Family Friendly Things to do in the Florida Keys

Key West, a U.S. island city, is part of the Florida Keys archipelago. It has been on our bucket list since we started traveling the U.S. 

The Florida Keys are a string of tropical islands stretching about 120 miles off the southern tip of the U.S. state of Florida. They are a cruise-ship stop and also accessible from the mainland via the Overseas Highway.

Getting RV reservations in the Keys can be tricky during the busy winter season. We booked our 2 weeklong RV reservation at Bluewater Key RV Resort, which is on Sugarloaf Key, about 15 months in advance. Our stay was over both Christmas and New Year's Day. The spots at this RV resort are very private and secluded, each lot is privately owned and has a tiki hut area for entertaining.

Our to-do list for the Keys was long. We planned our visit to Fort Jefferson at the Dry Tortugas National Park 6 months in advance. Highly recommend going to via seaplane with Key West Seaplane adventures to the Dry Tortugas. 

From the start of the Keys at Key Largo all the way down to the city of Key West is a 2 lane highway. This highway is slow moving, it takes ALOT longer to get everywhere because of this highway. I highly recommend planning out your days so that you can see and do as much or little as you want.  

Things to do in the Florida Keys

KEY WEST

Southernmost Point at the corner of Whitehead St & South St in Key West

  • We went into Key West early, picked up donuts at a cute bakery named "Glazed" and then went to Nelson English Park (which has a small parking lot open to the public and free). We ate our donuts at the picnic table, kids played at the park for a bit and then we walked to the point. 
  • This spot can get busy, we got there about 9AM and it took about 10 minutes of waiting in line to get a photo.
  • This landmark notes the southernmost point in the continental United States, which is 18 feet above sea level.

Fort Zachary State Park located at 601 Howard England Way in Key West

  • This park has an entrance fee to access the beach and fort. We did not go to the fort but you can do both! You can also walk or ride your bike into the state park. 
  • It is the southernmost state park in the continental US with beautiful, clear waters.
  • There are bathrooms, benches, picnic tables along the beach area
  • Concessions and you can rent/reserve chairs with umbrellas at the shop.
  • This beach is known as Rocky beach by the locals, there isn't a lot great sand by the water but the kids still played there.
  • The beach gets very busy as the day goes on.
  • There were a lot of people snorkeling and boats coming and going to watch.

Splash pad and park near Fort Zachary State park in Key West

  • This park is located in the Truman Annex at Southwest end of Southard street. 
  • Locals told us that Coast Guard boats can dock here, however there were none when we were there.
  • You can walk around the dock.
  • Paid parking or you can walk/ride into the park.

 Mallory Square in Key West

  • This plaza located in Key West historic Old Town.
  • Each evening they have a sunset celebration at night, it gets very busy.
  • During the daytime, you can walk around and there are various arts and crafts vendors.
  • Great place to watch street performers.
  • Can take the Conch Train Tours here.

Duvall Street in Key West

  • It's a busy street with shops, bars and restaurants.
  • We walked along Duvall Street multiple times during our two-week trip in the morning and into the early afternoon. From talking to others, the street gets very busy and lively during the later afternoon and evening.

Cuban Coffee Queen on Margaret St in Key West

  • There are multiple locations for this coffee shop but if you are looking for a human-sized postcard with 'Greetings from Key West' definitely snag some amazing coffee and snap a photo

US1 -Mile Marker 0 located at 501 Whitehead St in Key West

  • Photo opportunity along the side of the road. 

The Original Key Lime Pie Bakery at 412 Greene St in Key West

  • Visit the birthplace of Key Lime Pie in 1856.
  • This shop has every kind of food possible that is Key Lime flavored!
  • We tried a chocolate covered Key Lime Pie on a stick, Key lime taffy, Key Lime suckers and Key Lime ice cream.
  • You can watch the pies being made! 
  • They also have souvenirs and various shopping items.

Southernmost Beach Cafe at 1405 Duval St in Key West

  • Although we did not eat at this cafe, we sat in the sand and played on the small beach there.
  • There are park benches and a long dock that you can walk on for photos or to watch boats.

First Flight Brewery at 301 Whitehead St in Key West

  • This was a great place for food and drinks.
  • The building is the birthplace of Pan American World Airways.
  • Pan-Am’s first tickets were sold out of this very building in 1927.
  • The have local beers and the food was delicious.
  • The courtyard where we ate is canopy-covered by palm trees.

Thai Island at 711 Eisenhower Dr in Key West

  • The restaurant is located in the upper part of the building in a marina area.
  • We saw manatees in the water there.
  • Watched local charters go in and out as we sat on the outside deck eating.
  • We love Thai food and this place was so good we have been talking about it ever since.  A must stop.  

 

ISLAMORADA

Bahia Honda State Park at 36850 Overseas Hwy in Big Pine Key

  • Entrance fee to enter the park
  • This park gets very busy and gates close at capacity
  • There are two sides of a beach to this park
  • Smaller side of the beach faces 7 mile bridge
  • Other side of the park has a larger beach area
  • Highly recommend you go up on the railroad bridge for a gorgeous view of the park
  • This state park has concessions and bathrooms
  • You can also rent kayaks
  • There were a lot of families snorkeling on the 7 mile bridge side

 

Florida Keys Brewing Co at 81611 Old Hwy in Islamorada 

  • Great brewery that also has a food truck Tacos Jalisco

Robbie's at 77522 Overseas Hwy in Islamorada 
  • This is a marina area with a restaurant
  • You can pay a fee to access the dock and feed the tarpon
  • There are fishing cruises, kayak and boat rentals from this marina
  •  We had lunch on the outside deck, watched the boats come in and out
  • The Key Lime Pie Frozen drink was delicious
  • There is also an open air market with chairs and tables to stand at
  • We enjoyed Charli's Shave Ice which is an old airstream 

Other things that were on our list but we ran out of time and will do next time:

  • Theater of the Sea
  • Alligator Reef Light House that is only accessible by boat
  • The Hemingway Home and Museum
  • Smathers Beach
  • The Key West Butterfly Conservatory
  • Key West Lighthouse
  • John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
  • Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State park
  • Turtle Hospital in Marathon