How to Spend a Port Day in Key West

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Advisor - Fora
Curated By


  • Key West

  • Florida

  • Couples Travel

  • Cruises

  • City Travel

  • Island

  • Sightseeing

  • Relaxation

Key West Lighthouse remains a historic landmark on the island.
Fora’s Take

Key West is quickly becoming a favorite port stop for many cruise lines and with all the charm and quirkiness this island city has to offer, it is no surprise. With many popular tourist destinations a short walk from the Port of Key West's Mallory Square dock, you are bound to have a fun filled day full of sites, sounds, good eats and maybe even a little pirate treasure.

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Things to do in Key West

Mallory Square is located at the waterfront of Key West harbor.

We had a great day in Key West on our recent cruise. We were onboard the Celebrity Apex, which is a beautiful ship with a lot to offer. The ship is spacious and modern, and the staff is friendly and attentive.

Mile Marker 0 - We started our day early and made our way on foot to Mile Marker 0, which is the official designation for the beginning of US Highway 1, which runs from Key West to Fort Kent, Maine. This is a popular spot for tourists to take photos and commemorate their visit to Key West.

SouthernMost Point - Next, we visited the Southernmost Point, which is just a short walk from Mile Marker 0. This is where you can get your photo taken with the famous sign that says "The southernmost point in the continental United States." Don’t have a professional photographer with you? Don’t worry, it is customary for you to take the picture of the group in front of you and then to have someone in the group behind you take a photo. Pro tip: Get here early, make this one of your first stops off the ship and you will most likely have a short wait to get your photo taken in front of this iconic landmark.

Souvenir Shopping - After that, we stopped at the Southernmost Point Store on Whitehead Street to pick up some souvenirs. We found a great Christmas tree ornament that we couldn't resist buying. The Southernmost Point Store is a popular spot for tourists to buy souvenirs, and they have a wide variety of items to choose from.

Hemingway House - We then continued walking north on Whitehead Street to visit Hemingway's House. This is the former home of Ernest Hemingway, who lived in Key West for many years. The house is now a museum and is open to the public for tours. Hemingway's House is a must-see for any fan of the author. The house is full of his belongings and memorabilia, and you can even see his cats, which are descendants of his original six-toed cats.

Key West Lighthouse - Next, we visited the Key West Lighthouse, which is the oldest standing lighthouse in the Florida Keys. The lighthouse is located on a hill overlooking the city and offers stunning views of the surrounding area. The Key West Lighthouse is a beautiful and historic landmark. The lighthouse is open to the public for tours, and you can even climb to the top for stunning views of the city.

Treasure Hunting & Art Browsing - After that, we went to Duval Street, which is the main street in Key West. Duval Street is full of shops, restaurants, and bars, so there's something for everyone. We stopped at two stores, Wyland Gallery of the Florida Keys and Shipwreck Treasures of the Keys. Wyland Gallery is a great place to see beautiful paintings of marine life, and Shipwreck Treasures of the Keys is a fun place to buy jewelry made from recovered treasure and learn about the history of shipwrecks in the area.

Mallory Square - Our last stop was a stroll to Mallory Square where we enjoyed beautiful views of the water, boats, and a great place to take a selfie in front of Celebrity Apex. Mallory Square is a popular spot for street performers, artists, and vendors. There are also beautiful views of the sunset from Mallory Square.

Places to eat & drink in Key West

No one can resist a good coffee whether cold or hot.

Cuban Coffee Queen - After lunch we got back off the ship and fueled up with coffees from Cuban Coffee Queen at their waterfront location. We got the Bucci which is a strong Cuban espresso with cane sugar and an iced Cuban caramel coffee. Both coffees were delicious and gave us the energy we needed.

Mattheeessen's Homemade - We then went to Mattheeessen's Homemade and each enjoyed a slice of key lime pie. Mattheeessen's also sells ice cream and very large cookies. Key lime pie is a delicious dessert that is made with key limes, condensed milk and eggs. It's a must-try if you're in Key West!

Advisor - Fora

The Modern Travel Agency


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For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Leah Lund’s guide, The Perfect 5-Day Key West Itinerary.

This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Florida.