Kicking It In Key West On The Cheap
For the record, I like to be cheap or maybe it is that I dislike enjoy waste of resources. On my visit to Key West, I did not plan to be cheap; it just so happened that everything that I really loved about my visit to Key West happened to be free or on the cheap. Here are some things that I loved about Key West.
The Art-Art is everywhere and this place colored my world.
Mosaics $0.00 I love this.
Some sculptures are rustic.
Quirky Art– $0.00
Art should make you think.
Even the autos are creative. $0.00
The Landmarks $0.00
Visiting The Little White House– Although there is a fee to go tour the home, I was able to tour the grounds, go into the gift shop and visit a few exhibits and Presidential memorabilia and art for free. $0.00
The Southernmost Point in the Continental U.S.A. $0.00
This landmark was one big reason that I wanted to go to Key West. For me it is like visiting Land’s End. The day that I visited, the place was swamped with people. I lost my patience and did not want to wait in line, so there is a random person in my “bucket list photo shoot.” Whatever, I had been biking in the heat all day and my makeup people did not show up. Although technically it is not exactly the southernmost point, it is the southernmost point that a tourist can step foot on, legally.
The Wildlife– $0.00
Roosters-They are everywhere. Said to be brought by colonists with a population increase in the 1950’s from the Cuban folks who fled to this island. Anyway, these colorful cock-a-doodles are everywhere. I found them endearing in the same way that this former Wisconsin girl might find a monkey endearing while visiting Costa Rica. Apparently this growing population is a nuisance for some and is at the center of an island debate. For example, spend $400/night to sleep in luxury, only to be awoken at 4 A.M., I never thought about this but come to think of it, I did hear a rooster early one morning in my lesser $$ hotel, and then there is mess that they leave behind. Anyway they cracked me up.
Fish-With super clear water there is colorful fish swimming around. $0.00
Lizards-$0.00 These humongous Godzilla like things are walking around everywhere.
They are tricky to get close to.
The Lush Gardens-$0.00
I am a nature lover, and this island is a botanical wonderland.
Hanging Out On a Pier-Boat Watching and People Watching $0.00
Some ships are helping ships.
And if you get lucky like I did, you find a moment at sunset.
The Beaches– $0.00-$2.00 Yes, you can find a sandy beach in Key West. Personally, I like the quiet of Fort Zachary Taylor State Park. Although I imagine it gets busy at certain times, it is a fun spot to swim and snorkel. There are picnic areas, restrooms, and food and beach equipment rentals. I was on bike and it cost me a mere $2.00 for a pass.
Sand and coral can be found at this beach. There is a coral rock area that I could easily swim to. Great place to snorkel.
And, if you don’t like to sit on the beach, you can tour the historic Fort Zachary.
Of course, the number one tourist attraction is The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum. $13.00
I wrote about my visit to this stop last week. It was fun to learn about the man, the myth, the family, the architecture, garden, and see some cool furniture. Meg Visits Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum – Key West Florida
I was fascinated with the six-toed-cats and their origins to this home.
The Food-Of course no MEGastop would ever be without some great food. Here are two of my picks. I could write entire blogs about these two places because they are both MEGapicks. So here goes the nod with only a few words.
- The Cuban Coffee Queen. Although this is not a sit dow restaurant, I could have eaten there every day. Cordadito $2.95
I have a thing for Cuban Coffee, Cuban Food, and especially Cuban bread and this place is my Keys nirvana. The sandwiches are fantastic!
2.Waterfront Brewery- This place just opened up in 2015. With a central location, views of the waterfront, and great food, this is the place for me.
It is called an entertainment center. And has a ton of stuff to do. Video games, TVs, pool tables, air hockey, crane games, Buck Hunter. Fun with friends.
It is an award winning brewery with lots of fun and interesting brews on tap.
The Waterfront is also a licensed wholesaler of Florida Keys fin fish and shellfish so the seafood is really fresh. There is a fantastic menu but I was there for a short mid morning stop. I loved the Bahamian Conch chowder. This dish was on my Key’s ‘bucket food list.”
I am not much of an onion ring person these days but one of my friends ordered these hand battered onion rings that were so fluffy and perfect, I loved them!
I loved all of the seafood sandwiches and plates to choose from. So little time and so much food. I will go back to this place. When I was there visiting, there was an upper deck being constructed. This spot is going to be a fantastic spot to lunch with amazing views.
Of course no visit is complete without Conch Fritters. Also known as the Conch Republic, The Florida Keys has many conch dishes. Dish Number two on my bucket list were Conch Fritters. I have to say that none of the four people that I was with liked them. It was personal tastes. I would try them again at another establishment, I am choosing not to call out this particular stop
Of course the top dish on my Key’s bucket list is Key Lime Pie in Key West. My pie was really yummy. I think that when I return, I am going to try this dish from the best voted Key Lime Pies of the Florida Keys. Top Ten Key Lime Pies in The Florida Keys
Casual Key West and your fun on the cheap, quirky, colorful and bike friendly town, you had me at hello and cuban coffee.
- If you do not want to bike or use small-motorized vehicles, no worries, the friendly concierge service at the Fairfield (and many other hotels in this area,) will help get you anywhere you need to be. There is a hop-on-hop-off trolley that winds through the Old Town area, and is a great way to learn a little bit about the island. You are able to drive but remember this is a small island and parking can be a hassle.
- The concierge is also able to help set up any dream activity that this island holds. Want to kayak, parasail, fish, golf, visit Dry Tortugas, have a sunset cruise, dolphin watch, paddleboard, sail on a schooner? And so on, they can hook you up.
- Fort Zachary Taylor State Park. Park’s Hours and Fees-Hours: The park is open from 8:00 a.m. until sundown, 365 days a year. The fort closes at 5:00 p.m.Admission Fees:$6.00* per vehicle. Limit 2-8 people per vehicle.$2.00* Pedestrians, bicyclists, extra passengers, passengers in vehicle with holder of Annual Individual Entrance Pass.$4.00* Single-occupant vehicle or motorcycle.
- Stay: Fairfield Inn & Suites Key West. It is not the beachside luxury Marriott, but this hotel is a great place for a family or if you are looking to spend less than the luxury resorts or hotels near Duval Street. Although it is not perfect, the rooms were updated and it has a fantastic pool and bar/breakfast area, a moped and bike rental on site, great staff and nice looking and comfortable suites. Check out the pool and seating area. However, if you are there to party on Duval Street stay in that area.