Welcome to Lower Keys & Key West
Island oases drenched in heritage and subtropical charm
Dazzling palm tree-lined streets strewn with gingerbread mansions and pastel-hued conch houses dominate Key West’s scenery, perched on the southernmost point of the Florida Keys chain. Its neighbor, the Lower Keys, straddles several small islands in an enclave famed for its dedication to preserving wildlife and natural areas, endowing residents with parks, beautiful beaches, marine sanctuaries, and eclectic attractions to explore.
The Key West’s arts and culture scene flourishes with vibrancy, local festivals, and prestigious museums making it a magnet for artists and diverse crowds. Easily accessible from the mainland via the scenic US 1 Highway, and packed full of fascinating restaurants, sidewalk cafes, performing arts venues, and legendary pubs, these island destinations bring more than just their beaches to the table! Soak up in subtropical sunshine and explore abundant activities to thrill you to bits.
What to Love
- Cultural diversity
- Pristine white-sand beaches
- The National Key Deer Refuge
- Annual Underwater Music Festival
- Shrimping industry hub
- Vibrant, inclusive community with a rich heritage
- Lively culture
Striking a charming balance between the urban and suburban, while tucked away from the frenzy of big city life, the Lower Keys and Key West exude a homey feel with enough culture and warmth to entice diverse crowds. Families seeking quality bonding time outdoors and in the ocean will find these localities a great place to set roots. Graceful vibrancy enriches the atmosphere and fun-seekers will find thrill at every turn.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
Plenty of treasures fleck the charming side streets of the Key West & Lower Keys, displaying boho-chic apparel and name-brand accessories, books, and beach-style hats among other things. Begin your shopping spree with a stop at The Green Pineapple, where trendy boutique finds will have you enticed. Adjoined is a quaint yoga studio and spa for a bit of meditation and massage, after which you can head on over to Peppers of Key West to sample different chili sauces and determine your tongue’s tolerance. Another hot spot for home decor is Soul House where you will find attractive home furniture, gifts, and accessories.
A short ferry ride will take you to Sunset Key, there you will find the upscale Latitudes, known for its incredible menu of fresh starters, wholesome entrees, and cocktails enjoyed on the island's edge overlooking the glittering sea. The heavenly ambiance makes this restaurant the perfect spot for a romantic date with your partner. At Santiago’s Bodega, continental small plates with house-made sangria and deserts bring the subtropical island vibes to your appetite with specials like spicy shrimp bisque, pelite-rack lamb, and dates stuffed with goat cheese. Savor slow-roasted prime ribs and wine at the sophisticated Tavern N’ town.
Things to Do
Warm beaches, dreamy historic attractions, and spectacular views make Key West the idyllic vacation destination spot for many. Whether you want to walk hand in hand with your partner at sunset, stroll the gardens around the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum—a massive, Spanish Colonial-style mansion draped in tropical flora, or walk into the Harry S. Truman Little White House, an iconic building used till today as a retreat and business venue for country leaders while being open to the public as a museum.
Step out to the Bahia Honda State Park, with a dazzling stretch of white-sand beach offering kayak rentals and snorkeling tours to the marine sanctuary plus a scenic hike to the railway bridge. Dry Tortugas National Park, a unique eco-attraction, comprises seven islands and protected coral reefs with the historic Fort Jefferson. This park is an especially popular spot for those looking to snorkel in the clear water. Trips to the park can be taken by Seaplane Adventure or https://www.drytortugas.com/key-west-ferry/. Join in on the fun and wild extravaganza of Fantasy Fest filled with colorful parades, creative costumes, libations, and more! Last but not least, a MUST see is the world-famous Sunset Celebration in Mallory Square featuring amazing performers and of course the most beautiful sunset you will ever see!
The Lower Keys and Key West are served by the Monroe County School District, home to highly acclaimed schools. Some of the area’s top educational institutions include: