Attractions in Key West
Aquarium Key West
Built in 1934, the Aquarium Key West was the first open air aquarium of its kind. Although the aquarium's design was changed in 1945 to be more enclosed and utilize alternative light sources, it's still one of the most unique aquariums in the country. It houses multiple species native to the Key West area, including tropical fish, sharks, rays, and turtles. Aquarium Key West is intimately interested in conservationism, and its hands-on displays help to increase both awareness and compassion for visitors. Children especially will enjoy the ability to feed and pet marine animals like sharks, hermit crabs, starfish and more.
Key West Museum of Art and History
The Key West Museum of Art and History documents life and culture in Key West, from pirates to politicians. The main premises of the museum is located in the Custom House, which historically served as a court, post office and government center. Visitors can learn about famous Key West personalities, including Ernest Hemingway and Mario Sanchez. Nearby, visitors can visit a fully restored lighthouse and Martello watchtower and gardens.
Ripley's Believe it or Not! Museum
For visitors looking for something truly strange and unique, the Ripley's Believe it or Not! museum offers over 500 exhibits of the bizarre and unusual. The original founder, Robert Ripley, traveled the world in search of oddities, and the original collection expanded over time to fill 13 separate themed exhibits. The museum's exhibits range from natural oddities like a white buffalo to feats of engineering like the vortex chamber.
Open for more than 70 years, the Waterfront Playhouse has been voted Best Professional Theatre in Florida by Florida Monthly Magazine. The shows are constantly changing, so there's always something new for visitors to see and enjoy. The non-profit theater operates largely on donations and seats just 150 people for an intimate experience of Key West culture.
Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory
Voted the number one attraction in Key West for the past four years, the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory houses hundreds of butterflies and exotic birds from around the world. The carefully constructed habitats are climate-controlled and filled with lush tropical vegetation and stunning wildlife. In addition to self-guided tours of the exhibits and plenty of photo opportunities, the conservatory offers brief educational videos and a hands-on learning center. When you've finished, you can browse the extensive gift shop for some unique keepsakes.