The Key West tourist trade has steadily increased over the years becoming Florida’s 2nd favorite destination only behind Disney World in Orlando. With the addition of cruise ships, a relatively new way to arrive in Key West, this vacation playland has begun to bulge at its seams. Though Key West can hold limitless amounts of cruise ships anchored at sea and then shuttled a shore, its capacity sits around 4 ocean liners tied to its docks.
Its most prominent location (photo to the left) is at Mallory Square with another two slips available behind it at the old Navy docks along with a final one using the Navy’s current birth when needed. As you can see by the photo above, your souvenir photo does NOT have to centered dispelling the myth of the main subject always in the center. And to add to your collection of photo taken on vacation, take a creative shot of a cruise ship as seen below which also clears up another misconception of photos always having to have the entire subject in your photo.
You can find these cruise ship ports at and near Mallory Square just 3 blocks south of Duval Street in beautiful Key West. Enjoy your trip and take some uniquely angled photos in the process!
Remember the Hollywood blockbuster movie from 1982 called Porky’s about a group of teenagers out for a good time with names like “Pee Wee”, “Meat” and a bar owner named “Porky”… well, this blog has absolutely nothing to do with that besides its ultra famous name! 🙂
From the outside you’d never be able to tell this is a local hot spot by the inconspicuous dilapidated wood-framed windowless hangout, but it is. Welcome to Porky’s Bayside known for its good food and friendly island atmosphere. Their unique location has hosted famous Florida Keys visitors since the 1950’s – including such notables as Ernest Hemingway, Elizabeth Taylor & Jimmy Hoffa. Jimmy Hoffa loved his meal and the Keys so much that he faked his own death and moved to the Keys and is reportedly working there cooking fries… known simply as James “The Fry King” Hoffmiester… well, that’s the rumor! 🙂 Since Porky’s inception its been the local place to be in the Keys and still is! So belly on up to a bench and order some of the sweetest swine you’ll ever stuff in your smiling stomach.
You can find Jimmy H. and his fellow compadres just before the 7-Mile bridge heading south at Mile Marker 47.4 bayside awaiting your arrival… just look for the pig butts (seen above) at the entrance… hmmm, let me think about this… ok I got! The asinine entrance, 9 pork butts, count them up there’s actually nine… ASS OF NINE! 🙂
Here’s an oddity that can be found in Key West’s Mallory Square. This portion of Key West is best associated with its hordes of people who gather every evening at dusk to watch the sunset. Mallory Square has so much more to offer in every direction you look from souvenir shops, restaurants, street performers to the oddity you’re about to see.
In order to see this you must be observant and almost be specifically looking for it, it’s very easily missed. Located behind a closed fence in front of an empty historic building is this anchor nearly encased in cement that is now becoming swallowed by the trees roots and limbs. A definite strange-looking unique site indeed!
This is just one of the strange findings you’ll see in Mallory Square… though people watching at times can be just as STRANGE! 🙂
West Indies is another name for the Caribbean Sea. Having been on a 10-Day Cruise to the West Indies before I couldn’t stand not knowing what was down the road named for our vacation that provided us with so many awesome unforgettable lifetime memories.
Without knowing what was around the next turn, curiosity got the better of me as we headed down West Indies Drive. Wow was I surprised block-by-block as islands and nations I’ve visited appeared on street sign after street sign. You can begin your own Caribbean land cruise seated in a comfortable air-conditioned car as you drive down memory lane or dream of lands far-a-way for your own bucket list.
On your driving tour around the islands you’ll see the following: St. Croix, Jamaica, Martinique, Guadalupe, Antigua, St. Martin, Haiti, Dominica, Cayman, Barbuda, Aquila, Tobago, St. Lucia, Barbados, & St. Vincent. This brought back so many memories as I watched country after country that I’ve visited go by. My lady and I both chose one sign a piece that we had been to together and stood beside it pointing up to the sign as the other snapped our souvenir scrapbook photo. This was a very pleasant surprise for just turning down a road taking a shot in the dark that turned out to be a bright spot down memory lane!
You can find this Caribbean subdivision on West Indies Drive at Mile Marker 27.4 oceanside. Enjoy your land-lubber voyage!
Expect to see almost anything in Key West without ever raising too many eyebrows. Here’s a great example, an aluminum park-type bench with female features complete with hands, feet, pony-tail and breasts. Hmm, wait a minute, this is Key West… I quess it could be a male! 🙂 This could make for some very creative pics to say the least. I’ll end by saying and I quote: “Watch out where you sit for your photo!” 🙂
You can find this ‘BREAST Seat In The House’ on the porch of the Red Barn Theatre located at 319 Duval Street down an alley on the right hand side of the World-Famous Hard Rock Cafe.
Welcome to the Oldest Southernmost Tavern On The Mainland USA!
You might be asking yourself about now: “Hey, isn’t there an older bar in Key West?”, you’d be right there is. Notice the wording, it says ‘On The Mainland USA’… ok for us non-scholars, simply put it basically means not including islands as in the remainder of the Florida Keys! 🙂
You can find the Key’s OLDEST mainland tavern at 750 S. Krome Avenue, Florida City called Sam’s Hideaway. I’ll make it easy for you, it’s basically at the corner of US-1 & Krome Avenue at Mile Marker 126.7 about 1/8 mile north.
Got fishing on the brain? Welcome to Key West’s City Marina, home to an incredible 250 slips that straddle the Palm Avenue Causeway over the body of water known as Garrison Bight.
As advertised on the sign to the left, it hosts the largest fleet of experienced boat Captains in the Keys. The marina has been the home of Key West’s historic Charter Boat Row fleet of boats-for-hire since the 1930’s. City Marina also has 30 transient slips. Theses slips are located on concrete floating docks. Amenities include bath and shower facilities, an on-site coin laundry as well as vessel pump-out services.
This part of town is packed with other goodies like a permanent community of live aboard houseboats such as the famous ‘Smiley Faced’ rooftop featured in a previous blog. The houseboats are a site of their own making up a pleasant eclectic collection of an aquatic neighborhood. There’s also an Oriental restaurant available for your eating pleasure along with the Key West Sailing Club docks and the ‘Fly Navy’ painted building in clear sight just across the water.
All of this and more can be seen from Key West’s City Marina at the Palm Avenue Causeway in Key West’s northwest portion of the island. Enjoy the view and many sights all of which are FREE for your vacation consumption.