Touring Key West + the Conch Tour Train

After our delicious brunch at Blue Heaven, we said our “laters” to Rachel and Frank and headed out to explore Key West.

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Key West is about 2 by 4 miles and is basically comprised of many narrow streets (originally designed for carriages, not cars) with lots of cute, beach-town buildings, house, cottages, inns, bed & breakfasts, restaurants, and shops. It reminds me a bit of Charleston, SC – lots of history, lots of shopping, but not really any beaches (you have to go to surrounding cities in SC to get to the beaches like Isle of Palms).

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Main methods of transportation are your feet, bicycles, bicycle-drawn mini-carriages. There’s no real reason to bring a car here. Parking is difficult, hard to find, and expensive.

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Some areas are more touristy than others, like this famous bar Sloppy Joe’s, which is known for being frequented by Ernest Hemingway.

There are tons of outdoor bars and restaurants.

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As we were walking around, I found a man chopping up a coconut. Score! When I got married in the Bahamas, all I wanted was a drink in a coconut. Alas, I was too busy with wedding stuff to rouse one up. So, 2 years later and I was REALLY excited to see this guy and his little stand.

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Success! I was also really happy to get fresh coconut water for the hydration benefits – natural electrolytes.

We walked around, coconut in hand, to explore town some more. We were short on time, so I just snapped photos of everything. Would have been nice to tour more of these places, but we only had a day, so we tried to hit up the highlights.

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The Audubon house.

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A museum.

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Umm….another museum?? I forgot! :oops:

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We saw a giant cruise ship.

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Saw some quirky art work – this building had lots of statues all around posed doing various activities. This scene is a painter statue painting naked statues.

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Since we had a late brunch, hubby and I decided to go ahead and do a tour before lunch. We went on the world-famous Conch Tour Train, which lasted 1 1/2 hours long and was very informative. I wish we would have done this first to get a sense for how the island was laid out and what activities and historic sites would be good to hit up.

Here are some photos from our tour:

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Shannon was our guide and she was pretty awesome.

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We learned about the local trees and other plant life.

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Begin Highway 1.

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We learned about different house styles.

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And passed lots of pretty houses.

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We passed many historic sites – too many to remember!

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Sand sculpture.

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I think this may be the Cuban area of town…eek, we saw so much, I can’t remember!

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One of the beaches.

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The southernmost point of continental USA.

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I thought this scene was interesting – just some random guy staring out at the water.

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Roosters and their chicks running around.

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Church.

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More pretty houses – I loved the flowers spilling all over the fences and all around the houses.

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Me + hubby on the train.

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Entering the Bahamian area of town.

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Painted by a famous painter.

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More quirky stuff – a bicycle attached to the second floor balcony.

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A shop.

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A house designed to look like a wedding cake.

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And speaking of wedding, we passed the church where Serena and Dan were married the day before.

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Rooster! Why did the rooster cross the road?

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We learned about gingerbread – the special cut-outs of the woodwork on houses where the craftsmen left their marks. Here are some actual gingerbread men-shaped gingerbread.

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Prohibition gingerbread – bottles, hearts, spades.

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Hubby and I really enjoyed our tour. We saw a TON of the island and learned a lot, too. I recommend trying out this tour if you visit Key West, but go as soon as possible so you know where you’re going afterwards.

Next up, our Sunday lunch…

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Comments

  1. gordon carbo says

    your pics are great, it has been so long sence i have been to the keys.
    i am an artist ,and after looking at your pics , i am going to do a drawing of slopy joes.

    gordo carbo

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