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Key West Vacation


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  • 11 months later...

Just spent happy hour at Half Shell raw bar...oysters, conch fritters, peel n eat pinks, and buffalo shrimp. Plus 2 for one drinks. Off to Mallory Square for sunset festivities and then Duval. 

Oh and lunch at the Southernmost Beach Cafe was delicious. We split an order of shrimp tacos and a Mahi sandwich.

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4 hours ago, Wingnut said:

Just spent happy hour at Half Shell raw bar...oysters, conch fritters, peel n eat pinks, and buffalo shrimp. Plus 2 for one drinks.

When I'm in KW I do this daily. Same spot, same apps, same booze intake. Such great afternoons.

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13 hours ago, Wingnut said:

Just spent happy hour at Half Shell raw bar...oysters, conch fritters, peel n eat pinks, and buffalo shrimp. Plus 2 for one drinks. Off to Mallory Square for sunset festivities and then Duval. 

Oh and lunch at the Southernmost Beach Cafe was delicious. We split an order of shrimp tacos and a Mahi sandwich.

No Blue Heaven yet?

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It was a quick 2.5 day visit, but were already planning the next trip down when we can stay longer. We headed down Sunday morning and on the way down stopped at Islamorada Brewing Co and Key West Brewing,, then stopped for a bite and a drink at Keys Fisheries in Marathon...someone in another Key West thread recommended it, and it was awesome. The place had maybe 5 other people in the upstairs bar, and the view and food were both really great. We had a Hogfish sandwich and some Conch ceviche. Ill be stopping back in next trip down.

We booked an Air BnB for $120/night in an awesome little house on Big Coppit Key (the address is Key West tho)...its right at MM 10 so its about a 20 min drive to the Mallory Square area. House was on a canal and I took a small fishing rod and some light tackle...picked up some live shrimp at a local bait shop and was able to catch a few Mangrove Snapper at night after the KW fun each night. First night we hit the Waterfront Brewery which was cool and right next door to Turtle Kraals. Its a HUGE space, and I wonder what it was previously, it had to be some sort of bar or restaurant.  We ended up at Schooner Wharf for a bit and then did the Duval thing til later that night, then went back to the rental and drank on the back deck til we crashed for the night. So relaxing and it had a laid back, old Florida keys vibe and feel. Beautiful house. We opted for breakfast where we stayed since we slept in til about 11am all 3 days. yep, we're old. lol. Our Air BnB hostess made us the most huge and delicious blueberry muffins with coconut...maybe the best muffins Ive ever had.

2nd day we ate at the Southernmost Beach Cafe for lunch...its literally right on the water and we had a delicious Grilled Mahi sandwich and blackened shrimp tacos. I highly recommend this place. A bit pricey (as is everything in Key West) but for atmosphere, scenery and good food you cant go wrong at lunchtime. We hit Half Shell for happy hour after meandering around the island for a couple of hours, and then went back to Duval (Bull and Whistle, Ricks, the frozen drink place, and some window shopping and people/band watching as we made our way over to Mallory Square). Grabbed a slice of Pizza and some Gelato as we walked around and drank, then some Conch Fritters later on. We walked right by BOs Fish Wagon several times but never made it inside for food. Next time for sure. Did the Sunset thing and had a drink in the garden patio at El Meson De Pepes and listened to some good live music before heading back down Duval. Irish Kevins was hopping as expected, with a rousing dueling sing along contest to Don McClean's American Pie led by Irish Kevin himself. What a blast. We had to check out the next day so we headed back and again hung out on the canal and fished, drank, and just kicked back and enjoyed our time there.

We checked out the next morning and went back to KW for one last look, then headed out and stopped at the No Name Pub on Big Pine Key on the way back. Delicious Yellowtail Tuna sandwich (order it rare, its fantastic), and a small pizza. Then stopped by a bridge in Islamorada and I did a little bridge/shore fishing and landed a nice Mutton Snapper that I made into sandwiches when we got home last night. My trip probably sounds boring to some, but we just wanted to get away for a couple days, relax, and not get sloppy hammered every night. We didnt have nearly enough time down there though, it was a quick staycation as its only a 3 and a half hour drive from my GFs in West Palm Beach. It doesnt suck living that close to a vacation that feels like its a world away.

 

Edited by Wingnut
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I want the old No Name back :kicksrock:

The fact that we're only going to be 6ish hours away from our Keys house makes moving a little easier.  I can't wait to be a relatively short car ride away from catching lobster any time I want to go down there :thumbup: 

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2 hours ago, The Commish said:

I want the old No Name back :kicksrock:

The fact that we're only going to be 6ish hours away from our Keys house makes moving a little easier.  I can't wait to be a relatively short car ride away from catching lobster any time I want to go down there :thumbup: 

Where you moving to? And that was that first time I've been to No Name...how was it different? Seemed like a cool spot, but I doubt I'll be back, there are too many places on the water with great views and vibes Id rather check out.

Edited by Wingnut
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12 hours ago, Wingnut said:
14 hours ago, The Commish said:

I want the old No Name back :kicksrock:

The fact that we're only going to be 6ish hours away from our Keys house makes moving a little easier.  I can't wait to be a relatively short car ride away from catching lobster any time I want to go down there :thumbup: 

Where you moving to? And that was that first time I've been to No Name...how was it different? Seemed like a cool spot, but I doubt I'll be back, there are too many places on the water with great views and vibes Id rather check out.

Debary (north of orlando and west of daytona).  Wife is going to be a professor at Stetson University.  When we first started going there it was just that building with nothing outside to speak of.  They also had the upstairs area that was open.  It's certainly a cool spot, but the food has changed a good bit.  Their pizza was unbelievable as were their wings.  Now they're just meh.  They've also changed their fish dip.  I don't do fish dip, but I did there.  Oh...and it didn't take an hour to get a table ;)

The first time I was taken there we were met by this bald dude that had a turtle shell tattooed over his entire dome.  

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15 hours ago, Wingnut said:

Where you moving to? And that was that first time I've been to No Name...how was it different? Seemed like a cool spot, but I doubt I'll be back, there are too many places on the water with great views and vibes Id rather check out.

There's lots of Key deer spotting right up the road from that place.  Their food is meh, but an interesting place nonetheless IMO.

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2 hours ago, Osaurus said:

There's lots of Key deer spotting right up the road from that place.  Their food is meh, but an interesting place nonetheless IMO.

Yeah we saw a bunch of key deer. They're actually bigger than I thought they'd be.

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5 hours ago, The Commish said:

Debary (north of orlando and west of daytona).  Wife is going to be a professor at Stetson University.  When we first started going there it was just that building with nothing outside to speak of.  They also had the upstairs area that was open.  It's certainly a cool spot, but the food has changed a good bit.  Their pizza was unbelievable as were their wings.  Now they're just meh.  They've also changed their fish dip.  I don't do fish dip, but I did there.  Oh...and it didn't take an hour to get a table ;)

The first time I was taken there we were met by this bald dude that had a turtle shell tattooed over his entire dome.  

Cool. I know the area, I work over in the Deland/Deltona/Orange City area once a month. 

Yeah I heard their pizza was awesome and it was very meh. The Yellowfin sandwich and silver dollar fries were really good though. But I've been there once and I think thats enough.

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  • 7 months later...

Probably going down in February...

Any suggestions on things to do if it's a little cooler?

We're looking at the key west bar crawl....maybe the plunder bar crawl? 

Anyone been on the food tours there?

Thoughts on the Old time trolley tour?

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15 hours ago, eoMMan said:

Probably going down in February...

Any suggestions on things to do if it's a little cooler?

We're looking at the key west bar crawl....maybe the plunder bar crawl? 

Anyone been on the food tours there?

Thoughts on the Old time trolley tour?

Are they open for business?

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15 hours ago, eoMMan said:

Probably going down in February...

Any suggestions on things to do if it's a little cooler?

We're looking at the key west bar crawl....maybe the plunder bar crawl? 

Anyone been on the food tours there?

Thoughts on the Old time trolley tour?

I've never done an organized tour. I know they have night time ghost tours too because one time, Yams and I hid in some bushes and waited for one to come by and then jumped out and scared the #### out of everyone. 

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16 hours ago, eoMMan said:

Probably going down in February...

Any suggestions on things to do if it's a little cooler?

We're looking at the key west bar crawl....maybe the plunder bar crawl? 

Anyone been on the food tours there?

Thoughts on the Old time trolley tour?

My son wanted to do the conch train, so....we did the conch train.  Turns out, it was pretty interesting if you're into history and architecture.  It wasn't "knock your socks off" but it was better than I thought it was going to be.

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  • 4 months later...

Quick Key West trip report:

This was my fourth trip to Key West - last Thursday-Sunday. Went with 10 other guys - all in their 40s. Some married, some single. Stayed at the Pier House Resort, right at the end of Duval. We go down there every 3 years or so (this was our 19th annual trip - we are HS buddies).

Pier House - Nice hotel - outrageously expensive. Paid a rate of $249 on Thursday night, but $459 on Friday/Saturday. Perfect location right on the water and just a block from all the action on Duval.I have always been a big fan of the Chart Room bar there, but bummed it closes at 2 AM. With other bars open until 4 AM, it would be nice to stumble back to the Pier House and have a nightcap at the Chart Room - but we always get back too late for that.

Post-hurricane - Things mostly seem "normal". I'm sure a more frequent visitor or local would notice things that are missing or different, but nothing struck me. Talking to a local bartender, she did share with me that she fears Key West is in trouble. Her theory is that most of the hurrican damage was north of Key West - where many Key West service industry workers actually live because it was more affordable than an apartment or rental in KW. So all the affordable housing (read - trailers and crappy old houses) were destroyed but affordable housing will not be replacing it all. Instead all the new construction will be expensive. She believes the net effect is prices will go way up everywhere to attract employees - the current pay/price structure will not support workers in the new housing reality.

Half Shell - This place continues to be my favorite happy hour. The Buffalo Shrimp is my favorite but the peel and eats were really good too. I don't oyster, but those that do really like them there. And 1/2 price beers.

Little Pearl - A friend and I went for a nice dinner Friday night. He had the snapper and I had the seafood pot pie - we were both very happy. Nice little spot - reservations recommended.

The Sand Bar - a sports bar near Sloppy Joe's. Lots of TVs but a little too expensive and the food just a little too bland. I do not recommend.

Captain Tony's - a couple of us closed this awesome spot down each night. Typically pretty good music in the evening and a great late night divey spot. Always like it here.

Green Parrot - Too far off the beaten path and too expensive. The band on Friday night was awesome though. Some funk band from New Orleans. Tons of fun listening to them - very tight and talented band to experience for no cover charge.

Late night pizza - there are two places to get a slice at night. One is in Rick's - do not recommend. The other is around the Sloppy Joe's corner called Paradise Pizza. Much better slice though the owner is a little strange.

Airport - the airport continues to have a 3rd world feel to it. I always find that amazing in a popular tourist destination - I'm sure some find the airport kitschy, I just think it's dumpy. It is nice enjoying a beer while waiting for my bag though.

Transportation - Uber/Lyft was very easy to use - just say NO to cabs.

It was a fantastic trip. Expect to be back in 2021.

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2 hours ago, soothsayer said:

Quick Key West trip report:

This was my fourth trip to Key West - last Thursday-Sunday. Went with 10 other guys - all in their 40s. Some married, some single. Stayed at the Pier House Resort, right at the end of Duval. We go down there every 3 years or so (this was our 19th annual trip - we are HS buddies).

Pier House - Nice hotel - outrageously expensive. Paid a rate of $249 on Thursday night, but $459 on Friday/Saturday. Perfect location right on the water and just a block from all the action on Duval.I have always been a big fan of the Chart Room bar there, but bummed it closes at 2 AM. With other bars open until 4 AM, it would be nice to stumble back to the Pier House and have a nightcap at the Chart Room - but we always get back too late for that.

Post-hurricane - Things mostly seem "normal". I'm sure a more frequent visitor or local would notice things that are missing or different, but nothing struck me. Talking to a local bartender, she did share with me that she fears Key West is in trouble. Her theory is that most of the hurrican damage was north of Key West - where many Key West service industry workers actually live because it was more affordable than an apartment or rental in KW. So all the affordable housing (read - trailers and crappy old houses) were destroyed but affordable housing will not be replacing it all. Instead all the new construction will be expensive. She believes the net effect is prices will go way up everywhere to attract employees - the current pay/price structure will not support workers in the new housing reality.

Half Shell - This place continues to be my favorite happy hour. The Buffalo Shrimp is my favorite but the peel and eats were really good too. I don't oyster, but those that do really like them there. And 1/2 price beers.

Little Pearl - A friend and I went for a nice dinner Friday night. He had the snapper and I had the seafood pot pie - we were both very happy. Nice little spot - reservations recommended.

The Sand Bar - a sports bar near Sloppy Joe's. Lots of TVs but a little too expensive and the food just a little too bland. I do not recommend.

Captain Tony's - a couple of us closed this awesome spot down each night. Typically pretty good music in the evening and a great late night divey spot. Always like it here.

Green Parrot - Too far off the beaten path and too expensive. The band on Friday night was awesome though. Some funk band from New Orleans. Tons of fun listening to them - very tight and talented band to experience for no cover charge.

Late night pizza - there are two places to get a slice at night. One is in Rick's - do not recommend. The other is around the Sloppy Joe's corner called Paradise Pizza. Much better slice though the owner is a little strange.

Airport - the airport continues to have a 3rd world feel to it. I always find that amazing in a popular tourist destination - I'm sure some find the airport kitschy, I just think it's dumpy. It is nice enjoying a beer while waiting for my bag though.

Transportation - Uber/Lyft was very easy to use - just say NO to cabs.

It was a fantastic trip. Expect to be back in 2021.

Chart Room is the little bar with the popcorn machine, right?  If so, that's always the last stop when I do pub crawls around the bight - I invariably end up eating like 7 bowls of popcorn.  I don't think I've ever taken a taxi or uber there - we usually walk everywhere.  On the rare occasions that a walk is too far, we just take the trolley.  That pizza place in Rick's blows - do they still do the all-you-can-drink beer mugs there on weekdays?

 

Never been to Little Pearl or the Sand Bar, but couldn't agree more with your assessments of Capt. Tony's, Green Parrot, and especially Half Shell Raw Bar.  I love that GD place.  That's always an early stop on the waterside pub crawl, to crush happy hour.  The place attached to A&B Lobster House has great 1/2 price apps for happy hour too.  I remember Conch Republic having BOGO drinks too...

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  • 9 months later...
  • 2 years later...
Posted (edited)

Going with college buddies, but we're old now, in September.

Was there once before like 20 years ago on a cruise stop or departure or something but that was it.

Here's the house, what's good nearby?

Edited by Lehigh98
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3 hours ago, Lehigh98 said:

Going with college buddies, but we're old now, in September.

Was there once before like 20 years ago on a cruise stop or departure or something but that was it.

Here's the house, what's good nearby?

Everything is relatively within walking distance imo. I’ve stayed at the Mermaid and the Alligator B&B right near where you’re staying. Go to Blue Heaven for breakfast or lunch. It’s worth it IMO. 

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I've been playing pickleball all over the state. I look for free public parks with at least 4 courts. Key West had one of the most interesting. They have a new 6 court facility near Higgs Beach with covered bleachers. What stood out to me was the locals were popping beers in between games at 9:00am. It's the only courts I've been to for morning play with alcohol.

Gotta love KW!

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KW is unique in many things. The #1 thing to do that you cannot do anywhere else is the Dry Tortugas and Fort Jefferson. 6 of us took the seaplane out, it is well worth the coin. You'll beat the boat by hours and have more snorkel time around the fort. Plus, the seaplane flys low and you see lots of cool stuff. Everyone has a headset and they play rock music and the pilot will cut in when he sees something or flys over a shipwreck. We saw very large sharks, turtles, dolphin pods, manta rays and miles of beautiful green/blue water and reefs. Snorkeling around the fort perimeter is great, tons of sea life.

You must have a bicycle to get around the island to sight see and bar hop, we bring the beach cruisers not the road bikes. We always hit Irish Kevins, Green Parrot and Capn Tonys. DJ's Clam Shack on Duval for killer lobster rolls.

We prefer staying away from the crazy and love The Barbary for it's location to Smathers and the pickleball courts. Plenty of small restaurants offering seafood or cubans in the neighborhood.

Hemingways House is always fun, I'm a big fan. 

Everyone thinks it sucks in the late summer because of the heat but it's really not that bad, plenty of seabreeze. We had a family reunion a few years ago in August and the annual lobster fest was on, they shut down the end of Duval  and set booths up in the street and sell lobster tails on a stick for like $8. We had a great time.

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