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Getting Around Florida Keys

Getting Around Florida Keys -Certainly a lot of people come by car to the island – and the island is relatively small in size making it easy to get around by bike and walking too –    

Hire Bikes – see www.conchcruiserbikes.com  Tel: 305 896 7692 Located at 511 Truman Avenue.

Scooters – see Island Scooters at 5170 Overseas Highway Tel: 305 434 0424

Taxi – see Five Sixes Taxis – www.keywesttaxi.com Tel: 305 296 6666

TOURS  

Key West Information Center – 313 Margaret Street, Key West – See www.keywestinfo.com

City View Trolley Tour – see www.keywesttrolleytours.com  105 Whitehead St, Key West. Tel: 305 294 0644.

Old Town Trolley Tours – See www.historictours.com Tel: 305 296 6688. Located at Mallory Square.

Key West ghost and Mysteries Tour – 330 Elizabeth Street, Key West. See www.keywestghostandmysteriestour.com Tel: 305 292 2040

Gay Trolley Tours – See www.gaykeywestfl.com Tel: 305 294 4678 at 513 Truman Avenue.

Trusted Tours – See www.trustedtours.com/store/key-west  Tel: 1-800 407 2475.

Ghosts and Gravestones Sightseeing Tour – See www.ghostsandgravestones.com Tel: 305 294 4678. Book a tour through Trusted Tours above.
   
Pub Crawl and walking Tours– take a tour of Old Town and pubs. See www.keywestwalkingtours.com  218 Whitehead Street. Tel: 305 294 7170

WATER TOURS –    

Kayak – Tours and Rentals – Hurricane Hole Marina, Mile Marker 4.2 on US 1. Tel: 305 295 9898.

Blue Planet Kayaks – Book on 305 809 8110 or www.blue-planet-kayak.com  Kayak through the mangrove tunnels. Meet at East Martello Fort Museum and Gardens area.

Classic Harbor Line – See www.sail-keywest.com Tel: 305 293 7245. 202 Williams St.

Isle Escapes – See www.islescapes.com Tel: 305 923 3319. Schooner Wharf, Pier 1, Slip 3

Seaplanes- See www.keywestseaplanecharters.com Tel: 305 293 9300. 3741 S. Roosevelt Boulevard.

Air Adventures Helicopter Tours – located at 3471 S. Roosevelt Boulevard. Tel: 844 246 359464

Skydive – See www.skydivekeywest.com Tel: 305 745 4386.

Key West Water Tours – See www.keywestwatertours.com Tel: 305 294 6790

Fury Cat – See www.furycat.com Tel: 305 296 0301 They pick up from a number of locations in Key West – and have glass bottom boats, sailing, parasailing, snorkel tours and more.

Native Guidance – See www.nativeguidance.com  Tel: 305 393 4153 Located at Sugar Loaf Marina, Mile Marker 17, Summerland Key (about 15 minutes from Key West). They have both cruises and also fishing trips.

Key West Water Tours – See www.keywestwatertours.com Tel: 305 294 6790. Located at 5106 U.S 1. Hurricane Hole Marina. They have wave runners to hire too.

Sunset Water Sports – See www.sunsetwatersportskeywest.com Tel: 305 296 2554 Located at 201 William Street. Everything from cruises, to boat rentals, parasailing, wave runners, dolphin trips and more.
   
Dry Tortugas National Park Ferry – See www.yankeefreedom.com  Tel: 305 294 7009. Hop on-board the Yankee Freedom III, to see the Dry Tortugas Islands.

Classic Harbor Line – See www.classicharborline.com Tel: 305 293 7245 located at 22 William Street. Classic wooden boats.

Hydro Thunder – See www.hydrothunderofkeywest.com Tel: 305 295 7525. Located at 0 Duval Street. Hire jet skis and power boats here.

Yankee Freedom III – See www.yankeefreedom.com Tel: 305 294 7009 Located at 240 Margaret Street. The Ferry can take you to the Tortugas Islands and Fort Jefferson.
   
Ocean Vue Adventures – See www.oceanviewadventures.com Tel: 866 426 4848 at 201 William Street. Has combination tours with glass bottom boats, snorkelling, diving to see stingrays, coral and old ship wrecks.

DIVING – Key West is a great place to go diving off-shore on the reefs and wrecks, with different levels of experience catered for. These are some of the Diving Companies who can organise a dive for you –

THINGS TO SEE –      

Key West Information Center – is located at 313 Margaret Street.

Mallory Square (400 Wall Street) & Duval Street – are in the Center of Old Town next to the waterfront is where there are bars, cocktails, galleries, shopping, restaurants, cafes and activities happening during the day and night.

The Waterfront Playhouse Theater – is on Mallory Square, and housed in an old brick building that dates back to the 1850’s. The Key West Memorial Sculpture Garden is also here with the bust sculptures of famous Key West personalities created by sculptor, James Mastin.

Ripley’s Believe It or not Museum – with its quirky stories and exhibits is on Duval Street.

Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory – 1316 Duval St. Tel: 305 296 2988

See www.keywestbutterfly.com  A great conservatory with the butterflies and gardens to see.  

Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden – 5210 College Rd.

See www.keywestbotanicalgarden.org  Tel: 305 296 1504. Part of the attraction of Key West is the Tropical atmosphere and gardens – and the Botanical Gardens really showcase this.  

Nancy Forrester Secret Garden – 518 Elizabeth Street. Tel: 305 294 0015 See www.nancyforrester.com  This garden is a haven for Parrots, that they also rescue too.

Southern Most Point Buoy – is located on Whitehead Street. Worth a photo to say you’ve been here. See www.southernmostpoint.com
   
Key West Aquarium – 1 Whitehead Street. Tel: 305 296 2051. See www.keywestaquarium.com   Discover more about the ocean reefs and tropical fish, sting rays, sharks and other sea creatures before you head out on a trip to the reefs off-shore. Also here is the Shipwreck Museum.
   
Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center – 33 East Quay Street.  Tel: 305 809 4750. See www.eco/discovery.com See a mock-up of the  ‘Aquarius’ under water Ocean Observatory, see living corals, tropical fish and learn about Marine Science. Also here find out about possibly visiting Fort Jefferson – the 6 sided fort built on the Dry Tortugas Islands.
   
Dry Tortugas Islands – where Fort Jefferson is located can be a great trip to take –to see the reefs and fish around the islands there. You may also be able to camp on the islands too with a permit. See www.drytortugas.com . Seeing the massive fort rising out of the ocean with its high 19 foot high stone walls is something you think would only be seen in a movie.

Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum – 200 Greene Street. Tel: 305 294 2633. See www.melfisher.org  Here you will be able to see artefacts and treasures salvaged from ship wrecks dating back to the 1700’s.

Key West Shipwreck Museum – 1 Whitehead Street. Tel: 305 292 8990 See www.keywestshipwreck.com   The museum has a number of exhibits and stories of the many ship wrecks that have occurred off the coast here over the last 400 years.
   
Lighthouse and Keeper’s Quarters – 938 Whitehead Street. Tel: 305 294 0012. Here you can climb the 88 steps to the top, and also see the museum here with stories of the lighthouse and its keepers.

West Martello Tower – 1100 Atlantic Boulevard. Tel: 305 294 3210. The Martello Tower was built in 1862 to form part of the protection of Key West.  Here too are the graves of African Slaves who died on their journey from Africa, prior to the Civil War. The grounds and gardens are maintained by the Key West Garden Club. See www.keywestgardenclub.com

Fort East Martello – built in 1862 is located at 3501 S. Roosevelt Boulevard. Tel: 305 296 3913. Here you can see relics from the Civil War, learn about Cigar making, see sculptures and learn about the infamous ‘Robert the Doll’.

Custom House (and museum) – 281 Front Street. Tel: 305 295 6616. This building was built in 1891 and here you can see history, art and stories of Key West and the port. See www.kwahs.org

Key West Heritage House Museum and Robert Frost Cottage – 401 Caroline Street. May or may not be open.

White Street Pier – is great for sunsets, and is also where there is an Aids Memorial, listing the names of over 1000 people who have died from Aids.

Ernest Hemingway House – 907 Whitehead Street. Tel:  305 294 1136. See www.hemingwayhome.com  This home was first built in 1851 and was the home of the famous writer, Ernest Hemingway. This large home and garden are famous, as are the Polydactyl cats that live here too. Hemingway’s first cat was called ‘Snowball’, and at one time he is said to have had around 50 cats. Polydactyl cats are sometimes called ‘Hemingway cats’, and have 6 toes, rather than the usual 5 toes.

Audubon House – 205 Whitehead Street. Tel: 305 294 2116 See www.audubonhouse.com  This is the 2 storey museum showing the work  of the bird illustrator, John James Audubon. The house is furnished with lots of antiques, while the gardens have orchids, herbs, and other tropical plants to see.
   
Harry S. Truman Little White House - 111 Front Street. Tel: 305 294 9911. See www.trumanlittlewhitehouse.com  This  was the home of the President of the USA, Harry S. Truman, built in 1890 a winter home away from Washington.

Tennessee Williams – His house is at 1431 Duncan Street, and not open to the public See www.twkw.org

Key West Gay and Lesbian Center – 513 Truman Avenue. See www.lgbtcenter.com Tel: 305 292 3223. An information community center.

Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine – 700 Truman Avenue is next to the St Mary’s Star of the Sea Church, and is said to protect Key West from Hurricanes.

St Paul’s Church – 401 Duval Street. The first church in Key West, with beautiful Stained Glass windows.

Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park – 300 Truman Avenue. Tel: 305 295 0037. See www.fortzacherytaylor.com  See the old fort and museum here, including the old cannons.

USCGC Ingham – Southard Street. Tel: 305 292 5072 See www.uscgcingham.org  This is the US Coast Guard Cutter ship – built in 1935. Come onboard to experience what the Coast Guard do.

Key West Cemetery – 701 Passover Lane. Tel: 305 292 8177. The Cemetery covers an area of around 19 acres at Solares Hill – the highest point of the island and there are said to be over 100,000 people buried here including Cuban Revolutionary Martyrs who fought in the 1868 Cuban Revolution, US Naval officers and many others, some graves dating back to around 1847.

Key West attracts large numbers of tourists and also has a strong gay culture too, with bars, spas, hotels, cruises and other staged events being organised during the year to cater for the Gay market. To find out more See www.keywest.gaycities.com and www.fla-keys.com     Certainly, Key West is a fun place to visit and see around the city and its many attractions. The tropical climate, casual lifestyle has attracted tourist to come here over many years and no doubt will in the future. All the way down the coastline from Miami there are resorts and other islands in the Florida Keys, and places like Key Largo, Marathon, Islamorada, Grassy Key and other places have their own attractions too. Sometimes, it is fun to just see where the road takes you, and just stop when and where you want to.      

Happy Travelling!    

Geoff Stuart  

Happy Traveller

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