Key West is an Island surrounded by water and by its nature, offers some of the best water sports activities on the planet!!! There are myriads of ways to enjoy the outdoors in Key West on the water, in one of the few remaining pristine areas we have left on earth. Here’s a short list of some of the options you’ll find around town in regards to things to do on and in the water. Have fun and stay safe.
Diving and Snorkeling
For those of you who love to explore the world beneath the waves, Key West offers some of the best scuba diving in the world!!! Just off the coastline is the only living coral barrier reef in the continental United States. There you’ll find thousands of colorful, unique plant and animal species in an incredibly crystal clear blue water environment. The waters of Key West also is one of the most unique and rich places on the planet to dive ship wrecks. The USNS Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenburg has become one of the most accessible and contemporary dive sites in the world and it sits a mere 47 feet below the ocean surface, making it a favorite spot for many divers from novice to experienced. We were fortunate enough to be there in person to witness this historic event on May 27th, 2009. Here are a few to get you started.
Wild Dolphin Adventures 1-305-296-3737, 866-296-3737
Key West Dolphin Adventures 305-906-0759
Dolphin Safari Charters 2319 N Roosevelt Blvd 305-797-5491, 888-672-3274, 305-747-0453
Sunset Watersports Multiple locations 305-296-2554, 855-378-6386
Key West is famous for its year round fishing and legendary for its abundance of big game fishing including…giant blue marlin, sailfish and tarpon, not to mention around 200 other species of game fish that inhabit these pristine blue waters. Key West has long been the location of the world’s greatest fish tales and has had its share of famous characters who have trolled for the big one here. Here are some to check out.
Here’s a great link for Key West Fishing Charters courtesy of keywest.com
Hydro Thunder Key West 2 locations… 601 Front St/ Zero Duval St
If you like the outdoors, one of the coolest most fun things to do in Key West is to take the guided wave runner/jet-ski tour of the Island. It’s approximately 90 minutes long and will whisk you 27 miles around the entire peninsular of Key West from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. It’s really a blast! There are about 4 or 5 stopping points during the trip where your guide will fill you in a little about the where you are and the history of some of the things that you are seeing, as well as facts, myths and some urban legends of this Island paradise. There’s also plenty of time to jump off your wave runner for a quick swim. Don’t forget to take along your waterproof camera for some amazing photo ops.
There are many businesses the Island that offer these services. Typically, depending on what time of day you go, or which company you choose, the prices vary from anywhere from $99.00 to around $150.00 for each wave runner/jet-ski. It’s best to call around for rates and times. The tours start at around 9am and run hourly till sunset. We typically use the service that operates out of the back side of the Ocean Key Resort Marina called “Hydro-Thunder of Key West”. It’s really convenient for us. They also offer another locationat the Hyatt Resort Marina located at 601 Front St.
Hydro-Thunder also offers a variety of other rentals such as electric cars, scooters and boats. You can call them (305-295-7525) or book your reservation on-line. Here are some others;
Adventure Jet-Ski and Watersports (@ the Galleon Resort and Marina) 617 Front St 305-296-2210
Key West Jet Ski Tours and Rentals 700 Front St 305-393-1109
Key West Jet Ski 245 Front St 305-797-6423
Barefoot Billie’s 3 locations 1500 Reynolds St (@ the Casa Marina Resort, 1435 Simonton St (@the Reach Resort, and 3841 N Roosevelt Blvd (@ the Marriott BeachSide) 305-735-2241
Sunset Watersports (Various locations) (305-296-2554)
Fury Water Adventures 3 locations ...Westin Marina (305-296-0301); Duval St between the Pier House and Ocean Key Resort; Historic Seaport at the corner of Greene St and Elizabeth St.
Sunset Cruise on the Historic Schooner “Western Union” Maritime Museum
The Schooner Western Union needs your help. She is in disrepair and needs donations to help keep her from the scrapyard. Here’s the link to find out more and how you can help. http://schoonerwesternunion.causevox.com/
If you’re in Key West for any length of time at all you’ve got to make some time to take a sunset cruise aboard the Schooner “Western Union”. This magnificent wooden schooner was the last tall ship built in Key West and originally constructed to tend the Western Union cable lines between Key West and Cuba. Built in 1939, she is one of the oldest functioning wooden schooners in North America. She is on the National Register of Historic Places, is a Maritime Museum, and is the official flagship of the State of Florida. We actually were truly fortunate enough to get married on board in 2011, what an experience!! “Western Union” is docked at Lands End Marina on William St, behind Schooner Wharf Bar.
The crew is simply amazing and make the whole experience that much more fun and memorable. They are very courteous, helpful and just plain fun. The sunset sails depart at 6:30 pm from Schooner Wharf and return at 8:30 pm with check-in and boarding beginning at 6:00 pm, weather permitting. Once on board, you can kick back and enjoy the ambiance and beauty of your journey through history as you sail through some of the most pristine waters to the most romantic spot in Key West to catch the sun slip down over the horizon. You can actually help the crew raise the sails as you’re passing world- famous Mallory Square. Complimentary beer, wine and champagne are included as well as various soft drinks and water. Lite snacks and finger foods are also provided along with a live musician, dove release and when the crew fires up the cannons, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported back in time!
It’s insanely affordable and should be one of the most important things you do while you’re in Key West and is a very cool way to enjoy a one-of-a-kind Key West sunset. Say hello to Captain Lenn for us!