Key West, It’s Been A Long Time Since I’ve Visited Florida’s Southernmost City. Too Long.

Key West, It’s Been A Long Time Since I’ve Visited Florida’s Southernmost City. Too Long.

Florida Day One Key West afternoon walk (27 of 50)
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I started  writing this blog after having spent about 7 hours  on Key West, Florida’s famous southernmost key. And what an sensory overloading experience those seven hours were. So much to see  and do. And I saw a lot on my 8 miles of walking through the busy streets of Key West.  

 It’s been 33 years since I last roamed these streets. On my last visit I spent most of my time drinking in the many bars  with my friends and looking for girls.  I didn’t see much of the culture, history, and beauty of this of this wonderful place. I did today.

Okay, it is now Wednesday morning, my second day in the keys. I fell early last night while writing my blog. It’s around 6 a.m. and I had some coffee and I am getting ready to see the sunrise. It is going to be another great day here in the Keys.  So back to  yesterday, I arrived at the Key West Airport around 11;30. It is a very small airport and I  had no problem quickly picking up my rental car. 

It was a pleasant drive to downtown Key West. I was surprised there wasn’t a lot more traffic. I drove to  famous Duval Street where I was staying at the historic Duval House Bed and Breakfast.  It was a nice  place and a friendly and informative staff greeted me at the reception desk. Of course, if being only noon, my room wasn’t ready. No problem. I was off to explore downtown Key.

First, of course, I had to eat and I had a nice lunch of gazpacho soup and a grouper sandwich at the Old Town Tavern.

After my lunch I began my exploration of Key West by walking south on Duval Street. Okay,  sorry it  is now my fourth  day in Florida as I write this. I always want to keep current with my blogs while I travel, but, once again I have been so busy exploring  I am way  behind. So I will just try and  quickly post a few comments and photos and invite you check out more of the photos in the galleries I link. A picture is worth a 1000 words they say.  So back to Tuesday  afternoon, I walked along busy Duval Street,

still decorated for the Christmas season

There were  many shops and restaurants along Duvall Street, including a lot of cigar shops. 

There were also a lot of roosters. They were everywhere and had the run of the town. I enjoyed seeing them and hearing them crow even in the middle of the day. 

As I neared the ocean on the southern side of the key there were  more residential buildings,

including resorts and large homes. 

The sun was shining and  the temperatures were in the low 70’s, a pleasant day for walking. I made my way to this famous landmark, the southernmost point in the continental United States. 

The Duval House called me and told me my room was ready, so I walked back to the bed and breakfast, checked in and looked around the historic building.  

I love the beautiful gardens, 

and the large trees,  Catbirds and yellow-rumped warblers, birds I am very familiar with from my hikes in my home in Northeastern Pennsylvania,  sang in the trees tops. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photo of the Duval House. Florida Day One Key West Duval House January 10 2023.

I soon left  my home for the night and continued my walk on Duval Street, this time to the north. The street was even busier as I walked past so many famous shops

restaurants and bars. 

There were also churches, 

I stopped in and visited a few along the way.

Historic monuments, 

and old shipwrecks, this town had everything, 

I made my way to the famous Mallory Square, where large crowds gather at night to watch the sunset. 

Large cruise ships were docked in the nearby port.  

It was now getting late in the afternoon, I  had walked over four miles so I decided to head back, this time walking through some upscale neighborhoods with large houses and ancient trees. 

I walked past more history, the Truman House.

There was also some wildlife  in the town, I came across this adult, 

 and juvenile ibises on my walk,

and saw this lizard peering at me from behind some leaves as I walked past.

I also walked by some local street art. wish I had more time to explore. I finished my 6 mile hikes, returned to my room showered and, as exhausted  as  I was ,  decided to walk back to Mallory Square and watch the sunset, Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos from my  walk through the streets of Key West. Florida Day One Key West afternoon hike January 10 2023. 

I was tired and hungry again as I once again ventured onto Duval Street. Key West comes alive at night and the street was become crowded with tourist and locals heading out for the evening

I walked past some more historic sights, like this old theater and

made my way to Mallory Square where I joined the crowds watching the sunset, It was a beautiful one, as all sunsets are. 

Afterward, I watched some of the entertainment. 

I started my walk back and decided I was hungry again.

I had a quick slice of pizza on my walk to Mallory Square. I stopped in a few restaurants including the Ramshead and Blue Heaven.

They were crowded and the only seats were at the bar. I had just about given up on eating when I came across a little  “hole in the wall” eating joint.  That really is the best way to describe it. I looked at the menu and asked if they were open . I was told that they were closing for the evening.  An elderly woman inside yelled what do I want. I said  anything without red meat and she said she will make me a  falafel  sandwich. As I waited I had a wonderful conversation with two regular customers  about life, God, travel and so much more. The  sandwich came and it was heavenly delicious. I asked how she makes it so good and she said she makes it with love. She certainly put a lot of love in it. It was a enjoyable meal. And  she joined our conversation what a wonderful woman.  The “hole in the wall” ( she called it that too) was Mams Best Food.  It is a great place to eat and I’d recommend it highly if you are in Key West. 

 I finished my hike and walked past a lively conversation at the Christmas tree at the Duval House. I was too tired to  enjoy the beautiful southern  Florida evening . I was soon asleep., looking forward to some more exploring in the morning . Here is a gallery with some photos of the Key West sunset.  Florida Day One Key West sunset January 10 2023. 

“Natives of the Florida Keys often refer to themselves as Conchs, and for good reason: They have been drinking.”
― Dave Barry, Best. State. Ever.: A Florida Man Defends His Homeland

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