Spending Some Time In Key West Florida
Still can’t book a cruise or plan a distant vacation because of the pandemic? Consider an exotic island destination that’s even easy to drive to. Consider taking a trip down that string of islands known as the Florida Keys to the Conch Republic also known as Key West. It’s even on many Caribbean cruise itineraries as a port of call.
This tropical city is an American original that has cast its spell on a number of great people for more than a century. Ernest Hemingway, President Truman, Audubon, Calvin Klein, Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams and of course the unofficial mayor of Margaritaville Jimmy Buffet, just to name a few. Many of them have left their own mark on Key West and you can still walk in their footsteps today. Hemingway’s favorite hangout was Sloppy Joe’s Bar and it still feels as if he could walk through its doors at any time. Jimmy Buffet even included his bar, Captain Tony’s in a song.
As a new visitor take your time walking these fascinating streets, stop in for a beer to get out of the Sun and soak up history at some of its famous homes.
Start your tour of the town from Mallory Square in the heart of Key West where you’ll find the Key West Trolly and the Aquarium. Walk down Front Street and you’ll pass Duval Street, home to a number of shops, a couple of famous bars and some nice restaurants. Another two blocks down Front Street you will come to the A&B Docks with its array of restaurants and shops next to Key West Bight. If you walk up Front Street in the opposite direction, it will take you past the Truman Winter White House and Whitehead Street the location of the Audubon House and the Hemingway House.
Key West is not a very large city with the historic district only about a half mile square. Getting to the other side of the island to the public beach is a couple of miles and to be honest the beaches aren’t one of Key Wests major attractions. Getting an overview of Key West is easy taking either the Conch Train or the hop-on- hop-off Key West Trolley, both within blocks of the Mallory Square. There are also a few less conventional modes of transportation available like street legal golf carts and miniature two-seaters you can rent. There’s even a miniature floating tiki bar you can rent to motor around the water front.
Things to see – If your thing is history there are a number of attractions that should interest you. From the Ship Wreck Museum right at Mallory Square to tours of the homes of famous Americans like President Truman, Ernest Hemingway and John Audubon.
Another tourist favorite is the Southern Most Point in the U.S. which is also the end of US Highway 1. It is some distance from Mallory Square but is a stop on the Conch Train and Trolly routes.
This is the American tropics and there are a selection of water activities to consider like snorkeling and diving the nearby coral reefs along with sailing day excursions. Key West is also famous for shopping, seafood and its bars. Before you leave pick up a pair of Keno Sandals, some hand rolled cigars and don’t forget that bottle of Key Lime Juice. Stop in for a beer at one of the cities famous watering holes like Sloppy Joe’s Bar, Ernest Hemingway’s favorite, or Capitan Tony’s, that Jimmy Buffet sang about or Hogs Breath Saloon which is where you can buy Key West’s favorite t-shirt. There may not be much in the way of attractive beaches but there are boat and seaplane excursions you can take down to the Dry Tortugas with a National Park and historic fort.
Key West is also famous for its sunsets at Mallory Square where you’ll find street acts, music, food and where every day is a celebration. It’s such a big deal that local regulations require the cruise ships to depart before sunset so as not to block the revelers sunset views.
Looking to get away? Like good seafood and a vibrant nightlife? Think Key West and the Florida Keys…
ADD SOME KEY WEST TO YOUR LIFE…