This is going to be another long post, but I took so many wonderful pictures and had such a great time I just have to share!
While camping in Bahia Honda State Park, we decided to take a day and visit Key West. We knew of one place we were going to eat based on multiple suggestions from my wonderful RVing group on Facebook. In addition, we had never been so we knew we wanted to take a touristy trolley tour ride! Hubby did his research, as always, trying to make things affordable and found a tour company that provided the tour for free if you parked in their parking garage. Unfortunately, no they longer offer the free trolley ride as we checked when we came back. From everything we read, they fill up quick, so we made sure to get to Key West early. We got there by 9:30 a.m. and the parking garage was mostly full!
The trolley company we decided to go with was Old Town Trolley. The trolley stop was right across the street from the parking garage, so we didn’t have far to walk. You are able to get on and off the trolley at their stops all throughout Key West, all day. The trolley is open air, so no air conditioning, and I was happy we brought our little hand held misting fans. In addition, the last two bench seats are the ONLY padded ones. So grab the back seat if you can! A little part of our tour is viewable here –> Part of our trolley tour
We got see so many great buildings, variety of trees and flowers, downtown character, beautiful homes, the lighthouse, and of course the southern most point in the USA.
My youngest and hubby decided to go up in the lighthouse, and enjoyed the view extremely! My oldest and myself took a few steps up the windy, crowded spiral staircase and said “no way!”
I just loved seeing and hearing about the old buildings and about Key West in general. I highly encourage the trolley ride if you have never been. We also did a lot of walking around throughout the day. One of our first stops was to Duval Street and other downtown areas. Beautiful structures and trees galore!
In the Catholic Church there is a grotto that was built by hand and legend says, “Key West would never experience the full brunt of a hurricane as long as the grotto is standing.” The residents can attest, there has not been a severe storm on the island since the erection of the Grotto in 1922.
The trolley was going too fast for my cell phone camera, but behind the palm tree is a very famous statue of a man and woman twirling and dancing! It’s a whimsical statue and very photographed. We didn’t have time to go inside The Custom House, but it’s certainly on my list for the next trip.
Our stop for lunch was to Grunts Bar on Caroline Street
where you can get a great cocktail and sit outside. I would recommend getting there a little early so you can grab the seat in front of the large fan as we did!
The outside seating area (only option) is really beautiful and you can watch the people pass and admire the beautiful old homes on the other side of the street. In addition, the best burritos in town can be had here too! In the back, behind the bar, there is a food truck that has fish taco’s and burritos! Garbo’s Grill Food Truck had one of the best burrito’s I have had!
After lunch we hopped back on the trolley and took it all the way down to the southern most point in the USA and got our picture taken (prepare to wait in a long line to get your pic) in front of the famous Bouy which we learned has the incorrect mileage on it. It says, 90 miles to Cuba, but our tour guide told us it’s actually 98 miles. Fun fact!
After waiting in line for about 30 minutes to take our picture, we were VERY HOT and thirsty so we headed up the street just a short bit to the snow cone and coconut water vendor. The vendor takes a fresh coconut out of his bin, drills a hole in it, sticks a straw in and you get to enjoy a truly fresh coconut beverage! It actually made me feel better as I was beginning not to feel so great being in the heat and humidity by that time. I got myself a fresh coconut which I enjoyed very much! The kids opted for the snow cones.
After riding the trolley for a little bit more around the outskirts of town and learned about why it’s referred to as the Conch Republic and the difference between a Key West Conch and a Key West Fresh Water Conch. It’s a super interesting story and neat to hear it as you are driving through the area where this history began.
I really wanted to eat somewhere with a water view, and it had started to rain, so we ended up eating on a whim at the Waterfront Brewery. This ended up being an excellent choice!
We were able to be seated inside right at the large garage door size sliding windows. This had a small roof on the other side of the building so while it was raining and tourists were waiting for their sunset cruises, we had the best view! We enjoyed our meals very much and both agreed it was the best meal we had had out so far.
There is also a good size arcade inside, so the kids were entertained as we sat and ate, drank, socialized with the people around us, and watched the storm come and go. We also had FREE entertainment watching the boats getting ready to head off and board for their sunset cruises, so we timed it perfectly! It was a great way to end our day in the beautiful and intriguing Key West, Florida!
Although we didn’t get to do everything on our list, we had a fantastic day and we all can’t wait to do it again and enjoy some new experiences in Key West, Florida in 2018!