Key West Journals

Key West - A Parrothead's Dream Come True

A travel journal to Key West by Tideone

Crowne Plaza La Concha Photo, Key West, Florida More Photos
Quote: If you are a Parrothead then Key West and the Florida Keys should be on the top of your travel destinations. Jimmy's songs seem to come alive in Key West and there is even a Margaritaville to visit. And now there is also a Trails of Margaritaville tour where you can experience Jimmy's Key West.

Key West - A Parrothead's Dream Come True

Overview

End of the Road Photo, Key West, Florida
Quote:
Being a Parrothead, my most memorable moment in Key West was my first visit to Margaritaville with my second most memorable event being the Trails of Margaritaville tour, led by Frank Everhart. Quick Tips: If you have the time - drive from Miami to Key West. There is no better way to get the feel of the Keys than by driving the 150 plus miles down US 1. The drive will take approximately four hours, that is if you aren't enticed to pull off the road and take a break at one of the many bars and restaurants that line the route. There can be no more beautiful site than to be crossing the seven mile bridge as the sun is setting. Best Way To Get Around: The best way to get around Ke...Read More

Crowne Plaza La Concha

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Hotel | "Holiday Inn La Concha"

Crowne Plaza La Concha Photo, Key West, Florida
Quote:
This hotel is in a great location but it is definitely not worth the money to stay here - at least during the winter season. We got a great saver rate ($99 per night) because we stayed during the week in June but the rates are over $200 per night during the peak season. This is a historic hotel that has been renovated. The rooms are quite small and we had to ask for another room because of the noise coming from the rooms around us. This is the tallest building in town and there is a great view from the roof. We went up to watch the sunset but unfortunately the two nights we were in Key West there was no sunset - it rained both nights.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 13, 2000

Crowne Plaza La Concha
430 Duval Street
Key West, Florida 33040
(305) 296-2991

William Anthony House

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Hotel

William Anthony House Photo, Key West, Florida
Quote:
Not only is this a great place to stay as far as accommodations go, but it is also very conveniently located in Old Town. The home contains four suites and two guest rooms, all with outside entrances. The suites and guestrooms have kitchenettes with microwave ovens, refrigerators, coffee makers, dishes and all utensils. The suites also have a sitting and dining area. All units are furnished with queen size beds, ceiling fans, air conditioning, cable television and telephones. The suites have sofa beds. A continental breakfast is served each morning on the deck next to the jacuzzi. This is a wonderful place to meet your neighbors. The prices quoted for this journal are winter rates ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 17, 2001

William Anthony House
613 Caroline Street
Key West, Florida
1(800) 613-2276

Quote:
Bananas Foster is under the same ownership of the William Anthony House and guests at the William Anthony House are invited to enjoy happy hour each afternoon at Bananas Foster. Located just a block from Duval Street, the home has six individually designed rooms and is a little more upscale than its sister b&b, the William Anthony House. Each of the rooms has a private bathroom, air conditioning, ceiling fan, refrigerator, cable television and telephone. Four of the rooms have queen size beds, one has a king size bed and the sixth has a king size bed and a twin bed, which makes it suitable for three persons. The breakfast here is also a little more lavish than at the Wil...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 17, 2001

Bananas Foster
537 Caroline Street
Key West, Florida
1(800) 653-4888

Quote:
The hardest part of dining at the Conch Republic Seafood Company was finding the entrance. We found some stairs and climbed them but there were tables blocking our way. After walking almost all the way around the building, we asked some people who were dining inside (the building is wide open to the outside) where the entrance was. They said where we had tried to enter first - you walk through the bar to get to the hostess. We were shown to a booth and given menus. Our waitress took our drink order and when she came back she began reciting the specials of the night - fortunately she had them on a piece of paper because I lost her after the fourth one. We had a coupon for half off appetizers with e...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 20, 2001

Conch Republic Seafood Company
631 Greene St
Key West, Florida 33040
(305) 294 4403

Thai Cuisine

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Restaurant

Thai Cuisine Photo, Key West, Florida
Quote:
Having our fill of seafood led us to try the Thai Cuisine on our last night in Key West. Located just around the corner from our bed and breakfast, we were walking back from a business meeting that had run later than we had expected and we didn't want to eat a big meal. Just about that time we came up on the Thai Cuisine. As we walked on to the outdoor dining area, we could tell the help was making preparations to close but Jessica, our waitress, told us to have a seat and she would bring us a menu. The menu has a red star by all the dishes that are spicy and I noticed that the majority of the dishes prepared here are spicy. Not wanting to eat anything that would keep us up all ni...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 18, 2001

Thai Cuisine
513 Greene Street
Key West, Florida 33040
(305) 294-9494

Willie T's

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Restaurant

Willie T's Photo, Key West, Florida
Quote:
We were actually looking for another restaurant when we came upon Willie T's. We were surprised that there were very few people eating, especially since it was around noon and all the other restaurants were packed. It became quite obvious why there were not a lot of people at Willie T's after we sat down on the patio. Right after we gave our order, saws began sawing and hammers began to hammer - all within 15 feet of our table. Being a Friday afternoon, it looked as if a new outside bar was being built and it had to be completed in time for the weekend. But despite the constant noise, which made it very hard for us to converse with our table companions, the food was quite good. We b...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 17, 2001

Willie T's
525 Duval Street
Key West, Florida 33040
(305) 294-7674

Crabby Dick's

Restaurant

Quote:
The balcony overhanging Duval Street is a great place to people watch while you dine or watching the Duval Crawl while you imbibe some spirits later at night. Crabby Dick's opens at 11:30 a.m. for lunch and is open until the wee hours for your dining and drinking pleasure. Lunch specials are served from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. We discovered Crabby Dick's because of a gift certificate we received for listening to a time share presentation from the Hyatt folks. Since we weren't paying we went all the way with appetizers of conch fritters, pan steamed clams and drinks, in addition to our entrees of fried oysters and fried grouper. After dessert of real key lime pie and chocolate in paradi...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 18, 2001

Crabby Dick's
712 Duval St
Key West, Florida 33040
(305) 294-7229

Quote:
Turtle Kraals is located on the site of the historic A. Granday Turtle Cannery. Kraals is a Dutch-African word for corral. The kitchen is located where the old cannery stood with the kraals, where the turtles were kept before processing, are still located beside the bar. Our table looked out directly on the Kraals. We came to the Turtle Kraals on the recommendation of a fellow classmate, who had eaten lunch there. On our arrival, the hostess told us there would be at least a 30 minute wait for a table. More to Come....

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 19, 2001

Turtle Kraals Historic Waterfront Restaurant and Bar
512 Front St
Key West, Florida 33040
+1 305 294 2640

Pepe's Cafe & Steak House

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Restaurant | "Pepe's Cafe and Steak House"

Pepe's Cafe & Steak House Photo, Key West, Florida
Quote:
In literature, you are never to judge a book by its cover. In Key West you are never to judge a restaurant by its looks. Pepe's Cafe and Steak House is one of these restaurants. Located away from the rowdiness of Duval Street, Pepe's is a favorite of many of the locals. As you step through the door, don't let the painting of the nude woman above the fireplace cause you to head back out the door, as it did my wife the first time she looked inside. We returned after a local told us Pepe's was an especially great place for breakfast. But that was going to take some doing, especially after we had eaten some fantastic breakfasts at Camille's on Duval Street. On our last morning in town we...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 16, 2001

Pepe's Cafe & Steak House
806 Caroline St
Florida Keys, Florida 33040
(305) 294-7192

Papa's Restaurant

Restaurant

Papa's Restaurant Photo, Key West, Florida
Quote:
We discovered Papa's on our first trip to Key West and we could hardly wait to get back and have a coconut grouper sandwich for lunch. Papa's is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, although we have always only eaten lunch here. The lobster being grilled on the outdoor grill as we passed on our way to the sunset celebration at Mallory Square sure looked and smelled good. It looked so good that I ended up having a lobster sandwich for lunch the next day in place of my usual grouper sandwich. More to Come...

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 17, 2001

Papa's Restaurant
217 Duval Street
Key West, Florida 33040
(305) 293-7880

Asia Restaurant

Restaurant

Quote:
Until I looked at the bill, I thought the name of this restaurant was Seafood Restaurant because that is what the sign says above the door. This is a Chinese restaurant that serves a buffet at both lunch and dinner. Of course the lunch buffet is about ten dollars cheaper than the dinner buffet. We ate here at lunch and I decided to order from the menu while my wife did the buffet. Having not had fried oysters during our visit to Key West, I opted for the fried oysters. While I am used to them being fried in cracker meal or flour, I was a little taken aback when my oysters arrived and they had been fried in the Chinese way. But once I tasted them they were very good. Also they gave me so ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 8, 2001

Asia Restaurant
221 Duval Street
Key West, Florida

Quote:
And where else would a loyal Parrothead eat his first meal in Key West. And just what does a loyal Parrothead eat for his first meal? A cheeseburger, of course.
While there are plenty of other items to choose from on the menu, I had to have the cheeseburger since I was in paradise.
There is also live entertainment at night and while he did not show up while we were in town, they say Jimmy does stop by and play when he is visiting.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 27, 2000

Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville
500 Duval Street
Key West, Florida 33040
(305) 292-1435

Old Town Trolley Tours

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Attraction | "Old Town Trolley"

Old Town Trolley Tours Photo, Key West, Florida
Quote:
This should be the first thing you do when you arrive in Key West. The Old Town Trolley is a great way to see the island and for a visitor to get their bearings.

The trolley makes a narrated 90-minute trip around the island. Riding the trolley also allows a visitors to get on and off the trolley for dining, shopping or visiting attractions. But you must get on and off the trolley before it makes one complete trip around the island or you pay for another trolley trip.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 27, 2000

Old Town Trolley Tours
6631 Maloney Ave.
Key West, Florida 33040
(305) 296-6688

Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square

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Attraction

Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square Photo, Key West, Florida
Quote:
No visit to Key West is complete without a visit to the sunset celebration on the docks at Mallory Square.

It is a sunset you will remember forever as visitors and locals alike join together to watch the sun as it slowly descends into the western sky.

Accompanying the celebration are a variety of musicians, entertainers and vendors.

While the celebration is free the entertainers do pass the hat.

The sunset celebration is such a big part of Key West life that the town passed a law saying cruise ships had to depart the docks an hour before sundown so as to not block the view.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 27, 2000

Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square
1 Whitehead Street, Mallory Square
Key West, Florida 33040
(305) 296-4557

Key West Shipwreck Historeum Museum

Attraction | "Key West Shipwreck Historeum"

Quote:
Before Key West became the tourist destination it is today, many Key West residents made their livings by salvaging ships that were shipwrecked. Using live actors and artifacts from the Issac Allerton, a wrecked ship, this museum brings the history of that era to life.

Museum visitors can also get a great view of the island and the surrounding waters by climbing to the top of the 65 foot wrecking tower.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 27, 2000

Key West Shipwreck Historeum Museum
1 Whitehead St.
Key West, Florida 33040
(305) 292-8990

Conch Tour Train

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Attraction

Conch Tour Train Photo, Key West, Florida
Quote:
This is another great way to see the sights of Key West without wearing out your shoe leather.
The tours depart every 30 minutes but unlike the trolley tour, the conch train does not stop along the tour route for boarding and reboarding. If this is your first time in Key West and especially if you have children along, take the conch train.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 27, 2000

Conch Tour Train
One Key Lime Square
Key West, Florida 33040
(305) 294-5161

Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum

Attraction | "The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum"

Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum Photo, Key West, Florida
Quote:
Even if you have never read a word of what Hemingway has written, you will still enjoy a visit to his home.
You will enjoy the stories the tour guides tell of Hemingway's life while living in Key West.
You will also see the penny Hemingway is reportedly to have thrown at his wife when he learned the cost of the swimming pool she had built while he was away.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 27, 2000

Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum
907 Whitehead Street
Key West, Florida 33040
(305) 294-1136

Schooner Western Union

Attraction | "Western Union"

Quote:
The Western Union, a 130 foot schooner, which was built in Key West in 1939, offers day sails, sunset sails, and starlight cruises. This was the last tall ship to be built in Key West and sailed until 1974 maintaining communication cables in the shallow Gulf waters for the Western Union company. One of the unique things about this ship is how the captain blows on a conch shell to announce the boat's departure. We were told he is the only ship's captain in Key West to follow this time honored tradition. Passengers are also allowed to help lend a hand to the crew in raising the sails and even taking the helm to steer this beautiful old ship. Live musicians play old sea shanty'...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 18, 2001

Schooner Western Union
202 William St
Key West, Florida 33040
+1 305 292 9830

Historic Hauntings

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Attraction

Quote:
Key West reportedly has its share of ghosts and there is no better place to find out about them than at the Historic Hauntings. Each night a limited number of people take part in a turn of the century seance to see if they can bring back the turn of the century spirit. While there is no age limit for this show, persons that may be "overly sensitive" or have heart conditions may want to think twice about attending. Now does that give you an idea of just how "spooky" this is? While some may think the cost of admittance is a little high, there is an easy way to get free tickets, although it will take roughly 90 minutes of your day to do so. Stop by any of the booths advertising the Hyatt...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 3, 2001

Historic Hauntings
429 Caroline Street
Key West, Florida

Trails of Margaritaville

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Story/Tip

Shrimp Boat Sound Studio Photo, Key West, Florida
Quote:
If you are a true Parrothead then this tour should be at the top of your list of things to see and do in Key West.

Led by Frank Everhart, Jr., the tour departs from in front of Captain Tony's daily at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. For the next hour and a half Frank will show you and tell you about the Key West of the head parrothead himself. More to Come....

Bone Island Shuttle Photo, Key West, Florida
Quote:
A great way to get around the island, especially if you are staying in New Town is the Bone Island Shuttle.

Owned by the same company as the Conch Tour Train and the Old Town Trolley, the shuttle runs from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. An all day pass is only $5.00.

The shuttle stops at all the major hotels on the island and also many stops in the downtown area, including Mallory Square and the Key West Bight.

Electric Cars

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Story/Tip

Electric Cars Photo, Key West, Florida
Quote:
Electric cars have become one of the most popular ways to explore the island. The cars are in reality golf carts that have been fitted with a car type body. One of the most convenient places to rent one of these cars, especially if you are staying in the Old Town area or if you have arrived by cruise ship, is Island Fun Rentals. Located at the corner of Duval and Caroline Streets, the electric cars are available for rent by the hour, two hours, four hours, eight hours or 24 hours. With a range of 100 miles and room for five passengers, the cars are a little safer way of driving the streets of Key West than a motor scooter or bicycle. Rates for the cars start at $38 for one hour up to $149 for a...Read More

Beach Bucks

Story/Tip

Quote:
These little coupon books seem to be available all over Florida and they do offer some great money saving coupons. This is where we found the coupon for 1/2 price appetizers with entree at the Conch Republic Seafood Company. There are also coupons for free scooter rental, money off glass bottom boat tours, savings on a reef snorkel trip and many other coupons. The books are available all over Key West.