Sunday, February 5, 2012

What I like about Key West

There are a lot of reasons that make Key West one of our favorite places in our almost 3-year full-time adventure:
  1. The warm weather/sun.  It is usually warm down here in the winter time but this year it has been above average.
  2. The water.  Love having the RV parked 20 feet the water (Gulf of Mexico side) most of the last six weeks.  
  3. Interesting town with a lot of history.  We learned a lot about Key West in the early days and about famous people who have been associated with Key West.  Jimmy Buffet, Robert Frost, Thomas Edison, Zachary Taylor, Ernest Hemingway, Harry Truman...
  4. Hemingway House.  This was one of my all-time favorite tours of a residence.  I lover the upstairs outside balcony with the balmy breezes.
  5. Truman Little White House.  Pretty cool to see where some important decision were made in his presidency.  Reminded me a little of the Gen Eisenhower home in Gettysburg.
  6. Bike riding.  Never been anywhere with more local and rental bikes.  Lots of bike paths and the roads are scooter and bike friendly.  Loved taking the 13.0 mile loop around the island in the early morning.
  7. Boondocking at Sigsbee U.S. Navy Campground (Military).  Over 200 spaces for boon dockers and 88 full hook ups which we rotate into for two weeks.  
  8. Sunsets.  Lots of them here.  And sunrises too.
  9. Sunset Celebration.  Every night seems like there is something going on at Mallory Square.
  10. Mallory Square.  Talk about a great place to people watch!
  11. Harbour Walk.  Great place to meander in the early evening.  Can't beat the 1/2 price on drinks and appetizers which are a meal in themselves.
  12. Boca Chica Marina and Beach - Key West Naval Air Station.  The base has more activity than one would expect.  We liked the waterfront/marina.  Can't beach watching F-18's and F-5's and other aircraft coming in for landings.
  13. The Keys.  Nice drive to see some sights.  Key West is a bit isolated but we had plenty of day trips along the keys.
  14. Small town atmosphere.  Key West has only about 25,000.  No Wal-Mart and only two Starbucks that I could find.
  15. Walking.  Lots of things to walk around and see.  One can walk the whole downtown area and see lots of shops and people.
  16. Restaurants/Cafes.  Breakfasts and Happy Hour (4-6 PM) are very reasonable.  Dinner and the rest is a little more but not too bad.  
  17. Cuban sandwiches, stone crab, mahi-mahi and shrimp, Cuban coffee...
  18. Gardens, parks and museums.  More of them here than one would expect.
  19. Habitat for Humanity (Key West and Lower Keys).  We got to spend a couple of Saturdays working on a house with their Brush with Kindness group and it was a lot of fun.
  20. Roosters.  See previous post.
  21. Flea Market.  The flea market at Big Pine is worth going to.  Only about 30 miles up the Keys and not near Key Deer reserve and No-Name Bar which has great pizza.
  22. Friends.  We have gotten together with some great friends here old and new:  Marge and Bill (full-timers whom we met the first few days here); Jim and Betty (Habitat for Humanity friends from our time last summer in South Dakota); and Kirk and Susan (good friends who flew in from Oklahoma City and spent 4 days with us)
That is all today on the Roadrunner Chronicles.  We move on toward Fort Meyers Tuesday morning.  Thanks VERY much for joining us!  Until next time...


  1. I am a believer, Randy! As much as I love Northern Florida and all the springs and rivers, I think Key West will have to be part of any winter we spend in Florida. I am really hoping NEXT winter!

  2. WOW...doesn't sound like there is any negatives to being in Key West. We haven't been there yet. Thanks for all the reasons for going...especially the colorful roosters...LOL. ~wheresweaver

  3. I fully agree with everything you wrote in the blog. Sigsbee is out for us since I am a retired Foreign Service employee, but fully understand your loving the Keys. We spent 11 years in the Key from 1996-2006 and loved it.

    It finally got to expensive to stay there and we moved our winter quarters to Tucson, AZ. Love it here also, but the Keys is the best.

    We loved the Turtle Kraal restaurant in the Key West marina, No Name Pub high on the list, Herbies in Marathon, Islamorada Fish Company, etc, etc. I think we tried every restaurant and Tiki Bar from Islamorada to Key West.

  4. We're headed down there the last two weeks of February. Can't wait! Especially after reading your summary of your faves. :-)

  5. wow great spot isn't sum it up..whats not to like about the keys other than the cost now...but a gorgeous place for sure...enjoy

  6. Thanks os much for reminding us of our great time there last winter. We hope to return again soon and check out some of the places you have mentioned.

  7. Lots of good reasons ... thanks for sharing. Hope to perhaps make it down to Sigsbee next winter for at least one go-around between the dry camping and full hook-ups.

  8. yes we too hate the keys ;) - day before yesterday we were taken on a boat ride over to the base marina and saw the Key West location you must be staying at... nice area as you say..

  9. We love Key West and the rest of the Keys too! I've been there twice in the last year and I'm sure we'll go again before we leave Florida for good.

  10. You've convinced me, Randy! Great summary of Key West - we'll have to go there someday for sure.

  11. Ditto to all of it, except the military campgrounds..Dennis was Air Force, but didn't retire from it..There are sure some nice ones!

  12. We have not been that far south. I have heard it was real nice. I met a couple two weeks ago that were on their way to Key West. Many people head to Florida every year.

    Joe and Sherri

  13. We enjoyed Key West. Thank You for you blog, it motivated us to go all the way to mile 0. There were so many places to sight see on that small island. We did not make it out to the Fort, but we needed something to come back for.