Key West is one of the hottest vacation spots in the world, and it’s no wonder why. Beautiful beaches, wildlife and lush plants everywhere, amazing food, and that’s just the beginning.
Due to the crystal-clear blue, warm waters that surround it, Key West also offers some of the best jet skiing around.
We’ve gone ahead and done the “hard part” for you, to bring you the best Key West jet ski tours available. We know you’re eager to get started, so let’s jump right in!
Best Jet Ski Tours In Key West
The 5 Best Key West Jet Ski Tours For 2022
- Key West Full-Day Power Adventure: Sailing & Watersports Package
- Ultimate Jet Ski Tour of Key West
- Key West Jet Ski Tour: Free 2nd Rider
- The Original Key West Island Jet Ski Tour from the Reach Resort
- Key West Island 90-minute Jet Ski Tour from the Marriott Beachside
Key West Jet Ski Tour Reviews
- Duration: 6 hours
- Departure: 205 Elizabeth St., Key West, FL 33040, USA
- Departure Time: 10 am
- Includes: Professional guide, use of snorkeling gear, kayak, SUP, WaveRunners, water toys, breakfast, lunch, beverages, all taxes and fees
It’s hard to get better than the Key West Full-Day Power Adventure: Sailing & Watersports Package. Lasting around 6 hours, this is a great way to spend the afternoon without taking up the entire day. You’ll get everything you could want out of a jet skiing tour, with so many extras added on.
You’ll meet up with the rest of your group at 10:00 am, at Key West’s Historic Seaport. Hop aboard the gorgeous catamaran, which is very well-built and has more than enough room for everyone. While it’s not a bad idea to bring a light jacket or windbreaker, these tours function with calm waters and warm temperatures.
- Definitely bring some sunglasses, a hat/head covering, swimwear, towel, and of course, sunscreen.
This tour is great for families of all ages, as you can either choose to hang out and sun on deck, in the shade, or partake in all kinds of water sports. If you’ve never been jet skiing before but would love to try, this is the perfect opportunity.
Your experienced guide will be there to offer instruction on not only jet skiing, but snorkeling, kayaking, paddle boarding, and even parasailing!
Parasailing is adrenaline-heavy and perfect for those who love a good rush. Snorkeling is a great way to check out the sea creatures who inhabit these tropical waters, and kayaking or paddle boarding are a more relaxed approach if you’re a bit nervous about or just don’t want to try jet skiing.
There’s a spotter/lifeguard the entire time out on the water, and as they stop right by the reef, there’s plenty to see.
With all of the adventuring around under the warm sun, you’re sure to get hungry! Breakfast and lunch are both included onboard, which include fresh local selections like steamed shrimp, sandwiches, pasta, and more. To drink, there’s juice, soda, draft beer, wine, and more.
- Duration: 2 hours
- Departure: 601 Front St, Key West, FL 33040, USA
- Departure Time: Varies
- Includes: 90-minute Jet Ski Tour, all necessary safety equipment, sales tax
Next up, we bring you the Ultimate Jet Ski Tour of Key West. If you’re looking to experience jet skiing on these beautiful blue waters, but don’t want to commit to a longer tour, this is a great option. As it lasts just 2 hours, you’ll get to have a ton of fun zooming around in the sun while still having plenty of time to fit into the rest of your day and evening.
- If you’ve never tried jet skiing before, this is a little taste that could push you into trying a longer tour, too.
What’s nice about this tour also, is that there are various departure times so you can really work around any schedule.
As all necessary gear comes included, you’ll just need to bring your normal swimwear and sunscreen. Water shoes aren’t a bad idea, either! Each jet ski can hold up to 3 people, so long that you don’t go over 460 pounds.
Before you hop on your jet ski, your professional guide will help show you how to use the machine and ride with confidence. Your instructor will be there the entire time to make sure you and others in your group are safe.
You’ll be in control of the experience and what you see. You can check out all kinds of intricate inlets, mangroves, beaches. Sea creatures such as dolphins, stingrays, sea turtles, manatees, and other visitors may make an appearance, too! The instructor will show you the best route for you, depending on what your interests are.
- Duration: 1.5 hours
- Departure: 2801 N Roosevelt Blvd, Key West, FL 33040, USA OR complimentary shuttle pickup
- Departure Time: Varies
- Includes: Fuel surcharge, professional guide, driver/guide, use of equipment
The Key West Jet Ski Tour: Free 2nd Rider is another brief-yet-fun tour that you can easily fit into any part of your day. Not only that – it’s a great deal as you get to ride tandem with a friend at no extra cost! Both of you will be able to learn from a professional guide who will instruct you on how to best use the machine to have a blast!
- You’ll get 4 different departure times to select from, which makes it easy to plan out your day.
You can either choose to meet at the designated meet-up point or take advantage of their complimentary shuttle pickup so you can just be ready in the lobby when it’s time to go.
If you’re not a big fan of crowds, then you’ll also love this tour as it’ll just be you, the rest of your group, and jet skis.
We appreciated the fact that the instructors planned the groups based on experience level and riding preference.
If you’re someone who loves going full-speed, you’ll be paired with others of similar interest. If you’re just starting out, you’ll go with other beginners, too.
Traveling along 38 miles of the Floridian coast, you’ll be sure to see all kinds of gorgeous sites in this 1.5-hour tour.
This tour stops at the southern-most point, submarine pits, Key West harbor, and a local sandbar. We really enjoyed the sandbar, as it offers a bit of variation with the chance to take a dip in the clear waters.
- Duration: 1.5 hours
- Departure: 700 Waddell Ave, Key West, FL 33040, USA
- Departure Time: Varies
- Includes: Life jackets, towels, professional guide, use of equipment
The Original Key West Island Jet Ski Tour from the Reach Resort is yet another shorter tour that’s a great way to pack a lot of fun into your day. Not only that, but it’s a wonderful way of seeing all around the island so you can choose what you’d like to explore further when you’re on land.
Not only that, but if you’re someone who loves learning the history of the area you’re in, you’ll get a little history lesson too!
This small group tour has a maximum 12 people at any given point in time, which makes it much more convenient when riding around.
- You’ll get more one-on-one time with your guide so you can learn as much as possible.
There are various departure times available, so it’s easy to fit this 1.5-hour tour in on just about any day. You’ll start out at the southern end of Key West, which is much less crowded. This offers a bit more confidence if you’re just starting out, not having to worry about having a crowd watch you as you get used to the watercraft.
The new Yamaha personal watercraft (PWC) the tour uses is high-quality and very well-maintained which makes it easier to ride. It’s very comfortable, and smooth running.
This tour utilizes a 26-mile route that goes around the island, which simply isn’t feasible for larger or slower watercraft. If you want to see as much as possible, this is a fun way of doing so.
You’ll get to see Key West backcountry, the iconic Mallory Square and all of its entertainers, as well as marine life! The latter includes sea turtles, dolphins, tropical fish, manatees, and more.
As you ride, your instructor will make routine stops to share the history and anecdotes about the area as you pass certain spots. On the way, you’ll also be able to take a break to relax or take a dip at a deserted sandbar, too!
- Duration: 1.5 hours
- Departure: 3841 N Roosevelt Blvd, Key West, FL 33040, USA
- Departure Time: Varies
- Includes: Life jackets, use of equipment, professional guide
This Key West Island 90-minute Jet Ski Tour from the Marriott Beachside is very similar to number 4, with some distinct differences. First off, you’ll be starting off at the Marriot Beachside, which is a place worth going in the first place.
- With all guides being licensed and local, you can count on them knowing what they’re talking about and making sure you have the best time possible.
We found the guides to be a blast, and really encourage people to just have fun while obviously taking certain precautions into account. The tour also uses new Yamaha jet skis, which are well-maintained, while looking and feeling great. However, most people do appreciate the regular stops on the 26-mile route to give everyone a bit of a stretch and some relaxation time.
You can choose to either ride by yourself or ride tandem with another person, which can also be preferable for people who rather not ride alone or drive.
Said route covers most of the top attractions that you can see from the water: from Mallory Square full of restaurants and entertainment, to the backcountry.
As you ride, you’ll also learn some interesting historical facts about the places you see. We definitely recommend taking along a waterproof camera, but only take photos while you’re stopped.
The smaller groups made it much easier to see large parts of the island. If you go on the late tour, it’s the perfect precursor to a delicious dinner or some drinks. At this time, you’ll get to ride as the sun is setting which really sets the tone for a great night! The instructors do try to get you some free time in too, after you’ve finished the established route.
Key West Travel Guide
Air – Getting to Key West is pretty easy if you’re within the United States. However, even if you’re outside the country, it isn’t complicated at all. Most major airlines serve Key West, including American Airlines, Delta, Allegiant, United, JetBlue, and more. There are also various charters which serve the island, if that’s more your style.
Alternatively, you can arrive to Miami International Airport, and choose to drive there. This may be a cheaper way to go, depending on the time of year. If you’re driving from MIA, you can simply take LeJeune Road heading south to 836 West. Take the Florida Turnpike South toward Key West. It will end at US 1 in Florida City, and you’ll follow US 1 South until you get to Key West.
Train – The Amtrak has routes all over the country, and can take you as far south as Fort Lauderdale. Once there, you can get a transfer to the Keys Shuttle.
Shuttle – There are various shuttle services which make stops from the mainland and the Keys. The Keys Shuttle is the best in our opinion, offering door-to-door services to/from Miami and Ft. Lauderdale airports various times a day, every day. Not only that, but they offer charters to events like weddings, dinners, and more.
The Florida Keys Express Shuttle is also a great way to get to/from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International and MIA airports. You can choose a Mercedes Benz van or SUV limousine, so it’s definitely a more luxurious option.
Water – You can also get to Key West by sea! The Key West Express has high-speed ferries from Ft. Myers Beach and Marco Island. These will pull into the Key West Bight Ferry Terminal located right in the center of the Historic Seaport Terminal which is very well-located. Many of the tours we just covered take off right around here.
Getting around Key West is a breeze, considering it’s pretty small at just 2 miles wide by 4 miles long! If you’re driving, then you’ll have no problem moving around. Driving is very easy here if you’re already used to driving in the US. However, if you aren’t going to be driving, there are plenty of other options.
Walking – Thankfully, the island is very flat and very easy to walk around – even if you aren’t in the best shape. Not only that, but the neighborhoods are very charming, genuinely beautiful, and full of character. Walking is probably the best way to really get to know the area, as you see everything up close and personal. Plus, the climate is wonderful and the air is fresh.
Taxis – Taxis serve the entire island, and they’re easiest to get by calling ahead. While you can hail one from the street, this tends to be a bit less reliable as most are heading to calls. However, if you’re at the airport, you’ll see a line of them waiting for arrivals so they can take them to their hotel.
Ride Sharing – There are now Uber and LYFT operating on the island, which tends to be more convenient for many people as you can just call a ride from the app.
Cycling – Aside from walking, biking is another excellent way to get to know the city. You’ll find a ton of locals using their own cruisers to get around and you can rent one for around just $50 for a full week! There are plenty of rental places around, though make sure you’re following the local rules. For example, bike lights are a requirement for nighttime riding. You can ride on all sidewalks, except for the Duval Street sidewalk.
Mopeds – These are absolutely common among locals, however, they can be quite dangerous. There’s no helmet law in Florida, and if you get into an accident, it can be serious. Not only that, but you have to follow the laws of the road, too.
Local Transportation – You have buses and trolleys to take advantage of, as well! Both offer day passes, which are very economic and convenient. You can check out schedules online.
Where to Stay
The island has modern to the more historic Old Town. Old Town is almost certainly where you’re going to spend the majority of your time thanks to its unique charm. It’s almost like going back in time, and is so great for walking and entire families. However, you can also opt for a more luxe experience in downtown, Casa Marina resort, or the Historic Seaport.
Truman Annex is named such due to the fact that former president, Harry Truman, had a residence here. The house includes a gift shop for history aficionados. If you head towards the Historic Seaport, you’ll also see the original Pan Am airlines headquarters, which is now the First Flight Island Restaurant and Brewery, an aquarium, the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum, and much more. It’s also home to some of the best food!
The Historic Seaport neighborhood is perfect if you’re into watersports, watching for sea animals, or just love being on or around sea vessels. If you’re into nightlife and bars, then you have to check out Downtown/Duval Street. This is where you’ll find all the fun: all types of cocktails, parties of all kinds, and so much more.
Restaurants and Eating Out
As you can probably imagine, seafood is a massive part of the Key West cuisine. However, in this rapidly-rising restaurant scene, you’ll be able to find just about anything you’re craving here.
Glazed Donuts – Okay, so maybe doughnuts aren’t the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of food, but it’ll certainly change your life for the better! Glazed Donuts is the perfect grab-and-go option for when you’re craving something delicious but don’t have time to sit down. Pick up a fresh cup o’ joe along with a key lime pie doughnut topped with torched meringue or other mouthwatering fruit-filled delights.
Blue Heaven – Located on the corner of Petronia and Thomas street, Blue Heaven truly has something for everybody. For entertainment, you have live music, ping pong, and an overall very laidback vibe that’s so welcoming. It has this romantic feel to it, that makes it a must for any couple. As far as food goes, you’ll see a lot of Caribbean/American food mashups. Don’t forget to try their legendary “Mile-High” Key Lime Pie!
A&B Lobster House – Are you in the mood for fine dining? Then look no further than this charming restaurant that’s been around since 1947. With a stunning wraparound balcony and beautiful marina views, it really calms and sets the mood for an amazing day or night. Caribbean lobster thermidor, strip steak au poivre, and an impressive classic cocktail selection and wine menu.
Smoked BBQ – For something more laidback, you have to check out the Smoked BBQ. It also has a nice view of the water, but has a more “fisherman” type of view that’s fun for anyone. Pulled pork sandwiches with a sweet BBQ sauce were a winner for us, though it also has some delicious seafood.
Café Marquesa – This beautiful restaurant is located inside the Marquesa Hotel. It lies somewhere in-between upscale with homey eats. Fresh Key West seafood is found here, and everything is cooked to perfection. Their desserts are housemade, and sport a kind of Southern feel.
Nightlife and Entertainment
Key West has some booming nightlife, and you’re about to experience it! If you thought the daytime was fun, just wait until the sun sets!
Duval Crawl – You can’t say you’ve been to Key West if you haven’t gone bar hopping on Duval Street. As we mentioned, this street is filled with all kinds of bars and nightclubs. Sloppy Joe’s is a crowd favorite, while Upper Duval is a bit more “sophisticated” and sports all kinds of wine bars, craft cocktail spots, and more refined selections. In-between them, you’ll find something that lies in the center of sophistication and unadulterated fun.
Key West Theater – If you aren’t feeling like going drinking, then check out the Key West Theater. Located in the center of Old Town, it has world-class comedians, musicians, and bands. It also offers community theater productions, and exclusive film screenings. For more “underground” selections, check out the indie movie theater, the Tropic Cinema.
Hauntings Ghost Tour – Did you know that Key West is supposed to be very haunted? This tour is very interesting, and goes over the history of the Hemingway House, the lighthouse, and the famous “Typhoid Mary” ghost. The Ghosts & Gravestones tour is another interesting one if you like exploring the spooky side of things. This one involves hopping aboard a trolley with a narrated tour of the island’s old wooden home history, a Civil War fort and barracks, the haunted East Martello Tower, and much more.
Weather isn’t really ever an issue in Key West, considering it’s one of the sunniest and warmest places all year long in the United States. In fact, even during its “coldest” season (January typically), it still stays over 65 degrees Fahrenheit! August is the hottest, and even then it doesn’t usually get over 90 degrees.
As we’ve mentioned a few times, if you stay in Key West, you have to stroll around Duval Street. No matter the time of day or night, there’s something fun and interesting to do. Reaching from Mallory Square to the Southernmost Point marker, it is home to beautiful homes, gift shops, delicious restaurants, bars, clubs, and more.
The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum was inhabited by the famous author from 1931 until 1940, approximately. With a beautiful tropical garden, saltwater pool, and historic furniture, it is where he wrote several legendary novels.
If you’re a nature person, you have to stop by the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory. If you have children, they’ll definitely love this place that is home to over 50 species of butterflies and over 20 species of exotic birds.
Mallory Square is a great place to hang out with live musical performers, street performers, art, vendors, and more. As you’ll probably be walking near there anyway, we recommend checking out some of the entertainment or the various gift shops.
Mel Fisher Maritime Museum holds all kinds of valuable artifacts, and stories from history. One of which, is the Henrietta Marie, which was once a slave ship that also held countless historic artifacts. The Spanish Santa Margarita is another, which dates back all the way to the 17th century.
The Martello Towers were built back in the mid-1800’s, and were designed to protect Fort Zachary Taylor. Never fully completed, it consists of massive, 8-foot-thick granite walls! Take a leisurely stroll through the grounds, which are quite romantic and pretty.
While Key West has some great weather most of the time, there is hurricane season that goes from June 1st to November 30th. However, from August to October, you’re likely to see the strongest storms. It may not be that serious, but it’s definitely something to consider as some storms can be very intense.
If you’re planning on driving, know that finding parking near Duval Street can be nearly impossible at times. You’re better off grabbing a ride share or taxi in this case. You may also be able to ask your hotel if they have a shuttle that can take you to/from the area. If you’re close enough, renting a bike or walking over there is a great option as well.
Driving to Key West is a wonderful experience in itself, as you get to drive over the Overseas Highway. It’s exhilarating, yet somehow it’ll completely clear your mind of any stress or worry – perfect for preparing you for a great time on the Island.
Key West is home to the only living barrier reef in the entire continental United States. Located about 6-7 miles offshore, the Florida Reef can be seen by a cruise or two on our guide!