Over Spring Break we spent time in Key West, Florida and I was thrilled that there was so much for families. There were lots of opportunities for my girls to learn about history, ecology, even local traditions. Here are my eight must-dos if you plan to visit Key West:
Climb to the Top of the Lighthouse. Pay a visit to the Lighthouse and Keeper’s Quarters in Key West to see how a lighthouse keeper lived in the 19th century. Then, climb 88 steps to the top of the lighthouse for fabulous views of all of Key West, complete with placards letting you know what you see below.
Take a Trolley Tour. While in Key West, we took a 90-minute hop-on, hop-off trolley tour around the island with Old Town Trolley Tours. The driver was very knowledgeable, and it was a nice way to take a break and learn about the history and landmarks of Key West. It’s easy to purchase your tickets through Viator, which features hand-picked tours and attractions for just about every city you’d want to visit.
Strike a Pose at the Southernmost Point. During peak season, you may need to wait in line (we did), but it’s worth it to have your picture taken with the huge buoy that marks the Southernmost Point in the United States. It’s just 90 miles from Cuba and has fabulous views.
Visit the Little White House. Our 33rd President, Harry S. Truman, just loved Key West. In fact, he spent 175 days of his six-year presidency in this home, known as the Harry S. Truman Little White House. We took a tour with Audie who shared lots of fun facts with us. I learned so much and it was a great way for the kids to brush up on presidential history.
Relax with Hundreds of Butterflies. Down the street from the Southernmost Point is the Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory. You’ll see hundreds of butterflies fluttering around, but look out for the finches and turtles at your feet.
Explore the Ecology of the Florida Keys. Learn about the native plants and animals of the Keys at the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center (as a bonus, admission is free). Check out the Living Reef exhibit, which includes a 2,500 gallon reef tank, and watch a short film called “Reflections of the Florida Keys.”
See the Sunset at Mallory Square. Your kids may love the sunset, but they may love the nightly performers in Mallory Square even more. The square is filled with jugglers, acrobats and even pets jumping through hoops and ringing bells.
Try a Slice of Key Lime Pie. We took the trolley tour and passed Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe, which is supposed to be very good. Another is the Key West Key Lime Pie Co., which has two locations in Key West. Try the Frozen Key Lime Pie on a Stick (chocolate-dipped, of course).
Have you ever been to Key West or the Florida Keys? Let me know in the comments section. I’d love to hear about your experiences.