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How to spend 5 Hours in Key West: Day Trip on Key West Express

Updated: Jun 15, 2023

Our recent trip aboard the Key West Express, departing from Fort Myers, left us in awe of the incredible experience it offered. As travelers seeking convenience and hassle-free adventures, we were pleasantly surprised by the seamless journey that spared us the lengthy drive to Key West. Join us as we share our experience aboard the Key West Express and explore the perks of choosing this extraordinary mode of transportation.

(This trip was hosted by Key West Express)

For more information and to book your trip, click this link here: https://www.keywestexpress.net



Boarding and Setting Sail

Once aboard, we wasted no time exploring the boat. The boat has four decks. Two of these decks were located outside and provided additional seating for guests. There was plenty of seating available and I highly recommended that you arrive early to secure a table especially if you are traveling with a group. Fort Myers Beach is still in the process of rebuilding after Hurricane Ian and greatly relies on our support to promote local businesses in the area. The crew members were beyond friendly and attentive, consistently providing exceptional service. Onboard, there was a bar and food stand offering a limited selection of refreshments and food.



Ready for an Adventure!

It was nice not having to focus on driving directions or traffic congestion, we had the luxury of dedicating our time to relaxation and exploring. Whether it was lounging on the deck and enjoying the warm ocean breeze, enjoying a book, or engaging in conversations with fellow travelers, it felt like a mini-vacation in itself. This allowed us to recharge and embrace the upcoming adventures that awaited us in Key West. I should mention that we left the children at home with their grandparents. We took full advantage of our kid free day!



Arriving in Key West: Everything we did in 5 Hours

While organizing this day trip, I struggled to find a blog post detailing how to make the most of just 5 hours in Key West. With such a limited time frame, I was determined to find fun things to do around Key West. We were so blown away at all we did and saw! We walked and really wished we rented bikes. Here is everything Michael and I did:


1. Southernmost Point

As we headed to our first stop, we were worried there would be a long line. We saw this inflatable replica of the southernmost point and took a picture with it just incase the line was too long. The Southernmost Point is a famous landmark and it marks the southernmost tip of the continental United States, just 90 miles from Cuba. It is also a symbol of the vibrant and diverse culture found in the southernmost city of the United States. Did you even go to Key West if you didn't get a picture with the bouy? haha! This is a must do!


2. Find the Mile Marker 0 Sign

The Mile Marker 0 holds a special significance in Key West. It marks the starting point of the famous U.S. Route 1, which stretches all the way to Maine. It serves as a reminder of the adventurous spirit and endless possibilities that lie ahead for those embarking on a road trip along the eastern coast of the United States.


3. The Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory (hosted)

As you step into the conservatory, you'll find yourself surrounded by lush tropical gardens and a vibrant array of fluttering butterflies from around the world. The conservatory's serene atmosphere provides a tranquil retreat where you can enjoy the beauty of these delicate creatures while learning about their life cycles and habitats. It's truly a magical place that allows you to connect with nature and witness the captivating dance of butterflies in their natural habitat. Find out more here: https://keywestbutterfly.com




4. Hemingway House Tour

Built in 1851, served as Hemingway's home from 1931 to 1939. The house is known for its distinctive architecture, lush gardens, and a notable population of polydactyl (six-toed) cats, descendants of Hemingway's cat. You'll get a glimpse into the life and writing legacy of one of the most influential authors of the 20th century. Find out more here: https://www.hemingwayhome.com




5. Key West Lighthouse

Unfortunately, we were unable to take a tour as the lighthouse was closed for construction. However, if you're planning a visit to the Hemingway house, you'll be pleased to know that the lighthouse is conveniently located just across from it. Find out more: https://www.kwahs.org/museums/lighthouse-keepers-quarters/visit


5. Fat Tuesday

A popular drink destination in Key West, known for its vibrant atmosphere and refreshing frozen drinks. It is located in the heart of Duval Street and they offer a wide variety of flavorful and colorful concoctions, perfect for beating the tropical heat. I had the Pink Panties and Michael had Miami Vice. This was highly recommended to us and I can see why. The drinks were dangerously good!

  • 305 Duval St Key West, FL 33040


6. El Meson De Pepe

Another highly recommend place for authentic Cuban food. Michael and I both had a steak sandwich and it was delicious. They serve the best mojitos here!

  • 410 Wall St, Key West, FL 33040


7. Capt Tony's Saloon

A historic and iconic bar that holds a significant place in the city's history, as it was originally the first location of Sloppy Joe's Bar, where author Ernest Hemingway was known to frequent. The bar later changed its name to Captain Tony's Saloon, named after its owner, Captain Tony Tarracino. With its rustic atmosphere, lively music, and walls adorned with memorabilia, Captain Tony's Saloon continues to be a popular spot for locals and tourists. It also has a VERY dark past! In the 1850s it was once a Ice House and Morgue. Theres also a tree in the middle of the bar that was used for public executions back in the day. You'll find two tombstones in there too.



8. Mallory Square

Last and final stop on the 5th hour. Famous for their Sunset Celebration with street performers, artists, and food vendors, creating a festive and energetic atmosphere for visitors to enjoy. We toured the shops and in that same area is the shipwreck museum and the aquarium. If you have never been to the keys and want to learn some history, take the conch tour train! Find out more here: https://www.mallorysquare.com

Traveling with kids to Key West

If you're traveling with kids to Key West, check out this blog post from Adventure Seeking Mom for the best recommendations: https://adventureseekingmom.com/key-west-with-kids-best-things-to-do/

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Something to keep in mind if you have never been to Key West before. There are a lot of bars! Duval Street is a hot spot for barhopping. During the day it is fine but at night its party time.

Catching Sunset on the way back to Fort Myers

The Key West Express exceeded our expectations and we just loved the convenience and hassle free. So, the next time you plan a trip to Key West, allow yourself to be swept away by the convenience and wonder of the Key West Express, a remarkable voyage that turns the journey itself into an unforgettable part of the adventure.



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