Key West Lighthouse & Keeper's Quarters Museum

#11 in Best Things To Do in Key West
Key West Lighthouse & Keeper's Quarters Museum picture1 of 2
Key West Lighthouse & Keeper's Quarters Museum2 of 2
Larry Roberg/Getty Images

Key Info

938 Whitehead St.

Price & Hours

$10 for adults; $5 for kids 6-12; free for kid...
9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily

Details

Museums, Sightseeing Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
2.8scorecard
  • 2.5Value
  • 2.5Facilities
  • 2.5Atmosphere

If you can fend off the claustrophobia and don't mind heights, the climb up the tiny and constricting 88 steps to the top of the Key West Lighthouse is worth it for the views, say recent visitors. Once you're up there though, be patient: According to past travelers, the viewing balcony at the top is very narrow. After taking in the views (a must, according to recent visitors), take a look around the keeper's quarters, which have been around since 1848. The cozy house is now a museum that surveys the history of lighthouses in the Keys, with photographs and various artifacts. One visitor noted that the gift shop is a great place to find locally made art.

One ticket gets you access to both the lighthouse and the museum. Admission for adults costs $10; kids ages 6 and up get in for $5, while children 5 and younger can enter for free. Visitors are divided on whether the admission price is worth the local history provided in the museum, but most agree that the panormaic views seen from the top of the lighthouse are unbeatable. The lighthouse and museum are open daily (except Christmas) from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Situated across the street from the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, the lighthouse is located in Old Town. Reviewers say there is a parking lot located on Truman Avenue, but most recommend walking in from town.

See all Hotels in Key West »

More Best Things To Do in Key West

Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park1 of 13
Key West Boat Tours2 of 13
Type
Time to Spend
#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.

Read more
eyfoto/Getty Images
See full list of Best Things To Do in Key West »

Explore More of Key West

If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.

Recommended

The Best Travel Backpacks for 2020

U.S. News rated the best travel backpacks using recommendations from experts and consumers.

Lyn MettlerNovember 25, 2019

30 Top Wellness Retreats

Rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit at one of these relaxation-focused properties.

Kyle McCarthyNovember 21, 2019

30 Fun All-Inclusive Family Vacations

Book one of these all-inclusive trips that cover food, accommodations and activities galore.

Holly JohnsonNovember 14, 2019

5 Ways Cruise Lines Are Becoming More Environmentally Friendly

Industry considers impact as it looks to the future.

Gwen PratesiNovember 12, 2019

11 Unique and Quirky Cruise Destinations

Venture off the beaten path for an authentic cruising experience.

Christine SmithNovember 12, 2019

The 2020 Best Cruise Lines for Families

Gather up the gang and head out to sea with one of these six kid-friendly cruise lines.

Nicola WoodNovember 12, 2019

The Top Pyramids in Mexico to Visit

Add these ancient marvels to your Mexico vacation itinerary.

Lyn MettlerOctober 28, 2019

30 Top Babymoon Destinations, Trips and Ideas

From romantic beach getaways to big city adventures to glamping in the forest, these locales will inspire your babymoon planning.

Gwen PratesiOctober 15, 2019

15 Tips for Traveling While Pregnant

These tips will help pregnant women travel the world in comfort and style.

Holly JohnsonOctober 10, 2019

The Best Chicago Segway Tours

See all the top sights in the Windy City without breaking a sweat.

Marisa MéndezOctober 3, 2019