Friday, September 12, 2014

Key West, Florida

After eight relaxing days at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, which is the only State Park on the keys with full hookups, we were ready to head south towards Key West and the southernmost point in the United States. We had checked out most of the camping facilities in the keys and decided on Bluewater Keys as our next stop for a week. We found the camping in Key West itself to be overpriced and in some not so nice neighborhoods. Florida rated Key West as 'very high' in crime statistics. Bluewater Key Resort is only 9 short miles from Key West so we chose that as our home base. Key West downtown consists of many shops and restaurants while outside the city core you can find shopping like any other midsize town in America. The downtown core has a pier, shops and restaurants all within walking distance of the city owned parking lot.

Another one of the keys....

This is a portion of the old overseas highway. It's no longer meets safety standards but because of it's rugged construction, it's also too expensive to destroy, so it is slowly succumbing to Mother Nature.

Looking out over the Atlantic Ocean from Bahia Honda State Park. Unfortunately, they only have two spaces large enough for a 45' motor home.

Welcome to Paradise, Key West, Florida.

They have a Mickey D's here as well as several Starbucks. This picture was taken along the main road into Key West with the City owned marina on the right and major shopping centers on the left.

The highlight of the downtown core area is of course, the marker delineating the Southermost Point in the Continental United States. Here, we are only 90 miles from Cuba. Unfortunately, the curvature of the earth prohibits one from actually seeing Cuba from this point.

The Key West Lighthouse was originally built in 1825. Fourteen people perished when the lighthouse was destroyed in 1846. It's original keepers, the Mabritys' served as keepers for 32 yeasr before being fired at age 82 for making statements against the Union in the 1860s during the Civil War. The current lighthouse was built in 1848 and continued operation until decommissioned in 1969.

The downtown core contains many shops, restaurants and diners, Jimmy Buffets Original Margaritaville being one of them. Other notable places to visit are the Earnest Hemingway Home and the Harry Truman Little White House.

Presenting NASCRAB.....for an exciting night of Hermit Crab Racing. Dale Earnhardt look out!

Ah! but the Irish know how to have a good time.

At the intersection of Whitehead St. and Fleming St. in Key West, you'll reach the End of US Hwy 1, a 2,369 mile highway that stretches southward from the Canadian border in Maine.

Across the street from the above, we find the Start of US Hwy 1. From this point northward, this hwy encompasses 545 miles through the State of Florida. It will eventually end again at Fort Kent, Maine.

Alongside Hwy A1A, in front of a Savings and Loan office we spotted this huge replica of a Manatee. This nearly extinct mammals are fun to watch. They simply lumber along and don't bother anyone. It is because of their enormous size and quiet personality they were nearly hunted out of existence. They are now a protected species in Florida.

Nothing says 'kick back' like a giant wooden chair adorned with the "Southern Glass Slipper"...the flip flops.

The entrance gate to Bluewater Key. 

I posted pictures on the Big Rig site of which there is a link on the opening page of this blog, so I won't bore you with them here.

Many people gather on the public pier in Key West in the early afternoon until after sunset. This pier has everything from folks selling jewelry and signs, to street vendors and entertainers. Fun time for all, and you get to watch the sunset.

What better way to watch the sunset than go on a sunset cruise aboard a catamaran?  Music, food and fun were provided on all three of these boats.

The Cat above and these two schooners provided an evening of entertainment as well as a romantic setting at sunset.

We watched the sunset from the pier.
"Nuff said" Retirement is awesome!


  1. I'm trying to find the location of this large chair. My mom visited here two years ago in her final year of lung cancer and has since passed. I would love to take a photo of my children in the chair.

  2. I'm trying to find the location of this large chair. My mom visited here two years ago in her final year of lung cancer and has since passed. I would love to take a photo of my children in the chair.