99% Of Tourist NEVER See This Sign Or Buoy!

12760828804_09da441e85_oThis is SO RARE that I’ve seen it ONLY ONCE in my entire life! Do you happen to know where it is? (before reading the blog that is) 🙂

Though it says ‘Welcome To Key West’, you can’t pose beside it for your vacation photo album. ONLY several hundred people at day see this at all! In fact, these may be the ONLY 7 tourists to have EVER stood beside it… and they’ve been there for years! 🙂 These dedicated greeters are frozen in time in the sweltering Florida heat year round.

You can find this rarely seen ‘Welcome To Key West’ sign and Southernmost Buoy atop the first floor roof ONLY while you are getting on or off a plane at the Key West International Airport (the runway side of the airport above the doors). That my friends is a crying shame and needs to be changed!!!!!


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Environmental Observatory

IMG_1466Do you like seeing sharks, sharks and more sharks? If so, I bet you’re one of those that look forward to TV’s highly anticipated shark week! No need to wait, I’ve found some very nice painted ones at ground level for your vacation photo collection.

Though not officially a tourist attraction that you walk into, you can on the other hand admire the awesome artwork and get your picture taken with them without anyone batting an eye.

You can find the Clark Maxwell Environmental Observatory on the campus of the Florida Keys Community College just outside of Key West at one of its two entrances at Mile Marker 5.0 & 4.3 onto the horseshoe-shaped College Road. Drive down the road about 1/2 mile from either entrance and there it be behind by the Tennessee Williams Theatre.

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Why Do These Painted Indians Have Long Hair?

6992288548_ab18342d13_bWhy do these Native American Coloosa Indians in this painting have their hair over the front of their shoulders?

Here’s the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth! (that someone told me 2nd hand) 🙂 While photographing the Florida Key’s LARGEST MURAL I was approached by two different men asking me if I knew the story behind it. Here’s what they both said: At one time the paintings portrayed the female Caloosa Indians with no tops on and their hair over the back of their shoulders. As the story goes, a lady (some say mistress) staying in the 2nd story apartment (pictured below) with full-view of the mural everyday was offended by the bare-chested females. She then gave the man an ultimatum of longer hair painted on or she’s gone! As you can see, longer hair won out!

You can find the incredible full-length mural painted on the northern side of the Caloosa Cove Marina at Mile Marker 73.8 on the Atlantic Ocean side of the road hidden behind a gas station.


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Blue Heaven’s Chicken Gate

IMG_1774Ornamental gates are a dime a dozen throughout the Keys. I’ve found two that are dedicated to the famous free-roaming chickens of Key West.

Seen here is the side gate to an equally famous Key West restaurant featuring a family of chickens and one not so obvious cat on the far left. I wonder if the cat is smiling knowing that he’s about to get a free meal! 🙂

You can find this ‘Chicken Family Gate’ at the popular bar & dining hangout called Blue Heaven on Caroline Street just a few blocks southwest of Duval Street in Key West.


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Key West’s Least Seen Welcome Sign

We all know that countries, states, cities, towns & airports have signs welcoming you to their location. I’ve found one welcome sign in Key West that for the most part goes unseen and is largely passed by all without ever seeing it!

Welcome to Key West’s least seen welcome sign. As you can see by the photo it’s in fact visible and yet at other times not visible at all. Let me explain, I had to get at just the right angle to photograph it without having trees in the background which blend in making it nearly impossible to see most of the time. You know, I wonder how many local residents would admit that they too have NEVER seen it! Are you one of them? 🙂

You can find this forgotten ‘Welcome To Key West’ sign at Key West’s other point of entry at Bight Ferry Terminal located at the northeastern end of Harbor Walk.

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Chair With A View

Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful! Hmm… or is it Location, Location, Location? In this case they are indeed one in the same!

There’s a number of these photo-op chairs with the city name painted on them throughout the Keys. As you can see this is one beautiful view, I only wish the sun had been on the opposite side of the chair. Believe me, any time of the day is well worth a visit for its incredible view and cherished photo. Reminder, if location and names are important to you don’t sit in the chair during your photo… stand beside it! 🙂

You can find this chair and many other tourist photo-ops located in the Sundowner Complex at Mile Marker 104 bayside in Key Largo.

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Old Navy Cistern

Welcome to one of Key West’s oldest water cisterns! This is the US Navy’s old very large round water cistern located in what is now the Truman Annex a former Navy Base.

What’s a water cistern you might ask? A cistern is a waterproof receptacle for holding liquids, usually water. Cisterns can be above or below ground and were commonly used in Key West to capture & store rain water since fresh water was scarce. Early on this water was used for many purposes including drinking, cooking, irrigation and washing. You have to remember that fresh water (an unending flow) was not available to Key West until Henry Flagler’s Florida East Coast Railway was completed from Miami to Key West on January 21st 1912 and fresh water soon there followed. If you look close at the 7-Mile Bridge & Bahia Honda Bridge you will see a large black pipe (approximately one foot wide) that runs alongside or underneath each… that my friends was Key West’s first source of piped water! And now you know the rest of the story!

You can find the Navy’s Old Water Cistern exactly beside the newly named ‘Cistern Park’ at the intersection of Whitehead Street & Caroline Street here in Key West.

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