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Things to Do in Key West on a Cruise

If you are cruising to Cuba, planning a Bahamas cruise, or sailing on a Caribbean cruise, a port stop in Key West may just be one of the highlights in your itinerary. Charming, quaint, captivating, and sometimes quirky, Key West is everything a cruiser could want in a cruise destination, and more. 

Laid-back island life mixed with a carefree atmosphere paint the picture of Key West. It’s the southernmost city in the continental United States, and with the unique title comes a culture all its own.  You will find so many great things to do on a cruise to Key West.  Below are some recommendations for top things to do in Key West on a cruise vacation.

#1. Southernmost Point Buoy

No trip to Key West is complete without a photo beside the iconic red, yellow, and black striped buoy that marks the spot of the southernmost point in the continental United States. From where you stand, it’s only 90 miles to Cuba. (Also, did you know you can cruise to Cuba now?)

Explore Colorful Key West Cottages on a Cruise

#2. Duval Street

Duval Street is the place to be when it comes to shopping in Key West. Considered the main street in Key West, Duval is lined with boutiques and galleries for browsing.  One block southwest is Key West’s Lighthouse which was built in 1825.  Lovely and scenic views can be seen from the top, but you’ll have to climb 88 steps to get there.  You can do it!

#3. Key West Shipwreck Treasures Museum

Don't miss the opportunity to pillage and plunder the Key West Shipwreck Treasures Museum.  The Museum is home to many shipwreck artifacts, including many items from the Isaac Allerton vessel (one of the richest shipwrecked discoveries in Key West).  A trip to this museum is a treasure in itself.

Visit Mallory Square in Key West on a Cruise

#4. Mallory Square

One of the best attractions in Key West lies in Mallory Square: the Key West Aquarium.  Sea turtles, sharks, starfish, and stingrays are among the underwater creatures that you will see here, along with the mysterious (and a little scary) giant isopod.  Once you've toured the aquarium, head North on Front Street for a couple hundred feet to visit the world famous Hog's Breath Saloon.  Sloppy Joe's and Captain Tony's Saloon are also nearby and all within walking distance of one another.

#5. Hemingway’s Home and Museum

Many famous people have called Key West “home.”  Ernest Hemingway is among those, having lived there from 1931 to 1939.   The author wrote several short stories and novels while living in his Key West home.  You can now tour his home, which is a National Landmark.  Norwegian offers an excursion that tours Ernest Hemingway’s home with a trip to Sloppy Joe’s.  

Visit the Ernest Hemingway Home on a Cruise to Key West

With so much to do and see, you'll deserve a treat when your day is done.  So before leaving the Conch Republic, you must try a slice of Key Lime Pie.  Said to have originated in Key West, the tart and tangy treat is sure to wake up your taste buds. 

From treats to tours, Key West’s vibrant yet laid-back atmosphere is a perfect destination for cruisers who love the island life. For even more activities, see Norwegian’s full list of Key West Shore Excursions.

Have you cruised to Key West before? What were some of your favorite activities?