Key West: Sight-Seeing

Key West is known for its coral reef snorkeling (which you can read about on my boat adventure here) and freely flowing drinks on Duval Street (which you can read about here, too). There’s also a lot of history associated with the little island, which leaves some pretty cool sights to see. Of course, if you’ve followed me since my Europe trip, you know that doing every single museum and historical tour is just not my thing. Here are the main sights to see in Key West, with prices and my personal opinions (I mean, it’s my blog, after all) as to why I did or didn’t bother. Make sure you read all the way to the end for my absolutely-do-not-miss-this adventure!

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Aren’t we cute in our matching shorts?

I’ll start with the most well-known attractions…

  • The Southernmost Point in the Continental USA. This little buoy marker is a Key West icon, so I absolutely had to visit. It’s free, because it’s literally a cement monument on the corner of the street near the ocean. There’s almost always a line of people waiting to snap a photo, and everyone is pretty friendly about taking a photo of you and your #squad if you take their photo, too.
  • The Truman Little White House. We couldn’t stop laughing at the fact that this old-frat-guy president had his White House annex in Key West, just steps from Duval Street. I’m sure Camp David in Texas is nice, but I’d rather have been buds with Harry in his Hawaiian shirts living the island life. I bet Truman had a Salt Life sticker put on the Presidential limousine. Anyways, while we walked around the outside (and free “exhibit” aka gift shop) I wasn’t in the mood to pay $16 a person to tour the house.
  • Earnest Hemingway had a house in Key West, and it’s $13 a person to take a tour. Fair warning, the house and gardens are sort of known for their cats (ya know, in addition to it being the Hemingway house and all) which is why we opted out of this tour… the ManFriend is super allergic and we didn’t want to be down for the count the rest of the day due to a cat-astrophe. (I crack myself up.)KW 3
  • There’s a Lighthouse in the middle of Key West. (Don’t ask me why it’s in the middle of the island and not on the coast where, like, it would be useful and all…) It’s only $10 a person to tour the Keeper’s Quarters museum and climb the lighthouse, and I honestly had every intention of doing this one… except then I realized it’s approximately 170 degrees in Key West and climbing 88 stairs without AC with tourists lost to drinking a mimosa.

I’ve mentioned (and you can probably tell by the fact that I skipped nearly all the attractions I just listed) that tourist traps just aren’t my thing. I do love a good hidden gem, abandoned building, or off-the-beaten-path cool sight. If you rent scooters or have a car in Key West, I highly recommend plugging the cross streets “Fort Street” and “Southard Street” into your GPS and going there. It’s apparently a Coast Guard memorial and museum, but we didn’t see any sign of life in this abandoned-looking dock and field, aside from this old ship just docked permanently.

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old Coast Guard ship and memorial. Yes, there’s a filter, but no, it wasn’t any less cool-looking.

There’s also a pretty cool-looking abandoned U.S. Navy building across the field. I really like abandoned buildings, I know it’s weird, just go with it.

Alright, and I’ve saved the best for last. Robbie’s is located on Islamorada (not Key West) which means this is the perfect adventure to work into your drive to or from Key West. It’s a dock with tiki huts that sell trinkets and sno-cones and other Keys-type touristy gear, but if you walk all the way back to the dock you’ll see this cute sign…

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And then if you walk into the cashier you can buy a bucket of fish for $6. Do it. Buy the bucket of fish. And then take that bucket o’fish to the docks out back and feed the tarpon! Have you ever fed a tarpon before? No? Exactly. First of all, they’re huge fish, and slightly intimidating. Don’t you dare just throw the fish in the water… you’ll miss out on all the fun! Tarpon don’t have teeth… they’re apparently some kind of mutated prehistoric fish that has a hard bone-like plate in the top of their mouth that helps them mush up small fish to eat. Meaning you can let them eat the fish right out of your hand and you won’t get hurt or bit or anything scary. Although it is a little scary to have a fish come nommin’ snacks out of your hand. It’s also super cool. Get down low on the dock, hang the fish close to the water, watch them eye-ball their delicious snack and… NOM.

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Hungry hungry tarpon… not sharks, although I guess they sort of look like sharks, I promise they aren’t.

There ya have it… my (admittedly lame) reviews of common main Key West attractions, pricing, and my suggestions of hidden gems to do instead of trudging through Ripley’s Believe it or Not (omg worst museum ever). Happy sight-seeing!

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