Family-Friendly Key West
Ready for the best. family. vacation. ever? It’s the inspiration your family will find in the things to see and do in Key West that makes our island town feel like the ultimate playground. Whatever your brood is into (animals, outdoors, food, adventure, discovery), there are plenty of family-friendly things to do in Key West.
Fun Ways to Get Around
Sure Key West is walkable, and The Gates Hotel offers air-conditioned shuttle services to Old Town, but this is vacation! The kids will love zooming around town on a scooter, e-car, or golf cart, of which the island offers many rental agencies. Simply visit us at the Concierge Desk and we’ll set you up with your ride. You can also hop aboard the Old Town Trolley or the Conch Town Train for a conch’s eye view of Key West attractions.
Hang with Animals
Get up close to animals at attractions like the Key West Aquarium, Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, Nancy’s Secret Garden, and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Petting Zoo. To see the wild creatures that call Key West home, we suggest snorkeling for a chance to spot tropical fish and green sea turtles. On land, a walk along the Historic Seaport boardwalk will give you excellent views of tarpon (and sometimes bull sharks!) lurking underwater waiting for fishermen’s scraps. Of course, hens and roosters famously roam the streets of the island, and you may even see an iguana basking in the sun.
If there is one thing a teen loves, it's their phone. Take some time to discover Key West’s social media-worthy spots. We recommend Mile Marker ‘0’, the Southernmost Point Buoy, Key West Lighthouse, Mallory Square Sunset Celebration, and the giant kapok tree outside the Monroe County Courthouse on Whitehead Street. Another unique photo spot is the ‘Greetings from Key West Florida’ at Cuban Coffee Queen on Margaret Street.
Get in the Water
The waters surrounding Key West are an inherent part of the island lifestyle, so what better way to enjoy your time than by taking a dip? Bring the family to Fort Zachary, Smathers Beach, or Higgs Beach. Make a day of it and try a fun water activity like jet skiing, snorkeling, or kayaking, book an excursion aboard the Fury catamaran, or take the 70-mile sail to Dry Tortugas National Park. Alternatively, simply claim your poolside post at The Gates Hotel.
Explore and have some interactive fun at places like the Key West Shipwreck Treasure Museum, Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center, Mel Fisher’s Maritime Museum, and the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum. Even if your kids have never heard of the beloved novelist, they may be captivated by the six-toed cat residents roaming the property.
Nearly all of Key West’s best and most enduring restaurants can be kid-friendly (if you go early enough) but there are a few extra sweet places around town that are guaranteed to make the kids happy. Try Glazed Donuts, Flamingo Crossing Ice Cream, or Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe, which offers free samples of everything from key lime candies to cookies. Smoothie Shuttle in New Town is always a fun stop. Kids can design their own boba tea creation with interesting flavors and tapioca and bursting boba options.
Check out our nightly rates at The Gates Hotel, one of the most family-friendly hotels in Key West. We have shuttle service to and from Old Town, on-site dining options, and our pool area is one of the best on the island. Don’t forget your four-legged family member. The Gates Hotel is also dog-friendly! See our special offers, which include special rates for Florida residents.