Key West in July

It’s no secret that Key West is one of the most popular and tropical destinations in the sunshine state. There is no lack of beaches and sunshine, and the island moves on island time, perfect for those wishing to relax and unwind in paradise. It truly is hard to beat a summer vacation in Key West.

This month is ideal for visitors who are traveling on a budget, as rates tend to drop due to fewer crowds and lower demand. For those looking for an exciting trip, July hosts to infamous Hemingway Days Festival this month, so check your calendar before planning your adventure.

This article covers:

  • Location | Florida Key
  • The Weather in June
  • Water/Ocean Temperature
  • What to Wear | Outfit & Packing Tips
  • Crowds in July
  • Best Things to Do | Best Places
  • 7 Best Food Tips | Restaurants

We have bundled together all our best tips and tricks to ensure your vacation is as stress-free and exciting as it can be in Key West during July.

💡 Visiting earlier or later in the summer? Check out our other guides:

Resources for July | Save Money

While the crowds mostly dissipate in Key West in July, it’s still necessary to plan ahead and book your accommodation AND rental cars well in advance if you want to save money:

All of these links open in a new tab. They are incredibly useful for your Florida trip.

We lived in Florida for a long time and went to Key West many times during the summer. With our advice and knowledge, we want you to make the most of your time in Key West in July and have an unforgettable trip.

3 Activities We Highly Recommend

Is July a Good Time to Visit? Worth It?

July is a good time to visit Key West if you are on a budget and love the warm temperature. While the weather can be unpredictable or unreliable, visitors can have a relaxing trip without worrying about prices or wait times during July.

Location | Florida Keys

Key West is the southernmost island in the Florida Keys. It’s about 90 miles south of Miami and is famous for its tropical climate, beaches, historic architecture, and laid-back atmosphere.

The Florida Keys are actually a chain of islands that extend for about 120 miles from Key Largo in the north to Key West in the south.

Now, if you’re wondering how to get to Key West in July or during other months, there are a few options.

If you’re coming from Miami, the most convenient way is to drive down the Overseas Highway. This scenic route connects the Florida Keys, and the Seven Mile Bridge is definitely a must-see feature of the journey. It connects Knight’s Key (near Marathon) to Little Duck Key.

You can also fly into Key West International Airport, which is located on the eastern side of the island and offers daily flights from Miami and other major cities. And if you’re a water-lover, there are ferry services available that operate between Miami and Key West.

Weather

Summer is in full swing down in Key West in July. It’s one of the hottest months overall, and temperatures continue to rise as the month goes on. Frequent rain showers can occur as it is in the middle of the rainy season, and tropical storms are possible but still likely this early in the season.

The average high temperature in July is 89°F (32°C) in Key West. It is during the wet season with frequent rain showers and hot and humid weather. The average rainfall is 4.3 to 5.0 inches. While it is hurricane season in July, it is doubtful that any storm will be as severe as a hurricane.

The weather has never spoilt my trip to Key West in July. Most days were hot and sunny, with the occasional rainfall. I remember one time we were on a deep sea fishing trip, and although there were cloudy skies and occasional showers, it was nothing too intense and only lasted about 45 minutes during the afternoon.

July in Key West | Average High Temperatures:

  • Early July: 88°F (31.1°C)
  • Mid-July: 89°F (32 °C)
  • Late July: 89°F (32°C)
Rainfall

July is in the middle of the rainy season but still in the early stages of hurricane season. You can have daily rainfall in Key West, usually in the afternoon or nighttime hours.

Thankfully, the ocean’s breeze keeps many of the storms away and tends to be just a passing shower in the afternoons, not lasting more than an hour or so.

Key West typically ranges in rainfall from 1.9-5.7 inches during the month of July. The rainfall decreases a little as the month goes on. Remember, hurricanes can bring unpredictable showers at any time of the season, and there are likely to be tropical storms within 100 miles of Key West.

Good to know: In July, it is unlikely that any approaching storm in the Key West area will be as severe as a hurricane.

Can it rain the whole day? While it is unlikely to rain showers will last longer than a couple of hours, the entire afternoon may be wet and rainy. We wouldn’t ever expect rain all day, but it’s good to know the potential is there.

Heat/Humidity

July is typically the most humid month of the year in Key West, Florida. Humidity is expected almost 100% of the time, every day.

During the morning hours, the temperatures are lower, but the humidity is at its highest at 78%. The afternoon tends to have the hottest temperatures but lower humidity levels averaging around 66%.

Daily Weather Progression

Temperatures in Key West in July progress throughout the day, with higher temperatures and higher chances of rainfall as the day continues, and then cooling down a bit in the evening hours.

Typical daily temperature progression:

  • Early Morning (6 AM): 85°F (29.4°C)
  • Early Afternoon (1 PM): 89°F (32°C)
  • Evening (10 PM): 80°F (26.6°C)

Mornings tend to be filled with sunshine and have higher humidity levels, followed by afternoon rain showers with a potential overcast.

Evenings are still rather warm, but they start to cool off with a light breeze when the sun goes down.

Resources for July | Save Money

While the crowds mostly dissipate in Key West in July, it’s still necessary to plan ahead and book your accommodation AND rental cars well in advance if you want to save money:

🚗 Rental cars in Florida via rentalcars.com

🚙 Rental car deals in Florida  via Discover Cars

🏠 Key West Hotel Deals via booking.com

🛣️  Florida Keys Travel Guide (via Amazon)

💊 Travel Insurance (Rental Car, Delays, Medical)

All of these links open in a new tab. They are incredibly useful for your Florida trip.

Water Temperature | Swimming

July brings some of the warmest water temperatures of the year to waters surrounding Key West. The average water temperature for this month is 87°F (31°C), ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and other water sports or activities such as swimming, kayaking, SUP boarding, jet-skiing, snorkeling, scuba diving, and boating.

Possible storms: While boating is a popular activity in the southern tip of Florida, be cautious and pay attention to the weather forecast before heading off-shore. Warm waters are the main ingredient for tropical storms, and Key West is in the prime location for potential dangers.

Snorkeling and scuba diving are among the most popular activities in Key West, as the crystal clear waters around the island are home to an abundance of marine life, including colorful coral reefs, tropical fish, and even shipwrecks.

Jet skiing and parasailing are also popular options, offering a thrilling way to explore the island’s coastline and enjoy stunning views from above.

What to Pack | What to Wear

We love Key West because it is slow-paced and summertime all year long.

💡 Important: Don’t forget to read our July Weather Tips (scroll up).

During July in Key West wearing shorts and tank tops is necessary to stay cool, and bathing suits and cover-ups are totally acceptable almost everywhere on the island. Flip flops and bare feet are the norm, so leave your boots and pumps at home.

If you’re spending your mornings in Key West at the beach, a bathing suit, cover-up, or swim trunk and a tank are all you will need.

Pack a lightweight poncho or rain jacket for afternoon rain showers.

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Evenings are still great for casual wear, or sundresses or cargo shorts. It’s still rather warm in the evenings, but winds pick up by the coast; keep a lightweight jacket close by just in case.

  • Sandals & Flip-flops
  • Shorts
  • Tanks & Cut-offs
  • T-shirts & V-necks
  • Lightweight raincoat or Poncho
  • Sundresses
  • Bathing Suit/Swim Trunks
  • Bathing Suit Cover Up

Additional items to pack:

  • Sunscreen
  • Umbrella or poncho for rainfall.
  • Hat or visor for extra protection at the beach.
  • Sunglasses (invest in a good pair)
  • Bug Spray (mosquitos come out in the evenings)
  • Water Bottle – ALWAYS stay hydrated!
  • Small backpack or fanny pack for the beach and day trips.
  • Snorkeling gear (there are excellent snorkeling opportunities in Key West)
  • Water shoes if you are planning on wading in the water.
  • Hand-held fan for hot & muggy afternoons.

Restaurant tip: When staying in Key West in July, we always keep a sweatshirt or light jacket handy for dining out in indoor restaurants. If you often get cold easily, you often need this when dining indoors, as the A/C is typically on high power due to hot temperatures outdoors.

Headache: We suggest bringing medicine for headaches during your trip to Key West in July. The heat in Florida, especially in Key West, is powerful. If you aren’t used to being in a warm climate, this could potentially put a damper on your vacation as it is likely to cause frequent headaches throughout the day.

Rates

The rates in Key West in July will be a bit lower, which is excellent for those traveling on a budget. However, keep in mind that during the 4th of July and Hemingway Days Festival, you should expect rates to be higher during this time of the month.

Key West Hotel Deals via booking.com (Tip: save the link and check rates frequently)

Depending on your preference and budget, you can find hostels starting at around $70 a night. Staying in an Airbnb begins at around $240 a night (depending on the size), hotels average $96-$185 a night, and full home vacation rentals start at an average of $470 per night and go up from there.

Crowds

Fewer tourists visit Key West during July, resulting in lower crowds. Due to it being the rainy season, hurricane season, and the middle of summer, large crowds in Key West have tapered off by July.

Remember the infamous Hemingway Days Festival and of course, the 4th of July takes place this month, so expect higher crowds in July while these events occur.

Beach Crowds

Always remember, it is Florida, so beaches will always be somewhat crowded. In Key West, the beaches aren’t as crowded during July compared to other times of the year, although water dogs will always head to the water.

Expect beaches to be busier during the mornings and evenings, as the afternoons are just too hot to enjoy.

Places to Visit / Things to Do in July

This tropical paradise offers a variety of exciting and unique experiences which are especially great in July. Here are 7 great things to do in Key West that will make your trip unforgettable during this month.

Explore Key West Cemetery

The Key West Cemetery is known for its quirky and humorous epitaphs, ornate headstones, and interesting history. While a cemetery may not be your first choice of sightseeing spot, we always love to check out different cemeteries in new places that we visit.

You can take a self-guided tour like we did or join a guided tour to learn more about the cemetery’s past residents and their stories. Some of the most notable graves include Ernest Hemmingway, the first female cigar maker on the island, and victims of USS Maine.

Visit Dry Tortugas National Park

Dry Tortugas National Park is one of the loneliest and strangest national parks in the country. It’s a unique and remote destination that offers incredible natural beauty, rich history, and a sense of seclusion and solitude.

We loved taking a day trip to the park and had the best snorkeling experience here during our trip to Key West. We planned our trip for later in the afternoon and were able to enjoy a great sunset as well on the way back.

Visit The Shipwreck Treasure Museum

Pirates and shipwrecks are something that has fascinated us for our entire lives. So, if you’re interested in maritime history and treasure hunting, the Shipwreck Treasure Museum in Key West, Florida, is a must-visit attraction. The museum features interactive exhibits that tell the story of shipwrecks and treasure hunting in the Florida Keys. We saw authentic artifacts from historic shipwrecks and learned about the challenges and risks of salvaging ocean treasure.

Sunset Sail on Schooner America 2.0

Sailing on a tall ship in the turquoise waters of Key West is a magical experience. The Schooner America 2.0, a replica of the 19th-century racing yacht, offers an enchanting two-hour sunset sail. You’ll enjoy stunning views of the sun dipping below the horizon, accompanied by the gentle sound of the ocean breeze and the creaking of the wooden ship.

Special tip: To make your experience even more memorable, book a private sail for you and your loved ones. These private charters offer a personalized experience, allowing you to enjoy the sunset and the incredible views of Key West in a more intimate setting.

Dolphin Watching and Snorkeling Cruise

The turquoise waters around Key West are home to a variety of marine life, including the playful Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. A dolphin watching and snorkeling cruise provides an unforgettable opportunity to observe these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. Afterward, you’ll be able to snorkel in the crystal-clear waters and explore the colorful coral reefs teeming with fish.

Special tip: Book your cruise early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the waters are calmer and the dolphins are more active. Don’t forget to bring an underwater camera to capture the amazing underwater world and memories of your encounter with the dolphins.

Explore the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum

Literature lovers and history buffs alike will appreciate a visit to the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum. This Spanish colonial-style house is where the famous author lived for over a decade, writing some of his most renowned works.

The museum showcases Hemingway’s life and career, featuring his personal belongings, rare photographs, and even the descendants of his famous six-toed cats.

Special tip: To enhance your experience, join a guided tour led by knowledgeable staff who share fascinating stories about Hemingway’s life in Key West. The tours run regularly throughout the day and are included in the admission price.

Many visitors, like me, only wanted to take a quick look first, but then fell into a world of their own imagination and reminisce of a by-gone era. I was really captured by the beauty of this historical property

Stroll Along Duval Street

Duval Street is the heart of Key West, lined with vibrant shops, art galleries, bars, and restaurants. A leisurely stroll down this iconic street offers a glimpse into the island’s unique culture and history. From the lively bars to the laid-back cafes, there’s always something happening on Duval Street.

Special tip: Plan your walk for late afternoon and into the evening, when the street comes alive with live music and entertainment. Be sure to stop by the famous Sloppy Joe’s Bar, once a favorite hangout of Hemingway, for a taste of the local atmosphere.

Visit the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory

The Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory is a serene oasis filled with hundreds of colorful butterflies, tropical birds, and lush plants. Walking through the climate-controlled, glass-enclosed habitat provides a tranquil and educational experience, perfect for visitors of all ages.

Special tip: Be on the lookout for the “pupa room,” where you can witness the incredible transformation of butterflies emerging from their chrysalises. Additionally, the gift shop offers a range

Best Food Spots | Restaurants | Bakeries

Key Lime Square sign at Duval street with many shops, stores, restaurants, cafe selling food in Key West.
1. Kermit’s Key Lime Shoppe
  • Price: $
  • Type of food: Dessert
  • Location: 2 locations: Elizabeth Street (original location) Duval Street/Front Street
  • Diet: Gluten-free options

When visiting Key West, trying Key Lime Pie at Kermit’s Key Lime Shoppe is a must-do. Celebrating nearly 25 years, Kermit’s offers some of the best Key Lime Pie in town. You can enjoy it by the slice or on a stick, covered in chocolate. Besides pie, they have a variety of key lime-flavored goodies perfect for gifts.

An interesting note is that Kermit’s also caters to dogs with their key lime dog treats, making it a unique stop for pet owners. Kermit’s is not just a shop; it’s an experience that captures the essence of Key West’s sweet side.

2. Blue Heaven
  • Price: $$
  • Type of food: American (especially good breakfast/brunch spot)
  • Location: Petronia Street
  • Diet: Vegan and gluten-free options available

Blue Heaven is the go-to place for a cozy and fun outdoor breakfast in Key West. This charming spot is known for its “breakfast with the roosters” theme, featuring live music and friendly roosters that roam around. They offer “Richard’s Very Good Pancakes,” which are big and come with choices like bananas or blueberries.

It’s important to know they don’t accept reservations for breakfast or lunch, so arriving early is wise.

Also, their Key Lime Pie with a lot of meringue is a must-try. Additional fun fact: Blue Heaven has a colorful history, once hosting boxing matches refereed by Ernest Hemingway!

3. Amigos Tortilla Bar
  • Price: $-$$
  • Type of food: Fresh-Mex
  • Location: Greene St/Duval Street
  • Diet: Vegan and gluten-free options available

Don’t be misled by the name; Amigos Tortilla Bar isn’t a drinking bar but a spot for delicious and affordable Mexican food. It’s situated close to Duval Street and offers both indoor seating and an open-air counter perfect for people-watching.

Known for its reasonable prices, you can enjoy a burrito or bowl for just $10. The menu is full of tasty options, but their bowls are highly recommended. Opting for Mexican food here means you can still enjoy local favorites like Baja fish tacos.

Amigos is notable for its commitment to fresh ingredients and has become a beloved stop for both tourists and locals alike.

4. Falafel King
  • Price: $
  • Type of food: Middle Eastern
  • Location: Fitzpatrick St (near Mallory Square)
  • Diet: Vegan and gluten-free options

Falafel King is a secret treasure for affordable eats in Key West, perfect for a budget-friendly lunch or dinner. Located just a short walk from the excitement of Mallory Square, it’s a bit hidden, so look for the sign pointing down an alley. They offer delicious falafel and shawarma that you can take to Mallory Square to enjoy with a sunset view.

Not only is it a bargain with meals around $8, but Falafel King is also beloved for its authenticity and the warm hospitality of its staff, making it a memorable spot for visitors.

5. Cuban Coffee Queen
  • Price: $
  • Type of food: Cuban and American (including breakfast)
  • Location: 3 locations: Margaret Street (original), Front Street, Southard Street
  • Diet: Vegan and Gluten-free options

Cuban Coffee Queen offers a quaint café experience with amazing prices. The original location at Margaret Street is a cute, little walk-up with outdoor tables and friendly roosters. If you’re after something more spacious, the other two locations are worth checking out. They serve tasty Cuban sandwiches, breakfasts, and smoothies.

Their Cuban coffee is said to be fantastic. It’s also a perfect spot for taking photos, especially with the “Welcome to Key West” mural at the Margaret Street location.

A lesser-known fact is that Cuban Coffee Queen plays a vital role in the local community by supporting various local events and charities.

6. Old Town Bakery
  • Price: $
  • Type of food: Desserts, artisan bread, and sandwiches
  • Location: Eaton Street
  • Diet: Vegan options available

Nestled in a beautifully restored 19th-century building, Old Town Bakery is a family-owned gem that offers fresh bread, baked goods, and affordable sandwiches. It’s a perfect spot for breakfast or lunch, but make sure to visit before they close at 3 pm.

The bakery is renowned for its welcoming atmosphere and the quality of its vegan and vegetarian offerings.

Aside from its delicious food, Old Town Bakery contributes to the community by sourcing ingredients locally and participating in local events, making it a cherished part of Key West’s small-business scene.

7. Mattheessen’s Bakery
  • Price: $
  • Type of food: Dessert
  • Location: 3 locations: (2 on Duval Street and 1 on Greene Street)

Mattheessen’s Bakery is a family-operated spot with three convenient locations in Key West. They bake their goodies fresh every day, including giant cookies, ice cream, Key Lime Pie, and many other treats. Known for their large and delicious cookies, they also offer a range of other sweets that are perfect for anyone looking to indulge. Mattheessen’s commitment to quality and family-friendly atmosphere has made it a favorite among both locals and visitors for years.

Beyond sweets, the bakery’s involvement in local festivals and events makes it a key player in the vibrant Key West community.

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