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Vanity Post--Travel Ideas for Key West

Posted on 05/31/2014 6:01:24 PM PDT by AbolishCSEU

Wondering if any Freepers have any advice for touring Key West.


TOPICS: Chit/Chat; Travel
KEYWORDS: florida; keywest; travel
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Tourist traps to stay away from? Will be traveling to Key West in October.
1 posted on 05/31/2014 6:01:24 PM PDT by AbolishCSEU
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To: AbolishCSEU

Heading there in the weeks, so I’ll be listening in if you don’t mind.


2 posted on 05/31/2014 6:04:12 PM PDT by Benito Cereno
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To: AbolishCSEU

Wear long sleeves in the evening and early night along with copious amounts of DEET.


3 posted on 05/31/2014 6:05:23 PM PDT by Ben Mugged (The number one enemy of liberalism is reality.)
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To: AbolishCSEU

Sloppy Joe’s. Rent bikes.


4 posted on 05/31/2014 6:05:35 PM PDT by Oldeconomybuyer (The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.)
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To: AbolishCSEU

Depends on reason for going. Not much to do if family. There are other more family friendly places in Florida. Key West is about drinking. But you can see the Atlantic and see the Gulf.


5 posted on 05/31/2014 6:07:03 PM PDT by looois
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To: AbolishCSEU

See all the cats at Hemingway’s house!


6 posted on 05/31/2014 6:08:11 PM PDT by Empireoftheatom48 (God help the Republic but will he?)
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To: looois

Just there. We had a nice time staying at the NAS. (military ID required). Unless you are big into drinking, think about another place.


7 posted on 05/31/2014 6:08:58 PM PDT by aviator (Armored Pest Control)
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To: Oldeconomybuyer

Was there a couple of years ago... It wasn’t cheap but it was worth it. We paid $240 a hotel. Go para sailing...


8 posted on 05/31/2014 6:10:21 PM PDT by babygene ( .)
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To: AbolishCSEU

If you drop your keys, kick them to Islamorada.


9 posted on 05/31/2014 6:10:26 PM PDT by gundog (Help us, Nairobi-Wan Kenobi...you're our only hope.)
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To: AbolishCSEU
Duval Crawl
Irish Kevin's (although Jared M. Hobgood is no longer there, RIP)
Hog's Breath
Capt Tony's (the original in morgue)
Hemingway's house, six toed cats
Watch sunset
10 posted on 05/31/2014 6:11:20 PM PDT by HonkyTonkMan
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To: AbolishCSEU

Yeah, don’t go.


11 posted on 05/31/2014 6:11:31 PM PDT by saganite (What happens to taglines? Is there a termination date?)
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To: AbolishCSEU

ask for Doc... https://www.facebook.com/ChefDistilled


12 posted on 05/31/2014 6:11:50 PM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY - 86-44)
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To: Empireoftheatom48

“See all the cats at Hemingway’s house!”

They are pampered little furballs!


13 posted on 05/31/2014 6:12:01 PM PDT by dynachrome (Vertrou in God en die Mauser)
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To: AbolishCSEU

Bring money


14 posted on 05/31/2014 6:12:21 PM PDT by woofie
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To: looois
But you can see the Atlantic and see the Gulf.

Yeah. If you stand in the right place, you can watch a piece of eelgrass move from the crappy looking water of the Atlantic into the crappy looking water of the Gulf. And back, if you've time the tides.

15 posted on 05/31/2014 6:13:01 PM PDT by gundog (Help us, Nairobi-Wan Kenobi...you're our only hope.)
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To: AbolishCSEU
Some places I went to...
16 posted on 05/31/2014 6:13:26 PM PDT by Dallas59 ("Remember me as you pass by, As you are now, so once was I, As I am now, so you will be")
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To: AbolishCSEU

My wife and I were there last year.....unless you plan to fish or snorkel or dive, be prepared to do lots of walking....

Several famous bars are there, several local museums highlighting local history....people like Hemingway ...

If you are driving.... The trip down is pretty interesting....

You can see the railroad Flagler build about 100 years ago still standing almost all the down the highway....

We drove from Tampa to there....


17 posted on 05/31/2014 6:13:49 PM PDT by Popman ("Resistance to Tyrants is Obedience to God" - Thomas Jefferson)
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To: AbolishCSEU

We had a quick stop there at the end of a Panama Canal cruise we took (late April, early May). We took a bike tour & got to see the lay of the place. It’s nice & flat for biking, which was nice as I haven’t ridden in years. I keep a log when we travel, so I’ll just post what I wrote (info from our bike guide) & it may give you some ideas...

Our tour was a bike ride (approximately 5 miles) around Key West, where we would pass by, but not go into, the major tourist attractions. We saw the original Margaritaville shop & café, & also where Jimmy Buffett lived while he was still singing for drinks. We also saw his studio. We went by the Customs House, where we were told that Key West was at one time one of the wealthiest cities in the country – its wealth made from ships that wrecked on the reef. (Key West has the third largest reef after the Great Barrier Reef in Australia & the one off Belize.) We saw the lighthouse which is now a museum, & Mel Fisher’s museum. He found the wreck Atocha, & recovered $5M worth of Spanish doubloons & assorted other treasure. We passed by the ‘Little White House’ where Harry Truman (& other presidents) came to relax. And we heard a number of stories about the local goings on. For instance, every evening the locals go to the sea wall & watch the sunset. As it sinks below the ocean, everyone claps. That tradition was started by Tennessee Williams, the novelist.
Tobacco & cigars played a big role in the wealth of the Keys. If cigars were imported, a very high tax was levied. But no such tax was levied on the raw tobacco. Cuban cigar makers (no fools) moved to Key West & imported the tobacco, & made them here instead. One particular cigar maker, who had made a fortune, was enticed to move to Tampa. When he left, he bequeathed his home & property to the community, with the only proviso that it be used for recreational purposes. Now it is a park, called the ‘Bay View Park’, although there is no longer a view of the Bay. Too much building further on.

The best story was the last. Once the highway was built connecting the Keys to the mainland, drug runners started using it. So the Feds put up a road block & started searching EVERY vehicle that moved on it. The mayor got mad as this was a clear violation of Fourth Amendment rights. He went to Washington to complain, but got nowhere. So he told them he was going to secede from the US. When he got back a merry band went to the Post Office & were going to take down the US flag, but someone feared that might be considered treason. So they raised their own flag of the Conch Republic just under the US flag. Now every year they re-enact the battle that never happened. All the ships in the marina parade out into the bay, & the coast guard sends ships out to meet them. There are even bi-planes that drop environmentally friendly toilet paper ‘bombs’ on the coast guard. Sooner or later, everyone comes back to port, where the coast guard ceremonially surrenders to the Conch Republic citizenry by handing them a sword, at which point the citizens hand it back & tell them ‘we’ve defeated you for the past XX years, & DON’T DO IT AGAIN!‘ And they all go off to enjoy another day in paradise.

Last stop: we went to the Key Lime Pie Company for a piece of pie.

It was fun. I think I’d like to go back there & spend some time someday.


18 posted on 05/31/2014 6:15:57 PM PDT by Twotone (Marte Et Clypeo)
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To: AbolishCSEU

Beware the Homo Depot. Lol!


19 posted on 05/31/2014 6:18:16 PM PDT by FreeInWV (Have you had enough change yet?)
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To: Popman
You can see the railroad Flagler build about 100 years ago still standing almost all the down the highway.

The old US 1 paralleled the tracks for quite a ways. Was stationed down there in the early '50s and made he weekend run to Miami on a three-day liberty. Lotsa fun dodging the fishing sinkers coming through the windshield from the guys fishing off the bridge. They'd swing the rod back to cast and often wouldn't look to see if a car was coming.

20 posted on 05/31/2014 6:19:11 PM PDT by Oatka (This is America. Assimilate or evaporate.)
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To: AbolishCSEU

Five years ago we took a cruise that stopped at Key West. Enjoyed our few hours there...At the time they had golf carts to rent, which we had planned to do, but then it started raining, so we went into a bar and had some conch fritters, and something to drink. Conch fritters were not all that great, but my son sure enjoyed them. They do, apparently, have the smallest bar around.


21 posted on 05/31/2014 6:20:53 PM PDT by psjones (u)
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To: AbolishCSEU

October? Watch out for Fantasy Fest (unless you’re into that sort of thing). It gives the gay pride parades in NOLA and San Francisco a real run for their money. You’ll see people (of both sexes) running around in not much more than body paint, a few feathers and a smile. That said, the food and mojitos at the Conch Republic Seafood Co. are great and don’t miss breakfast at the Blue Heaven or Pepe’s. The others are right — KW (Duval Street, anyway) is pretty much all about drinking. I’d stay away from the t-shirt shops on Duval Street — they’ll offer you some sort of deal that will end up costing you double or triple. Margaritaville is an exception — their t-shirts are good quality, if a little pricey (but they’re more than just a t-shirt shop). If you’re there 10/29 - 11/2, the parrotheads (Jimmy Buffett fans) will be having their annual convention there, and there are some pretty good drink specials all over the place. There will be live troprock music in most of the bars, probably a street fest on Friday, and possibly Jimmy will show up (he has in the past, but no one really knows until he does). It’s loads of fun — like a giant pre-concert parking lot party with 3500 of your closest friends. Oh, yeah, don’t miss the pizza slices at Angelina’s on Duval ... yum.


22 posted on 05/31/2014 6:21:39 PM PDT by Fast Moving Angel (It is no more than a dream remembered, a Civilization gone with the wind.)
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To: AbolishCSEU

Early October? I’d avoid Halloween at all costs if you’re taking kids.


23 posted on 05/31/2014 6:24:41 PM PDT by gundog (Help us, Nairobi-Wan Kenobi...you're our only hope.)
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To: AbolishCSEU

I was actually married in Key West. Of course that might not work for you if you plan to take your husband;)

We found many interesting artsy-craftsy little shops and galleries; Fast Buck Freddies on Duval was wonderful, but now closed. I did enjoy the tour of Hemingway’s house.

Sunsets are spectacular, but I don’t advise joining the crowd at Mallory Square. We enjoyed watching the sun go down from the Pier House Resort, which has a pier where you can order drinks and perhaps even food.

Enjoy!


24 posted on 05/31/2014 6:25:32 PM PDT by Veto! (OpInions freely dispensed as advice)
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To: AbolishCSEU

If you are driving down, make sure you stop at the Key deer refuge on Big Pine Key.

Best way to get around Key West itself is by bicycle, by far. The sunset celebration at Mallory Square dock is a must - once, at least, it is crowded and noisy but immense fun. Just don’t carry a wallet and make sure you have a fair number of singles on you for the performers. And for the Lord’s sake - make sure you pay attention to the actual sunset!


25 posted on 05/31/2014 6:26:57 PM PDT by EC1
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To: AbolishCSEU
If you dive/snorkel Lady Cyana Divers is a good slightly bigger than mom and pop operation. Been diving with them several times.
26 posted on 05/31/2014 6:31:12 PM PDT by CrazyIvan (I lost my phased plasma rifle in a tragic hovercraft accident.)
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To: AbolishCSEU

There is a GREAT all you can eat seafood restaurant on Duval Street. I believe it is 212 Duval. If not it is very close to that address.


27 posted on 05/31/2014 6:33:02 PM PDT by PJ-Comix (Boko Haram was enabled by Buku Huma)
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To: Fast Moving Angel

The drive down was very flat and it was hard to see beyond the vegetation to the ocean and the Gulf. We were there for Fantasy Fest, too. Didn’t know it was happening. The gays have taken over Halloween. I have a picture of my ex giving the “devil” a light. Did not find a place with a good key lime pie, which was my goal. There’s a park with canons; nice for a walk. I don’t remember a sandy beach. I saw kids in the bars. My souvenir was a giant beach towel, which I still have.

Recommended soundtrack: “Stepped on a pop top. Blew out my flip flop... in Margaritaville.”


28 posted on 05/31/2014 6:34:03 PM PDT by lulu16 (May the Good Lord take a liking to you!)
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To: AbolishCSEU

Watch out for sexual deviants and diseases.

Find someone who has a boat so you can snorkel the reefs.


29 posted on 05/31/2014 6:34:58 PM PDT by cornelis
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To: AbolishCSEU

Paseo Restaurant
Add to trip
1000 Eaton St, Key West, FL 33040-6925


This is a converted gas station. Only a couple tables inside. Picnic tables outside. some of the best food I have ever eaten. Especially the corn on the cob. Do not plan on sharing.


30 posted on 05/31/2014 6:37:28 PM PDT by cornfedcowboy
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To: lulu16
The best Key Lime Pie IMHO wasn't in Key West at all, but in the middle Keys at a place called the Lor-E-Lei. Instead of being a rather thinly filled generic custard pie with meringue or whipped cream, theirs is high and fluffy and whipped, but not overly sweet. The best we had found (and I'd LOVE to get the recipe!!). Also, someone else mentioned conch fritters -- the Lor-E-Lei's were the best as well (not greasy or doughy, but lots of chopped conch and vegetables ... yum!).

Because the Keys are essentially coral islands, their beaches aren't the greatest and they've had to import sand. Smathers Beach and a couple of others on the south side of Key West are about the extent of it.

31 posted on 05/31/2014 6:39:29 PM PDT by Fast Moving Angel (It is no more than a dream remembered, a Civilization gone with the wind.)
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To: AbolishCSEU

Keep your eyes open and let us know if you see
James William Buffett amongst your rounds.


32 posted on 05/31/2014 6:42:07 PM PDT by deport
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To: AbolishCSEU
Best bakery: Old Town Bakery
http://www.oldtownbakerykeywest.com/Home.html

Best Restaurant: Santiago's Bodega (Not on Duval Street - Happy Hour 3 to 6 pm)
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g34345-d552921-Reviews-Santiago_s_Bodega-Key_West_Florida_Keys_Florida.html

Best Day or Half Day Trip if you like history OR snorkeling: Dry Tortugas National Park
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g34345-Activities-Key_West_Florida_Keys_Florida.html

33 posted on 05/31/2014 6:45:58 PM PDT by Chgogal (Obama "hung the SEALs out to dry, basically exposed them like a set of dog balls..." CMH)
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To: AbolishCSEU

Lots a fags there. If you drop your wallet, kick it to Miami before you bend over to pick it up.

There’s a huge seashell shop in the center of town (you’ll know it immediately) that has some incredible stuff in it. Other than that, it’s no great shakes, if you ask me.


34 posted on 05/31/2014 6:49:03 PM PDT by IronJack
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To: AbolishCSEU
If you are going by car to Key West: Best EVER Key Lime Pie and Hogfish Sandwich (sandwich special only) - MUST STOP FOR THE KEY LIME PIE.....yes, I am yelling. ; )

http://www.mrsmacskitchen.com/

35 posted on 05/31/2014 6:49:34 PM PDT by Chgogal (Obama "hung the SEALs out to dry, basically exposed them like a set of dog balls..." CMH)
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To: AbolishCSEU

Want to see the real Key West? Well, it has been a while but:

See the Wrecker’s Museum(the major industry at one time making Key West the richest town per capita, was salvaging— and sometime causing- shipwrecks on the reefs).

See Stephen Mallory’s home (the Sec. of the CSA Navy) aka as Hemingway’s House (at the time the most expensive one on the island).

There is also a private tropical palm botanical garden in the area of Calvin Klein’s home (it may have been destroyed- but it was a project by a lady who employed only recovering alcoholics—and was a fantastic garden of major and obscure tropical palms and plants).

The Gato House which was a Cuban cigar magnate’s home. Learn about the cigar rollers in the factories in Key West, who were read daily newspapers by a lector.

Chandler’s Museum, The Custom House and of course Mel Fisher’s Museum of the treasure of the galleon, Nuestra de Senora Atocha.

Martello Towers. Fort Taylor Park.

Take a boat (not plane) to the Dry Tortugas 40 sea miles with Fort Jefferson there— which is a full day trip- and the best snorkeling. The fort which held Dr. Mudd (of the Lincoln Conspiracy). Also along the way— maybe one of the 1800’s era open ocean lighthouse towers.

Do your laundry at a Cuban/American launderette with an Espresso and Cuban sandwich bar included. Cafe con Leche.

Avoid anything with Buffett on it. Jimmy or Warren (cause neither of them was ever from Key West).


36 posted on 05/31/2014 6:50:58 PM PDT by John S Mosby (Sic Semper Tyrannis)
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To: Chgogal
Whoops, forgot to mention Mrs. Mac's Kitchen is in Key Largo.
37 posted on 05/31/2014 6:51:00 PM PDT by Chgogal (Obama "hung the SEALs out to dry, basically exposed them like a set of dog balls..." CMH)
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To: Fast Moving Angel

Lor-E-Lei’ should be the next Freepers road trip. We should all show up in our bikes and sidecars. And maybe someone can sweet talk the restaurant into giving their key lime pie recipe. I hear that it is froze with a mango sauce.

Thank-you for clarifying why it was hard to find a sandy beach.


38 posted on 05/31/2014 6:51:32 PM PDT by lulu16 (May the Good Lord take a liking to you!)
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To: AbolishCSEU
DON'T WEAR A SPEEDO!!!!!!!

your new-found gay friends in KW will love it.

39 posted on 05/31/2014 6:51:43 PM PDT by aMorePerfectUnion ( "I didn't leave the Central Oligarchy Party. It left me." - Ronaldus Magnimus, 2014)
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To: AbolishCSEU

Here is a PBS video on the Hemingway House featuring the precious kitties!

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=pbs+heminway+house+cats+video&FORM=VIRE2#view=detail&mid=EE4401D66557A441CCB2EE4401D66557A441CCB2


40 posted on 05/31/2014 6:56:19 PM PDT by Seizethecarp (Defend aircraft from "runway kill zone" mini-drone helicopter swarm attacks: www.runwaykillzone.com)
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To: John S Mosby
Took the plane, fabulous!!! But it costs. You get there before the boat by a few hours. You have the island to yourselves except for the handful of campers.
41 posted on 05/31/2014 7:01:42 PM PDT by Chgogal (Obama "hung the SEALs out to dry, basically exposed them like a set of dog balls..." CMH)
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To: Fast Moving Angel
That said, the food and mojitos at the Conch Republic Seafood Co.

I will second the Conch Republic Seafood, Inc...I had the Hog Fish dish..and it was timely and excellent!!!

42 posted on 05/31/2014 7:04:43 PM PDT by Osage Orange (I have strong feelings about gun control. If there's a gun around, I want to be controlling it.)
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To: AbolishCSEU

I recently went to Key West on a mini-vacation (December ‘13). The only gays I ran into drove the cabs. They seemed nice enough, well anyways they go me to my destinations. Key West is great for chilling with a drink and enjoying doing nothing. I went offshore fishing one day and backcountry fishing the next. Both experiences were great. Black tuna and dolphin one day and snappers and sharks the next. I stayed in a townhome some friends of mine rented for the week in the Truman Annex. Right next to the Truman Southern Whitehouse. Rent a bike. I wish I did. Conch Republic is a fun bar. Hog’s Breath. Just about anywhere close to the water. I seemed to avoid most of the touristy places and had fun anyways.


43 posted on 05/31/2014 7:07:21 PM PDT by CollegeRepublican
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To: AbolishCSEU

My family has been down to the Keys and Key West a couple of times. While Key West has a reputation as a drinking destination, neither my husband nor I drink and we’ve had fun down there with our very young son. We’ve done combined trips with Disney World and the Keys (may as well go all the way to the end if we’re in Florida anyway), so when we go to Key West it’s a great time to relax and enjoy not having to wait in theme park lines.
With that said, one of my favorite things we’ve done down there was spend a day at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park. It’s very cheap to get in. Take a cooler with drinks and food, get there early, pick out a picnic table under a palm or pine tree and just enjoy doing nothing for the entire day. The water is beautiful, but be prepared for the jagged rocks that you have to walk over to get into the water. The rocks are brutal on your feet, but the water is also warm and calm (not like a regular ocean) once you get past the rocks. We bought snorkel sets at the Walgreens on Duval St. and LOVED snorkeling around the rocks at the state park. There were tons of fish. While there weren’t beautiful reefs or anything like that, we still did this for hours and had the sunburn to prove it. It’s relaxing swimming with fish in their natural habitat.
Also, while we were there we saw what looked like possibly Navy Seals doing training. A boat was in the water in the distance and there were dive flags out. The boat had been out there for a while when we finally saw the guys rising from the water and coming ashore in full gear and arms. That caught everyone’s attention and was really interesting!
Everyone says Mallory Square is the place to see a Key West sunset, but I don’t think it’s the best. The street performers there in the evening are cool, but walk around until you find a place to see the sun where small islands aren’t blocking the sun setting on the ocean.
Our favorite restaurant down there is the Conch Republic Seafood Co. My husband is partial to their Cuban Sandwich. He craves it still! It’s also neat to eat at the original Margaritaville that Jimmy Buffett opened if you happen to be a Parrothead.
One thing to definitely consider doing is a sailboat ride. We did a sunset sail with this company (http://www.sail-keywest.com/) and it was like heaven on earth. There are many companies that offer sunset cruises and things like that in Key West, but this one is great if you aren’t wanting the “party atmosphere”. There are many catamarans and boats that blare music and have rowdy people on it, but this one is different. You get out there on the water to enjoy the OCEAN and only the sound of the waves and flapping sails. They offer sodas, water, beer and light snacks (cheese, crackers, shrimp cocktail). The sunset was beautiful and it was fun seeing the crew raising the sails. Some of the best money we’ve spent on any of our many vacations!! Absolutely AWESOME and the crew was as friendly as could be!
Oh, also check out the huge Banyan tree at the Banyan Hotel. If you’re just out walking and exploring it’s a cool thing to see.
Honestly, the thing I like most about the Keys though is the drive down. Seeing the blue and turquoise waters on each side of the highway is surreal and beautiful. You can’t see that anywhere else.
My advice is to just go down there and enjoy relaxing. Don’t feel like you have to plan a bunch of touristy things to do. Walk around and enjoy the island life. Just enjoy the laid back atmosphere and let your worries go. :) Enjoy your trip!
P.S.- DO NOT go to Smathers Beach. It is smelly and covered with seaweed and questionable people. Absolutely disgusting. If you want to go to a beach, just go to Fort Z. Taylor State Park.


44 posted on 05/31/2014 7:07:25 PM PDT by artsymom
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To: Osage Orange

Conch Republic had this sea salt scrub in the bathroom that I was obsessed with. Every time I walked near that place I went to the bathroom just to scrub my hands. They smelled so good.


45 posted on 05/31/2014 7:09:27 PM PDT by CollegeRepublican
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To: artsymom

I will second going to Fort Z. Taylor State Park. There was a pirate convention when I was there. Pretty cool festival in the actual fort. Just make sure to have water shoes for the rocks on the “beach”.


46 posted on 05/31/2014 7:13:19 PM PDT by CollegeRepublican
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To: Fast Moving Angel
Louies Backyard..and Seven Fish in Key West...was pretty good food too!!

But the Square Grouper Bar & Grill...in Cudjoe Key was awesome!! As was Mangrove Mama's and The Wharf Bar and Grill....I would send my best friends to those places.

47 posted on 05/31/2014 7:14:05 PM PDT by Osage Orange (I have strong feelings about gun control. If there's a gun around, I want to be controlling it.)
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To: AbolishCSEU

I’ve been once and can’t say that I was too impressed...but I’m often in the minority on such issues.The one thing I recall clearly is the drive from Miami and the night we spent on Marathon Key.The drive was amazing...as was Marathon.


48 posted on 05/31/2014 7:16:57 PM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Rat Party Policy:Lie,Deny,Refuse To Comply)
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To: AbolishCSEU
25MB Panorama From Keeper's Quarters Museum Lighthouse
49 posted on 05/31/2014 7:19:44 PM PDT by Dallas59 ("Remember me as you pass by, As you are now, so once was I, As I am now, so you will be")
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To: AbolishCSEU

Avoid the pricey hamburgers. There’s a Five Guy just off Duvall at Truman.

All the eateries on Duvall are WAY overpriced.

The Double Tree is my favorite stay. They have a guy who plays steel drum dub step and mumbles the lyrics in the afternoon, by the pool. A pleasant way to sun, drink and read.

Renting a bike is a good way to get around.

I understand it’s a good place for charter fishing.

Try to ignore the faggots.


50 posted on 05/31/2014 7:21:20 PM PDT by PhiloBedo (You gotta roll with the punches and get with what's real.)
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