Essential KW, Key West
One of the most interesting ways to see Key West is from above.
You can climb the lighthouse (photo 2) or to the top of another tall building such as the parking garage downtown (photo 3), or East Martello tower (photo 4) or one of the taller hotels.
You can go Parasailing
You can take a sightseeing tour by plane.
I took the first and fifth pictures from the seaplane to the Dry Tortugas.
The top picture shows the White Street fishing pier, the beach and the tennis courts.
The Key West Lighthouse was the subject of my first oil painting, and I've always had an affection for it. It was built inland (at 930 Whitehead St.) in 1847 because when it was at Whitehead Point it kept being toppled by hurricanes. .
In 2005, in spite of bad arthritis in my knees we climbed the lighthouse. I wanted to see if I could see Fort Taylor from the top because I had seen some pictures of it from the lighthouse (2nd picture). But no matter how I looked, I couldn't see it. Bob says that the trees have grown up since then (4th picture).
Fondest memory: We did find an old postcard of the lighthouse as it was before it was restored, and there was another painting of it from around that time at the East Martello Tower -- it looked just like it did in my painting. I was glad to find out I hadn't been halucinating.
For more information go to www.kwahs.com
or call 305/294-0012.
Admission $6 adults, $2 children 7-12, free for children 6 and under. Daily 9:30am5pm (last admission at 4:30pm). The admission also includes the lighthouse keeper museum which is quite interesting.
My husband was stationed in Key West for 3 years and one of my children (the third one) was born here. At that time there was a regular base, a submarine base, a commissary (out in town), a helioport, a hospital, housing, and an air field (on Boca Chica).
Now, just about all the base facilities are connected with the Naval Air Station. The commissary has been moved to Sigsbee Park where the housing area was (and which before that was a garbage dump) Also here is a large RV park.
The submarine base is now a Coast Guard base. The regular base has been reduced to a few houses and a beach (called Truman Annex) and Fort Taylor and the cruise ship docks have replaced most of it. The overflow RVers are here too. The hospital has been torn down and is now a clinic.
This big BOQ (Bachelor Officer's Quarters) is where the old helioport was.
Fondest memory: Garrison BIght is still here, and there are still both a marina and charter fishing boats there. The picture also shows a cluster of bikes at the bottom center of the picture.
You can do anything but take glass on the beach or mess with the chickens as they are a federally protected bird.
The bars are closed from 4 to 6 in the morning, you can drink on the street and lots of naked people.
The diving is blah in comparision to ko tao or Maui or the red sea.
the fishing is great.
You can get hammered drunk and no one will give you a second look.
Ideal for a single with a broken heart.
Fondest memory: Great strippers and cool dogs.
Camping at fort jefferson
I like to go somewhere that's really different from where I live, and Key West fits that bill! It's a fun place to visit and I'd love to go back.
Fondest memory: The busy-ness of the place...there is always something going on, but if you want to relax, you can do that too. Sitting by our pool was fine with me!
The weather, of course, is a major enticement, but I think the people and the lifestyle of the locals is what stands out as my favorite thing. As far as sites to see, I would recommend getting off of Duval St. and into the heart of the island. Check out the Bahamian Village area. Have the bartender named Vicki serve you a beer at the Green Parrot and tell her I said "Hi". But, most importantly, get to know some of the people who actually live there.
Fondest memory: So many memories, so little space. My fondest memories would include, but are not limited to...
My first drive down through The Keys in a convertible. My first sunset at Mallory. Sharing Key West with my friends, Vince and Linda. Meeting Capt. Tony. Oysters and beer for dinner at Schooner Wharf. A grouper sandwich at BO's Fishwagon. And probably, the nicest memory of all is proposing to my fiance, Casey, at sunset on Mallory Pier. (she said, "Yes"...)
Just take a walk through Old Town. Once you get off Duval you find this is a great little village full of mystical experiences. Breakfast at Blue Heaven was my favorite thing to do. Just watch out for the chickens!
Fondest memory: Oh, that turquoise water! I loved taking my boat out and then swim naked in that clear warm sea. It made me think maybe I had been a porpoise in another life.
Favorite thing: Whe your in Key West. It reminds me of a miniture tropical New York with the performing arts on the streets and the history all around. Take your time, walk up and down the streets or find a park bench just to watch the people.
Seek out the locals . . . Tour the city cemetery . . . Rent a bike . . . Experience the sunset celebration at Mallory Square . . . Get up early at least one morning and have breakfast at Croissants de France on Duval Street . . . Leave your car where you parked it when you arrived! . . . Parking is a problem everywhere . . . Spend the money for cabs . . . It is well worth it
Fondest memory: Watching the sunset from the pier adjacent to the Pier House with the one you love
Fondest memory: Of Key West: Well, my fondest memories were when I first went there 16 years ago...since then it's continued to homogenize itself, like most other places that become the destination of the rich and trendy. Key West's whole claim to fame has always been it's 'funkiness' and unfortunately, funky is getting priced out. Still, it can be a lot of fun!
Take a ride with a glass bottom boat out to the reefs. Enjoy the beautiful underwater scenary through big glass windows on the bottom of the boat. Colorful fishes of all sizes. If you are lucky maybe even a barracuda or a shark.
Fondest memory: A sunset at Mallory Square is something you will always remember. Every evening people go to the pier and stare to the point where the Gulf and the horizon touch. The sun goes down as a red ball of fire.
Fondest memory: The memory I take with me of Key West is the incredible feeling of complete freedom. This is the kind of town where one can get lost and it's feels perfectly fine. In fact it's better that way! There are so many beautiful houses and old shops that it would be a mistake not explore areas other than Duval St.
Additional sites you might enjoy: The Little White House was Truman's home away from home for quite some time and offers tours for a small fee. It is set on the grounds of the old naval base, which by the way still has a very small presence there (although the majority of the ships we saw were of foreign nationality LOL).
There is also a maritime salvage museum that has VERY cool Spanish galleon artifacts and tells the story about how every government agency under the sun has tried to lay claim to the loot and yank it from its finder.
You may also be interested in seeing such things as Ernest Hemingway's house and the marker for the southern most point on the US.
Fondest memory: Make sure you don't miss Mallory Square! The shops and the display of ... ummm.... 'interesting' people should not be missed LOL
Favorite thing: Little jewels like this water garden are hidden everywhere. This one if I remember correctly is behind a pie and confectionary shop. I know - next time I travel, taking notes or keeping a journal wouldn't hurt LOL
The people watching in Key West at Spring Break is wonderful. Add to that the warm tropical evenings - almost perfect weather in March - the sound of reggae music..
Fondest memory: Going down to Duval Street Wharf to watch the sunset and hang around Duval Street in the evening for people watching.