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Key West category

Little Palm Island Ferry

When I first saw this sign to the Little Palm Island Ferry Service I was so excited! It was so much fun having been on a car ferry before over in the Netherlands (also called Holland) that I was really anxious about sharing the experience with my beautiful better half. In doing some research, I was still uncertain on how it operated and at what cost. So on the next trip down to Key West I stopped on by and questioned the concierge at the welcome center. She filled me in on all the particulars dashing my hopes of taking a ferry to an island so that we could go sightseeing.

Here’s how it works, Little Palm Island is a privately owned island catering to the UPPER MIDDLE CLASS of Americans specializing in one night dinner reservations that include a shuttle boat to and from the welcome center. I browsed over the menu as my eyes bugged out upon reaching the $18 hotdog continuing downward as each entrée got more out of reach. They request that you book your dinner reservation at least 2 days in advance of your departure. I told her “I’d think about it!” It’s been 6 months now and I’m still thinking about how I wish it would’ve been an actual ferry service as I originally thought it was. How much fun that would’ve been.

I’ve found out a lot more about the island since then and will be reporting on it in a future blog. You can find this ferry (below right) docked to the right of the Little Palm Island Welcome Center (below left) at Mile Marker 28.3 on US-1 South towards Key West.

    

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Key West’s Widest Banyan Tree

IMG_1884Welcome to Key West’s widest group of Banyan aerial tree roots! Did you know that the Banyan (member of the Fig family) is the national tree of India? Now you do! Isn’t it amazing what a FREE blog can teach you! 🙂

There’s two options in photographing this monstrosity: 1) Pay to go within the compound if a person is required in your photo, 2) Simply stand outside as I did and peer over the shoulder-high fence and zoom in for a FREE photo… then run like heck so they don’t catch you! 🙂 (just kidding… walk away really fast)

You can find this mesh of Banyan tree roots at 938 Whitehead Street across from the Ernest Hemingway House within the grounds of the Key West Lighthouse.

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Bayside Marina & Boardwalk

An absolutely beautiful place to stop with PLENTY of things to do & see for ALL types of travelers! Just the view itself is spectacular as you can tell by the provided photos. At the marina alone, the walkway entrance is an eye-catching pagoda-looking arched roof worth a photo no matter what. Being called a marina, you won’t be denied a string of multi-sized boats tied to a picturesque pier with an ocean background. The parking lot is too an incredible sight that includes an awesome tree shown below that sticks out like a sore thumb and can’t be missed just feet away from the pagoda entrance.

Here’s the BONUS part! Not only do you get the above sites for FREE, but in the same parking lot to the marina you’ll fill other parts of your vacation to do list. To the immediate right is the Morada Bay Surf Bar written about in a previous blog. To the immediate left is another prior blog favorite of Ernest Hemingway’s Boat ‘Pilar’ on display inside of the World Wide Sportsman superstore. Also inside the superstore is the wildly popular Largest Fish Tank in the entire Florida Keys.

To find this ‘MANY THINGS TO DO IN ONE PLACE’ simply go to Mile Marker 81.4 on US-1 bayside. Too simple my friends! Enjoy soaking in all of the many views! Don’t you dare leave this parking lot without doing ALL 4 OF THEM! 🙂 You’ll thank me I promise!

    

    

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Battleship USS Maine “Remember The Maine” In Key West

The Battleship USS Maine was the pride of the US Navy in 1898 that sunk in Havana Harbor becoming the spark igniting the flame that started the Spanish-American War.

So, where can you find a historic part of the Battleship USS Maine displayed? Why here in Key West of course! Pictured is the actual Gun-Sight from the Forward 10″ Gun Turret salvaged from the USS Maine, destroyed from an explosion in Havana Harbor, Cuba on February 15th, 1898 at 9:40 P.M. prompting the battle cry “Remember The Maine” taken from a prior historical cry “Remember The Alamo”!

You might ask why here? Key West was the closest Navy base to Cuba and the easiest to transport the dead servicemen from the explosion. The sailors are buried in the Historic Key West Cemetery in a fenced section known as the USS Maine Memorial along with a bronze sailor statue that was the focus of a prior blog.

I’ve included a rare photo (seen here) of some of the perished crews baseball team with Maine on their jerseys that might have actually used the gun-sight pictured above. This is one of many photos that was previously on display at the Comfort Inn here in town.

You can find this Spanish-American War relic recovered from the ocean floor on display at Mallory Square beside the Florida Key’s Military Memorial just 3 blocks west of Duval Street here in Key West.

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Oldest Brick Church In Key West

Methodist preaching was first heard in Key West in 1832 when two traveling missionaries came here by schooner. For 12 years the gathering of Methodists often met in the home of a Bahamian named Samuel Kemp. Believe it or not, some of Samuel Kemp’s descendants continue to worship in the sanctuary today of the United Methodist Church simply known as “Old Stone”!

Named “Old Stone” because it was constructed of native coral rock.  This material, called Key Limestone, was quarried in part from the church grounds itself! The hole left after the rock was removed was lined and capped for many years served as a cistern.  The cisterns water supplied not only the church, but also parts of the community, as well as ocean-going vessels that sailed into Key West for supplies.

A series of four churches was built before the present sanctuary. The third was built on the present site and was soon destroyed by a hurricane. However, the insurance money enabled the congregation to build a small frame sanctuary, which was completed on the present site in October of 1847. Get this, during the 1950’s it was discovered that the present sanctuary was built over a small cemetery behind the old sanctuary. One tombstone may still be seen on the Simonton Street side of the building!

You can find this oldest brick church in Key West with so much history at 600 Eaton Street in the area known as Old Town.

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No Parking ‘Mine Field’ (true)

IMG_4231You have to love the humor! Check out this unique ‘No Parking’ sign I  found posted in front of the American Legion on Stock Island just outside of Key West.

It reads: ‘No Parking Mine Field, Night Bartender ONLY’. 🙂 He’s not kidding either, look to the left of the sign where you’ll see a bomb and a torpedo on the right. (seen below) “I’m NOT parking there EVER!” (OK, I did to take the photo… but only for two minutes) 🙂

You can find this ‘Mine Field No Parking’ humor sign just outside of Key West. Go to Mile Marker 4.3 turning bayside onto College Road and drive down about a 1/4 mile on your right, you’ll see it set back off the road a bit at 5610 College Road.

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KW’s Most Un-Photographed Bronze Statue!

IMG_1504I love finding famous historical bronze statues! This my friends isn’t one of them! 🙂

Key West has a history of recognizing locals for their contributions, as in: 1) a man who lobbied for safe bicycle rules, 2) an outstanding citizen award winner who got his own park, 3) a man who pioneered bringing in seafood. This proves there’s still hope for me one day being recognized for my Key West tourist blogs… OK, maybe not! 🙂

My first time seeing this I thought I’d hit the jackpot till reading the placard and then chosing not even to photograph it. Years have since past and I finally decided to feature its prominent placement in the tourist rich section of Key West’s Harbor Walk. People walk by this in droves acting excited and then reading, pausing, then leaving without even so much as a picture making this Key West’s Most Prominent Un-Photographed Bronze Statue!

The statue sits on a four-pointed compass with the days shadow pointing exactly due north! The bronze plaque at his feet reads: Henry C. “Booty” Singleton Sr. Seafood Pioneer & Visionary 1917 – 1983. In my tiny research on “Booty” said that he was known as the “Shrimp King” and that one his company’s processing plants was once located here.

You can find this bronze immortalized fishermen in-between the Half Shell Eat It Raw Bar  & Turtle Kraals Restaurants in Key West’s Historic Seaport District.

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