Sunday, January 12, 2014

TOP 10 Things to Do In Key West

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TOP 10 Things to Do In Key West

The "must-do" list when in Key West

KEY WEST, FL. Even if your Key West vacation lasted an entire month, you’d still have a list of unexplored places to see, adventures awaiting you, and loads of things to do (and eat and drink!). If you are feeling daunted by planning your itinerary, have no fear! We’ve done the work for you, so read on for our Top 10 Things to Do in Key West:

1 Stroll along Duval Street
Duval Street is to Key West what Bourbon Street is to New Orleans. In other words, it’s the center of all the action! This street stretches the width of the Island – from Gulf to ocean – and along it you will find a slew of bars, restaurants, shops and cafes. This is the ultimate Key West party experience, and as you stroll, you can stop every few feet to cool off at an outdoor bar with an ice cold frozen libation under refreshing water misters.

2 Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum
Walk the halls of the home of perhaps the most famous Key West resident in the island’s history, Ernest Hemingway. The stormy and mysterious writer penned some of his most famous works in this house, including “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” and “To Have and Have Not.” Hemingway’s extravagant home was the first ever to have a swimming pool (which cost a whopping $20,000 in 1928!), one of the first to have indoor plumbing, and boasts many fun and interesting architectural details (including a urinal Hemingway scored from his favorite watering hole “Sloppy Joe’s”, which he turned into a fountain in the front yard for his many 6-toed cats!). Travel back in time and get a feel for how Ernest Hemingway lived in Key West.

3 Conch Train
This classic sightseeing train has been around long enough to give Key West legend Ernest Hemingway a ride! It’s actually a motorized trolley on wheels rather than a train, and it will take you around to every major sight on the Island with an entertaining guided tour. It’s a great way to get a feel for the town, and to enjoy the sights without having to exert yourself. The staff is super friendly, and the company prides itself on an enjoyable ride – so much so, they offer a no-questions-asked, money back guarantee. You can also purchase a photo of you and your traveling companions on the train as a souvenir.

4 Key West Bight and Boardwalk
Key West comes up with its own names for things, and a “bight” is actually a harbor. This harbor is a beautiful place to walk (and it’s a pretty short walk, so no worries about overexertion!), and it’s a fantastic place to catch live music, and a hopping restaurant and bar scene. Enjoy the stunning vista of blue sky, crystal waters, boats and birds, as you enjoy some of the finest seafood in the country, or cool off with a cold beer.

5 Key West Sunset - La Concha Hotel TOP IS CLOSED
It doesn’t get any more romantic or magical than watching the sunset in Key West. The sky is ever changing, and every night the sky promises a different show. Hands down, the best place to witness this marvel is the rooftop deck of The La Concha Hotel. The hotel is notably the tallest building on the island (a whopping 5 whole stories!), and the roof deck has a bar, seating, and is free and open to all, even if you aren’t staying at the hotel. Come sit with your honey, and enjoy the end to a perfect day in the most perfect place on earth.

6 Key West Lighthouse
The southern tip of the Island is home to the famous Key West Lighthouse, built in 1848. This beautiful white structure stands strikingly against the brilliant blue Key West sky. If you are feeling ambitious, climb the 88 stairs of the lighthouse, and reward yourself with an absolutely stunning panoramic view of the island and surrounding waters. You won’t regret it. Besides, there is always a cold drink waiting for you somewhere on the island to cool off with!

7 Audubon House
This gorgeous place has a fantastic guided tour for kids and adults both. You can view the works of famous artist and naturalist, John James Audubon, which are displayed throughout the house. The building was home to a famous 19th-Century Key West captain, Captain John H. Geiger, and you can experience what life was like back then as you walk through rooms filled with exquisite antique furnishings and architecture. The home also boasts lush and flamboyant tropical gardens, including a spectacular Koi fishpond and 1850's medicinal/herbal garden.

8 Key West Aquarium
This charming little aquarium was built during the Great Depression way back in 1935, and was the first of its kind. A great tour for kids, this aquarium hosts a 30-minute, interactive walking tour, where visitors can feed stingrays, and even touch a shark on the tail!
9 Shipwreck Museum
“Wreck Ashore!” These are the words called out in the 1800s when a shipwreck touched shore. Back in the “Golden Age of Sailing,” Key West was home to some of the bravest sailors in treacherous waters – which means it was one of the capitols of shipwrecks. Visitors can see artifacts from actual shipwrecks, hear lore, and exciting tales from guides that look like the pioneers of old Key West!

10 Custom House
This is a history buff’s dream. For only 9 bucks, you can tour this 1891, four-story national landmark building, which used to be home to the island’s district courts, post office and custom’s office. Today, it serves as a museum, where you can experience two floors of exhibitions that weave together two centuries of history, art, people, and events.
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