This very well maybe the World’s ONLY roundabout with a picnic table & two gazebos!
A roundabout is a circular intersection which allows traffic to flow continuously in one direction around a central island to other intersecting roads. Roundabouts, in their modern form were standardised in England following WWII.
Now that you’re an expert on roundabouts, here’s how it’s possible to have a picnic without the fear of being run over by other traffic driving around the circle. Years ago cars were allowed in this area that has since been converted into a pedestrian friendly botanical picnic area with NO motorized traffic allowed.
Be sure to see the Florida Key’s ONLY roundabout picnic area at Dagny Johnson Botanical State Park. To find this head on US-1 to Mile Marker 107.0 turning onto Card Sound Road and going north for only one mile on your right.
The Florida Keys are full of a diverse assortment of mailboxes throughout its entire 128 mile stretch. Seen here are three such examples of unique approaches to receiving your US Postal snail mail. They include a majestic towering lighthouse, a businesses cleverly designed paintbrush & the oddest being a tiny working trailer complete with wheels and hitch… only in the Keys!
You can find these and thousands of others on your next trip to Key West both on US-1 and its side roads.
Wow, seems like only a few days ago we celebrated New Years! 🙂 Can you believe it, ONLY 361 days till New Years 2020!
Did you know that there’s more than just one famous local bar in Key West to ring in the New Year? Well there is! In fact, I’ll be telling you of the three most popular bars that promote their own unique and very different versions of New Years.
The first and most popular & famous by far is Sloppy Joe’s Bar on the northern end of Duval Street. In front of Sloppy Joe’s gathers the biggest crowd of party-goers with beers in-hand that you’ll ever want to see in Key West. It’s nothing less than shoulder-to-shoulder unable to move in any direction for the last hour. (seen below)
Next local draw is the alternative life-style offering of the Bourbon St. Pub’s highly coveted red slipper complete with drag queen perched within as hordes of revelers cheer on the high heel pumps downward trek to zero yelling ‘Happy New Year’! This would be closer to the southern end at 724 Duval Street. (seen above and below)
Last but not least of the three spectacles would be Schooner Wharf Bar’s ‘Dropping Of The Wench’ at Harbor Walk. This pirate-themed extravaganza is more dramatic that the others featuring a cast of period-dressed actors and actresses with one chosen wench being lowered down the mast of a wooden pirate ship to the deck as the crowd counts down ‘5, 4, 3, 2, 1’. (seen below)
There you go my fellow readers! There’s NO EXCUSE for not planning ahead (361 days) and choosing the one New Years Eve party that tickles your fancy. So go ahead and pencil in your next New Years now! 🙂
Where can you find the Florida Key’s first grid-tied wind turbine? Well, it’s not on or near any power company owned property as you might think… it’s at the local High School of all places!
Key West High School’s Alternative Energy Center had this turbine installed as part of a class project funded by the Florida Green Alliance. It became operational March 20, 2010 making it the first grid-tied wind turbine in the Keys. Grid-tied for you non-electical enthusiasts means connected to the local areas source of power.
In order to find the Florida Key’s first grid-tied wind turbine locating Key West High School is numero uno on your list. The school is located on the corner of Flagler Avenue & Bertha Street with your needed entrance on Bertha. Drive around the back of the school to the entrance beside the outdoor roller hockey arena and head to the baseball field called “The Back Yard”. Find the score board and simply look up and then further up! 🙂
Happy New Years 2019!
The Saddlebunch Keys are a series of mangrove islands about 7 miles northeast of Key West, Florida. The keys are scattered between Lower Sugarloaf Key and Shark Key. U.S. 1 crosses some of the Saddlebunches at mile markers 11.5—15.
Just east of Big Coppitt Key and Shark Key, and west of Sugarloaf Shores, is the small community of Bay Point that has fewer than 500 residents, a county park, and two stores. The community due west of Bay Point is Bluewater key, with fewer than 100 residents, they are connected by a bike path to Big Coppitt Key which I’ve yet to take but is on my list of things to do.
Come and enjoy this beautiful portion of the Keys with its numerous mangrove islands and several bridges. You can find this exact Saddlebunch Keys sign at Mile Marker 14.3 oceanside of US-1 beside the ‘Gazebos With No View’ blogged on later. While here, check out the souvenir shop that pays homage to hurricane Wilma which blasted the Keys years ago.
Welcome to this years last hooray and my FINAL blog for 2018!
Hmmm, I wonder what this FINAL blog of the year will be about… ok, it’s a given… a celebration to ring in the new year. But first a great big THANK YOU! WOW, what a great year it has been being able to write of my family’s love for the Florida Keys and our hometown of Key West while having thousands upon thousands of you read it on a daily basis. I’m happy to say that we keep growing and growing month-by-month! I’m awed to say the least, I TRULY WANT TO THANK EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU!
Now back to the blog: I’m heading down to Key West for my 20th year in a row (OK, 18 out of 20) along with an estimated 50,000 people I’ve never seen before getting ready to count down screaming 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… HAPPY NEW YEAR at the stroke of midnight in front of the World-Famous Sloppy Joe’s Bar. You’ll have to live with my old 2017 photo and imagine the 2019 conch shell till I get one tonight!
Every year in front of Sloppy Joe’s Bar on Duval Street gathers an eclectic collection of total strangers some 50,000 strong that ring in the new year together. They’re total strangers at 11:59pm and then your newest buddy at 12:00am as you hug someone you’ve never met and wish them a Happy New Year… it’s an awesome feeling that all should experience at least once!
Largest Fish Tank
Here’s a blast from the past mentioned in an earlier blog in the last two weeks! Enjoy… It’s a GREAT place to visit.
Want to find the largest indoor fish tank in the Florida Keys! Then come along with me for a ride down US-1 south towards the chain of islands making up the Keys. As seen to the left, this above ground aquarium is huge standing an estimated 6′ tall to the top of the glass confinement. The approximate 20′ width and 8′ depth is enormous by any standards. There are many species of fish available for your gawking pleasure and photos. I’ve also included a photo taken from the 2nd floor elevator showing the overall size of the wonderful water world.
Now, let me tell you where this maxi-sized fish fest can be found. Travel southward down to Mile Marker 81.4 and pull in to the World Wide Sportsman’s stores parking lot. When inside you will be at this FREE exhibit that will take you about 30 minutes or so ONLY because of all of the other things to see there. Oh yeah… NO FISHING IS ALLOWED! 🙂
View Of Tank From Above