Florida: Key West

Highlights from my long weekend on Florida's Key West.

Florida: Key West

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by kylebarber on December 9, 2000

Key West appeals to different crowds for many different reasons, and what I found to my liking may be what has other tourists pulling at their hair. There can be no doubt, however, that Key West offers some of the most beautiful natural scenery and wildlife in the whole country. I went to Key West largely because of its reputation as a popular gay destination, but left charmed much more by the abundance of outdoors activities, the crystal clear water, and the very casual pace of life. Make sure to sample the unique local cuisine, especially the key lime pie. Yum!${QuickSuggestions} The guest house that you choose to stay in makes a big difference on how you enjoy your time at Key West. There are a number of gay guest houses on the island that all seem pretty much the same in their brochures, but in fact cater to very different clienteles. Do your research before heading down to Key West to identify which folks you really want to hang out with, day and night, during your stay. Keep in mind also that the time of year that you visit Key West plays a big part in the ages and social makeup of who else is in town visiting. ${BestWay} Key West is larger than you might expect, making some trips too far for walking. But some of my favorite memories of Key West were touring the old homes on a bicycle and zipping up and down the coastline on a rented motor scooter. Parking near downtown is a slight challenge, so you might want to hold on your spot once you've managed to park near your guest house.

Lighthouse Court

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by kylebarber on December 9, 2000

I checked into the Lighthouse Court not knowing exactly what to expect out of a gay guest house. I had heard that the sexual climate can get quite wild and uninhibited, but I didn''t find that to be the case here. Most of the guests were couples in their 30''s and 40''s, who were fairly social but visiting Key West mainly to relax in the sun.

The pool and hot tub are nice, and the guest house''s grounds are green, leafy and isolated from the hubbub of the street traffic outside. The room itself was fine, with standard amenities. Another room that I ended up visiting upstairs was much nicer and accommodating, with a bit more decorative touches and a swanky bathroom.

This inn is a great choice primarily in that its location is very close to the downtown area and the water, making it easy to stop back at the room before heading out to the bars. I would definitely visit this property again when visiting Key West.

Lighthouse Court Hotel
902 Whitehead Street
Key West, Florida, 33040
(877) 294-9588


Member Rating 3 out of 5 by kylebarber on December 9, 2000

I did not stay at this property, but went to check it out with some friends. Beautifully landscaped, the smallish guest house does seem very isolated and private while remaining fairly close to all the action of Duval Street. The black pool was dramatic, and the hot tub and tanning patio surrounded by greenery and palms looked inviting.

The bedroom I saw was very well appointed with nice furnishings and bedding that were much closer to Hilton than Holiday Inn in terms of quality. Unfortunately I didn''t meet any of the guests and was unable to determine the age, attitude and lifestyles of the guests as well as the sexual climate of Equator. But I bet that most guys would enjoy visiting this rather pleasant and sophisticated guest house.

Equator Resort
818 Fleming Street
Key West, Florida, 33040
(305) 294-7775

Moped Hospital

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by kylebarber on December 9, 2000

Moped Hospital offers both rental bicycles and motor scooters, offering two very different ways of seeing the island. On bike it was easy to stop and check out interesting stores and all of the grand old houses that would pop up every few seconds. The roads are pretty flat and not at all strenuous to navigate.

Renting a moped was fun in that it was a very different experience for a city kid and I was able to cover a lot of ground on the island. My friends I came across an old graveyard that was worth checking out with its ancient tombstones and crypts that were decorated in high southern style. We also checked out the quiet Fort Zachary, which afforded nice views of the water and downtown Key West.

The problem with mopeds is finding a place to park. For convenience sake, I would rent one for fun just one afternoon and then stick with using a bike and/or walking for getting around the rest of the week.

Moped and Bicycle & Scooter Rentals
601 Truman Avenue
Key West, Florida, 33040
(305) 296-3344

Bourbon Street Pub

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by kylebarber on December 9, 2000

This fun bar is definitely the place to visit when looking to meet new friends or a handsome deckhand to take back to the guesthouse. It is easily the most popular gay bar in town each and every night of the week, with big crowds of tourists, performing drag queens and locals mingling around the unusually angled bars and French Quarter inspired gas lamps. Happy hour at Bourbon Street is awfully generous, running until 8:00, which gets the boys heading back over to Duval Street early.
Bourbon Street Pub Complex
724 Duval Street
Key West, Florida


Member Rating 1 out of 5 by kylebarber on December 9, 2000

Across the street from the buzzing Bourbon Street Pub stands this pretty unpopular and sad looking bar called 801. It doesn't seem to attract much attention, even from the locals, though there is a cabaret performance area upstairs that seemed to fill up when a drag show began.

In the back of the building is a separate bar area called Dirty Dan's, which is quite appropriate. Rather dark and squalid, it featured hardcore videos on television screens much to the enjoyment of the seriously older and leathery crowd assembled.

801 Duval Street
Key West, Florida


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