Since our cruise ship didn’t offer much in the way of shore excursions in Key West, Nick’s friend and local Wendy met us and took us around this amazing city.
Originally I had planned on doing a few more things in Key West since I thought our departure time was at 5. But the idiots who arranged the Monsters of Rock cruise decided to have a meet and greet with the band at 1. And the bands on the meet and greet would not be the same ones that would be at the meet and greet in the evening. And that is what I was here ..to meet the bands. So our time in Kew West would be cut considerably.
We got off the ship and headed in towards town while Nick was calling Wendy. Right as we got off the ship is the Museum of Art and History at the Customs House. The historical building is stunning and open to the public to tour. We stop and take pictures of the sculptures they have outside and head on towards Duvall St. to meet Wendy. As we wait for our hostess, we do some window shopping making note of what we want to come back and see.
Soon Wendy arrives and asks us what we absolutely want to see. Nick leaves planning up to me. So myself and our roommate Paul tell her we want to see the Southern Most point and the lighthouse. We head down Duvall towards the buoy that marks the southern most point.
Our first stop so everyone can have a drink is the Bull and Whistle (www.bullkeywest.com) located on Duvall and Caroline. The bar is housed in a beautiful old 2 story building and it is one of the few remaining open air bars. We belly up to bar and get a round of drinks (of course I keep with my soda) and I also collect a few souvenirs (coasters and match books) for my memory box and scrap pages when we return. They have an Elvis impersonator and Nick has to go have his pictures taken with him. There are beautiful murals painted on the walls. Guests can enjoy their favorite beverage at the bar and still enjoy the views outside. We pay our tab and head back out to our pre determined destination.
We decide to take a cab down to the buoy since we are on a time crunch. As the driver drops us off we notice there is a line to get your picture taken. This is one of the most popular attractions in Key West and everybody wants to have their picture taken here.
Originally the spot was marked by a sign. But souvenir hounds kept taking the signs so the city erected the buoy in 1983. Thought the buoy is actually an old sewer junction that was dug up and to heavy to move anywhere. So it was painted up to mark the point. But the point is actually not the Sothern most point on the island, just the point that is accessible to the public. An area on the Truman property is technically the southern most point, but it is owned by the Navy and not open to the public. And in actuality it is 94 miles to Cuba, not 90. It was just rounded off.
After getting our picture taken, we head back into town so we can get back to the ship by 1. We take our time walking back enjoying the flowers and beautiful that we pass along the way. We see people on bikes, motorcycles, scooters, and golf carts. Chickens are roosters freely roam the streets of this laid back city.
We stop in for lunch at the Hard Rock Key West (review to follow in another journal). Then we climb the 88 steps to the top of the Key West lighthouse. We stop for a minute at the Courthouse Deli and rest on the bench which has it’s on Facebook page. At one point in the road we come to where on one side of the street the Florida Keys Scenic Highway 1 begins and on the other side is where it ends. We pass by the brilliant blue Cinema Tropic and stop and take pictures with the Marilyn Monroe statue outside.
We see beautiful churches and well know bars. We stop in at the smallest bar in Key West and one of the smallest in the world and grab a quick drink. We go back to several stores for some shopping including one where everything is $5 and load up on clothing for Nick and I. We cut though Mallory Square where is celebrated nightly with a major party. Sadly we soon were back at our ship and our time in Key West has come to an end and we must return to our ship.
This was my second time in Key West and the city remains one of my favorite places to visit. It is a beautiful old city that maintains a funky and carefree vibe. If Jimmy Buffet owned a city..it would be Key West. If Nick and I get married on the next Monsters of Rock cruise, then Key West will be where we honeymoon.
The city is a favorite port of call on cruise ships as well as a popular land based vacation destination. If Key West is your land destination you can either fly directly into Key West our drive in from Miami over the A1A highway which is a stunning 3 hour drive over water. If it is your destination by ship, you can explore the city by guided tours often arranged through the ship or just explore on your own.
You can find then on Facebook or Twitter
They have a free download phone app.
Visiting Key West should be on every travelers bucket list. The city welcomes everyone to come, soak up the sun, kick back with a margarita, and celebrate as the sun sets.