Home away from home

Parts of Key West are decidely "touristy", but you can still have enjoy a bit of the old island life there if you try.

Home away from home

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by kimbis on October 8, 2000

Be sure to check out the cemetary, either on a tour or just by having a quiet walk around on your own. I know that sounds strange. Key West has a long and colorful past, however, and you can see bits of it here without the pre-packaging. ${QuickSuggestions} Leave the rush-rush-rush at home when you go to Key West. I find I enjoy it most when I just set off and let serendipty decide where I'm going to wind up when I head off for the day.

Shopping seems to be polarized. Either VERY expensive or VERY cheap. There are some interesting shops along the way, however, if you care to look for them. I found a place that sold things that change color in the sunlight, and did a LOT of my Christmas shopping there.${BestWay} Bring comfortable walking shoes and spend some time just strolling around. The island is not ALL that big. You'll only need a car if you decide to go up the Keys a ways.

Southernmost Point Guest House

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by kimbis on October 8, 2000

The main house is a renovated 19th century mansion, complete with leaded glass in the windows and two levels of wrap around porch. There is also a second house of roughly the same vintage that they use, and a couple more highly renovated rooms over a garage/storage area. Much nicer than it sounds. Some of the rooms have cooking facilities, and they just added a pool. Mona, the owner, is a wonderful lady who has lived in KW all her life.

There is a continental style breakfast that comes with your room, and it's a great way to start the day. You can sit out on the porch and watch as the resident cats, chickens and rabbits snooze in the morning sunshine. Because you are right on Duval, but at the far south-eastern end, it is the perfect location for exploring 'Old Town.' You are well within 'staggering distance' of the bars and night life, but far enough away that it won't disturb your sleep.

The rooms START in the $75ish range, but go up quite a bit. Of course, at the top of the range you are essentially getting a multi-room apartment complete with kitchen and separate bedroom and living room areas. I highly recommend this place. Would change my dates for a trip to KW if it were completely booked up.

It is next door to the brand new Key West Butterfly house.

Southernmost Point Guest House
1327 Duval Street
Key West, Florida, 33040
(305) 294-0715

Blue Heaven

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by kimbis on October 9, 2000

Historical and hysterical, you really have to see it to believe it. It has been, in it's time, a brothel, a boxing ring and a cock fighting center. You dine in the sunshine, shielded by sails hung from the trees while chickens run between the tables. There is a rope swing hung in the middle of the dining area. It's a little pricier then you might expect, given the atmosphere, but the food is wonderful. Breakfast, lunch and dinner served.
Blue Heaven Restaurant
729 Thomas St
Key West, Florida, 33040
(305) 296-8666

Southernmost Point

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by kimbis on October 9, 2000

Located at the corner of South and Whitehead, it's hard to miss the Southernmost Point marker. A completely kitchy tourist stop, it really is a must-do. (It's about a block from the Southermost Point Guest House, which I highly recommend) It's amazing to look out over the horizon, know that Cuba is closer to you than Miami is at that point, and wonder at the people who cross in home-made vessels. There is almost ALWAYS a helpful person there to take your picture in front of it for you. There used to even be locals who pretty much made their living taking tips to photograph people in front of the huge marker.
Southernmost Point Key West
Whitehead And South Streets
Key West, Florida, 33040

Mel Fisher Museum

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by kimbis on October 9, 2000

Heft a real gold bar for yourself! You get to learn a lot about the history of the Atocha, and the real life treasure hunter Mel Fisher who found the wreck after it had been lost for centuries. Some amazing artifacts are on display, including a truly beautiful gold and emerald cross. You can buy the jewelry sold there, or similar, much cheaper elsewhere on the island. Check their web site at http://www.melfisher.org
Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum
200 Greene St
Key West, Florida, 33040
(305) 294-2633

Key West Airport

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by kimbis on October 9, 2000

Any visitor to Key West owes it to themselves to fly in at least one time in their lives. The tiny airport is straight out of a Bogart movie, and the planes that fly in there are twin-engined prop jobs where you may have to step over the 'hump' in the aisle that goes over the landing gear. No trouble getting lost on your way to the gate here...there IS only one. You will find several rental car desks, however, and lots of information on things to do all up and down the Keys. It's also your first indication of the attitude change you are about to experience ... generally happy, helpful people greet you. Folks who can say with a straight face 'Gee, we're out of Neons. Would you mind driving a mid-sized convertible at the same price?'


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