Japanese Garden In Key West!

IMG_1477Did you know that there’s a Japanese Garden in Key West? This is truly one of the most unlikely things I’ve ever found in Key West!

There’s a story behind this Japanese garden called “Peace Of Aspen” which is another irony to this intertwined tale of name and style. The Japanese Garden was the inspiration from artist Jay Gogin of his knowledge of a Shinto shrine and who in turn brought the featured centerpiece boulders all the way from Aspen, Colorado in the back of his pickup truck fusing the two together in this wonderful expression of art. Oh yeah, while here be sure to look 20′ offshore to the red unmistakable Torii Gate… wow, what a sight!

You can find this Japanese Peace Garden on the campus of the Florida Keys Community College just outside of Key West. Go to one of its two entrances at Mile Marker 5.0 & 4.3 onto the horseshoe-shaped College Road and drive down the road about 1/2 mile from either entrance and there it be behind by the Tennessee Williams Theater.

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Does Your Driveway Have A Stoplight?

IMG_0211Does your driveway have a stoplight? Don’t feel left out because mine doesn’t either… but this one does! 🙂

I have no qualms in telling you where to find unique quirky oddities that individuals put on their property that attract attention. You know what, if they didn’t want someone to take note of it they wouldn’t have done it in the first place! 🙂 I assure you, once you see their 3-D Shark Mural painted on the wall to the right you’ll agree! They’ve done all this hard work on purpose to get noticed… AND IT WORKED! 🙂

In finding this awesome hidden site you must first slow down, it’s set back off the road wedged between two buildings and is easily missed. Pull into the parking lot of Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen at Mile Marker 99.5 bayside where you’ll see it behind the restaurant.

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World Famous Sloppy Joe’s Bar

4489012777_cf1c746e36_bWelcome to the World Famous Sloppy Joe’s Bar here on Duval Street in Key West. It’s here that famed writer Ernest Hemingway came to hangout with the locals after a bout of writers block or day out on the water with his friend and fishing buddy Sloppy Joe’s owner and name sake founder Joe Russell. It’s here once a year that the Ernest Hemingway look-alike contest is also held every July.

Admission is FREE 99% of the year to walk in and peruse taking photos except New Years and other high traffic events and holidays. This is Key West’s #1 hangout and is ALWAYS crowded so come early if you want to listen to a free band or eat at one of its tables or bar. The walls are covered with memorabilia of Hemingway’s days as a patron among other pure Key West decorations. A souvenir shop is also available to purchase a friends trinket in order to rub in the fact of being in Key West Paradise when they were stuck behind an office cubicle working! 🙂

The Ernest Hemmingway Wall


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Under The Boardwalk

IMG_0893Unlike The Drifters’ 1964 smash hit ‘Under The Boardwalk’, this blog has absolutely nothing to do with music unless you count the buzzing of mosquitos in your ears! 🙂

As advertised, there’s one portion where you can actually be under the boardwalk. There’s a boardwalk observatory platform along the path that you can walk under or climb up to see what’s now an obstructed view. I’m sure when built there was a great view of the ocean and the surrounding tidal pool… that was probably years ago before the jungle-like treetops took over. Either way, the boardwalk & observatory provides some awesome quiet time away from the crowds. The boardwalk ends with picnic areas on both sides but don’t bring your swim trunks, save them for the swimming area on the other side of the park.

You can find this relaxing boardwalk inside the Long Key State Park at Mile Marker 67.7 oceanside. There’s a fee schedule per car load to enter the park, $4.5o for one and $6 for two people.

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Key West’s GRASS Roof!

Where can you find Key West’s most environmentally conscious facility? Well here it is, welcome to the Dr. Nancy Foster Florida Keys Environmental Complex.

When architects designed the complex they created a Green Building.  This means they made choices to  “recycle”  a neighboring building saving building materials and using it for a new purpose. Office furniture was re-purposed to fit in the new energy efficient building that is LEED Silver certified. Contributing to the ecosystem, the roof is planted with native species of grasses that provide habitat for insects and birds. The plants are watered by rain. Excess rain water is collected and stored for other uses in the building helping to conserve water.

In order to find Key West’s GRASS ROOF head over to the less traveled southwest part of the island called Truman Waterfront. Here you’ll find East Quay Road on the right hand side of the entrance to Zachery Taylor Civil War Fort on which the complex is located. To find the grass roof simply look up for the rooftop that needs to be mowed! 🙂


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Memorial Day History, How It Began

Happy Memorial Day from the entire gang at ‘365 Things To Do In The Florida Keys’… OK, the TWO of us! :-)

This is an Educational EXTRA! :-) Please pay respect to those who’ve giving us our freedom that we as Americans are so proud of.

Here’s how the tradition started: Memorial Day began with families wanting to honor fallen Civil War soldiers. Over the years it’s evolved in observing all American soldiers of all wars. First called Decoration Day — so named because families decorated graves of fallen soldiers with flowers. The idea came from Henry Welles, a druggist in Waterloo, New York. The holiday’s name was changed to Memorial Day in 1882. Nearly a century later in 1971, President Richard Nixon officially declared the day a federal holiday. And now you know the rest of the story! :-) 


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Tallest Flagpole In The Keys!

IMG_0534Welcome to the TALLEST flagpole in the Keys! OK, I obviously didn’t use a tape measure in coming up with this non-scientific diagnosis… but I did use my eyes and it truly looks like it the tallest one to me. 🙂

This flagpole is missed by 99% of all travels to the Keys because of its off the road location. Although it only sits about a 1/4 mile away from the main thoroughfare its very easily unseen hence the purpose of this blog.

You can find the Key’s TALLEST flagpole at 750 S. Krome Avenue, Florida City beside Sam’s Hideaway. OK, it’s basically at the corner of US-1 & Krome Avenue.

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