28 Fun Things to Do in Key West for Spring Break 2024

Key West Spring Break family around the southernmost buoy.

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Searching for Things to do in Key West for Spring Break? It’s one of my favorite places to visit and I have at least 28 fun things to do!

Spring Break is just around the corner! If you’re looking for a fun destination to spend your vacation, then look no further than Key West for spring break in the Florida Keys.

There are plenty of things to do in this laid-back Florida town, and we’ll cover 28 of them here. From snorkeling and exploring shipwrecks to enjoying local seafood and taking a sunset cruise, there’s something for everyone on this list!

Do Spring breakers go to Key West? Of course, they do! If you’re thinking of a Key West Spring Break 2024, you can still make plans and book in time. I have enjoyed Key West when my children were younger and I know now that they are teens, they’d have even more fun.

Spring breakers have long flocked to Florida for the warm weather in March and April. The southernmost city in the US is no exception.

If you’re wondering if Key West is a Spring Break Destination, from college students to families, this island can cater to anyone for a good time.

I’ve broken the below down into things to do with your family, water and outdoors adventures, historical sites and our favorite places to eat, drink, and shop.

things to do in Key West With The Family

While you might think of Key West as a college spring break destination, you’d be both right and wrong. Plenty of resorts cater to both and there are activities that will suit all levels of ages and activities.

1. Ride the Trolley Tour

The Key West Trolley Tour an all-day hop-on-hop-off train with over 100 points of interest. It’s a great way to explore the tiny island for your Key West Spring Break and learn everything else there is to see and do here.

It’s a great way to get the lay of the land and know where you want to go.

Prices start at $62.95 for adults and $20.95 for children 12 and under.

Also available is the Old Town Trolley Tours, the Ghosts and Gravestones Tour or combo packages with glass bottom boats, or the Shipwreck museum.

Book the Trolley Tour here πŸš‹

2. Ride bikes around town

Key West is a very bike-friendly town with designated bike paths throughout. It’s a fun way to see more of what this eclectic island has to offer and it’s also a great way to work off all the food you’ll be eating!

You can find bikes to rent pretty much anywhere in town so it’s easy to get started. The best thing about cycling is that you can go at your own pace and take in all the sights and sounds that key has to offer.

Pro-Tip: See if your hotel or home rental accommodations comes with bicycles to use.

Alterntatively, you can also take a guided bike tour of Old Town Key West.

Book the Guided Bicycle Tour here 🚲

3. Visit the Butterfly Conservatory

This Key West attraction is a great place to spend an hour or so and it’s also very educational. You can find out more about the local butterflies as well as the plants they feed off of, how they reproduce, and much more.

The Butterfly Conservatory is more than butterflies. It’s a beautiful natural habitate that is home to colorful birds in additon to the hundreds of living butterflies.

If you have a nature lover in the family, consider spending an hour or two here.

Learn more about the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory here.

4. Walk to See the Sights

Key West is full of interesting architecture, history and tropical vegetation so be sure to take some time to wander around and see it all.

I’ve often found just walking with my family through the neighborhoods in Key West allow us to discover hidden gems and dining, as well as the many roaming cats or roosters. This provides some great distractions for restless family members.

Sometimes simply walking around this US island city is the best way to see what this tropical paradise has in store for you!

5. Take a selfie with the Southernmost Point Buoy

The Southrnmost Point is the icon of Key West and one you’ll see often in photos, so you won’t want to miss it.

This concrete buoy is located at the southernmost point in mainland America and is a popular spot for tourists to take photos. Officially, it’s at the end of Whitehead and South Street. It’s easy to find just look for the long line of people waiting to have their picture taken!

6. Sunset Celebration

Every night at Mallory Square, street performers, food carts, and arts and crafts exhibitors gather to celebrate the sun going down. Locals and tourists gather to watch the sun sink into the Gulf of Mexico.

It is by far my favorite way to celebrate this Key West Tradition.

7. Swim in the ocean

The water temperatures in March and April are usually pretty warm so take advantage and go swimming! The Atlantic Ocean has great waves for surfers and the Gulf of Mexico is perfect for those looking for a more relaxing swim.

Technically this is a water related activity as noted below, but even dipping your toes in counts for me. If you’ve booked someplace like the Casa Marina in Key West, you’ll have access to beachfront as well.

The best place for sandy beaches is probably Higg’s Beach. it has restrooms, a playground, chair rentals, and water sports rentals. It’s at the end of Reynold’s Street.

8. Visit a Lighthouse

Visit one or all six lighthouses scattered across the island of Key West.

These brightly colored buildings have been standing there for over 100 years so they’re really worth checking out during your Key West Florida spring break.

At the Lighthouse and Keeper’s Quarters you can climbe the 88 steps as well as learn what it was like to be a lighthouse keeper.

Each one is different from each others in that some still contain functional machinery inside while others were abandoned after WWII when lighthouses became obsolete thanks to lanterns fitted onto jetty poles. You’ll find them dotted all along the Key’s coastline.

The best way to explore these monuments is by bicycle as they stand at different key points across Key West. As you cycle around, make sure to keep a lookout for key deer too – these cute little creatures are endemic to the Florida key and stand at about three feet tall.

9. Visit the Key West Shipwreck Museum

The Key West Shipwreck Museum is home to a variety of different artifacts from shipwrecks that have occurred around key over the years so it’s definitely worth taking a look!

Water Things to do in Key West

10. Visit Higgs Beach

If you’re looking to relax on the sand, then head down to one of the many beautiful beaches! There are some free options as well as ones where you have to pay a small fee for parking etc., so make sure you take your pick and enjoy yourself in the sun!

Higg’s Beach, as mentioned above, is perhaps the most family friendly. Other beaches include Smather’s Beach and South Beach.

11. Go snorkeling or Diving

The Key West area has some of the best reefs in Florida and is a great place to explore marine life. You can find all sorts of fish, coral, and other sea creatures while swimming along the shoreline.

Smathers Beach is a beautiful beach with colorful coral reefs. You can go exploring with the aid of a professional guide who will show you fantastic creatures in their natural habitat. You’ll need proper equipment, which you can either hire or buy on the spot.

Looe Key reef is part of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and, as such, has been protected since 1997. It’s teeming with marine life so if you’re a diving enthusiast, this is definitely one place you don’t want to miss! There are depths for all levels of divers, making it perfect for everyone.

There are four popular shipwreck diving locations here, including one sunk in 2009 by an eco-diver who set out into the sea with a 50-pound concrete block chained to his ankles! If you’re feeling brave (or a little crazy) then Key West diving is the perfect place to test your limits. Just be aware of the conditions before heading out as they can change rapidly, making it dangerous for even the most experienced divers.

Key West Snorkeling tours:

12. Take a fishing charter

This is a great way to spend a day out on the water and catch dinner at the same time! There are plenty of charters to choose from and they can take you just about anywhere in the Keys.

There are also plenty of places where you can fish onshore, so there’s something for everyone!

13. Take a sunset cruise

What better way to end your day in Key West than by taking a relaxing cruise as the sun sets? Once you’ve seen a Key West sunset, you may never want to leave!

There are many companies, as evidenced below, that offer this service and most of them depart from the pier at Mallory Square.

You can choose from dinner cruises, sightseeing trips, or just cocktails with friends on board. This would be a romantic Key West thing to do for couples too.

14. Swim with the manatees

This is another great way to explore the water if you’re not interested in surfing or just want something a little less extreme! You can find these gentle creatures swimming around seagrass beds so all you have to do is lie out on your paddle board or kayak, and they’ll come right up alongside you.

15. Jet Skiing

If you’ve never tried Key West jet skiing there is no better time to give it a shot than during spring break.

There are plenty of Jet Skis companies that offer this activity and they all provide equipment for you so don’t worry about having the right gear or training beforehand! You can go out on your own or join up with other people who have booked onto the same tour, which means you’ll be less likely to get lost if anything goes wrong – plus it’s more fun when you’re in good company!

Outdoor Things to do in Key West

16. Go on a kayaking tour.

One of the best ways to explore wildlife and nature is by kayak. You can find several companies that offer tours, which will take you through some of the mangroves and Florida Key’s most beautiful scenery.

17. Visit Dry Tortugas National Park

If you’re feeling adventurous, why not visit this park which is only accessible by boat or plane? This national park is made up of seven small islands that are situated 70 miles southwest of Key West in the Gulf of Mexico. It has some amazing views as well as historic sites, trails for hiking, and more.

This national park is only accessible by boat or seaplane but it’s definitely worth making the journey if you’re in Key West for Spring Break. You can spot turtles, dolphins, and even sharks if you’re lucky! The key’s also home to key west snorkeling which makes it the perfect place for your trip.

18. Attend one of the many festivals

There are several events taking place in Key West during spring break time including Tennessee Williams Birthday Celebration. This takes place every year around this time (March) with lots of fun activities like poetry contests, film screenings, and private tours of the Tennessee Williams Museum.

The CONCH REPUBLIC INDEPENDENCE CELEBRATION also happens in April. “Every year visitors join Florida Keys residents for the Conch Republic Independence Celebration, a quirky event honoring the birth of the republic and its place in Keys history. The republic was founded in April 1982 to protest the installation of a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint that stopped traffic at the top of the Florida Keys Overseas Highway, the only road in and out of the Keys.”

Historical Sites in Key West

19. Visit Ernest Hemingway House

This is another must for all those who love history and literary figures! Ernest Hemingway lived here in Key West from 1931 until his death in 1961 and this 19th century home has been restored to look like it did back then, complete with furnishings and decor he chose himself. This house was key in some of his books, including Islands In The Stream. It’s a great way to learn more about him and see where he lived. You can even have your picture taken next to one of his many cats that are on-site as well.

It truly gives you an idea of what life was like during that time period both inside and out on the porch overlooking Whitehead Street which is now known as ‘Pilar Way’ because Pilar, one of Papa’s fishing boats, would dock there.

20. Explore Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park

This fort, built shortly before the Civil War, gives you great views of both the Atlantic Ocean and Florida Bay. During low tide hours, there are all sorts of activities like shelling or swimming.

The key lime pie wasn’t invented here but this fort was where one particular key lime tree lived that gave us our delicious treat!

There are also cannons from when France owned Florida that are still intact at the fort. You can explore the trails that lead to some great views of the key as well as a beautiful beach area where you can take a swim if you want.

There are also hiking trails through mangroves and salt marsh where you might see some native wildlife such as crabs, hermit crabs, sea turtles, raccoons, and birds.

Photo courtesy of Deposit Photos

Places to Eat in Key West

21. Eat some Key Lime pie

This is, of course, a must when in Key West. There is debate as to whether or not he key lime pie was invented here so you know it has to be good! Debate or not, go on a Key Lime Pie hunt and find the best one.

You can find slices or whole pies almost anywhere on the island but for an authentic experience, head to Kermit’s Key West Lime Pie Shoppe.

Fun fact: did you know that Kermit’s Key West Pies are actually made in DeLand? I discovered this on my trip to DeLand Florida. Due to limited space on the island, the factory is located in Central Florida.

22. Eat some Cuban food

This type of cuisine is very popular in Key West and there are lots of restaurants where you can sample dishes like ropa vieja, plantains, and more.

Blue Heaven is a popular destination for Cuban food as is the Cuban Coffee Queen for a good morning cup of joe..

23. Sample some of the local cuisine.

As well as Cuban food, there are plenty of other types of cuisine available in Key West, so make sure you try something new while you’re here!

Sample the seafood, southern BBQ, and even pizza at one of the many restaurants located throughout town.

Key West Spring Break family on bikes riding past Sloppy Joe's Bar

Places to Drink in Key West

24. Have a drink at Sloppy Joe’s Bar

This open-air bar is a Key West Tradition and was even visited by Hemingway. It still has his key hanging on the wall with a plaque that reads “Hemingway slept here.” While popular with college kids and adults alike, families are also welcome here.

It also has live music every day and attracts people from all walks of life so you’re sure to have a great time when visiting here during Key West spring break.

There are lots of other great key west spring break bars to check out, so you’re sure to find one that suits your tastes. It’s a good idea just to walk around Duval Street and see what takes your fancy as there really is something for everyone!

25. Drink key lime margaritas

Another key lime specialty is the key lime margarita. This delicious drink can be found at most bars and restaurants in Key West and is a perfect way to cool down on a hot day.

26. Party at Duval Street

Key West is party central during spring break so be sure you check out all the bars and clubs here when it comes time for nightlife! There will almost certainly be lots going on with live music from local bands or famous headliners coming through town just like they do every year around this time.

Just beware though: there isn’t much in terms of security so if you drink too much, keep an eye on your belongings.

Shopping in Key West

27. Shop for souvenirs

Whether you’re looking for key chains, t-shirts, or postcards, there are plenty of shops throughout Key West that will have what you’re looking for.

I’d recommend shopping during any of the festivals, where you can get locally made had crafted goods that go beyond your typical t-shirt souvenir.

Most places accept credit cards but it’s always a good idea to carry some cash just in case.

15. Spend time at Mallory Square

This outdoor market has lots of shops selling souvenirs or t-shirts, restaurants serving food from around key west spring break world plus there’s also entertainment like street performers throughout the day. It really makes it worth paying a visit when here during a Key West spring break. So much happens here that people come back year after year!

Key West Florida Weather

The average temperature in Key West during March is a high of 79 and a low of 69. the Water temperature averages 75.

Key West in April averages a high of 82, low of 72. Water temps are around 79.

Is Key West on your list of Spring Break Destinations? It’s a great way to get a full-scale island vacation in the United States.

Where to Stay in Key West

Make sure you take a look at the best hotels in Key West for your Spring Break vacation. We’ve added both couples and family resorts that will fit many budgets.

If you want to go beyond Key West Hotels, search below for both hotels and home rentals.

FAQ

When is Spring Break in Key West

Since schools, both secondary and college, have spring breaks at different times, Spring Break in Key West can be anytime during the month of March and April.

can you walk down the street with a drink in key west?

No. Open Containers of alcohol are prohibited in Key West

Is Key West a suitable destination for a family Spring Break vacation?

Yes. As mentioned in the article, there are plenty of family friendly things to do for spring break in Key West

Are there kid-friendly beaches in Key West?

Absolutely! Smathers Beach is a fantastic option for families with teenagers. It has a long stretch of soft sand and calm waters, making it perfect for swimming and various water sports. Additionally, Fort Zachary Taylor State Park offers a combination of beach and history, making it a great spot for families looking for a mix of relaxation and exploration.

How can I navigate transportation in Key West during Spring Break?

Key West is a relatively small island, and getting around is quite convenient. Many attractions are within walking distance, especially if you’re staying in the Old Town area. Alternatively, you can rent bicycles, scooters, or electric cars for a fun and efficient way to explore the island. Taxis and rideshare services are also readily available, making transportation hassle-free.

How far in advance should I book activities in Key West for Spring Break?

It’s advisable to book popular activities and tours in advance, especially during Spring Break when Key West attracts a significant number of visitors. Aim to secure your reservations a few weeks ahead to ensure availability. This applies to sunset cruises, snorkeling tours, and other sought-after experiences. However, some spontaneous activities can be enjoyed without much advance planning, providing flexibility in your schedule.

Final Thoughts: Key West Spring Break

Key West awaits with boundless opportunities for an unforgettable Spring Break. T

his vibrant island in the Florida Keys is not just a destination for college spring breakers; it’s a haven for families seeking a perfect blend of relaxation and excitement.

With an average temperature ranging from 79 to 82 degrees in March and April, Key West provides an idyllic backdrop for your Spring Break escape. Whether you seek tranquil moments on the sandy beaches or thrilling adventures in the crystal-clear waters, Key West promises an experience that caters to every family member.

Pack your bags, plan your activities in advance, and embark on a Key West Spring Break filled with sun-soaked memories and moments that will be cherished for years to come!

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