Heading south and looking for family friendly things to do in the Florida Keys? Read on! The Florida Keys are a warm weather paradise bordered by both the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Having just returned from a week in the Florida Keys with a 7, 8, 9, and 15 year old – here is our list.
10 Family Friendly Things to Do in the Florida Keys
- Visit Historic Fort Zachary Taylor (Key West). Located on the southern edge of Key West, Fort Zachary Taylor was built to protect the Key West Harbor. Having never been attacked, the Fort is well preserved and visitors can freely roam the grounds.
- Visit an Aquarium. Aquarium Encounters (Marathon) or the Key West Aquarium (Key West) are unique aquariums with interactive exhibits and optional guided tours. In the touch tanks, kids can interact with horseshoe crabs, sea stars, sea urchins, and more.
- Turtle Hospital (Marathon). As a functioning veterinary hospital, the Turtle Hospital invites visitors in to see how they rescue, rehabilitate, and release injured and sick sea turtles.
- Fishing Charter (All over the Keys, but many options in Islamorada). Even if you aren’t normally a fishing enthusiast, saltwater fishing in open water is a fun experience for all ages. It surprised us that this was one of our kids’ favorite experiences in the Florida Keys.
- Swim with Bottlenose Dolphins. If you want to take your family to swim with the dolphins, there are a number of popular options: Dolphins Plus (Key Largo), Dolphin Research Center (Grassy Key), Hawks Cay Resort (Duck Key), and Theater of the Sea (Islamorada).
- Snorkeling Tour. (Various locations in the Florida Keys). If your kids are old enough, hop on a snorkeling tour and show them living coral reefs, sharks, rays, and tropical fish. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife on the boat trip out for marine life. You might see wild dolphins, sea turtles, flying fish, manatees, and more. Don’t have snorkel gear? Don’t worry, equipment rentals are available with the tour.
- Guided Tour (Key West). Want to easily see Key West? Even the youngest kids will be entertained on a narrated tour around Key West, like the Conch Train Tour or the Old Town Trolley Tour. These hop on/hop off tours allow you to get on and off as many times as you’d like throughout the day to stop and explore attractions such as the Southernmost Point in the continental United States, Duval Street, the Ernest Hemingway Home, and The Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory.
- Sunset Celebration (Key West). Happening every night in Mallory Square, this square is full of street performers and live music and is one of the best places to watch the sunset. The Sunset Celebration begins 2 hours before sunset.
- Visit the Key West Shipwreck Treasure Museum (Key West). Older kids will appreciate seeing artifacts at the Key West Shipwreck Treasure Museum from a real shipwreck, while everyone will enjoy the views from the 65′ lookout tower.
- Head to the Dry Tortugas National Park (Dry Tortugas). Jump on a ferry or take a seaplane ride to the Dry Tortugas, a group of small islands 67 miles from Key West. Once there, you can explore Fort Jefferson, snorkel or swim in the turquoise blue waters, and relax on some of the best beaches you’ll ever see.
Whatever adventures you decide to do on your Florida Keys vacation, be sure to get the whole family a slice of Key Lime Pie (or maybe some Key Lime Pie ice cream!) before you leave the islands.
After your Florida Keys trip, why not check out some of Florida’s natural springs?