Destination Key West: Tropical Travel Delight

Written by 19 November 2009 1,787 views One Comment

Destination Key West! It might be just me, but I think Key West is about as much fun as a place can be. There are excellent restaurants, world famous watering holes, a complete array of watersports in the warmest, clearest water in the US, an interesting history reflected in the architecture; and year round great weather.

If you haven’t visited the Southernmost City, allow me to introduce you to some of my favorite spots and things to do.

First stop will have to be the ocean; this sub tropical island is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean with its warming Gulfstream on one side, and the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico on the other. You can go deep sea fishing along the deep waters of the Gulfstream or find a  guide for light tackle angling in the back country; watch dolphins cavort in the water; snorkel or dive among the tropical fish and colorful coral on the only barrier reef in the United States; sail into the sunset on an evening cruise, kayak the mangrove islands or parasail several hundred feet in the air over the water.

When you’re hungry for the local fare, you can pick up conch fritters from a street kiosk at Mallory Square (two hours before sunset until one hour after), or stop in at any number of excellent restaurants for fresh seafood. A big favorite is Seven Fish, well off the beaten path and completely worth finding. Finish with Key Lime pie from almost any place. You’ll find numerous small shops selling this local sweet – and my favorite is the frozen chocolate covered ones from Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe on Greene Street just off the harbor.Here are some more Key West restaurant recommendations.

If you’re interested in Key West’s history, just look around. The streets of what we call Old Town are part of a Historic District that was established in 1971. There are more than 2,400 historic buildings in the 5,400 acres bounded by White, Angela, Windsor, Passover, Thomas and Whitehead Streets, and the Gulf of Mexico. The architecture is fanciful and usually, but not accurately called Victorian. In his book, Houses of Key West Alex Caemmerer says most were Classical Revival. The more elegant homes are often two story clapboard sided homes with wide verandahs and decorative scrollwork called gingerbread. Smaller “shotgun houses” built for cigar makers also line the streets.

There are several homes and gardens that can be toured: among them the Hemingway House, the Audubon House and the Little White House where Harry S. Truman spent as much of his term as he could.

key-west-historic-innPirate Lore is another huge part of Key West history, and you’ll find a couple of museums dedicated to their treasure and influence in the Florida Keys. The Pirate Soul Museum is on at 524 Front Street. The Mel Fisher Museum is at 200 Greene Street. The Shipwreck Historeum: 1 Whitehead Street. Here are hours and more information on these and other Key West museums and attractions.

You can even stay in one of these find old mansions; the Curry Mansion is in the center of Old Town just off Duval and the Southernmost House is a stunning historic inn/ bed and breakfast right on the Ocean at the top of Duval. For a more modern experience, the Art Deco Eden House at 1035 Fleming is a favorite.

If you enjoy your vacation, we won’t be surprised to find you want to stay. It happens all the time. Rudy Molinet, of Marquis Properties can help you find a home in Paradise. You can start with a Key West MLS search or browse his  Key West real estate listings.

Enjoy Key West! I’ll see you on the Duval Crawl.

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