The Journey to Key West
After we departed from Everglades City we headed down to Key West. It was a long drive and took several hours especially as we were avoiding the toll roads. I was a bit surprised about the 100 mile highway out to Key West and its ugliness, having heard it is a beautiful drive. In parts it is gorgeous. There are parks and driving over seven mile bridge was nice. However, in parts the Keys are over developed. Especially around the towns like Marathon where the word ugly springs to mind with the miles of commercial development with no thought gone in to how it looks. I am glad we did the drive and were rewarded when we reached the old part of Key West with the beautiful buildings. After a walk along the waterfront in the evening we returned to our Bed and Breakfast along Duval street stopping for a beverage or two. On the return leg we decided to turn off the main highway at Key Largo on the way back and pay the dollar for the toll road, this route was much prettier and you drive through forest and how the keys may have looked hundreds of years ago.
Key West is the southern most tip of the Florida Keys and as the crow flies 90 miles from Cuba. Key means island in Spanish. The island is 4 miles (6.4km) long and 1 mile (1.6 km) wide. Duval Street is a mile long and the main street. The most famous personality who lived in Key West was Ernest Hemingway. The house is privately owned by a family who bought it in the 60s and it is open to the public. We gave it a miss as the house was full of people taking pictures of the cats and the garden. I would have hated to have seen it if a cruise ship had been in the port. If you ever visit I would suggest staying in the old part of town as the newer part of the town is ugly and full of malls and commercial areas. If we did it again I would like to fly in to Key West airport and hire a car to drive along the Keys at a slower pace. We also had limited time and only spent a couple of days on the Keys.
We stayed at the Grand Guesthouse. It cost $167 a night, had free parking, excellent free wifi, continental breakfast, no pool, room was clean and the bed comfortable. It was also only a 10 or so minute walk to Duval Street and the heart of Key West. My tripadvisor review is below:
We ate at a Cuban restaurant near our accommodation which was only $35 for the two of us. A lot of the sailors from the navy base were eating there as well and locals. The name of the restaurant was El Siboney.
All in all it was an interesting trip and worth doing once.