One of the many mottos of Key West is to Come As You Are, and once you step foot on this tiny island, you feel at home almost immediately. The lackadaisical island feel lulls you into a relaxed mood, the azure seas, the humid Caribbean breezes, the sumptuous cuisine and quaint seaside lifestyle all serves to put your mind at ease. There are as many Key West activities that will get the heart pumping as there ones that will slow it right down. And for anyone on a budget, worrying about forking out your hard earned dollars while you’re on vacation is not exactly soothing is it? Here are a handful of affordable Key West activities that will allow you to enjoy all that the region has to offer, without breaking the bank while you enjoy them!
Mel Fisher Maritime Museum
How many activities in your own hometown can you think of, cost less than $15? Probably not very many, especially if you come from a big city. Here, many of the Key West activities are wonderfully affordable because they want everyone to have the opportunity to enjoy them. The Mel Fisher Maritime Museum is a perfect escape for anyone with an inner pirate! With the largest and richest 17th century shipwreck and pirate artifact collection in the world world, this museum experience is a steal! With over $20 million in treasure, including authentic gold and silver bars and coins. Several exhibits also feature the Age of Discovery and includes information and exhibits on four of the most prominent ships of that time. The museum is open daily, year round.
Audubon House and Tropical Gardens
Take a step back in time to the excitement of the Nineteenth Century on a tour through a beautiful, fully restored mansion, teeming with furniture and artwork from the time period. History enthusiasts will love pouring over the artwork, and naturalists will love to take a stroll through the impressive tropical garden. Amazingly, the Audubon mansion was in line for demolition in the late 1950’s, and thankfully, the Mitchell Wolfson Family Foundation didn’t have the heart to see it ago. They rescued it, invested in it and today it stands as an important part of the Key West historical landscape.
Key West Aquarium
Not everyone who comes to Key West has designs on hopping a boat to the surrounding coral reefs, diving and snorkeling are not Key West activities for everyone. And if you are traveling with very small children, sometimes heading out on an ocean excursion simply isn’t feasible, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have the opportunity to learn and enjoy the local marine life. The Key West Aquarium is home to a wonderful selection of localized fish species including morays, toothy barracuda, parrot fish, large tarpon, sharks and more! Time it right, and you will see the daily feedings of sea turtles, rays and most exciting, sharks!
Conch Train Tour
If you’ve just arrived in Key West and you want to orient yourself, just hop aboard one of the popular Conch Train Tours. The railroad arrived in 1912, introduced by Henry Flagler. Hailed as a ‘ride through time’, the experienced train conductor will tell you all about Key West in its glory days when the likes of Ernest Hemingway, President Harry S. Truman, Eisenhower and various celebrities came to Key West for sun, surf and sumptuous cocktails.
There are several affordable Key West activities, this is but a small sampling to whet your vacation appetite. Key West, while it is certainly home to impressive opulence, in spite of its incredible location, it is still a wonderfully affordable city that provides visitors with an abundance of fun, without them having to break the bank.