While in Miami, Florida, my friend and I planned a day trip to Key West, Florida. Key West is the southernmost point of the continental US.
We took a bus trip that lasted three hours from Miami to Key West. Our tourguide was genial and informative. Once we touched down, my friend and I bought trolley tickets. Cell phone service was nearly impossible to obtain in Key West, so we had to be able to get around somehow. The trolley was $25 dollars and ran every half-hour. There were several trolley companies on the island taking tourists to points of interest. The trolley company we chose had bus drivers that doubled as tour guides, providing information about Key West at every stop. All the trolleys stop running around 5 pm.
The Margaritaville atmosphere was omnipresent in Key West. The island was mainly filled with middle aged/retired tourists and families. My friend and I were most likely the youngest single people there. People wore Hawaiian shirts and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t in jest.
The most tourist heavy area was near the docks and the bars. There is one street on the key that boasts having the longest bar crawl in the US. Walking down that street was a nightmare. It was full of drunken middle aged people. We almost got hit in the face by a guy throwing some garbage into the street. Avoid that area of the island, unless that’s what you are looking for.
Once we were hungry for lunch, we ate little neck clams from DJ’s Fried Clam Shack. This literal shack was featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. We opted for the clams instead of the lobster roll. It was disappointing that the clams were imported from Maryland, but the workers said they are better from there. The clams were good and I liked the garlic, citrus butter they were in.
Next, we stopped by the house that Hemingway lived in while he stayed in Key West. Later on in the trolley ride, we drove past the house that President Harry Truman would vacation at.
The beaches were kept clean, but unfortunately due to the season, there was a lot of kelp in the water. Once you trudged through the kelp, the water was clear and warm. That is where most of the younger tourists could be found.
Finally, we made it to the southernmost point of the US. It was mobbed with tourists and there was a long line to just take a picture with it. We were worn out and didn’t want to wait. I took a quick snapshot and we were on our way.
In general, Key West had a very calm atmosphere. Most of the locals were retired and rich. They spent most of their time drinking and soaking up the sun. The streets were filled with cute beach bungalows. Tourists shared the streets with wild chickens and no one had a care in the world.