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TR: Key West in less than 30 hours

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Destination Expert
for Florida
posts: 39,516
reviews: 21
TR: Key West in less than 30 hours

We had just a little time for a little trip- so we headed off to Key West. We used the Key West express ferry from Ft Myers. Despite the ungodly hour we had to leave home to catch it (exacerbated by the idiot who drove under I75 at Daniels parkway with a piece of road equipment that was one foot too high and has caused I75 Armageddon) the trip was OK. It was long, but the sun was shining all the way. Dolphins frolicked in our wake.

We docked at Key West just before 1 pm (30 mins later than expected) so off we toddled with our bag to Eden House just a short stroll away.

The Welcome beer was very welcome (despite it being a Budweiser ;-) and the room was fine. We were upgraded to one with microwave- we had booked deluxe I think which has a refrigerator. We had a quick look round the place and set off. The microwave came in handy for making a cup of tea the next am- they have tea/coffee in the lobby area but tea selection wasn’t up to my standards and the water not hot enough for a good brew lol. Coffee was probably OK, but I am not a coffee drinker.

Our short time in town meant we had little time to waste, so our plan of attack meant off we went to lunch. This started with Garbo’s Grill food truck on Front St. Thank goodness they have a bit of shade, god only knows what it was like in summer- it was a bit hot that day (nov 15th). Really enjoyed our Yum Yum shrimp and Asian beef tacos. Had to fend off the odd chicken/rooster but who cares- we are in Key West! Then off we strolled along Duval. Might have stopped off at Sloppy Joes for a quick beer, but it was a cruise ship day and it was packed (RCI Majesty of the seas) so we strolled and shopped til we hit Dj’s clam shack where we had a couple of coronas to wash down our shared lobster roll. Tasty. Didn’t buy much in the shops, just a new beer coozy from Walgreens.

We headed back to our hotel, for a break/rest and to sample the pool area. Nice tranquil area and not too many people. Our initial plan was to spend an hour there, then get ready to head off to Happy hour. But we were waylaid by the free drinks happy hour at Eden House pool (I had forgotten they had this). This meant we were late setting off, and had to miss Black Fin Bistro- our first recommended HH stop. Instead we went to Red fish Blue fish for a drink (margarita for me, beer for OH) and strolled over to Mallory Sq for sunset. Then we headed off to Alonzo’s and had some calamari with a Key Lime Pie Martini. This was very nice. Next stop was Schooner's Wharf for some more drinks and some more apps. Enjoyed the live music/atmosphere. Their toilets could do with an upgrade though ;-). We went on to Conch republic for a drink (were too full for more food) then went to Island Dog Bar- more live music here. I had lots of other places on my list to visit, but the OH ran out of steam. He used to be a happy hour kind of guy, but has been out of training for a while and couldn’t carry on ;-). So instead of boozing myself silly and going to comedy and other clubs I ended up reading my book before bed.

So, after an earlier evening than I had planned, I was up early. Read a bit by the pool til 8 am and woke OH up for breakfast. We get 20% off food at Azur next door so went there for breakfast (had originally thought about Blue heaven). I had the scrummy Key lime pie French toast, and he had the breakfast with egg, sausage, and home fries. With the discount was very reasonably priced for the quality but the OJ was a bit pricy. Atmosphere very nice here. After we went back to the hotel for a bit then headed off for some shopping/sightseeing as we had to be out of the room by 11am.

Did Duval St shops then had lunch at Southernmost Beach Café. My burger was very juicy, and I started off that day’s drinks with beer and sangria.

Went to Hemmingway’s house after Southernmost Point- haven’t been there since I was in Key West on Spring break in the early 80’s lol. Then strolled and shopped back up Duval and had a beer at Capt Tony’s. Went back to Eden house for a rest by the pool. Then we got our bags and headed off for another (last) happy hour. When researching happy hour here, I was given lots of places to try, and lots of times but most of them turned out to be incorrect. I had places on my list that said HH started at 3:30 but didn’t til 4:30 etc. Would have checked this online as I realize it can change due to season etc but most places don’t have HH on their websites. So, given we had to check in at 5pm for the ferry back we started off at Dante’s whose HH started at 4. None of the other waterfront ones such as Turtle Kraals or Alonzo’s started until 4:30. Many peel and eat shrimps and cocktails later, we went next door to Half Shell. There we had Tuna tataki and more calamari and a bucket of Voodoo Juice. Got a refill and headed off to the KW express. We had an OK trip back, but we left early (they set off just after the last person booked had boarded at 5:30) so watched sunset from outside on deck. Then we went back inside for our picnic dinner of another lobster roll we got take out from DJ’s Clam shack plus a slice of Key lime pie. Better than what they serve on the boat, and we weren’t the only ones who brought food onboard. Trip back was a little rougher than over, but still OK- for me anyway as I don't get seasick too easily. Some of those silver haired daytrippers must have hit a few bars there as they were loud lol.

This short stay was the first time we have been back to KW since our youngest boys went to College/University this Sept. A fun filled but short trip for first time empty nesters. Will be back soon for a longer one I hope. I especially want to have time to try some of the higher end dining places, but I have to make sure I put the OH into training first as he can no longer drink like he used to ;-)

New Jersey
Destination Expert
for Key West
posts: 29,228
reviews: 61
1. Re: TR: Key West in less than 30 hours

Nice!! You hit all of my favorite "dumps." Can't wait until 05/13. More so now.


South Jersey
posts: 1,991
reviews: 64
2. Re: TR: Key West in less than 30 hours

Wow, you packed a lot into 30 hours! It was like an Anthony Bourdain layover.

Destination Expert
for Florida
posts: 39,516
reviews: 21
3. Re: TR: Key West in less than 30 hours

I like value for money for my hotel/travel costs lol. Could have crammed a bit more in Thurs night, but once the OH starts stumbling out of a bar it is home we go as I can't carry him lol.

He went on a health regimen this year (mainly cuz he was working away from home and I wasn't there to cook for him) and cut out drinking alcohol with dinner. So now he gets drunk too quickly :-)

SW Indiana
posts: 352
reviews: 12
4. Re: TR: Key West in less than 30 hours

Getting back into shape for a Key West trip is very demanding and should be practiced on at least a daily basis.

Destination Expert
for Florida
posts: 39,516
reviews: 21
5. Re: TR: Key West in less than 30 hours

It didn't even occur to me he'd have turned into a lightweight. But he is coming back home to wine with dinner 7 nights a week next month lol.

When we lived in Nassau and were in a darts team he scored a 161 finish after god knows how many pints of beer. we used to have 2 before starting lol.

Getting older sucks ;-)

In the Country, NY
Destination Expert
for Surf City
posts: 3,007
reviews: 60
6. Re: TR: Key West in less than 30 hours

What a nice little trip! Thanks for posting.

Key West
Destination Expert
for Key West
posts: 2,983
reviews: 8
7. Re: TR: Key West in less than 30 hours

Glad you had fun on your short trip!! Azure is one of my favorite restaurants. Glad you enjoyed it!!

Kelso, United...
posts: 12,492
reviews: 14
8. Re: TR: Key West in less than 30 hours

Amanx we will be visiting KW for one day in February it's our first time in the Keys

We are thinking of taking the Conch Train Tour

Or do you think it would be better just to wander around by ourselves using a guide book?

Thing is I hate aimlessly walking around without seeing anything at the end of it but KW seems pretty accessible on foot

Drinking is out as we will be driving back to Tavernier :-((

Destination Expert
for Florida
posts: 39,516
reviews: 21
9. Re: TR: Key West in less than 30 hours

Well, lots of day-trippers do use it, and it would save some shoe leather. But if you are fit you can walk down to Southernmost point and back and take in a lot of things. I am certainly not the type who uses such tourist trains. Guess I've lived in too many touristy places so do research and pick things out in advance rather than using such a thing.

Depends on how hot it is really. If it was really hot, you'd be better off on the train I guess.

Plus if you are there for a number of hours, you could try one of those Key Lime Pie martini's straight off then sober up ;-)

Tyler, Texas
posts: 5,392
reviews: 93
10. Re: TR: Key West in less than 30 hours

Am I the only person who ever got seasick on the Conch train tour?

Love the Eden House!

There once was a time when there were no chickens--I prefered that.