Tag Archives: us-1

Welcome to the Florida Keys!

Last Chance Saloon

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. ūüôā It‚Äôs here at Last Chance Saloon (notice the¬†sign, it actually says: Inside Toilets & Friendly People Only!) ūüôā where you‚Äôll make your trips first decision of turning left onto Card Sound Road or going straight on what‚Äôs commonly called ‚ÄúThe 18 Mile Stretch‚ÄĚ 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. ‚ÄúThe 18 Mile Stretch‚ÄĚ is the more direct approach and therefor always busier. Card Sound Road offers: Alabama Jack‚Äôs, Panther Crossing sign, Crocodile Lake Wildlife Refuge, Rock and Roll stones & Dagny Johnson Botanical Park. ‚ÄúThe 18 Mile Stretch‚ÄĚ has Gilbert‚Äôs Resort, the Pirate Ship ‚ÄúQueen Ann‚Äôs Revenge II‚ÄĚ, 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! ūüôā

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Key Tree Cactus Nature Preserve

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! ūüôā

You can find this newly opened Key Tree Cactus Nature Preserve on US-1 at Mile Marker 80.7 bayside.

         

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Know Your Buoys!

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! ūüôā 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) ūüôā

You can find this¬†‘Know Your Buoys’ sign¬†and MORE¬†at Key West‚Äôs City Marina¬†beside the Palm Avenue Causeway in Key West‚Äôs northwest portion of the island.

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Fish Camp

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) ūüė¶ 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.

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Cottages By The Sea!

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!

         

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What’s A Bar Pilot?

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! ūüôā

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.

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A Scuba Shark From Sharknado?

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. ūüôā

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.

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