Sunset in Key West is a nightly tradition. But if you go to Mallory Square, chances are a mass of humanity will be blocking your view, if the jet-skis, sailboats and ocean liners don't get in your way. But there is an alternative.
Follow Angela Street, west of Duval, onto the old naval base. (There will be signs advising you that you are on government property. Ignore them. Really, it's okay.) You'll follow a windy road a bit, then bear right at the "Y". The road passes numerous abandoned navy buildings and ends up along the old navy quay. You'll have a clear, unblocked view of the setting sun. It's unusual to find more than ten people there. Don't forget your camera!
This just in: The Mohawk has been joined by a 300+ foot Coast Guard Cutter "Ingam".
The USS Mohawk Memorial Museum Ship is a non profit museum supported only by Veterans and Volunteers.
$5 for Adults, $2.50 for Children 10 and up, Children under ten are free.
All proceeds go toward restoration. Open 10 am to 4 pm Monday thru Saturday.
The Mohawk is a WWII convoy escort ship. She was involved in 36 convoys and 14 sub attacks on the North Atlantic around Greenland and Iceland.
The Mohawk is located at the end of Southard street in the Truman Annex. Go past the first guardhouse at Thomas street and continue straight past two stop signs go to the right past the second guardhouse (unmanned). Free parking on the left.
If you are biking you can ride right onto the pier.
The pier is also a locals fishing spot and a great place to catch the sun setting over the water without the crowds found at Mallory Square. Not as nice as watching the sunset from Fort Zachary Taylor (take a left after the second stop sign), but just a bit closer and no admission charge.
Back before Key West was cleaned up and became such a major tourist destination, there actually used to be a shrimping fleet that worked out of Key West.
In September of 1955 the lack of summer tourists prompted a "motel price war" and eight motels offered free rooms to tourists. Then 'pink gold' was found in the Marquesas and Tortugas areas in 1949 to save the Key West economy. This was a new commercial variety of shrimp - large and pink with fine flavoring. There were about 500 shrimp boats at Key West in the winters
Dock space would be too expensive for these boats now.. They anchor out, along the Marquesas and just come in for fuel.
For something different you could try Topless Fishing Charters of America. We never actually went, as the seas were too rough for fishing this trip, but it sounds like a whole new spin on the fishing thing...
Go on one of the many boat charters the Florida Keys offers. You can snorkel, scuba dive, fish, hookah dive, see the beautiful coral reefs through a glassbottom boat, or a combination of those. Search the internet for a charter prior to your vacation and reserve your date ahead of time, the charters can be booked weeks in advance.
Egrets, heron, manatee, osprey, and pelicans are just a few of the inhabitants of the Florida Keys. The egrets are huge, much larger than in my homestate of NJ. Their long necks enable them to reach into your bait bucket from afar and steal your bait!
Try getting out into the 'backcountry'...the flats in the Gulf. Even if you don't like fishing, the sightseeing is very unique. There's always something happening. Sharks, rays, barrecuda, wading birds, mangrove islands and lots of cool looking water. You'll need a flats boat which is unfortunately not cheap.
Nice public beach, free parking. Large homeless population. Beach is pretty clean but watch your stuf as always. Plenty of parking here or just ride a bike over.
Lots of quiet at this time, but best time for quiet, no question! If you can get up early enough, you can catch some wonderful sunrises, they are worth it!