What I did:
The southern tip of Key West has a bouy that marks the southernmost point in the continental United States. The bouy was constructed in 1983, and is only approximately 90 miles from the coast of Cuba. However, while the bouy is celebrated as the southernmost point, a privately owned island southwest of Key West known as Ballast Key is actually the southernmost point in the United States.
Duval Street is one of the main and most popular streets in the Florida Keys. There are numerous shops and restuarants on the street and was frequented by Harry Truman and Ernest Hemingway. It is worth taking a stroll down at any time of year, but this is also where many parades go for the different holidays and festivals in Key West.
The Overseas Highway-
The Overseas Highway is used to travel from one of the Florida Keys to the next, all the way to Key West. It includes the famous Seven Mile Bridge and offers very picturesque views over the water. It has been featured in movies and TV shows such as Licence to Kill, 2 Fast 2 Furious, Mission Impossible III, I Am Number Four, Burn Notice, and Leverage.
I also took a boat trip off the coast to go snorkeling. However, the water was not very clear due to the incoming hurrican. Fortunately, while I could not see as much as I would have liked, I was still able to see numerous jelly fish up close. It was the closest I had ever been to a jelly fish in person (outside of an aquarium) and it was a cool experience to see the beautiful creatures moving gracefully through the water. I also had the bittersweet opportunity to see a lighthouse that after being built in the 1800's would be destroyed by the hurricane just a couple days after I saw it.
Where I ate and drank:
Cuban Coffee Queen-
Cuban Coffee Queen is a nice coffee place in Key West. They served me the best cup of coffee I have had in the Florida Keys.
Conch Republic Seafood Company-
The Conch Republic Seafood Company was one of the few places still open while I was there. The majority of the restaurants in the area had already closed down to the incoming hurricane. However, I was still able to have the locally famous conch fritters at the Conch Republic Seafood Company.
I had a good breakfast at Evelyn's Restaurant on the way to Key West. Their food was also very inexpensive.
Where I stayed:
Rock Hostel (Miami Beach)-
I much preferred Rock Hostel to its sister hostel, SoBe Hostel. The facilities at Rock Hostel were newer and cleaner. While farther from South Beach, it is a more centrally located hostel, and is very close to the beach.
How I got around:
I took a bus from Miami to the Florida Keys. To see the rest of how I got around the Miami area, check out my post on Miami Beach.
My favorite thing:
It was pretty cool to have the opportunity to go to the southernmost point of the contiguous 48 United States, but there is still a lot I would like to do in the Florida Keys.
My least favorite thing:
Due to inclement weather, I was not able to do nearly as much as I would have liked in the Florida Keys.
For next time:
As I was very limited with what I was able to do in the Florida Keys, I still have many things left for next time. I would like to check out the Ernest Hemingway House and Museum, the Harry S. Truman Little White House, and go on another boat trip to snorkel or scuba dive. I would also like to eat at Captain Tony's Saloon and Kermit's Key Lime Pie Shop.
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