Best Things to Do in Old Town
Old Town in Key West, Florida, is a historic district renowned for its charming architecture, vibrant culture, and fascinating history. This area is the centerpiece of Key West tourism, attracting visitors from all over the world who are drawn to its laid-back atmosphere and unique character. Old Town was once a bustling seaport and has since transformed into a mecca for art, music, and literature lovers. Its colorful past is visible in the well-preserved buildings, courtyards, and narrow streets, which have been beautifully restored to retain their historic charm. Whether you are interested in exploring history or simply seeking a relaxing holiday destination, Old Town is a must for every Key West visitor.
Fun Things to Do in Old Town
Conch Tour Train
The Conch Tour Train is the perfect way to explore the historic Old Town of Key West. This narrated tour will take you through the streets of this charming city, showing you all the sights and attractions that make it so special. The tour begins from Front Street Depot and ends at Mallory Square, giving you a glimpse into Key West’s past. A friendly and knowledgeable guide will explain the history and culture of Key West throughout your journey. You’ll also get to admire the colonial architecture and the vibrant art scene that flourishes here. Hop aboard the Conch Tour Train and explore Old Town Key West!
The Hemingway Home and Museum
The Hemingway Home and Museum, located in Old Town Key West, is a must-see for any visitors to the area. The house was built in 1851 and served as the home of Nobel Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway in 1954. Today, it’s a National Historic Landmark and open to the public. Tour the house and explore the lush gardens filled with Hemingway’s cats, descendants of his famous six-toed felines. Take a guided tour of the property and learn about Hemingway’s illustrious work, or attend one of the many cultural events held in the historic home.
The Southernmost Point, located in Old Town Key West, is a famous landmark that marks the southernmost point in the continental United States. This historical marker is a concrete buoy and was established by the U.S. Coast Guard in 1983. The buoy is inscribed with the words “Southernmost Point Continental U.S.A.” and is a popular destination for visitors to Key West. The nearby Southernmost Beach Café offers spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean, as well as delicious food and drinks. Soak in the incredible atmosphere of Old Town Key West with a visit to the Southernmost Point!
Mile Marker 0 Sign
The Mile Marker 0 sign in Key West is a road sign that marks the southernmost point in the continental United States. This iconic sign serves as a reminder of Key West’s past and has become a popular destination for visitors to explore. The sign stands proudly at the corner of Whitehead and Fleming Streets, surrounded by the colonial architecture and vibrant art scene that flourishes in Old Town Key West.
Key West Lighthouse
The Key West Lighthouse is an iconic landmark nestled in the heart of Old Town Key West. Constructed in 1825, this historical lighthouse stands 65 feet tall and boasts 360-degree views of the city and surrounding ocean. From its vantage point atop a white coral rock bluff, the lighthouse has been guiding ships to safety for many years and continues to be an iconic symbol of Key West. Visitors can climb the 88 steps to the observation deck for panoramic views or join a guided tour to learn more about the lighthouse and its importance in Key West’s maritime history.
Fort Zachary Taylor State Park and Beach
Fort Zachary Taylor State Park and Beach is an iconic park in the heart of Old Town Key West. Construction was started in 1845, and the park was a strategic military fort that served as an important link in communication between Key West and Havana during the Civil War. Today, the fort-turned-park stands as a testament to Key West’s rich history and offers plenty of fun things to do for visitors, including picnicking, swimming, snorkeling, paddling and fishing.
Mallory Square in Key West is an iconic waterfront destination that has been a vibrant part of the city for centuries. Located at the northern end of Duval Street, Mallory Square offers stunning views of the harbor and an unparalleled mix of culture, entertainment and history. The area is home to a number of historic buildings, beautiful parks and colorful shops and restaurants. Every evening, visitors can enjoy the famous Key West sunset celebration, fishing, water sports and more. Mallory Square is sure to be a highlight of your time in Old Town Key West.
Sunset Pier in Key West is an iconic waterfront destination that overlooks the harbor and offers captivating views of the Key West sunset. Located on Duval Street in Key West, the pier has been a popular spot to watch the sun go down for many years. Visitors can enjoy fresh seafood, watch local artisans showcase their craftsmanship or simply take in the stunning views of the city skyline and harbor. Sunset Pier is a must-see destination when visiting Old Town Key West!
Green Parrot Bar
The Green Parrot Bar in Key West is one of the oldest and most iconic bars in Old Town. Established in 1890, this popular watering hole has seen its fair share of history and remains a cherished part of the city’s vibrant nightlife. The Green Parrot is known for its laid-back atmosphere, delicious Caribbean-inspired dishes and its signature rum drinks. Whether you’re a visitor or a local, the Green Parrot is the perfect place to relax with friends, grab a bite to eat and enjoy a cold drink in one of Key West’s oldest watering holes.
Duval Street in Key West is one of the most iconic streets in Florida and a must-see destination for any visitor to the city. Located in the heart of Old Town Key West, Duval Street runs from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean and offers plenty of shopping, dining, and entertainment options. The street is lined with colorful buildings, quirky stores and restaurants, and art galleries that showcase the vibrant culture of Key West. Visitors to Duval Street can explore a variety of local shops, grab a bite to eat at one of the many delicious eateries or head to bars and clubs.
If you are looking for a unique way to learn about the history of Old Town in Key West, FL, then you should definitely check out the Ghosts and Gravestones tour. Old Town is steeped in history, with many buildings that date back to the 1800s. And what better way to learn about this history than from the spirits who still haunt these historic sites? The Ghosts and Gravestones tour is a great way to experience the history of Old Town because it takes you on a journey through time, exploring the dark and eerie side of Key West’s past. You’ll visit haunted mansions, eerie cemeteries, and other spooky locations that are sure to give you goosebumps. With knowledgeable guides and plenty of fascinating stories, this tour is an excellent way to learn about the history of Old Town.
What is the prettiest place in the Keys?
There are many beautiful places in the Keys, Islamorada, Key West, Marathon, Big Pine Key, Bahia Honda State Park, etc., but the prettiest place in the Keys is Islamorada. Located halfway between Miami and Key West, this island town sits at the edge of Florida Bay and has some of the most beautiful views in the state. In addition to its natural beauty, Islamorada features world-class restaurants using fresh seafood straight from local waters.
Is it better to stay in New Town or Old Town Key West?
It depends on your preference and what you hope to experience during your stay. Old Town Key West provides visitors with the chance to explore centuries of fascinating history, culture and architecture. There are plenty of iconic attractions in Old Town, including Sunset Pier, the Green Parrot Bar, Duval Street and Hemingway Rum Company, which offer a unique part of the city’s identity. New Town Key West is still close to all these attractions but also provides more modernized amenities, such as boutique shops, high-end restaurants and modern accommodations, so it really just comes down to personal preference.
What is the prettiest beach in Key West?
One of the prettiest beaches in Key West is Smathers Beach. Located on the south side of the island, this expansive stretch of white sand borders the Atlantic Ocean and is one of the most popular destinations for sunbathing, swimming and other beach activities.
Where should you stay your first time in Key West?
When visiting Key West for the first time, there are two main areas to choose from when deciding where to stay. The history of Old Town Key West provides visitors with a unique opportunity to explore centuries of culture and history with iconic attractions. New Town Key West offers more modern amenities, such as boutique shops, high-end restaurants and modern accommodations, for those looking for a more updated experience.