Mar 26, 2019

2 Days in Key West, Florida

The road trip to from Miami to the Keys was an experience altogether. Having seen the Travel Channel some years back it was my silent wish to come here and experience driving on the 7 mile bridge for myself one day. Well I got that and more on this vacation. Key West is just another beautiful getaway when visiting Florida. Noted for its location miles into the ocean with the peninsula surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, it is a fantastic tropical stopover via cruise or a drive for the weekend from Miami. The color of the deep blue green ocean with massive cruise ships, coconut trees hugging beaches and the high energy from walking down Duval street, lip smacking key lime pies and more made our tropical holiday even more memorable.

When would be a good time to visit Key West? We are always asked this question. We visited in the month of November. Being a shoulder season for the tropics, November weather could have some rain and sunshine. The best months would be between December and May. We stayed at the Fairfield Inn and Suites by the Marriott, Key West which had good breakfast to start the day and was just about a 10-15 drive to downtown. It was conveniently located. 
Fort Zachary Taylor State Park

Key West is about 6 miles in length and 2 miles in width. If you have two days you can cover almost all of the must see spots here. While we stayed on the east. It was just a 15 min drive downtown Key West. There are many parking spots for about 15-20 bucks. We parked in a lot that was off Duval street and was midway. That way we could walk up and down the street and enjoy the evening and a little bit of the night life if we could. Remember having kids in tow, it is best to move around their schedule and call it a day if you have to. Chickens roam around freely and a couple of roosters and hens with their chicks were seen enjoying the warmth of the day.
So in brief here is what you can see and do. 1. Fort Zachary State Park. 2. Duval Street 3. Mallory Square 4. Old Town Harbor Walk Seaside 5. Southernmost Point 6. South KeyWest 1.) FORT ZACHARY TAYLOR STATE PARK: This park is so pretty and the entrance is from the Truman Annex residential neighborhood. Once you enter the neighborhood you need to turn left and the park entrance is just there. This park is good for a picnic, snorkeling and viewing cruise ships coming into Key West or just relaxing and getting and getting a great tan for all to envy.
Fort Zachary beach

It is highly recommended to use water shoes as the beach is initially sandy but as you get into the water there are rocks that kind of cut into your feet and it is not a great feeling and is quite uncomfortable. I could call it a stony beach to be exact. It is a popular spot for snorkeling. There is a takeout place right near the parking lot. The sandwiches were delicious. Restrooms and shower heads to rinse off are also available. Slather on sunscreen and enjoy the views while getting a nice tan.

2.) DUVAL ST: Duval St. runs from north to south. We were able to visit every place on our schedule. Parking mid way near Duval St made sure if we were tired we could always go to the South by car, park and enjoy the rest of the place instead of doing all the walking specially when walking with kids as they tired too fast. Having a good pair of walking shoes really helped. There are hop on hop off trolleys, I also saw 2 wheeler bikes for rent, cute colorful fancy 2 seater cars and cycle rides for 2 or 4 people. Here are some pictures.

Duval Street

Willie T's Pub Leave your mark Currency

Artistically painted car with shells with shells and an ocean theme
Rental Cars
Smallest Bar

Old Customs House Inn
Oldest house on Duval St.

3.) MALLORY SQUARE: - Naval Kiss located at 281 Front St., Key West, FL It is located in front of the Custom House Museum and across from the Mel Fisher Museum. - Mallory Square - Old Town Clock - Visit HARRY S TRUMAN LITTLE WHITE HOUSE. The winter white house is a working museum. - Sunset Pier Pic. At sundown there are street performers performing for the crowd who come to enjoy the sunset. Cruise ships docked sparkle against the setting sun. - Visit the market here, so many pretty gifts to choose from.
- Midway off Duval St is MILE MARKER 0: Exact Location: Corner of Fleming Street and Whitehead Street.

Statue of the Iconic Kiss

Mallory Square 

Mallory Square 

Sunset at the Pier.

Street dancers at the Pier
Old Town is quite close to Mallory Square. I accidentally found the Cuban Coffee Queen while researching online for our trip. I loved the postcard and the giant coffee mug and made sure it was on my must see list. While we ending up visiting after sundown it wasn't a bad idea after all. Though we didn't get a chance to fully explore harbor walk seaside, at least I can say I was here for the pic.

Everything on the southern end of Duval Street begins with Southernmost - Oldest house, Oldest beach resort, smoothie house, southernmost pier. Here you will find Southernmost Point. People wait patiently between 30-60 mins for a picture against the famous iconic buoy structure. Keywest Butterfly Obervatory is located just a few steps from here.

South beach, KeyWest
Smather’s Beach. This beach is quite secluded and a bit further from the busy touristic town. We stopped here for some pictures while on our way out. While we were there it was practically empty with just about two families enjoying the beach. That morning was a cloudy day and periodic heavy showers were expected. There is a parking lot just opposite the beach. You can rent beach chairs and kayaks. There is hardly any shade and it can get very hot.

A capsized boat after the hurricane

Smathers Beach

This was our last stop in Key West. We headed out back north for another 4 hour drive to Everglades National Park.

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