Come to join the party crowd, watch ocean sunsets, and take in historical sites, then head offshore to see the Gulf of Mexico’s castaway islands and mangroves. Read on for our top tips for making the most of 3 days in Key West.
Key West Lighthouse and Keeper's Quarters Museum
938 Whitehead Street, Key West, 33040-7423
Though the Key West Lighthouse was decommissioned in 1969, it was restored to its original glory and remains one of the island’s top attractions. Visitors can climb 88 steps to the top of the lighthouse and hear stories told by keepers and their families in the keeper’s quarters. The narrated hop-on hop-off trolley stops at the lighthouse, as do many of the island’s cultural walking tours.
Awesome experience! You have to take sushi sunset with mark and Martia! I will definitely do this again!!
Danyell_S, May 2022
Things to Know Before You Go
This museum is popular with history buffs and families traveling with kids.
Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to climb 88 steps to reach the top.
The keeper’s quarters are wheelchair-accessible, but the lighthouse itself is not.
Restrooms are available in the gift shop at the base of the lighthouse.
How to Get There
The Key West Lighthouse is located on the southwest end of the island, directly across Whitehead Street from the Ernest Hemingway House and Museum. It’s a 10-minute drive from the airport.
When to Get There
The lighthouse museum is open 364 days per year (closed on Christmas). The best time to visit is on a clear day when the views from the top of the lighthouse are at their best. Expect long ticket lines and a wait to get to the top during the winter high season (December to February).
Hurricane of 1846
On Oct. 11, 1846, a tropical hurricane swept toward Key West, but communication was slow, and the islanders had little warning. Barbara Mabrity, the keeper at the time, as well as several other Key West residents, sought shelter in the lighthouse, believing its brick structure would protect them. As the storm raged on, both the keeper’s quarters and the lighthouse itself were swept away, killing at least 14 people, but Mabrity survived.
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are the nearest attractions to Key West Lighthouse and Keeper's Quarters Museum?
What else should I know about attractions in Key West?
As well as visiting the Key West Lighthouse and Keeper's Quarters Museum, check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit:
- Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum
- Duval Street
- Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory
- Fort Zachary Taylor
- Southernmost Point of the Continental USA
- Basilica of Saint Mary Star of the Sea
- St. Paul's Key West Episcopal Church
- Key West Cemetery
- Hard Rock Cafe Key West
- Harry S. Truman Little White House
- Mel Fisher Maritime Museum
- Key West Aquarium
- Key West Shipwreck Treasure Museum
- Ripley's Believe It or Not! Key West Museum
- Mallory Square