Before we cruised to Key West, I had done a lot of research about what to see. I fell in love online with the Key West Butterfly Conservatory. It was our first stop in Key West (CityView Trolley dropped us right at the front door). First, the gift shop is amazing! You could spend an hour just putzing around in there. Once you finally cut yourself loose from that, you pay and enter the Conservatory. We had a coupon from the Trolley but the OPR (old person rate) was cheaper - $9 if I remember correctly. There's an education area and then you step into the rainforest - or that's what it feels like. It's very warm, very humid and very, very beautiful. It is astonishing to see all of the birds and butterflies at ease in their home. They just go about their business and leave you sighing in delight as they flit by you. There are feeding stations throughout to tempt them to land (and to, well, feed them) and a myriad of tropical flowers to tempt them, too. We spent a lot of time - lost track of how much - just trying to get a really good picture of the irridescent blue ones!! They are really fast and when they stop, they fold up their wings and the wings are brown on the outside -- disappointing but oh, so much safer for them, I'm sure!
This place did not at all disappoint. All the hype was right-on for me. It may not be everyone's cup of tea but if you are a tree-hugging nature lover like me - you'll get a kick out of it!
One negative to me. I'd been pining for the 'butterfly in a crystal ball' Christmas ornament and had even posted pictures on Cruise Critic for others to see and get excited about. Guess what? They only carry them at Christmas...I was denied the $45 Christmas ornament (probably just as well). And, yes, I can order online - but it's not the same thing. Haven't shop owners in cruise ports figured out that Chritmas ornaments are a big deal as souvenirs? Small, inexpensive (mostly), easy to transport, lightweight...just saying.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.