Key West is best known for its historic watering holes and actively whacky nightlife–but that doesn’t mean this far-flung destination isn’t family friendly. In fact, this tropical island is full of great activities for families of all shapes and sizes whether your kids are tiny tots or full-fledged teenagers. From the dolphin safaris to fishing expeditions and relaxing harbor sails, check out these family friendly Key West activities!
#1 – Go on a dolphin safari
The waters around the Florida Keys are home to a booming population of bottlenose dolphins. You’re likely to spot these joyful creatures anytime you get out on the water, but why not take the guessing out of it with a dolphin safari? This 3-hour excursion is safe for kids of all ages and they keep the groups small so you can have an intimate experience. Not to mention, this company has its Dolphin SMART certification meaning it’s safe for both you and the dolphins.
Family friendly | Small-group tours| Food and drink included
#2 – Take the family sailing
Get out for some family fun on this afternoon half-day excursion. In addition to a beautiful performance sail, this experience includes kayaking and snorkeling in Key West National Wildlife Refuge as well as snacks, fruit, and both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Not a bad way to spend a day.
Family friendly | Food and drink included | All equipment provided
#3 – Explore Florida’s backcountry
Suited to families with older children, this kayak tour of the mangrove forest is not to be missed. The mangroves are a unique ecosystem that occur in only a few places in the world. Cruise through creeks of calm and shallow waters while the mangrove canopy hangs elegantly above you. You and your kids can expect to see tropical fish, aquatic birds, sea stars, crabs, and more. Check out Lazy Dog, an adventure company that will take you away from the Keys’ congested waterways and through the salt ponds for a truly unique Key West experience.
Children 9+ | Small-group tours | All equipment included
#4 – Enjoy a historic harbor cruise
This gentle harbor cruise is perfect for families with little kids. Lasting about an hour and a half this is a great way to get out on the water without committing to a half- or even full-day excursion. See Key West from the water on this spacious and comfortable historic Navy Liberty Launch. Previously used to shuttle sailors to and from shore, today this vessel hosts visitors and locals alike. Learn the history of this fascinating place while enjoying the sun on your face and the wind in your hair.
Family friendly | Small group tours
#5 – Hit the high seas for some family friendly fishing
Key West is known for its excellent fishing but you don’t have to go big game fishing to enjoy what’s on offer. Check out Gulfstream Fishing which takes its guests out daily. This experience is fun whether you’re a full-time fisher or breaking out the rod for the first time. You can rent your gear or bring your own and the crew will be happy to help you cast your line should you need assistance. This is bottom fishing so you can expect to catch grunts, porgies, yellowtail snapper, mangrove snapper, mutton snapper, hogfish, and mackerel.
Family friendly | Equipment for rent | Snacks for purchase
#6 – Enjoy a paddleboarding eco adventure
Kayaking can be a lot on little arms; lucky for you, there’s more than one way to explore the keys’s backcountry. Check out this paddleboarding eco tour. Paddle at a relaxing pace through the winding mangrove creeks as you explore the blue-green waters of backcountry. You’ll see fish, crabs, starfish, jellyfish, and more. Kids all ages are welcome and those who can’t paddle for themselves can ride at the front of their parents’ boards.
Family friendly | Small group tours | All equipment provided
#7 – See the key on a bicycle tour
For families with teens and preteens, get them out and active with a bicycle tour of Key West. The island is so small—you see everything in just a few hours! Visit Key West’s historic sites and then wind your way through the quaint residential areas for glimpses of the island’s truly unique architecture on this small-group bicycle tour.
Children 10+ | Small-group tours | All equipment provided
#8 – Travel up the keys
Book a small-group half-day tour up the keys with this eco tourism company. For when you and your little guys get tired of Key West, travel north to explore the lesser-known locations this part of the world is known for. Stops include Bahia Honda State Park, National Key Deer Refuge, Key Deer Safari, and Blue Hole. Expect incredible views of the keys and sightings of the endangered key deer as well as alligators, turtles, and aquatic birds.
Family friendly | Small-group tours | Food and drink provided
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