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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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