One of the best ways to see Key West is from the seat of a simple bicycle. Bring your own or rent a bike at the corner of Caroline and Duval then take off and see the magical island of Key West.
Meander down the streets, as it is hard to get lost on a 4×2 mile island, and take in the sights as my sister and I did one beautiful, breezy morning during vacation. Now, I must tell you that both of us love photography and stopping to take pictures was the order of the day, whether it was an old church in the Bahamian section of town, the beautifully colorful bougainvillea which grows rampantly across the island or one of the iconic sites of Key West such as the Southernmost Point.
Here are a few of the highlights with many others still waiting to be discovered.
The ocean drive along South Roosevelt from our timeshare was perfect this early morning. Waves lapping against the seawall, birds in flight and boats bobbing in the current are just some of the sights.
Louie’s Backyard sits quietly under the trees awaiting the daily crowds. A great place to stop in the evening for a drink on the back porch bar or at the Upper Deck Wine Bar. You can even see the colors of the sunset from this ocean-side gem.
Stop at Southernmost Point, the only place in the U.S. where you can stand just 90 miles from Cuba. People wait patiently in line for their turn to take a picture and the person behind you is always willing to take a shot of your entire group.
And don’t miss the Southernmost House, one of those gingerbread-type houses that reminds one of fairy tales.
There are always plenty of examples of the typical Key West house, this one complete with white picket fence and the ever-present bougainvillea. (Question for you – what color are bougainvillea flowers? If you answered white you would be correct! The colored parts are papery thin bracts.)
A stop at Hemingway House and a tour of the grounds. Just listening to the story the guides tell of this prolific author is amusing and informative. Here is a great picture of the pool that his wife built in place of his boxing ring when Hemingway took off with his mistress!
Duval Street is quiet in the morning which makes it a great time to traverse this otherwise busy street. If you are there early enough, stop in at Banana Cafe for breakfast (there is almost always a line) or just snap a few shots of iconic landmarks such as
The Bull & Whistle, Sloppy Joes and the Smallest Bar in the World. When lunch time comes around, stop in at Fogarty’s, where you will be seated outdoors under shady umbrellas and cooling mist machines, and order up some delicious food after all your exercise. Don’t miss their Rum Runners (ask for the souvenir bottle perfect for carrying with you for the rest of the day).
Continue on down the street for a few more quick shots of Hog’s Breath Saloon, Captain Tony’s Saloon (a great place for a refreshing drink and some entertainment) and Smokin’ Tuna Saloon before returning your bike and heading for the nearest pool and some cool refreshment. After all, it is 5 o’clock somewhere!
And an early happy Cinco de Mayo!