On this part of our Florida Journey we are at the southern most city, the beautiful, historic, sometimes quirky and sometimes elegant city of Key West. We had only a short time, 3 nights and 2 days but somehow John and I managed to pack in a ton of fun and adventure.
As soon as we unpacked our bags at the condo we booked through VRBO, we hit the ground running. First stop? Why of course the famous, Duval Street. In my day they use to call it bar hopping, now days they call it crawling, after a few drinks for this light weight, I certainly understood the name change.
We went from bar to bar for several hours, being drawn in by the great sounding music. At each of the bars we stopped at we would have a drink and an appetizer, and when finished we moved on to the next one, trying to check out as many as we could in one evening or before we fell down.
Key West has the reputation for people consuming a lot of adult beverages and yes, there was a lot of drinking going on in these establishments, but what people don’t talk a lot about is the great music. My thoughts are that there are so many bars and pubs in Key West that the competition for customers must be pretty tough, and for us it was the music that we heard that dictated which bar we chose to visit, which I think would be the case for many. In order for the bars to compete with each other, I think they must have to find the best entertainers they possibly can to draw in the crowds. We enjoyed great quality music and entertainment the entire evening through, so for us it was not about the drink it was about the music.
John and I could drink and eat no more but we were not quite ready to call it a night, and even though we were a little on the tipsy side we decided to keep going. We were able to do this by getting on a bus… A ghost bus that is.
Key West is an old historic place and a city this old always has some interesting and sometimes comical ghost stories. A ghost tour is certainly an entertaining way of learning a bit of a cities history and a little bit about the interesting past of it’s former? residents.
On our first full day in Key West and after all the excitement of the night before, we ended up sleeping in a bit and relaxing on our balcony enjoying the view. We finally got hungry and by this time it was almost noon and time for lunch.
In Key West you will find the most charming restaurants that you will find anywhere, with most being in old restored and historically remodeled homes. We did not have a bad meal in Key West, matter of fact, every appetizer or full meal we had was marvelous. Again, there is a lot of competition for customers in Key West and I would imagine that the restaurants, just like the bars I mentioned before, have to try to out do each other or their business is not going to last long. The customers certainly get the benefit of the competition as the food in Key West to coin a phrase “is to die for” and the service we experienced was outstanding.
Our next stop after lunch was a walk by the famous Southern Most Point, where we found a long line of people waiting to take their picture. We did not feel the need to have a picture taken here, nor did we want to stand in a line, so we kept moving. I would imagine that if you absolutely must have your picture taken at the Southern Most point, you would have to get there pretty early to not have to wait.
There is much to do in Key West but we had limited time this trip and just like most people we too have to try to stay within a budget, so we picked the things to see and do that best fit our interests. Ernest Hemingway has to be one of Key West’s most famous former residents and someone who has always fascinated me so we chose to visit the Ernest Hemingway House and Museum next.
Ernest Hemingway was an avid deep sea fisherman and had his own boat when a fellow sailor gave him a gift of a male, six toed cat that legend says is good luck to sailors. Hemingway named the cat Snowball and gave him free reign of the property, soon Snowball sowed his oats sort of speak and soon generations of six and seven toed cats followed. Today there are over 50 cats that freely roam the Hemingway property.
Earlier in the day the weather was sunny and beautiful and we booked a sunset cruise for the evening that I was pretty excited about, however as the day went on the wind picked up and clouds started to gather. Oh well, we should have been more diligent and checked the weather forecast before we booked because our next stop was a sunset cruise on a catamaran called “Commotion on the Ocean”.
For as windy as it was, the ride on the water remained fairly smooth but with the wind brought a February chill, making it a tad bit uncomfortable. However, we made the best of it as did the other people on the boat and it was a full boat, which made us feel better as at least we weren’t the only dumb ones that didn’t check the weather forecast. This particular cruise was a dinner and all the beer, wine and margaritas you could drink cruise. Now when they say dinner, keep in mind that everyone’s idea of dinner must be different, to us it was a snack, finger food cruise. Because of the heavy cloud cover, sunset was a bust, but the cruise of the harbor itself was enjoyable and had it been a good weather day, it might have been the highlight of the trip. I guess we will try again next time.
Since we really did not have enough to eat on the sunset cruise, it was back to Duval Street for another evening of fine dining and great entertainment. After diner we encountered a street magician that fascinated us with his slight of hand and left us asking ” how the heck did he do that?” Another late evening and back to the condo we went.
Of course no Key West trip would be complete without some beach time and on our last day there we headed over to Smather’s Beach, a public beach right on the main highway.
To end our last day there we visited the Key West Tropical Forrest and Botanical Gardens for a relaxing walk through of a landscape of stunning and beautiful foliage. By this time on our whirlwind journey we were pretty wore out but we had one last hurrah on this journey and it was the main reason we booked this trip in the first place!! A wedding!! My cousin’s daughter married in the gardens and it was a spectacular venue for a wedding.
After a 3 nights and 2 days of what seemed like going non stop, it was time to say goodbye to this tropical paradise and before leaving we only had time for one more gorgeous view, the sunrise view from our condo balcony.
To get our view on budgeting a Key West Trip and some other insights on our Key West Adventure, Please see our previous post Planning and Budgeting your Best Key West Trip Ever
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Categories: The Florida Keys