Spending A Great Cruise Day In Key West
Many Caribbean cruises include Key West, Florida as one of their ports 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 once 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 one-day 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.
Where Your Ship Docks – Cruise ships dock at a pier along the waterfront right at Mallory Square in the heart of town. While there is no cruise terminal there are plenty of facilities within a short walk.
Coming out of the cruise dock area immediately to your left is the Key West Trolly and the Aquarium. Walk five blocks to the left down Front Street and you’ll pass Duval Street, home to a number of shops, bars and 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. From the ship, if you walk down Front Street in the opposite direction, it takes you past the Truman Winter White House and Whitehead Street the location of the Audubon House and the Hemingway House.
Transportation – Key West is not a very large city with the center of town just steps away. Getting to the other side of the island to the public beach is a few miles and to be honest isn’t one of Key Wests major attractions. Sightseeing is easy with the Conch Train and there’s the hop-on- hop-off Key West Trolley within three blocks of the ship. 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 in.
Money – The US Dollar of course and your credit cards are welcome everywhere. You’ll also find a number of convenient ATM’s and maybe even your bank has an office here.
Attractions – If your thing is history there are a number of attractions that should interest you. From the Ship Wreck Museum right near the pier to the homes of famous Americans like President Truman, Hemingway and 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 a stop on the Conch Train and Trolly.
This is the American tropics and there are a selection of water activities like snorkeling and diving trips available along with sailing excursions. Key West is also famous for shopping, seafood and bars. Pick up a pair of Keno Sandles, some hand rolled cigars and don’t forget a 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, Capitan Tony’s or Hogs Breath Saloon which is where you can buy Key West’s favorite t-shirt. There is little in the way of attractive beaches here but there are excursions down to the Dry Tortugas and the National Park and historic fort.
Key West is also famous for its sunset celebration at Mallory Square but unfortunately, because of local regulations cruise, ships must depart before sunset so as not to block the revelers sunset views.
ADD SOME KEY WEST TO YOUR LIFE…