Everyone should visit Key West at least once in their lifetime. If you have never been to Key West, you are in for a real treat. There is something for everyone to do in Key West.
Of course, some of the most popular Key West tourist activities involve the water and include things like dolphin encounters, kayaking the backcountry, diving and snorkeling at Ft. Jefferson and the Dry Tortugas, or renting a boat at one of the many Key West marinas to explore on your own.
On land, there is shopping, museums, art galleries, tours, theaters and more. You can also just relax in the sand on the beach or by the pool at one of the many hotels.
Some of the most fun can be had just strolling along Duval Street with a cocktail in hand before stopping to eat some delicious seafood at one of the many spots for dining.
Of course, enjoying a meal in one of the many waterfront spots is relaxing and here are some of my suggestions for great waterfront dining spots:
Half Shell Raw Bar
A favorite of fishermen and locals as well as tourists, this former shrimp packing building is now a well visited spot on Margaret Street. Half Shell Raw Bar is located at the Key West Bight Marina so you’ll love the view while enjoying oysters, clams and peel ‘n’ eat shrimp.
A daily happy hour from 4:30 to 6:30 can satisfy your appetite with 50% off cocktails and good food!
Hot Tin Roof
Named after Tennessee Williams’ play “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” this restaurant pairs upscale island fare with beautiful views. Hot Tin Roof (0 Duval St., Key West) sits right above Sunset Pier, so you can take in the nightlife and music from afar. Hot Tin Roof is the perfect location for a romantic dinner.
The menu offers a mix of seafood and land fare prepared in a unique culinary style dubbed “conch-fusion,” combining traditional Florida with Caribbean influences.
Housed in an oceanfront Victorian home, Louie’s Backyardlocated at700 Waddell Avenue, offers panoramic views of the ocean. The renovated home serves some of the best seafood around and offers three different dining experiences.
Guests can have tapas-style items such as fried artichokes and truffled cauliflower at The Café on the upper deck, sit down for a full meal at Louie’s Backyard or grab cocktails on the Afterdeck Bar, which sits just 25 inches above the water.
Nestled between Key West Harbor and adjacent to the famed Mallory Square, Sunset Pier is the best place in Key West to enjoy Gulf side waterfront dining. With its colorful chairs and live music, Sunset Pier on Duval Street is a casual spot where you can watch boats go by as the sun sets.
Sunset Pier also offers nightly music and dancing, with entertainers from the islands.
Turtle Kraals on Margaret Street is all about keeping the island’s seafaring traditions alive. The restaurant is located in the Historic Seaport District. Visit for the view and the great food – but stay for the live turtle races!
Key West’s colorful mix of food and culture is influenced by generations of settlers from the nearby Caribbean islands. Turtle Kraals Bar & Restaurant celebrates this culinary blend of the tropics by delivering authentic Key West dining and cocktails on the waterfront in a unique and historic location.
The Tower Bar on the second floor lets you take advantage of the full menu and offers postcard-worthy views of boats pulling in and out of Key West harbor. House supplied binoculars help make distant discoveries or point them just below to the sight of captains bringing in the day’s catch.
Do you have a favorite Key West waterfront dining spot?