Historic Truman Annex

Named for President Harry S. Truman, the Truman Annex was formerly the Key West Naval Station for over 150 years. The naval station played a vital role in America’s defense system. In 1823 Commodore David Porter headquartered the West Indian Piracy Squadron here. The naval station was active through two World Wars and the Cuban Missile Crisis. From 1946-1952, President Harry S. Truman chose the Annex as his Winter White House. In 1986, the US Government sold the Annex to developer Pritam Singh. His Truman Annex Company spent the next decade redeveloping and preserving the Truman Annex as a National Register Historic District.

This section of town is by far the most beautiful so-called sub-division in the entire city! Each of these are million dollar homes meticulously kept up and follows the strictest guidelines of any association I’ve heard of. The Truman Annex is a major tourist attraction and sees thousands of visitors a day to its other tourist sites: Little White House, Eco-Discovery Center, Fort Zachary Taylor, Navy Pier, Key West Port Operation, & U.S. Coast Guard floating history museum.

Don’t miss your chance to see this remarkable part of town that many miss by staying on and around Duval Street, Old Town & Harbor Walk… there are other major sites in Key West with this being right at the top!

    

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Pet Sematary By Stephen King

“El Gato” means “The Cat” in Spanish

OK, that was strictly to grab your attention. :-) Yes, Stephen King was the author of the 1983 Best-Selling book ‘Pet Sematary’ which was then turned into a 1989 Hollywood movie. And NO, this has nothing to do with that movie but everything to do with a pet cemetery.

This section of the Big Coppit Key Cemetery is reserved for pets aptly named “Pet Hill”. After your furry loved ones have passed on they can be laid to rest along with other Key West furry friends in this real life pet cemetery.

The “El Gato” is several feet away from the actual pet burial site but still visible so just look around, you can’t miss it. It’s a very small cemetery, you have no trouble finding it. By the way, this is also where members of my family are buried… and no, none of them had fur to my knowledge! :-)

You can find this pet cemetery at Mile Marker 9.9 on the right hand side of US-1 South by turning right onto 4th Street by the ‘Man Eating Shark’ display and simply head down on your left to the aptly named “DEAD END”! (nice place for a cemetery wouldn’t you say) :-)

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World Famous Glass Bottom Bar

IMG_0933The sign above the entrance reads: ‘World Famous Glass Bottom Bar’. I’ve been here twice and it’s well worth the few minutes needed to track down this uniquely floored bar & grille!

As you can see by the featured photo there are strategically positioned 3′ x 3′ clear glass panels in the wooden floor so that you can check out the marine life while sipping an adult beverage or chowing down on some fresh seafood. Though I did’nt count, there’s maybe a dozen or so glass panels installed around the ‘Zig-zag’ shaped oceanside bar & eating area.

This is the only one like it in the Keys that I’ve seen, so put this on your list of things to see while passing through. I too will be stopping by again since promising my wife a sunset dinner from this very bar! There’s also a dance floor, band stand and great ambiance throughout the entire establishment.

This ‘Glass Bottom Bar’ is best accessible from the northbound divided highway of US-1 at Mile Marker 99.6 oceanside. Turn onto Ocean Bay Drive driving .6 miles down, turn left on Seagate Boulevard where you’ll see the Pilot House Restaurant only 1/10th of mile on the right.

IMG_0936     IMG_0931    IMG_0930

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Petrified Shark Hanging From A Crane

Only in the Keys can you find a petrified shark hanging from a crane! No silly, the shark’s not scared, he’s petrified as in frozen in time motionless… think about it, when was the last time ANYONE has seen a shark that was scared! :-) This is yet another reason why I love this place! Anything and everything goes down here, I like that in a vacation destination.

You can find this shark just hanging around at Mile Marker 101.9 across the street from an upcoming blog on Dolphin Cove where you can swim with the dolphins.

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Tree Straddling Block Fence

What a beautifully weird sight this is! If you want to be one of the lucky few to seek out this oddity you’ll be amazed at natures work in how a tree can somehow grow on both sides of this block fence without bringing it crumbling down. This is truly a strange attraction but well worth your time to see the way that trees adapt to their surroundings. Don’t leave the premises without looking on both sides of the fence which are located in two different parking lots. I’ve included a photo taken from one side of the wall and then one of the tree actually straddling the fence… VERY UNIQUE indeed!

You can find this tree trunk straddler’s most visible portion in the Subway parking lot at the corner of Truman Avenue & Simonton Street beside the bike rack partially shown in the bottom left. Come down and enjoy natures evolving handy work here in the Conch Capital of Key West.

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Harley Davidson Mailbox

Can you tell other bikers that you have a Harley mailbox? Well, this person can! Pretty slick and different I’d say! This Harley Davidson gas tank has been ingeniously transformed into a mailbox. I normally don’t photograph mailboxes since there are literally millions of variations and websites and photo-blogs devoted strictly to them.

I was out taking photos of the front yard mini golf course when I noticed this and backtracked about 200 yards to Parmer’s Resort to snag this picture for you.

You can find this uniquely shaped mailbox made of original motorcycle replacement parts on Little Torch Key by turning right at approximately Mile Marker 28.3 off of US-1 South onto Barry Avenue and going about 1/2 mile or so on the right. I promise you can’t miss it!

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Walkin’ Lawton Chiles Sign

Lawton Mainor Chiles (April 3, 1930 – Dec 12, 1998) was Florida’s 41st Governor from 1991 until his death in office in the last month of his second term as governor. In a career spanning four decades, Chiles, a Democrat who never lost an election, served in the Florida House of Representatives, the Florida State Senate, & United States Senate.

“THE 1,003-MILE WALK”: In 1970, Chiles decided to run for a seat in the United States Senate. At the time, despite his 12 years in the state legislature, he was largely unknown outside his Lakeland-based district. To generate some media coverage across the state, Chiles embarked upon a 1,003-mile, 91-day walk across Florida from Pensacola to Key West. The walk earned him the recognition he sought, as well as the nickname that would follow him throughout his political career– “Walkin’ Lawton”. Sometimes he walked alone, while other times he met ordinary Floridians along the way. In later years, Chiles recalled that the walk allowed him to see Florida’s natural beauty, as well as the state’s problems, with fresh eyes. After the walk, Chiles was elected easily.

You can find this “Walkin’ Lawton Chiles” sign recognizing his historic walk across Florida at Mile Marker 112.7 on US-1′s southbound lane on what’s called the 18-mile stretch and another at Mile Marker 98.0 northbound.

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