I recently visited Key West. To be completely honest, it was not on my bucket list of places to go. When I learned that there was a ferry boat that departed out of Ft. Myers Beach and would get me to Key West in a little under 4 hours I was completely game. Doing a one-day trip sounded adventurous and worked for me.So I found a friend to come along and we were off to try something new.
How does one do Key West in five hours? Good Question.
The Key West Express was such a beautiful experience. The ride cost about $170 round trip (parking for my car included). On board they had a place you could buy food, as well as a bar to purchase drinks. I do advise if you want to buy food or drinks bring cash. The boat loses service to process credit cards once they leave the dock. It is a three level speedboat that I must say provided a very comfortable ride.
We sat on the top deck, and I should give a fair warning that once the boat picks up speed it does get a little chilly. Once the boat gets out in the Gulf of Mexico, there isn’t much to see but water. The next 3.5 hours is spent hanging out and enjoying the ride.
Before I get into details of my trip, I must be completely honest. This wasn’t planned. It was decided that we were going a few days prior, so I didn’t get to do much research, to prepare for what to expect.
We arrived in the Keys around noon. I wanted to rent a bike for the day, but opted for a golf cart that was offered upon getting off the boat. Let’s be real, I was not going to bike around for hours in that hot sun. After getting the golf cart, I suddenly regretted that decision being that THERE WAS NO PARKING. My friend and I drove around a good 30 minutes before having a heart to heart about the pros and cons of possibly getting towed. We had to decide if we were okay letting that happen. The answer was YES, I surely wasn’t paying $25 to park for an hour so we chanced it.
We were starving so we located a restaurant on the waterfront called the Conch Republic Seafood Company. Oh man, the service, drinks, and food were so incredible that we didn’t care that the bill came to a nice $100.
After lunch I of course had to do an outfit change, and at this point my friend and I were in full tourist mode. We walked back to the golf cart (that thankfully was not towed) and went on our own self-guided tour.
First stop, the southernmost point of the world. If this is a stopping point on a future trip to the Keys just know there is a line to take a picture in front of the monument… A LONG LINE that I for one was not standing in. So I got a few selfies and kept it moving.
Next up, The Ernest Hemingway Home. Fun fact about me, a couple of my favorite short stories were written byErnest Hemingway, so I had to stop by and check his house out. The grounds were well kept, and it’s used as a wedding venue. They did a good job at preserving the original furniture and appliances in the home. A guided tour is offered or you can walk around the house and do your own tour. There was plenty of information around the house, so you were able to get a lot of history on Hemingway.
The home is occupied by a lot of cats. They’re apparently the descendants of Hemingway’s white six-toed cat. I found it to be cute that they had a cat cemetery. A cute little courtyard with what I’m assuming is the burial grounds of all the cats that have passed.
After leaving the home we went to the Butterfly Museum. The inner child in me became so ecstatic. When you first walk in there is an informational room set up. It gives the history and scientific knowledge of butterflies. We bypassed this simply because it’s information I could google. What I really wanted to see were the butterflies. It was the most beautiful thing and was so peaceful. There were hundreds of butterflies just flying around. The landscaping was so pretty. SO if you’re into butterflies I highly suggest taking 30-45 minutes out of your visit to stop by.
With 30 minutes remaining before we had to get back on the boat, we decided to walk around and check-out the locals.Unfortunately, weren’t too friendly. Or maybe they’re just not a fan of tourist taking over their spot. Other than that it was an all-around successful trip. Would I go back, eh maybe? If I go back I will defiantly make it a full weekend trip. Who knows, I couldfall in love with the Keys.