Key West is Florida’s southernmost point, and with historical attractions, sandy, palm-lined beaches and great weather, there’s plenty to do, or you can do nothing. Yet the island city also has lots of green spaces. Here are the ones worth a visit that get our local guide’s seal of approval.
The Key West Garden Club’s beautiful tropical gardens and intriguing plant life are broken up by attractive bare-brick walls of the ruined Civil War fort it is housed in. Explore the grounds on your own, or book a guided tour to find out about its botanical treasures. The attractive gardens, and their enviable location next to Higgs Beach and the White Street Pier, are a popular venue for weddings. Admission is free, but do call ahead to make sure the gardens aren’t closed for a private event. Recommended by local insider Alli Griffiths
Walk among hundreds of butterflies and exotic birds at the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, a glass-enclosed, climate-controlled habitat that allows visitors to observe these colorful creatures in their natural environment. Discover more about butterfly life cycles and conservation efforts in the learning center, and fall in love with the resident flamingos, small birds, fish and turtles on the way around. Recommended by local insider Alli Griffiths
Built in the 1840s, Audubon House, and the gardens surrounding it, offers a glimpse into the day-to-day life of a wealthy 19th-century Key West family. Learn about old Key West’s profitable and sometimes brutal ship-wrecking industry – the original owner was a sea captain and master wrecker. Afterwards, take a sunny, restorative stroll around the perfectly manicured tropical gardens with its charming brick pathways, orchid beds, other exotic plant life and a koi pond. Recommended by local insider Alli Griffiths
The Oldest House, as the name suggests, is the oldest house in South Florida, preserved as a museum to Key West’s unique architecture and history. Take a step back in time as you explore rooms furnished with original items and family portraits, and spend time relaxing in the surrounding gardens. At $5, it’s fantastic value for the experience it provides and is a refuge for those seeking peace and quiet in the heart of the city. Recommended by local insider Alli Griffiths
Delve into the history of the island’s local heroes with a stroll through the Key West Historic Memorial Sculpture Garden. You’ll find busts of former notable Key West residents, including Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams and President Harry S Truman, with plaques explaining their life stories and achievements. It’s a pleasant place for a wander in the sun, and the pathways are laid with attractive red bricks. Recommended by local insider Alli Griffiths