Last Chance Saloon
At the southern end of Florida City is the imaginary Mile Marker 126.7 which is the unmarked unofficial official beginning to the Florida Keys. 🙂 It’s here at Last Chance Saloon (notice the sign, it actually says: Inside Toilets & Friendly People Only!) 🙂 where you’ll make your trips first decision of turning left onto Card Sound Road or going straight on what’s commonly called “The 18 Mile Stretch” of US-1 South.
Card Sound Road is a 25.8 mile toll road and a no brainer when US-1 is backed up, closed or during major holidays. “The 18 Mile Stretch” is the more direct approach and therefor always busier. Card Sound Road offers: Alabama Jack’s, Panther Crossing sign, Crocodile Lake Wildlife Refuge, Rock and Roll stones & Dagny Johnson Botanical Park. “The 18 Mile Stretch” has Gilbert’s Resort, the Pirate Ship “Queen Ann’s Revenge II”, Crocodile Crossing sign & Over Manatee Creek. I myself have a rule of thumb of taking US-1 down (always ready to get there) and returning by Card Sound Road. All sites listed above on both roads have been be detailed in past blogs so put that search feature to work! 🙂
I’ve been waiting a long time for this nature preserve to be completed. Passing by with only the sign up and gate locked for the least 2 years, it’s finally open and ready for the public. As you can see below it’s very clean… in fact pristine with its benches, swing and gym-type spider web climber as if they had NEVER BEEN USED. The inside of the tiki-hut is brand spanking new with tables so far only being used as target practice by birds perched above. YUK
I walked around 40-minutes sweating profusely on this VERY HOT Saturday at noon. Though the property backs up to the Gulf of Mexico, there’s no path yet available to its potential majestic views. Be aware that there’s no restroom facilities, no water, no grilles and unfortunately NO people either! Oh yeah, there’s only parking for 2 or 3 cars… so CAR POOL! 🙂
You can find this newly opened Key Tree Cactus Nature Preserve on US-1 at Mile Marker 80.7 bayside.
Did you take ‘Buoy 101’ as part of your college curriculum? Don’t worry, I didn’t either. I bet that 99.9% of average Joes and 99.8% of fisherman couldn’t tell you the meaning of every single color, shape, size, number, letter, lit or unlit buoy is either! 🙂 BUT if your interested, here’s a chart I found titled ‘Know Your Buoys’ that’ll explain ANYTHING & EVERYTHING you ever wanted to know and MORE about buoys! (WOW… I bet you’re really fired up to read it now) 🙂
You can find this ‘Know Your Buoys’ sign and MORE at Key West’s City Marina beside the Palm Avenue Causeway in Key West’s northwest portion of the island.
True fishermen! I love it, these guys are preparing their days catch on the open water for a fresh fish dinner to die for.
Sport & pleasure fishing is REALLY BIG in the Keys. Fishing is something you either LOVE or leave to someone else. Ever since the day I was taken to the hospital and had a hook cut out of my thumb… I now leave the sport to someone else! (true) 😦 These guys on the other hand live for it showing up in their enthusiasm as I watched and spoke to them.
You can find this Backcountry Fishing Camp just off US-1 at Mile Marker 33.0 oceanside near the northern entrance to the Key Deer Habitat. Turn onto Long Beach Drive and then left into the parking lot of the Big Pine Key Fishing Lodge.
Wow, wow & WOW! What a FANTASTIC find this was! Talk about a picture perfect postcard, this indeed is it. This my friends is on my personal short list… I’m bringing my wife here for a weekend! If you can’t tell be the photos, this is one beautiful place featuring beachfront pastel painted cottages, wooden pier, tiki huts, beach, and watercraft rentals. OK, there’s a hotel too set off the beach but the focal point is by far the cottages which I’m sure get booked first.
I’m seldom amazed having been up and down the Keys for years stopping in almost every non-gated resort or community… ‘This my friends is WORTH a visit’!
You can find this AMAZING hotel complex with beachfront cottages on US-1 at Mile Marker 80.2 oceanside. Enjoy… It’s BEAUTIFUL!
What the heck is a ‘Bar Pilot’? I’ll take a wild guess: Airline pilots who have one too many drinks at the local bar before their flight and end up being the lead on tonight’s news! OK, that’s 100% wrong, I’ll now refer to an on-line encyclopedia so give me a few minutes… (3-minutes 18-seconds pass)… I’m back, here we go:
Bar Pilot – ‘A pilot who navigates a ship from a pilot station over a bar and often into a harbor or dock. Normally a highly experienced ex local ship captain who possesses detailed knowledge of the particular waterway.’
There, and now you know the rest of the story! You know, my first description sadly to say is pretty accurate too! 🙂
Located on the northern part of town just 3 blocks east of Duval Street in what’s refereed to as Harbor Walk. This is a pedestrian friendly shopping, dining & ocean watching hot spot. You can find the Key West Bar Pilots sign on the western side of Harbor Walk beside the A & B Marina sign pictured below.
One of the ODDEST and most unnatural looking sights in the entire Florida Keys! To prove it, just check out the shark with its own scuba mask, respirator, air tanks and weight belt. Too Funny!
On second thought, it reminds me of the ongoing SyFy original movie saga ‘Sharknado’ where tornadoes filled with sharks follow a family wherever they go… and that’s been thru 5 movies in 5 years so far! By the way, have you ever noticed how the character’s first names reference shark body parts: Fin Shepard & Gil Shepard. 🙂
You can find the Key’s ONLY Scuba Shark on US-1 in Islamorada at Mile Marker 83.8 oceanside directly in front of Wahoo’s Bar & Grill complex.