Key West: One happy little island part 1

by Jennifer Pelletier
Recently I went on an overnight trip to Key West, FL.  One night on this island was defiantly not enough time to experience all that this little island has to offer.  There is something for everyone to do from beaches to shopping, and bars to night life; whatever your interest is there is something for you.  I chose to travel to the island via the Key West Express which is a high speed boat that gets you to the island from Ft. Myers beach in just over 3 hours.  From the dock I walked to my hotel which was about 2 miles away off of Duval St.  For those of you who have never been to Key West before Duval St. is the place to be for shopping and night life.  There are many different ways to get around the island if you did not travel by car.  You can rent scooters, bicycles, and even electric cars.  You can also travel by taxi.  I chose to walk the island.  This way I could see everything as I traveled, and didn’t have to worry about parking spaces, and feeding meters.  Duval St. is pretty much the main street on the island.  This is where the majority of shopping, eating, and drinking is done.  Though the majority of the shops consist of souvenir shops there are other stores such as jewelry stores, cigar shops, and street side bars.

Key West is such a laid back island that you can stop at any bar during your travels and either enjoy your drink there, or take it with you to go, and walk the street while enjoying it.  I can’t even begin to count the number of bars that are along Duval St. alone.  Some of the most popular are Hog’s Breath Saloon, Sloppy Joes, The Lazy Gecko, Fat Tuesday, The Hard Rock Café, Margritaville (The original one), and Capt. Tony’s Saloon (this was the original Sloppy Joes.  It was also one of Ernest Hemingway’s hangouts.  It is also the inspiration and the place where a young Jimmy Buffet wrote his song Last Mango in Paris.)  If you are a bit more of the adventurous type you may also want to visit The Garden of Eden which is a roof top bar located on top of The Bull and Whistle.  It is secluded clothing optional bar.
If bars aren’t your scene then not to worry…there is still plenty to do.  Aside from the beautiful beaches one can enjoy water sports such as parasailing, diving, snorkeling, kayaking, fishing, and jet skis.  There are also sightseeing tours such as sunset cruises, sailing charters, ghosts and graveyards night tours, and other various island tours to take you to points of interest on the island.  Some of which include the Southernmost Point in Continental USA (from that point there are 90 miles to Cuba), Harry S. Truman’s Little White House, Butterfly conservatory, Ernest Hemingway’s home, and museum, and the Ripley’sBelieve it or Not Museum.

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