What to Do in Key West While Still Social Distancing
With today’s new normal, it’s important to find social distancing activities while in Key West. The island provides numerous opportunities for fun while keeping yourself and others around you safe and healthy. From a leisurely trek around town to a snorkel along the coast, here’s what to do in Key West while still social distancing.
Take a Walk up Whitehead Street
The quieter mile-long stretch runs parallel with Duval Street and is lined with towering Banyan and Kapok trees, historical landmarks, and photo ops. Beginning at the corner of South Street, visit the Southernmost Point Buoy before heading north to the Key West Lighthouse and Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum. Further up Whitehead Street, you’ll pass popular spots like the Audubon House & Tropical Gardens, the former site of the original headquarters of Pan American World Airways, and Mile Marker Zero, which marks the start of the U.S. Route 1 before traveling the 2,369 miles north to the Canadian border.
Get Out on the Water
Key West is famous for its turquoise waters, so the beaches are an obvious place to start when it comes to enjoying the water. Explore the rocky shoreline of Fort Zachary or lay under the coconut palms on the white sands of Smathers Beach. The largest public beach on the island begins at the zero-mile marker and stretches along New Town. From parasailing high above the Florida Straits to taking a deep dive below the surface, Smathers is the perfect place to try your hand at watersports. Check out Lazy Dog Adventures for a guided tour or kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding rental options.
While the beach is nature’s ultimate playground, for those who prefer the all-day comfort of a lounge chair by the swimming pool, The Gates’ pool is open. Ask us about our Underwater Library.
Spend the Day at Fort Zachary
Located near the southern tip of the island, Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park is an ideal place to spend the day in a magnificent natural setting. Explore the historic Civil War-era fort or take a walk on Point Trail which loops around the park along the seawall. Learn more about the nation’s southernmost hikes at Fort Zachary on Florida Hikes.
The park’s rocky beach is an active spot for snorkelers, and parrot fish, lobster, corals, and sea turtles are frequently spotted. Birdwatching is a popular activity at the park as migrants like warblers and rose-breasted grosbeaks seek refuge alongside local shorebirds and seabirds. Pack food and drinks and stay awhile to watch the sunset. There is an entrance fee for cars or visitors can walk or bike with a fee of $2.50.
Dine Al Fresco
Whether it’s on a restaurant’s patio or in a park, opt for an outside locale to enjoy your next meal. The island’s bars are burgeoning with raw fare during oyster season, which runs from September through April in Florida. Maintain physical distancing while digging into a dozen of those salty mollusks at Half Shell Raw Bar, Schooner Wharf Bar, or Smokin’ Tuna Saloon. Need some more dining ideas? Here are some inviting outdoor dining options (with several offering water views on the side!).
Need a vacation from 2020? Choose from our best rates and special offers when you book direct with The Gates, an award-winning Key West destination.