Thursday, July 3, 2014

8 Best Ways to Chill and be Irie in Key West!

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Destination: Key West, Florida          
Written by Dianne Ackerman                                            

Key West The Right Way

8 Best Ways to Chill in Key West!

Irie is the word in Jamaican Patois that means, "alright", as in “Don’ worry ‘bout a thing, ‘cause every little thing gon’ be alright.”

The King of Irie:

If you are looking to chill, Key West is the place to go, indulge, rejuvenate, and relax. In other words, get your irie on, mon. The locals know what this means down to their bones, and you can tell who lives here and who is visiting by the irie factor. So come on down to Paradise and do as the Romans, er, Islanders do. Here’s our Top 8 ways to get your irie on:

8. Star gaze in a hammock

There are lots of hotels but here is one that you can check out for a very special getaway: the Key West Casa Marina. The thing about a great hotel, is you can vacation right there without even leaving the grounds. At night after dinner, order a bottle of wine at the bar and take it to the hammocks by the beach. After you watch the glowing pink sun sink into the ocean, have another sip of vino and take in a sky full of twinkling stars. You can’t get any more irie than that, mon.

7. Get some hippie sandals

In the morning, head on over to Kino Sandals and get yourself a pair of handmade leather sandals. You will feel like you took a step back in time—they’ve been going strong since 1966—and strolling around the island in your new scuffs will make you feel like you were born and bred an Islander.

6. Watch People

And they are diverse and vibrant people on this magical little island—tattooed artists, hippies, billionaire retirees, families, tourists, and the occasional celeb sighting. We recommend checking out Grand Vin on Duval Street. Grab yourself a cold beer, take a seat on the outside porch, and chill as you watch the people walk by.

5. Explore a Secret Garden

Environmental activist and artist Nancy Forrester shares her parrots sanctuary, garden, home, and art with the public to encourage ethical lifestyles for a sustainable planet. Enter another world as you stroll (in your new sandals) around a magical secret garden.

4. Ditch the Itinerary

Sure, there are things you probably want to do in Key West, and you should do them. But take it from us, take just one day of your trip to just be. Don’t have a plan. Walk out of your hotel and just wander. We promise you a magical adventure awaits around every corner.

3. Unplug, Mon

What did we ever do without our smartphones? We relaxed, that’s what! As hard as it will be to not take a selfie in front of the Hemingway House, or capture a gorgeous sunset for your Facebook cover photo, try to resist…at least for one day (but longer if possible!) The weird feeling of not having your phone on you will pass, as will the urge to use it—and when it does, a calm, present feeling you may not have felt since the early 2000’s will wash over you….it’s called irie, mon.

2. Hang with the Locals

In a way, you can’t miss them, because the locals hang in the same spots as tourists, unlike many Hog’s Breath Saloon—and you will not only feel content down to your toes, but you are sure to make new, local friends too.  But there are a couple of standout joints that will really make you feel like you live here. Belly up to the bar at any of these joints: 

1. Take the Cannoli, Leave the Car

There are plenty of ways to get around the island, and a car is the least popular. Key West is small enough to walk from the Atlantic to the Gulf of Mexico, and you don’t even have to leave Duval Street! So why drive? Sure, driving to the Keys is the most beautiful drive in the USA but once you get here, ditch the wheels for your feet, a moped, or a bike. Changing your mode of transportation will help you ease into the laidback, ever-irie vibe of enchanting Key West.

Article by Dianne Ackerman


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