Key West Boat Rentals: The Ultimate Summer Vacation
Key West is straight out of a Jimmy Buffett song. If you don’t know who Jimmy Buffett is you’re overdue for a tropical vacation and Key West is just the place to get your fix. Imagine clear waters, evening parties, bright colors, cold drinks and lazy days… that’s Key West in a nutshell. Oh, there are hammocks too.
This charming city deserves a spot on everyone’s Key West boat rentals wish list and we know just what you should do when you get there:
Step 1: Plan Your Key West Boating Vacation
In Key West you can expect appetizing seafood, exciting boat trips, and leisurely daytime strolling. It’s possible you will overindulge in alcohol and stay up late, but no worries… you’re on vacation time. If you can squeeze in some of these favorite Key West boat rentals and activities we know you’ll have a great trip:
Key West boat rentals & Day Trips
Wisteria Island – Approximately 650 yards from Key West you’ll find Wisteria Island aka Christmas Tree Island. The land is uninhabited and overgrown with Australian Pines (hence the nickname). It is a popular place for boaters to visit, snorkel and swim. If you’re looking for a day trip adventure, Wisteria Island should make the list.
Dry Tortugas National Park – Dry Tortugas National Park is an island in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. It is also only accessible by boat, but a bit more of a ride than Wisteria Island (nothing too hard though). We recommend a bowrider, cabin cruiser or center console rental to get to the island quickly and comfortably.
Duval Street – In Key West all roads lead to Duval Street. It’s bright and loud and full of great places to shop, eat and drink. You can dock the boat at one of the marinas on the Gulf coast and walk the one block to Duval Street. Start with some fresh conch from Conch Shack and keep walking east for a signature margarita at Margaritaville. By time you get to the other end you can enjoy a craft beer at Cork & Stogie. We recommend a Funky Buddha Floridian Hefeweizen – it’s local!
Key West Bight Marina – You can enjoy the marina by boat or on foot. While strolling along the seawall look for fish. They come right up to the seawall looking for food. Visitors also enjoy watching the boats come and go and, of course, the 4 p.m. pelican and tarpon feeding (just outside A&B Lobster House).
Key West fishing boat rentals
Saltwater Fishing – The Florida Keys makes for a unique fishing experience. Shipwrecks and reefs right offshore are popular for catching snapper and grouper. Seasoned fishermen and fisherwomen can check out the Florida Straits, a 90-mile-wide trough of deep water beyond the reef that author Ernest Hemingway (a popular Key West visitor) dubbed “the Great Blue River.” It is also great for scuba diving.
Lionfish Hunting – Lionfish are harmful to Florida waters. They reproduce quickly and have no predators except humans, which means they quickly take over the population of Florida reefs. They linger in shipwrecks and coral reefs and swimmers are encouraged to capture and kill them. Lionfish hunting helps maintain balance under the sea – a mission we can all get behind. WARNING: Lionfish have spikes that can cause pain if they break the skin, even after they are dead. Always (and we mean always) use puncture free gloves when handling lionfish.
In addition, they are good to eat and several local restaurants will cook your lionfish. After all, everyone benefits from less lionfish. Marathon is within driving distance from Key West and home to John Mirabella’s Castaway Restaurant. You can bring your catch here but promise us to ask for it “wrecker” style, eh?
Step 2: Secure Key West Boat Rentals
It is true that there isn’t much of a beach in the Florida Keys. In fact, many Floridians don’t even think to travel to the area until they secure a Florida boat rental, which is easy with boat sharing companies like Boatsetter.
Similarly to how you would search for and reserve hotel rooms, Boatsetter allows you to search from a directory of local boats. It is easy to make your reservation and you can cancel within 24 hours. If being responsible for driving a boat around doesn’t sound like a vacation you can tweak your search results to show only boats with captains. It’s easy, fast and affordable.