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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Nine Things To Do in Key West, Florida


Although I am a resident of the state of Florida, technically, I haven't lived in the sunshine state a whole year yet. When I moved to Miami late in 2011, the plan was to stay and get my certifications to teach elementary school.  However, the opportunity to teach in Korea surfaced, and well, I took it.

Three years later, I'm back in Florida and teaching fourth grade in one of the tougher neighborhoods in South Florida.  Eek!

Still, I'm excited to be wearing flip flops and shorts late in December.  The thought of this makes me smile every single time.  ^^  Being back in state known for it's oranges and of course the NBA champions, the Miami Heat, I'm more and more interested in getting out to do stuff.  So, I started with Key West.

Here are some of the "key" highlights (pun intended):





1.  Butterfly Museum and Conservatory.  With an admission cost of about $12 per person, we wanted to get our monies worth, so we went through the whole conservatory twice, making sure to read everything and boy oh boy there is lot to understand about the beauty of the short life of the butterfly.  Totally worth it!



2.  Key West Aquarium.  Another informative stop during our weekend trip, the Key West Aquarium.  With an admission cost of $32 for two people, we were also making sure to get our monies worth.  We took in all the informative shows and Dave also fed the fish in the outdoor tank.  Most notably were the Kemps Ridley Sea Turtle and Green Sea Turtle in the outside tanks.


3.  Mallory Square at Sunset.  So many outdoor activities and free shows at Mallory Square around sunset.  It's easily a social hub spot in Key West as there are many restaurants and tourist activities in the area.  Certainly a great place to be right as the sun is setting.


4.  The Southernmost Point in the Continental USA.  We stumbled on to this while taking a look around our surrounding area.  When we returned later in the day to take pictures, the line was around the block.  We can now say we've been to the southernmost point in the continental USA.


5.  African Cemetary at Higgs Beach.  On our way back from a mid-morning jog at Higgs Beach, we saw this sign as took a thorough look at the monuments made in memorial of the 295 men, women and children who lost their lives in 1860 there at Higgs Beach.


6.  Eco Discovery Center.  I wanted to stop here when I found out the admission was free which I learned from the tour bus driver.  It turned out to be an informative stop as both Dave and I learned a lot about what's going on with the coral reefs in water surrounding Florida.


7.  Key West Garden Club.  We learned about this place while on the trolley tour.  However, when we stumbled onto it again while on a mid morning jog to Higgs Beach, we just went for it.  Another cool place away from the hot sun this garden club has no admission fee.  We decided we would take a more thorough look around and came back later in the afternoon on our last day in Key West.


8.  Key West Trolley Tour.  I'd highly recommend taking one of the trolley tours around Key West as you will get to many of the key highlights of the area.  Many of the stops offers free admission and several things to do in the area.  All of the places we went to were also stops along the bus tour where you can get on and off the bus all day long.


Uncle Sandy is the only statue of a person of color featured in located in Mallory Squares' Memorial Park.  His lived an influential life as he was born a slave but later bought his freedom only to face being recaptured.  To avoid that fate, he injured himself so that he would no longer be fit to be slave.  He and his wife were successful farmers in Key West.

9.  Key West Historic Memorial Sculpture Garden.  With notable figures of the early Key West, it's easy to stumble on this this memorial garden while browsing around Mallory Square.  Key West is in fact a very interesting little city with an equally interesting history.
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