Key West Journals

Rick's Guide to Key West

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A May 2004 trip to Key West by rickhowe

Westin Key West Resort and Marina Photo, Key West, Florida More Photos
Quote: Our favorite Hotel, Restaurant and attractions in Key West

Rick's Guide to Key West

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Overview

Cruise Ship in front of the Hilton Photo,
Quote:
We've been to Key West twice in the last few years. The first time was planned in advance. The second was an accident after another planned vacation fell through at the last minute. Both times we used my Hilton points to stay at the marvelous Key West Hilton.It's at a terrific location, right on the water at the north-west side of Key West. Walk out along the pier to Mallory Square, the site of nightly Sunset Celebrations.The enormous cruise ships dock right in front of the Hilton, and that may bother some folks. We rather enjoyed watching those behemoths slide along the dock, particularly when we were having breakfast at the Hilton's outdoor cafe.Key West is an eclectic mix of old-time Florida tradit...Read More

Westin Key West Resort and Marina

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Hotel | "Hilton Key West Resort and Marina"

Westin Key West Resort and Marina Photo, Key West, Florida
Quote:
My wife and I stayed at the Key West Hilton in early May 2004 and absolutely loved the entire experience. We flew into Miami, rented a car, and meandered down the Keys, which took about 5 hours because we stopped at the Islamadora Fish Company for a WONDERFUL lunch (we also stopped there on the way back).We were using Hilton points and anticipated the usual "garden" view of the parking lot, but the front-desk guy said he'd "move us up." Did he ever! He put us in room no. 101, right in the front of the hotel on the corner--lovely room, lovely view. And for those who say the view is ruined by the cruise ships, let me say that if you are in Key West and intend to spend all your time in your hot...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 18, 2006

Westin Key West Resort and Marina
245 Front St.
Key West, Florida 33040
(305) 294-4000

Blue Heaven Restaurant

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Restaurant | "Ricky's Blue Heaven"

Blue Heaven Restaurant Photo, Key West, Florida
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Ricky's Blue Heaven is in a state of crisis. Apparently the local yokels have decided that dirt floors, wandering chickens, and an overhead rope swing are not compatible with 21st-century health department regulations.Idiots!The real issue is the neighbors, who have complained that the Blue Heaven is too much fun, too crowded, and too noisy. Party Poopers!In reality, like most of Key West (which was founded by ship wreckers - legally licensed pirates), the site of Ricky's Blue Heaven was a whorehouse. And the locals got to watch the goings-on. So if they're mad now, it's because it's not as much fun watching people eating as it was watching them do the horizontal ma...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 7, 2006

Blue Heaven Restaurant
729 Thomas St
Key West, Florida 33040
(305) 296-8666

Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park

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Attraction | "Ft. Zachary Taylor Park & Beach"

Quote:
About a half mile from the Key West Hilton (a long walk, but a nice bike ride) is Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park and Beach. It's the nicest beach on Key West.The Fort itself is a trip! Construction began on the Fort in 1845, when Florida became a state. It was named for President Zachary Taylor who died in 1850. Construction continued through the 1850s, but was slowed by yellow fever, hurricanes and the slow delivery of men and materials (Key West was pretty remote in those days).During the Civil War, the fort was occupied by Union troops, to complete a blockade at Key West. It was again used in the Spanish-American War in 1889. By the 20th century, the old cannons of Fort Tay...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 5, 2006

Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park
601 Howard England Way
Key West, Florida 33040
(305) 292-6713

Audubon House & Tropical Gardens

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Attraction | "Audubon House"

Quote:
About two blocks south of the Hilton you'll find the Audubon House Museum and Gallery.The house is named for John James Audubon, the artist. The house itself was the family home of John Geiger, the first Harbor pilot in Key West. Like many early Key West residents, Geiger made his living as a wrecking master who salvaged ships (and the contents) that wrecked on the shallows around the Florida Keys. The House is a wonder - classic style and all original furniture. The Audubon paintings were, frankly, lost on me. Pretty to look at, and for sale (the prints) at the gift shop.But what really amazed us were the plantings in the gardens surrounding the house. Dozens of species of nat...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 5, 2006

Audubon House & Tropical Gardens
205 Whitehead St
Key West, Florida 33040
+1 305 294 2116; +1