserved.

Duval Street and Mallory Square

When you’ve had enough history, it’s time to experience Key West’s vibrant contemporary culture. All the action is centered around Duval Street, where you’ll find lively bars, fun souvenir shops, and lovely restaurants. Enjoy an afternoon stroll along the thoroughfare, and time your walk to reach Mallory Square by sunset. Each night brings the Key West Sunset Celebration, with performers, artists, and food vendors creating a festive, party atmosphere.

Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory

For animal lovers, there’s more to see here than just the marine life. Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory is a glass-enclosed sanctuary that houses over 50 butterfly species and over 20 exotic bird species. Admire these colorful creatures and find out more about them in the learning center.

If the sun, sand, and sea weren’t enough to tempt you, these can’t-miss activities might just convince you to choose Key West for your summer getaway. If you do, a stay at Cheeca Lodge will put you in prime position to enjoy the best of the island. Browse our latest offers and discover Key West for yourself.

Follow the Shipwreck Trail and Dive Through World History

The Florida Keys are home to a variety of popular tourist attractions, including everything from beaches to bars. Lesser known to those visiting, the Florida Keys also house a number of shipwrecks, preserved underwater for years. Scattered along the coral reefs and buried in the sandy shallows a few miles off shore, a trail of nine shipwrecks make up Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary’s Shipwreck Trail.

Explore the rich history of some of the most famous shipwrecks in Florida.

The San Pedro

Found off the coast of Indian Key, find The San Pedro below the surface. This ship was a part of the 1733 Spanish treasure fleet and was caught by a hurricane in the Straits of Florida. The damage was too much and the ship sank 18 feet into the water one mile south of Indian Key.

The Bentwood

On a voyage from Tampa, Florida to Norfolk, Virginia, the Bentwood sank between the French Reef and Dixie Shoals in 1942. The Bentwood was 360 feet long and sank after colliding with another ship. It is among the most popular shipwreck dives in the Keys.

The Thunderbolt

A military ship used during World War II, the Thunderbolt was intentionally sunk in 1986 as part of a project with the Florida Keys Artificial Reef Association. The Thunderbolt now offers divers a breathtaking experience, as it lies fully intact and upright, 120 feet below the surface. Divers can find the ship about four miles south of Marathon, Florida and Key Colony Beach.

Go on your own diving adventure during your stay with us in Islamorada. Get in touch with our team plan your visit and for tips on getting to the Shipwreck Trail.

Five Unusual Sculptures You Must Visit in the Florida Keys

Diverse and eclectic, the Florida Keys offer visitors a range of unique sightseeing opportunities. Explore the local art and cultural scene and discover an array of indoor and outdoor sculptures. From a larger-than-life replica of marine life to a haunted doll, light up your social feeds with images of these Florida Keys art classics.

Christ of the Abyss

Plunge into the mesmerizing depths off the coast of Key Largo and uncover a haunting underwater sculpture. Found just below the surface, the statue – Christ of the Abyss – is a 4,000-pound, 8.6-foot bronze statue of Christ installed at the Key Largo Dry Rocks in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

巫迪文 / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Betsy Lobster

Made from fiberglass, Betsy is a 30 X 40 ft. biologically correct model of a Florida Spiny Lobster. She was created in 1980 by sculptor Richard Blaze to celebrate the species, which is native to the Florida Keys. Betsy is among South Florida’s most popular roadside attractions.

JOHN SMITH / FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

Florida Keys Sculpture Trail

A collection of innovative and inspired works of art, the Florida Keys Sculpture Trail features one-of-a-kind pieces flown in from the Art Students League of New York. Our favorite additions to the trail include Everything Between by Sarah Thompson Moore. This experimental sculpture is made of carbon and stainless steel and resembles both a cage and a shelter. Avis Gloria & Nature Eterna by Sheila Berger is another standout from the trail. This giant bird made of forged stainless-steel stands on a pedestal in Key West.

Robert the Doll

Sometimes referred to as “the world’s most terrifying doll,” the figure – which is believed to be haunted – is part of the collection of the Martello Gallery Key West Art and Historical Museum. It was the inspiration behind the popular horror film “Child’s Play” and continues to fright and delight visitors from around the globe.

Cayobo / Flickr Creative Commons