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Trip report 4/3-4-7, everything we hoped for!

Painesville, Ohio
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66 posts
47 reviews
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Trip report 4/3-4-7, everything we hoped for!

After spending months on TA reading these forums and reviews we finally flew into KW about 1:00 on the third. The proprietor of our BnB, The Atlantis House, picked us up and in 5 minutes we were there. The back deck/garden area is gorgeous there and the owners very nice and helpful. They also provide free bike usage so we rode over to the Southernmost Café for some lunch. While there a friend of mine who is lucky enough to live in KW, met us and took us on a quick tour of the island, pointing out some good spots to visit. We then stopped at the Rum Bar hoping to find a bartender we had met in Put in Bay, Ohio the prior summer but she wasn't there. By the time we were done with our Painkillers we decided it was too late to go back to the BnB to shower and get ready so we just continued on the bikes to North Duval to see the sites there. The Top is apparently closing soon but we are glad we got to see it, as the view from up there was anamazing 180dgree view from 6 stories up! We went to Mallory Square and Sunset Pier. The waitress at SP was a bit unfriendly and the food mediocre and I wasn't terribly impressed with Mallory Square either. Just a few steps away however was Meson de Pepe, which smelled fantastic (wished we weren't full from SP) and had a great Cuban band playing. We walked around a bit more but we were beat from the early wake up to catch the plane plus the early start on the bevs so we called it a night.

Friday we started out with the Key West Eco Tours mangrove kayak trip which was excellent. The guide was knowledgeable, the scenery beautiful and we saw a ton of marine life and birds. That evening we were better charged up to stay out late and really enjoy Duval. A couple of the highlights were Irish Kevins, Jeff Harris is talented and hilarious (not for the easily offended), and the Smokin Tuna, where Caffeine Carl was tearing it up. We also found out one of the things that makes KW so great, the other people there! We made new friends at nearly every bar we stopped at and everyone was so friendly and fun, it really helped make the trip so memorable.

Saturday was a boat trip with the owners of the BnB and the other couple staying there. We went to the reef to snorkel and Boca Grande to just hang out. It was great company, beautiful scenery and snorkeling just a great day on the water. It felt more like hanging out with friends than being on a tourist trip. After the trip we had a fantastic meal at La Trattatoria on the Beach with the other couple from the BnB. After a long, full day on the water and a heck of a sunburn, we called it a relatively early night.

Sunday started with an awesome breakfast (and Bloodies) at Blue Heaven, and the wait was not bad at all, especially for a Sunday morning. We continued on to Duval, did our souvenir shopping and sort of drank our lunch. We got back, hung out at Smathers Beach for a while then rested up a while. We then went out with my friend and his wife to the Hogfish, which again, was a delicious meal. They joined us at White Marlin for a Key Lime Martini then they called it a night as tomorrow was just another Monday for them. We continued onto Duval, met some more fun people, enjoyed more great music at the Tuna and in general had another fun, fun evening.

Monday morning we felt surprisingly good and by 10:00 we were on jet skis doing the island tour with Barefoot Billy's. The Atlantic side of the trip was pretty choppy but once we got to the other side it was relatively flat and it was a very fun trip. We cleaned up and made it down to Duval one last time, stopping at Sloppy Joes where The Doerfuls were playing who were very talented and fun as well as a few other stops before our sunset sail on the Appledore. The owner of the boat rode with us and he was like the Dos Equis guy, one of the most interesting characters we met. Afterwards, more good music including one last dose of Caffeine Carl before calling it a night and a trip. It was only 4 1/2 days but we had the best time and I think I might have caught Keys Disease while I was there, I can't wait to get back!

Mentioned in this post
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Boca Grande
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Smathers Beach
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1,195 Reviews
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Hogfish Bar & Grill
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Barefoot Billy's
Barefoot Billy's
1,842 Reviews
Key West, FL
Painesville, Ohio
Level Contributor
66 posts
47 reviews
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11. Re: Trip report 4/3-4-7, everything we hoped for!

Pjk- Capt Steve told us how lucky we were, it had been too windy the previous 2 weeks for his boat and it went back to being just as windy the next day. We're very grateful we got it in.

rasco-PIB is definitely worth a long weekend, it's no KW but it's still a really good time, lots of boats, music, people in an island state of mind, and seafood, just sub out pinks and grouper for perch and walleye.

KWD-I'm originally from Geneva, even closer to Madison, I'm sure you've been to a Grape Jamboree or two.

In glad to know that although it's terminal, the Keys Disease seems to be a common affliction and I think I know the cure.

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Madison
Madison
Wisconsin
Sheffield Lake, Ohio
Level Contributor
2,271 posts
23 reviews
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12. Re: Trip report 4/3-4-7, everything we hoped for!

Racso, I think I can answer your question about PIB. I live on the shores of Lake Erie about 20 miles due west of Cleveland. I have a boat and make several trips to PIB each and every summer. Is it "Key West of the North?:" Well, no, not exactly. It's not somewhere I would spend a whole week's vacation. However, with that said, I can tell you that it is a fun, happening place to be. I usually rent a golf cart and make my usual stops around the island, then head back into "town" and spend time in some of my favorite haunts. This is an adult venue, and kids really don't belong here after the sun goes down. Several good wineries, lots of great food (my favorite is the Boathouse for lobster bisque and crab legs), and many different bars with great music. In fact, Sloppy Joe's (Key West) and The Round House (PIB) are "sister" bars. They even have a weekend dedicated as "Key West Days". I love it up there, but then I live close and it is an easy weekend getaway for me. Key West still owns a piece of my heart.

Mentioned in this post
The Boathouse
The Boathouse
757 Reviews
Key West, FL
Key West
Key West
Florida Keys, FL
Grand Rapids mi
Destination Expert
for South Haven
Level Contributor
1,761 posts
50 reviews
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13. Re: Trip report 4/3-4-7, everything we hoped for!

next symptom of KEYS DIESESE....checking air flights daily !!!!

Philadelphia...
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623 posts
33 reviews
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14. Re: Trip report 4/3-4-7, everything we hoped for!

Yes the cure....The disease starts at your first 3 or 4 nite stay in KW, then before you know it ,your up to 7 or 8 nites...it's still not enough.Now your planning two trips a year to KW...Ohhh it gets worse.... :)

Glad you had a great vacation in KW.

New Haven...
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63 posts
4 reviews
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15. Re: Trip report 4/3-4-7, everything we hoped for!

Thanks for sharing.

Painesville, Ohio
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374 posts
4 reviews
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16. Re: Trip report 4/3-4-7, everything we hoped for!

If keys disease has set in and you did not leave key west imagine another 120 miles to explore its amazing.

17. Re: Trip report 4/3-4-7, everything we hoped for!

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