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23 EPIC Things to do in key west for Couples (Best Local Insider Tips)

things to do in key west for couples

Searching for the best ‘things to do in Key West for couples‘? Look no further! As a Florida native who’s practically got a second home in Key West (seriously, I’m breezing through the Keys at least once or twice a year), I’m your go-to guide for all things romantic and fun.

Are you planning your trip to the Florida Keys last minute?

If you are booking your trip to the Florida Keys last minute, we have you covered. Below are some of the top tours, hotels, and more!

⭐Top Experiences and Tours in the Florida Keys:

  1. Snorkel Adventure and Sandbar (the top seller!)
  2. 1.5 Hour Waverunner Tour (Highly rated!)
  3. Sunset Cruise from Cheeca Resort (Gorgeous Photos!)
  4. Glassbottom Boat Tour (So popular!)
  5. Key West Sunset Sail & Full Bar (Live music too!)
  6. Key West Shark Adventure (For adrenaline junkies)

🛌  Top Hotels in the Florida Keys:

  1. The Capitana Key West (Key West)
  2. Tranquility Bay (Middle Keys)
  3. Bakers Cay Resort (Upper Keys)

🚗  Looking for the best way to get around the Florida Keys? Click here to check rental car rates for Florida!

Just Imagine: You and your other half, aboard a dreamy catamaran, toasting to the golden sunset. Got an adventurous side? Dive into the shimmering waters for some snorkeling or take a kayak duo-adventure. And if you’re in the mood for some serene romance? The botanical gardens and butterfly conservatory are pure magic.

I know Key West is filled with things to do and it’s hard to pick the best for your trip. But don’t worry! I’ve sifted through and picked the crème de la crème for you.

Whether you’re all about the thrills or just want to chill, I’ve got the perfect Key West couple’s guide ready. So, lace up those adventure shoes (or flip-flops), and let’s dive into romance, Key West style!

Experiencing Key West’s Natural Beauty

things to do in key west for couples: butterfly garden

If you and your partner are nature enthusiasts, Key West has plenty of options for you. From turquoise waters to colorful coral reefs, tropical trees to beautiful birds, you’ll find a variety of natural beauty in Key West that will leave you mesmerized.

Dry Tortugas National Park

Dry Tortugas National Park is a must-visit destination for nature lovers. It’s a remote island located 70 miles west of Key West, accessible only by seaplane or ferry. The park is home to crystal-clear waters, coral reefs, and an array of marine life. You can explore the island’s historic Fort Jefferson, snorkel in the clear waters, or simply relax on the beach.

Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory

The Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory is a magical place to visit with your partner. You’ll be surrounded by hundreds of butterflies as you walk through the conservatory’s lush gardens. You’ll also see exotic birds and flamingos as you explore the conservatory’s tropical paradise.

Smathers Beach

Smathers Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Key West. It’s a perfect spot to relax with your partner, soak up the sun, and enjoy the turquoise waters. You can rent beach chairs and umbrellas, go for a swim, or take a walk along the beach.

Key West Water Activities for Couples

two person riding parachute near beach

When it comes to water activities in Key West, there are plenty of options for couples to enjoy together. Whether you’re looking for a romantic boat ride to Cuba or an adventurous snorkeling trip in the Gulf of Mexico, there’s something for everyone. Here are some of the top water activities for couples in Key West.

Boat Ride to Cuba

I bet you’re suprised about this one! But you CAN take a boat ride to Cuba and experience the beauty of the Atlantic Ocean. You’ll get to see the clear waters and coral reefs up close, and maybe even spot some stingrays or tarpon along the way. There are several companies that offer boat rides to Cuba, so you can choose the one that best fits your budget and preferences.

Local Tip: While there are several operators offering boat rides to Cuba, always check the current U.S.-Cuba travel regulations before planning your trip. Some locals recommend combining the boat ride with a cultural tour to get the most out of your Cuban experience.


Soar high above the waters and enjoy a bird’s-eye view of Key West. Feel the thrill as you glide through the air, hand in hand, with the vast ocean beneath you. It’s an experience that combines romance with adventure, making it a must-try for couples.

Local Tip: For the best views, try parasailing around sunset. The skies are painted with colors, and the waters reflect the golden hues. Some local operators might even offer a slight discount during off-peak hours.

Sunset Cruises

End your day with a romantic sunset cruise. Sip on cocktails, listen to live music, and watch as the sun paints the sky in hues of orange and pink. It’s the perfect way to wrap up a day of adventure. Book this REALLY POPULAR SUNSET CRUISE in Key West for an amazing time!

Kayaking & Paddleboarding

Navigate the serene waters of Key West side by side in a kayak or on paddleboards. Explore mangroves, spot marine life, and enjoy the tranquility of the ocean.

Local Tip: The backcountry waters and mangroves are a local favorite for kayaking. If you’re lucky, you might spot some Key deer on the smaller islands. Also, consider joining a guided eco-tour to learn more about the local ecosystem.

Jet Skiing

For those seeking a bit more speed and excitement, jet skiing offers an exhilarating ride across the waters. Race each other or simply enjoy the thrill of skimming across the waves. Book this jet ski tour (it offers free second rider)


Key West, with its crystal-clear waters and vibrant marine life, offers couples a unique underwater adventure. Snorkeling here isn’t just about exploring the ocean; it’s about creating unforgettable memories with your significant other. Dive hand in hand into the mesmerizing world beneath the waves and discover the treasures of the Gulf of Mexico together.

What can you expect?

  • Vibrant Marine Life: From playful parrotfish to graceful sea turtles, the waters around Key West are teeming with life. Swim alongside schools of colorful fish and watch as they dart in and out of the intricate coral formations.
  • Stunning Coral Reefs: The coral gardens beneath the waves are nothing short of breathtaking. With a spectrum of colors and a variety of shapes and sizes, these natural wonders are a sight to behold.

Top Snorkeling Spots for Couples:

  • Dry Tortugas National Park: A remote paradise located about 70 miles from Key West, this national park boasts pristine waters and vibrant coral reefs. It’s a haven for marine life and offers couples a secluded snorkeling experience.
  • Vandenberg Wreck: Dive into history as you explore the sunken USNS General Hoyt S. Vandenberg. This artificial reef has become a sanctuary for marine life and offers snorkelers a unique blend of history and natural beauty.
  • Cottrell Key: Located 9 miles northwest of Key West, this spot is known for its unique sponge garden and expansive coral reefs. It’s a fantastic place to spot dolphins, sharks, stingrays, and even Goliath groupers. The area is accessible only by boat, making it a serene and less crowded spot for snorkeling.
  • Higgs Beach: Perfect for those who prefer snorkeling without a boat. This beach is known for its underwater marine park filled with coral reefs, marine life, and various coral species. It’s a great spot for beginners and families.
  • Little Africa Reef – Loggerhead Key: This untouched reef on the north side of Loggerhead Key offers a calm and shallow snorkeling experience. It’s home to various soft and hard corals as well as juvenile fish species.
  • Avanti Dutch Wreck: Located in Dry Tortugas, this wreck offers an exciting snorkeling experience. Parts of the wreck are exposed at low tide, and it’s surrounded by healthy corals that attract a variety of marine life.
  • Marquesas Keys: A chain of 10 uninhabited islands west of Key West, this spot is known for its untouched reefs with large coral formations and clear waters. It’s a popular spot for both diving and snorkeling.
  • Sambo Reef: Often considered one of the best snorkeling sites in Key West, the Sambo Reef System includes three large reef structures. The Western reef is particularly suitable for snorkeling with its shallow waters.
  • Rock Key: Located a little east of Sand Key Reef, Rock Key is part of the Sanctuary Preservation Area and offers a rich snorkeling experience. Expect to see a variety of marine life, including morays, groupers, and octopus.
  • Sand Key Lighthouse Reef: Located seven miles south of Key West, this protected area is a favorite among snorkeling enthusiasts. The area around the lighthouse offers varying snorkeling depths and is home to a variety of marine life.

With so many options available, couples can choose from a range of snorkeling experiences, from exploring shipwrecks to swimming alongside vibrant marine life in the coral gardens. Each spot offers a unique underwater adventure, ensuring that your trip to Key West will be unforgettable.

Scuba Diving at Fort Jefferson

two people scuba diving underwater

Ready to take your underwater adventures to the next level? Dive deep into the world of scuba diving at Fort Jefferson. Nestled within the Dry Tortugas National Park, this historic fort isn’t just a testament to time; it’s a marine haven waiting to be explored.

Why Fort Jefferson?

  • Historical Depths: Dive into history as you navigate the waters around this iconic fort. It’s not every day you get to combine a history lesson with a diving adventure!
  • Vibrant Marine Life: From the graceful glide of sea turtles to the swift movements of barracudas, the waters around Fort Jefferson are teeming with life. It’s like diving into a live documentary!

How to Dive In:

  • Guided Tours: New to scuba diving or just want some expert guidance? Local companies offer guided tours, ensuring you get the most out of your diving experience.
  • DIY Exploration: For the seasoned divers or those who love a bit of independence, rent your equipment and chart your own underwater journey.

More Water Adventures in Key West: Key West isn’t just about diving or snorkeling; it’s a water lover’s paradise:

  • Romantic Boat Rides: Sail into the sunset with your loved one, feeling the ocean breeze and soaking in the views.
  • Adventurous Snorkeling: Dive into the shallow waters and explore the vibrant coral reefs and marine life.

Explore Key West’s Historic Sites

If you and your significant other are history buffs, Key West has plenty of historic sites to explore. From the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum to the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum, there’s something for everyone.

Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum

The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum is a must-visit for any literature lover. This beautiful property was once home to the famous author and his family. You can take a guided tour of the house and grounds, which includes a look at Hemingway’s writing studio and the famous six-toed cats that still roam the property.

Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park

Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park is a great place to explore if you’re interested in military history. This fort was built in the mid-1800s and played a crucial role in the Civil War. Today, you can take a tour of the fort and learn about its history. The park also has a beautiful beach where you can relax and soak up the sun.

Harry S. Truman’s Little White House

The Harry S. Truman Little White House is another historic site that’s worth a visit. This property was once used as a winter retreat by President Truman and has since been turned into a museum. You can take a guided tour of the house and learn about Truman’s life and presidency.

Mel Fisher Maritime Museum

The Mel Fisher Maritime Museum is a great place to visit if you’re interested in shipwrecks and treasure hunting. The museum has a large collection of artifacts from shipwrecks off the coast of Key West, including the famous Atocha treasure. You can take a guided tour of the museum and learn about the history of these sunken ships.

Exploring Key West’s Unique Culture

When it comes to experiencing the unique culture of Key West with your significant other, there are several must-visit places that you don’t want to miss. From the vibrant Mallory Square to the historic Duval Street and the picturesque Writer’s Cottage Tour, Key West offers so many options for couples to explore and immerse themselves in the local culture.

Visit to Mallory Square

Mallory Square is a prime spot for couples to witness the breathtaking sunsets that Key West is known for. It’s a lively area filled with street performers, vendors, and musicians, making it a great place to soak in the vibrant energy of the city. You can also visit the Key West Aquarium, West Shipwreck Treasure Museum, and the Harry S. Truman Little White House, which are all located in the Front Street Depot nearby.

Experience at Duval Street

Duval Street is another must-visit destination for couples in Key West. It’s a vibrant street lined with shops, restaurants, and bars, offering a wide range of experiences for couples to enjoy. You can take a stroll down the street, enjoy some live music at the Little Room Jazz Club, or sample some of the local delicacies such as the famous Key Lime Pie or the succulent lobster dishes.

Writer’s Cottage Tour

For couples who are interested in literature, the Writer’s Cottage Tour is a must-visit experience in Key West. The tour takes you through the former home of Ernest Hemingway, where he wrote some of his most famous works. You can also visit the Key West First Legal Rum Distillery, which is located nearby and offers a unique insight into the history of rum production in the Caribbean.

Romantic Activities for Couples

Are you looking for some romantic things to do in Key West with your significant other? Look no further! Key West has plenty of activities that are perfect for couples. Here are three romantic activities that are sure to make your time in Key West unforgettable.

Couples Massage

Relax and unwind with your partner during a couples massage. There are many spas in Key West that offer couples massages, including Ocean Wellness Spa and SpaTerre at Sunset Key Cottages. Enjoy a side-by-side massage with your loved one and let the stress of everyday life melt away. You’ll leave feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

Picnic at Sunset

There’s nothing more romantic than a picnic at sunset. Key West has plenty of beautiful spots to enjoy a picnic with your partner, such as Fort Zachary Taylor State Park or Higgs Beach. Pack a basket with your favorite snacks and a bottle of wine, and watch the sun dip below the horizon. It’s the perfect way to end a day in paradise.

Romantic Getaway

Escape to Key West for a romantic getaway with your significant other. Stay at one of the many romantic hotels in Key West, such as The Marker Waterfront Resort or The Gardens Hotel. Take a sunset sail on a schooner or enjoy a romantic dinner at Better Than Sex, a dessert restaurant that’s perfect for couples. Key West is the perfect destination for a romantic getaway that you’ll never forget.

Things to Do in Key West for Couples at Night

When the sun dips below the horizon in Key West, the island comes alive with a different kind of magic. The vibrant nightlife offers couples a chance to explore the city’s unique charm after dark. Whether you’re looking for a romantic evening or a night filled with excitement, Key West has something to offer.

Romantic Strolls and Sunset Views:

  • Mallory Square Sunset Celebration: Join the locals and tourists alike at Mallory Square for a nightly celebration of the sunset. Street performers, artists, and food vendors create a festive atmosphere as you watch the sun melt into the ocean.
  • Stroll Along Duval Street: Wander hand in hand down the famous Duval Street, exploring the unique shops, bars, and restaurants. Don’t miss the chance to snap a photo at the Southernmost Point Buoy!

Dining and Drinks:

  • Waterfront Dining: Enjoy a candlelit dinner at one of Key West’s waterfront restaurants. The sound of the waves and the twinkling stars create the perfect romantic setting.
  • Taste the Local Flavor: From fresh seafood to Key Lime Pie, indulge in the local cuisine. Pair it with a cocktail from one of the famous bars like Sloppy Joe’s or Captain Tony’s Saloon.
  • Book a Dinner Cruise: What better way to enjoy a romantic dinner then by boat overlooking the beautiful waters of Key West – we highly recommend this Key West Dinner Cruise!

Music and Entertainment:

  • Live Music Venues: Key West is known for its live music scene. Find a cozy spot in a local bar or music venue and enjoy everything from jazz to reggae.
  • Ghost Tours: For adventurous couples, take a guided ghost tour and explore the haunted history of Key West. It’s a thrilling way to see the city!

Under the Stars:

  • Stargazing on the Beach: Lay out a blanket on one of Key West’s beautiful beaches and gaze at the stars. The gentle sound of the waves adds to the tranquility of the night.
  • Night Kayaking or Paddleboarding: Experience the waters in a whole new way with a guided night kayaking or paddleboarding tour. The bioluminescent organisms in the water create a surreal and magical experience.

Key West’s nightlife is as diverse and colorful as its daytime attractions. From romantic dinners to thrilling ghost tours, the island offers couples a chance to connect and have fun in a unique setting. So, when the sun goes down, let Key West’s nighttime magic sweep you off your feet!

Where to Stay in Key West for Couples: Romantic Retreats in Paradise

Finding the perfect place to rest your head after a day of exploring is crucial, especially when you’re looking for that romantic ambiance. Key West, with its blend of historic charm and tropical allure, offers a range of accommodations that cater specifically to couples. Whether you’re seeking luxury or a cozy hideaway, here are some top picks for couples:

Luxury Resorts and Boutique Hotels:

  • Ocean Key Resort & Spa: Overlooking the sunset at Mallory Square, this resort offers luxurious rooms, a spa, and fine dining, ensuring a romantic getaway.
  • The Gardens Hotel: Nestled in a lush, tropical setting, this boutique hotel offers intimate rooms and a wine gallery, making it perfect for wine-loving couples.

Historic Bed & Breakfasts:

  • The Mermaid & The Alligator: This B&B, set in a 1904 Victorian mansion, offers a blend of historic charm and modern amenities. The garden and pool area provide a serene setting for relaxation.
  • Artist House: A beautifully restored Victorian mansion, this B&B is famous for its history and ghost stories. It’s perfect for couples looking for a mix of romance and adventure.

Secluded Guesthouses and Inns:

  • Azul Key West: An adult-only retreat, Azul offers a tranquil environment with its modern design and relaxing pool area.
  • Ambrosia Key West: Tucked away in the heart of Old Town, this tropical guesthouse offers a mix of rooms and suites, all centered around a series of gardens and dipping pools.

Private Vacation Rentals:

  • Historic Key West Vacation Rentals: For couples who prefer a home-away-from-home experience, these rentals offer a range of historic homes that have been modernized for comfort.
  • Key West Hideaways: Offering cottages, suites, and vacation homes, this option is perfect for couples seeking privacy and the comforts of home.

Eco-Friendly Stays:

  • Ibis Bay Beach Resort: For the environmentally-conscious couple, this resort offers eco-tours, paddleboarding, and a range of activities that connect you with nature.

Practical Information

Parking and Transportation

Key West is a small island, so walking or biking is the best way to get around. If you’re driving, parking can be a challenge, especially in the busy tourist areas. The Southernmost Point and nearby attractions have limited street parking, and the closest parking lot is about a 10-minute walk away. Keep in mind that traffic can be heavy during peak tourist season, so plan accordingly.

If you’re looking for a more convenient option, consider renting a bike. Many rental shops offer hourly, daily, and weekly rates, and biking is a great way to explore the island at your own pace.

Admission Tickets

Most of the attractions in Key West require admission tickets, so it’s a good idea to plan ahead and purchase tickets online. This can save you time and hassle, especially during peak tourist season when lines can be long.

The Southernmost Point buoy is a popular attraction that is free to visit, but be prepared for crowds and long lines for photos. Other attractions, such as the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, have admission fees that vary by age and group size.

When purchasing admission tickets, make sure to read the fine print and understand any restrictions or guidelines. Some attractions may have limited hours or require reservations in advance.

Final Thoughts: things to do in Key West for couples

In conclusion, Key West is a city that is rich in culture and experiences for couples to enjoy. Whether you’re interested in sightseeing, exploring the local culture, or indulging in some of the local delicacies, Key West has something for everyone. You can also check out Viator and TripAdvisor for more ideas and recommendations on how to make the most of your time in this vibrant city.

Frequently Asked Questions: things to do in Key West for couples

What are some romantic places to stay in Key West?

Key West has plenty of romantic places to stay. If you’re looking for a luxurious experience, you might want to check out The Reach Resort or Casa Marina Resort. For a more intimate and cozy experience, you might want to consider staying at The Gardens Hotel or The Marquesa Hotel.

Is Key West a good place for couples?

Yes, Key West is a great place for couples. With its beautiful beaches, romantic sunsets, and charming atmosphere, Key West offers plenty of opportunities for couples to relax and have fun together.

What part of Florida Keys is best for couples?

If you’re looking for the best part of the Florida Keys for couples, you might want to consider Key West. With its historic architecture, lively nightlife, and beautiful beaches, Key West offers plenty of opportunities for couples to have a romantic and memorable vacation.

How many nights should I stay in Key West?

The number of nights you should stay in Key West depends on your preferences and the activities you want to do. If you want to explore the island and enjoy all it has to offer, you might want to stay for at least three to four nights. However, if you’re short on time, you could still have a great time in Key West with just a two-night stay.

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