Whether you’re a local looking for something fun to do or a tourist who’s made your way to the tropical paradise of Key West, there’s nothing quite like a rainy day to put a real damper on things. Lucky for you though, Key West’s treasures aren’t restricted to the great outdoors; and there’s a bunch of exploring you can do despite the less than ideal weather. So grab an umbrella, your sense of wonder, and get ready to have the very best time exploring these rainy day activities in Key West!
Key West Aquarium
Located in Key West’s famous Mallory Square, the Key West Aquarium is an interactive attraction that’s perfect for all ages! Given that Key West is home to the third largest barrier reef in the world (and the largest in North America), our aquarium is the perfect place to see and learn about the fascinating marine life of the Florida Keys! From jellyfish and hermit crabs to stingrays and sea turtles, get up close and personal with a variety of beautiful sea creatures and spend some time learning about the underwater world beneath the surface. Guests can enjoy interactive conservation talks as well as animal feedings. The aquarium’s touch tank features conchs, sea stars, sea urchins, giant hermit crabs and horseshoe crabs. Guests also have the unique opportunity to meet live sharks and stingrays. A couple of fun facts: our aquarium was Key West’s first tourist attraction and also the world’s first open air museum.
Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory
Rated one of the top things to do in Key West, the Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory is another place to add to your rainy-day bucket list. With hundreds of beautiful butterfly and bird species flying around, experience a mini-rainforest of sorts all under a climate-controlled, glass enclosed habitat. Forget about the rain outside and take some time to relax in one of the most magical spots here in paradise. Then head into the gift shop because it’s one of the most popular on the island.
Ernest Hemingway House
The six-toed cats! Okay, that’s not the only reason to visit the Ernest Hemingway House. Nestled in the heart of Old Town Key West, tour the home of the famous Nobel-Prize winning author who spent ten years on this island paradise. It’s said that Hemingway wrote some of his best work in this home, so enjoy a tour of his residence and studio where he was motivated to write the books that would become a part of his long-lasting legacy.
You know what sounds absolutely amazing on a gloomy rainy day? Enjoying a movie indoors with a giant bag of popcorn! Tropic Cinema, Key West’s non-profit movie theatre, is the perfect place to do just that, offering a diverse movie selection that includes blockbusters, independent films, and cinematic classics. With state-of-the-art digital projection, an art gallery, and concessions that don’t disappoint (wine & beer served), this is where you want to be if you’re looking to escape the rain for a while.
Old Town Trolley Tour
If all of those activities sound great to you but you’re not really sure how to get there, by far the best way to get around the island is via the Old Town Trolley. These hop-on-hop-off tours stop at 13 different locations and give you the opportunity to see over 100 points of interest.
Truman Little White House
For those of you history buffs out there, here’s a rainy day activity you won’t want to miss! Right in the heart of Key West’s Old Town, the Truman Little White House was considered for many years the winter White House of our 33rd president, Harry S. Truman. Today, the Truman Little White House operates as a museum, allowing you to tour the home while embarking on a journey back through time. Enjoy a first-hand look at so many of the former President’s personal belongings and take some time to admire the original furnishings of a home that was once seen as a retreat and place of government business by our nation’s leaders.
Rainy days are perfect for browsing through artwork; so if that sounds like something you might enjoy, then make your way over to the Customs House. Located near Mallory Square’s historic marina, the four story award-winning museum includes two whole floors of exhibitions that tell the story of an island in transition. From the Henry Flagler’s Overseas Highway exhibition to one featuring the Ghosts of East Martello, the museum (which was originally home to the Key West’s customs office, postal service, and district courts) is filled with plenty of art and history worth perusing through.
So there you have it! A few of our favorite things to do on a rainy day in Key West. Don’t let a little weather get in the way of exploring paradise!