From top to bottom (Key Largo to Key West), these are some of the best attractions in the Keys. They are a place to get out of the sun and do something different.

Theater of the sea
Theater of the sea

Theater of the Sea

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Whether you’re there to see a show or interact with animals, the Theater of the Sea is fun for the whole family. Fan favorites include painting with a sea lion and swimming with rays.

History of Diving Museum

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This little museum is in the midst of a renewal process with a brand new façade, new exhibits and a fascinating schedule of seminars on various underwater subjects.

Dolphin Research Center

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While guests can swim with dolphins here and at other similar operations, the Dolphin Research Center offers something more. The DRC programs, facilities and staff also focus on science, education and conservation.

The Art Studio

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For those seeking a creative, indoor experience this is the place. At The Art Studio, guests paint and fire pottery, fuse glass and more. Special workshops are routinely scheduled.

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Aquarium Encounters

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Scheduled to open July 1, this is Marathon’s newest attraction. Not only will visitors be able to enter the special tanks to swim with Keys creatures or experience a living reef, it will also focus on the area’s natural resources.

Crane Point Museum

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This is the place to stretch your legs on a long nature trail teeming with birds and lizards and edifying signage. The museum also has some static and interactive exhibits.

I wonder if this is where the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles go?
I wonder if this is where the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles go?

The Turtle Hospital

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Visitors can examine resident turtles and recuperating patients at this Middle Keys facility. The guided tour includes a program on turtles and a behind-the-scenes look at the hospital and rehabilitation.

7 Mile Bridge/Pigeon Key

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Some choose a ferry ride over to tour the original buildings housing Overseas Railroad staff on Pigeon Key. Others take the four-mile round trip walk to spot sea turtles, sharks and rays and a birds-eye view of what fishermen are catching.

Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservancy

1316 Duval St., Key West

Visitors pass through a learning center before entering a huge glass conservatory alive with thousands of beautiful butterflies. The tropical paths are lined with benches for quiet reflection.

Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center

35 East Quay Road, Key West

This cool and quiet facility has thousands of square feet of interactive explaining the flora, fauna and unique underwater ecosystems in the Florida Keys. Watch the schedule for special kids programs or documentaries.

Hemingway Home and Museum

907 Whitehead St., Key West

This popular museum has it al — biographical data on the famous author, a period correct home, beautiful gardens and friendly six-toed cats. It’s also just plain cool to look at Hemingway’s typewriter.

The Custom House

281 Front St., Key West

His huge brick structure is one of the more stunning examples of Key West architecture. Inside, it features an equally alluring range of exhibits that rotate throughout the year and collections from some of the Keys best-known artists.

Key West Firehouse Museum

1026 Grinnell St., Key West

At the Southernmost City’s newest attraction, visitors get a look at antique fire engines, “the coal pit,” and an early 1900s alarm system. Oh, and if they visit at night with one of the ghost tours, they might see a spectre!

Mallory Square

400 Wall St., Key West

The world-famous sunset celebration is open to everyone. Witness tons of performers — musicians, jugglers, sword swallowers and even “Bible Bill — but don’t miss the main event when the sun sinks into the ocean with an explosion of color.

Key West Aquarium

1 Whitehead St., Key West

Constructed in the ‘30s with help from the Work Progress Administration, this aquarium is both quaint and cool during the hot summer months. Visitors can look to their heart’s content, visit the touch tank, or witness feedings.

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