Key West Journals

Key West Fiesta

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A May 2003 trip to Key West by wildhoney269

Dolphins Photo, Key West, Florida More Photos
Quote: We headed down for a friend’s wedding in Key West. The laid-back style of the Keys and island lifestyle had us disbelieving you are still in the United States. The pace was easygoing but filled with entertainment, life, and history. If you’re a party person, expect a good time!

Key West Fiesta

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Overview

Dolphins Photo, Key West, Florida
Quote:
The ultimate Key West experience has to do with getting in the water and seeing some fish. We took two snorkel trips from our resort. Our first snorkel was to the reef on the Atlantic side. We also went out on a boat and found dolphins in their natural habitat then snorkeled near an island at low tide. Key Westers love their island so much they even celebrate the sunset every single night of the year. This takes place at Mallory Square at the Sunset Celebration where you witness various street performers, shop from local vendors in a carnival atmosphere with a backdrop of the setting sun. Trying local food is always a highlight. Definitely drink some Rum Runners (on the rocks if avail...Read More

Casa Marina, A Waldorf Astoria Resort

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Hotel | "Wyndham Casa Marina"

Casa Marina, A Waldorf Astoria Resort Photo, Key West, Florida
Quote:
Resort Description: The Casa Marina was built in the early 1900s by railroad tycoon Henry Flagler. It became a resort in the 1920s and is one of the only resorts in Key West with a private beach. Since Key West is built on coral, the beach is extremely rocky. To swim in the ocean you walk out onto a dock and then step down a ladder into the water. There are also two pools and a whirlpool which are open 24 hours for you to use at any time. The resort property is beautifully kept and provides a very relaxing and tropical environment. The rooms and hallways of the resort appear a bit out-dated. Located at the north end of Key West, away from all the action, provides a relaxing escape from the part...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 9, 2003

Casa Marina, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
1500 Reynolds Street
Key West, Florida 33040
(305) 296-3535

Crabby Dick's

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Restaurant

Crabby Dick's Photo, Key West, Florida
Quote:
What it’s Like: You can easily spot Crabby Dick’s when walking up Duval. It appears to be two stories and you will see the big crab sign hanging off the side of the second floor balcony. The restaurant is actually on the second floor only and to enter the restaurant you need to walk up a flight of stairs. When you enter you will see a counter filled with Crabby Dick’s merchandise which offers a wide selection of t-shirts, shot glasses and other trinkets. We were seated right away and chose to eat indoors because it was quite humid outside. There is a very large bar in the center of the restaurant and a nice balcony that runs all along the outside of the building with several tables available to...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on June 9, 2003

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

Sloppy Joe's Bar

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Restaurant | "Sloppy Joe's"

Quote:
What it’s Like: Sloppy Joe’s is probably the most famous bar in Key West. One of Ernest Hemmingway’s friends, Joe Russell, owned the bar and he spent much of his time there. It got its name because Joe was accused of running a sloppy place since the floor was wet a lot from melting ice needed for the seafood. Sloppy Joe’s is located on a corner and has its doors open all along the outside to allow for a nice breeze. It is an open air bar with a very fun atmosphere. You will need to seat yourself whether you are there for a drink or an entire meal. There is usually live entertainment during all times of the day and they have a dance floor up front near the stage. There is a shop in the bar where...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 9, 2003

Sloppy Joe's Bar
201 Duval Street
Key West, Florida 33040
(305) 294-5717

Hogs Breath Saloon

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Restaurant

Hogs Breath Saloon Photo, Key West, Florida
Quote:
What it’s Like: Hogs Breath Saloon consists of a restaurant, gift shop and a large outdoor bar. Live bands play at night attracting a crowd in from the street. You can sit outside at the bar if you are eating along with the drinks, but if you want to just stop in for a drink, plan to stand at the bar which gets very crowded once the music starts. The bar makes for a nice stop even during the day because there are large trees providing shade for the bar and they also have several fans. The bar gets a wonderful breeze since it is on a corner the breeze was blowing from two directions. Drinks: They had several drink specials, all of which were $8 for the first glass and $6 for each re...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 9, 2003

Hogs Breath Saloon
400 Front Street
Key West, Florida 33040
(305) 296-4222

Banana Cafe

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Restaurant

Banana Cafe Photo, Key West, Florida
Quote:
What it’s Like: Always packed for weekend brunch, the Banana Café is a small, open air restaurant. The restaurant has a bar and about 10 tables in the main room and about 15 more tables on a side porch. The doors and windows are open and the ceiling fans stir up a warm breeze to comfort customers. Drinks: None for us. The menu offers American coffee, Cuban coffee con leche, espresso, cappuccino, tea and a selection of juices, soft drinks, beers and wines. Food: The menu features a variety of crepes such as La Paysanne (bacon, mushrooms & bechamelle) for $6.70, La Chevre Chaud (goat cheese & walnut) for $7.50, La Mer (sea scallops in white wine & crème) and ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 9, 2003

Banana Cafe
1211 Duval Street
Key West, Florida 33040
(305) 294-7227

Bistro 245

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Restaurant

Quote:
What it's like:You will find this restaurant at the end of Mallory Square. We stopped on night for dinner enjoying the Sunset Celebration. You can dine indoors or out and you plan to eat while watching the sunset, this would be a great spot. We chose to eat indoors because one of the street performers who was right outside the restaurant was very loud and obnoxious. He spoke loud French to cats he trained. The show was amusing, but he was annoying and would have disturbed our dinner. Drinks: We ordered some pina coladas at the bar before we were seated. The frozen drinks did not appear to have much alcohol in them. With dinner I ordered a glass of white wine. Food: W...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 9, 2003

Bistro 245
245 Front Street
Key West, Florida 33040
(305) 292-4320

Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville

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Restaurant | "Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville"

Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville Photo, Key West, Florida
Quote:
What it’s Like: Margaritaville belongs in Key West if it belongs anywhere, but you get the feeling you are in a chain restaurant right from the start. The store attached to the side of the restaurant is just as big as the restaurant itself. You will find all sorts of Jimmy Buffet merchandise at the store. Drinks: We had to have margaritas at Margaritaville. They were good yet nothing special. We drank them on the rocks. Food: The food was pretty good for a chain restaurant. For appetizers we ordered conch chowder which was very unique tasting. We think we pinned it down to being made with sun-dried tomatoes. The chowder came with some wonderful garlic-buttered french b...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on June 9, 2003

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

Rick's Bar

Attraction | "Ricks"

Rick's Bar Photo, Key West, Florida
Quote:
Rick’s Bar is made up of several different types of clubs. Rick's Down is the bar on the first floor with live entertainment including singers and karaoke. The Crow's Nest is up on the second floor and overlooks the courtyard. Rick's Tree Bar serves only premium drinks. Rick's Upstairs is a nightclub complete with DJs and strobe lights. Durty Harry’s features Rock 'n Roll in its club and The Red Garter is their strip club. It is a great idea on their part because you can get tired of one thing that is going on and just walk up a flight off stairs for a completely different experience. You will definitely have fun at one of the choices here.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 9, 2003

Rick's Bar
208 Duval St
Key West, Florida 33040
(305) 294-3765

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

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Attraction | "Snorkeling in the National Marine Sanctuary"

Quote:
Description: Key West is known as one of the best snorkeling destinations in the world. All along the Keys is the nation’s largest reef which is a protected sanctuary in the Atlantic Ocean. We decided to go first thing in the morning when the snorkeling is supposed to be the best. How to get there: We were picked up from the dock at the Wyndham Casa Marina. Our captain drove four of us six miles out to the reef on a speed boat. It was about 15 minutes from the marina to the reef. What it’s like: The captain of the boat was very friendly and explained about snorkeling and the type of things we would see at the reef. We had to swim about 100 feet from the boat before...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 9, 2003

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
Florida Reef, Floriday Bay and Gulf of Mexico
Florida Keys, Florida 33040
(305) 292-5065

Dolphin Watch and Snorkel

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Attraction

Dolphin Watch and Snorkel Photo, Key West, Florida
Quote:
The captain drove us out into the Gulf of Mexico and explained that approximately 40 dolphins lived in that area, which is why it is named the dolphin playground. Our captain found some dolphins and we watched them swim next to us for a while. The dolphins liked when we started moving and they rode under the front hull of the boat. After one dolphin would swim away we would go find another one. We saw them jump out of the water a few times and they swam very close next to the boat. The captain told us that wild dolphins are not as nice as we think and they can be actually very aggressive to people who get too close in the water because they are very territorial. After about 45 minutes with the d...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 9, 2003

Dolphin Watch and Snorkel
201 William St
Key West, Florida 33040
(305) 294-6306

Irish Kevin's

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Attraction

Irish Kevin's Photo, Key West, Florida
Quote:
Irish Kevin’s is an open air bar with really great live music. We were reminded of some of the bars in New Orleans. It is right in the middle of all the partying on Duval Street. Every night we walked by it was always packed with people clustering outside the door singing songs. We finally made it into the bar on a Monday night. A man with nothing but a guitar put on one of the most entertaining shows we had experienced. He started doing a cluster of rock’s influential love songs. It was amusing because he sped up the beat so it was fit the pace of the bar and everyone could sing (or scream) along to the lyrics. He would sing just enough of the song for us to belt out a few lines and then he’s switch ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 9, 2003

Irish Kevin's
211 Duval Street
Key West, Florida
(305) 292-1262

Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square

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Attraction

Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square Photo, Key West, Florida
Quote:
Key West has always famous for its beautiful sunsets. The best place to watch is on the west side of the island at the end of Duval Street in Mallory Square. Starting about two hours before sunset, various arts and crafts exhibitors, street performers, food carts, psychics, locals, and tourists gather at Mallory Square to begin the Sunset Celebration. You will see fire jugglers, escape artists, trained animals, and singers all performing for free (tipping is encouraged). We watched an act of knife and fire jugglers with trained dogs perform for about 15 minutes. It seems an unlikely combination, but it was an entertaining show. The husband and wife would juggle and then have the dogs do some tricks an...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 9, 2003

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