Audubon House & Tropical Gardens

#8 in Best Things To Do in Key West
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Courtesy Audubon House and Tropical Gardens

Key Info

205 Whitehead St.

Price & Hours

$14 for adults; $5 for kids 6-12; free for kid...
9:30 a.m.-4:15 p.m. daily

Details

Tours, Sightseeing Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend

scorecard

  • 3.5Value
  • 3.5Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

Whether you're interested in colonial furniture, period architecture, tropical greenery or naturalist John James Audubon, you'll find a host of curiosities at the Audubon House &Tropical Gardens. Located in Old Town a block away from Duval Street, the Audubon House & Tropical Gardens dates back to the 1840s. The house was built by Captain John Huling Geiger, but it's named after well-known ornithologist John James Audubon, who visited the Keys in 1832. Twenty-eight of his works can be found in the house. While you're here, take a look at the house's decor and then head outside to the lush and colorful garden, which includes herbs, orchids and other tropical plants. For some, the garden was their favorite part of the house, noting that the vibrantly colored flowers make for prime photography subjects. Other reviewers remarked on the careful restoration of the house and its period-specific antiques.

When you walk into the house, you'll be greeted by a staff member who will offer a brief introduction. Many visitors remark on how friendly and knowledgeable the guides are. From there, you can embark on your own self-guided tour. The Audubon House is open every day from 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Admission for adults costs $14; students (of any age) pay $10; tickets for kids ages 6 to 12 cost $5; children younger than 6 get in for free. You can get $1 knocked off the price of adult admission by mentioning the "Save a Tree" coupon on the house's website. You can purchase Audubon prints (and other souvenirs) in the on-site gift shop.

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#1 Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park

For the cleanest beach and best waters in Key West, you should head for the westernmost point of the island to Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park. There, you can sunbathe, hike, bike, fish and get a dose of history all in one place. Recent visitors favor this shoreline over Smathers Beach (the water is clearer, making it an ideal snorkeling spot), but travelers also warn that the sand is not soft and that beach shoes are needed to traverse the rocky terrain safely. While the beach might not be as powdery soft as some other Florida beaches, it does offer some great snorkeling opportunities, according to recent visitors. Along with your snorkel gear, pack some grilling food and charcoal: This beach has plenty of barbecue grills and rental equipment.

If you get tired of hanging out beachside, stop by the historic fort located within the park. The fort was built in mid-1800s and was used during the Civil War and the Spanish-American War. Guided tours are offered twice a day.

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