You don’t have to break the bank to enjoy a slice of paradise! Key West, one of the gems of the Florida Keys, is a sunny, vibrant city that’s perfect for your next beach vacation. If you’re on a tight budget, don’t worry; you can enjoy a getaway to Key West while maintaining frugality. The team at Compass Realty is here to help; we’ve put together a guide on free and cheap things to do, activities, and restaurants in Key West. Here are some tips for an affordable Keys getaway.

Free Things to Do in Key West

“Free” is music to any budget-conscious traveler’s ears. These are a few free things to do during your stay in Key West.

  • Mallory Square Sunset Celebration: Every evening, street performers, arts and crafts vendors, and food carts converge at the waterfront for amazing views of the legendary Florida Keys sunsets. Entry is free, making this a must-visit attraction for those visiting Key West on a budget.
  • Enjoy the Beach: Key West is home to many beaches, which you can visit for free. Whether you want to enjoy a stroll on the sand, swim in the water, or simply lounge in the sun, there’s a beach for you. Some of our favorite beaches in Key West include Smathers Beach, Higgs Memorial Beach, and South Beach.
  • Key West Historic Memorial Sculpture Garden: Take a walk through history at the Key West Sculpture Garden, located adjacent to Mallory Square. With 36 busts of historical men and women and inscriptions to tell their stories, there’s a lot to see and learn about Key West here.

Affordable Activities in Key West

While these activities and attractions cost money, they are still relatively inexpensive, making them perfect for those visiting Key West on a budget. 

  • Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park: This scenic state park has beautiful beaches, shorelines ideal for swimming and snorkeling, and historic pre-Civil War-era Fort Zachary Taylor to explore, and its just $6 to enter.
  • Audubon House & Tropical Garden: The Audubon House is a Victorian home built in 1843 that has been transformed into a museum celebrating naturalist John James Audubon. Entry is just $16 for adults.
  • Trolley Tours: Take an open-air trolley tour of Old Town Key West and visit the area’s top attractions while a guide provides insightful insights and commentary. You can enjoy a day tour for about $50. 

Cheap Eats & Drinks in Key West

You can fuel up for sightseeing on a budget in Key West at these affordable restaurants, bars, and food trucks.

  • El Siboney: This no-frills spot serves up huge portions of classic Cuban cuisine, like the iconic Cuban sandwich and chicken platters, for under $20.
  • Garbo’s Grill:  Located behind Hank’s Saloon, just a short walk from the famous Duval Street, Garbo’s is a tiny food truck offering super affordable and fresh hot dogs, burgers, and more.
  • Happy Hour Specials: Many of Key West’s bars offer happy hour deals on drinks and appetizers. Some highlights include Bobby’s Monkey Bar, Green Parrot Bar, and  Santiago’s Bodega.

Affordable Places to Stay in Key West

Complete your vacation to Key West on a budget by booking your accommodations from Compass Realty. We offer fully-equipped and affordable vacation rental homes, cottages, and condos throughout Key West. Come experience Key West at one of our vacation rentals. To stay with us, you can make a reservation online or by calling 305-292-1881.