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The Conch Connection

Unique Vacation Ideas in Florida: Road Trip!

Nov 7, 2019 1:37:50 PM / by Key West Express posted in Museums, Water Activities, Attractions, Waterfront, Restaurants, Casual, Old-Town, Outdoor, Seafood, Night Life, Information, Beach, Snorkeling

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Do you need to take a break from your rigorous daily routine? Are you longing to experience a unique vacation in The Sunshine State? A Florida road trip is a great way to clear your head and make memories that will last a lifetime.

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Can You Do Key West And Be Healthy? It's Easy If You Do It Smart!

Oct 1, 2019 9:02:00 AM / by Key West Express posted in Insider, Restaurants, Casual, Bed & Breakfast, Breakfast, Key West Hotels, Lunch, Upscale Casual, Information, Healthy Eating

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Healthful Key West


The Duval Crawl has its allure for visitors in need of a wild and crazy live on the edge experience. Bars and pubs and parties and music, adult silliness and shenanigans.

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5 Best Places for Breakfast on Fort Myers Beach

Jul 28, 2017 10:00:00 AM / by Scott Schofield posted in Restaurants, Fort Myers Beach, Casual, Breakfast, American Cuisine

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Our Best Picks for that Most Important Meal of the Day! !

When vacationing anywhere, breakfast is a treat most ordinarily don't have time to savor in our busy day to day lives.

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Everything You Need To Know About the Key Lime Festival

May 31, 2017 4:28:52 PM / by Key West Express posted in Activities, Walking Distance, Restaurants, Casual, Old-Town

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The tart and tangy key lime are important in the culinary world internationally, but in Florida there are actually festivals where enthusiasts join in celebrating this exotic citrus.

Key Limes best known for being the “key” (pun intended) element in world famous key lime pie are celebrated each year at festivals throughout Florida and Key West's is one of the best!

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Margaritaville Key West Resort & Marina - Has Your Lost Shaker of Salt

May 12, 2017 9:00:00 AM / by Scott Schofield posted in Luxury, Waterfront, Walking Distance, Restaurants, Casual, Key West Hotels, Pool, Resort, Bar & Grill, Upscale Casual

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Parrotheads of the world unite, it’s time to go Back to the Island!! The Westin Resort and Marina Key West has become the Margaritaville Key West Resort and Marina. This 170+ room resort is the epitome of Key West and now with Jimmy Buffett lending his name to it, only backs up that claim.

This AAA Four Diamond waterfront resort is just steps from Mallory Square, home of the nightly Sunset Celebration. Hundreds come out every night to watch the sun slowly set into to the emerald waters off Key West. Street vendors and performers also gather to hawk their wares and put on a show that only Key West could pull together (you might even see Spiderman or Darth Vader). The resort is also just a block from the famous Duval Street. Lined with some of the best restaurants, waterholes, shopping and art galleries that you’ll find anywhere. The marina is also home to one of three cruise ports on the island, welcoming people from around the world.

For the gourmet in all of us, the resort is home to three fantastic restaurants. Bistro 245 is a casual, indoor dining experience, with gorgeous views of Key West’s One Particular Harbor. Castaways is the classic pool side bar, for all you Beautiful Swimmers, which features a minimalists, no nonsense menu. From appetizers, salads to burgers and other sandwiches, not to mention a cocktails to die for. Lastly, is the Sunset Deck. As the name proclaims, you will have a panoramic view of the harbor and of the Key West sunsets, as you’re sipping on that fresh Boat Drink.

If you want to try something a bit different and get some of that Island Fever, then hop on the island ferry that will take you to Sunset Key, just across the harbor. This private island has all the amenities that you could desire.

So, on your next escape, grab your Brown Eyed Girl or Lost Boy, not forgetting your shaker of salt, while making another Trip Around the Sun and head to the namesake, Margaritaville Key West Resort and Marina.

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Sloppy Joe's - A Key West Tradition

May 8, 2017 1:52:57 PM / by Key West Express posted in Walking Distance, Restaurants, Casual, Old-Town, Bar & Grill, American Cuisine

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What is the first bar that comes to mind when you think Key West? Most likely Sloppy Joe’s,  the famous watering hole of Ernest Hemingway is a Key West tradition steeped in history.  Founded on the very day prohibition was repealed, December 5, 1933.  The bar actually went through a of couple name changes before Sloppy Joe’s was chosen with encouragement from the infamous Ernest Hemingway. 


Fearless rum runner/bootlegger & speakeasy operator Joe “Josey” Russell and his friend, customer and fishing companion Hemingway formed a special bond during the writer’s residency on the island. After the inevitable failure of “Operation Dry America” Russell found himself on the up & up as a genuine saloon keeper and business owner of a dump called the “Blind Pig” which cost him a whopping three dollars a week to lease the building. The pig was located around the corner where Capt. Tony’s Saloon still stands. (Fascinating history there too!) http://www.capttonyssaloon.com/ Built in 1852 the building served 2 important purposes. It was an ice house (very important due to the heat in Key West) and the city morgue (also very important due to the heat in Key West).

Thought to be haunted, the bar now houses the “hanging tree” where 16 pirates and a woman who took a knife to her husband and 2 children met their maker. Known as The Lady in Blue, (nicknamed for the color of her dress during the hideous killing spree and the color she turned during the ….)

In 1898 a telegraph was housed in the same building. Famous for informing the world during the Spanish–American War that the battleship Maine was destroyed, when the news came from Havana to Key West.

Over the following decades it housed speakeasies, a bordello, a cigar factory and an early gay bar. The Navy forbade their men from patronizing the establishment which was ultimately forced to close and remain empty for quite some time until Anthony Tarracino opened its doors in 1958 as Captain Tony’s.

Not long after Joe Russell attained the Blind Pig in 1931, the ratty ramshackle establishment added a dance floor and changed its name to the "Silver Slipper" where in addition to gambling, gossip and ten cent shots patrons could now kick up their wobbly heels.

 An Old Havana bar and fish market where Joe “Josie” Russell and Hemingway spent considerable time while in Cuba was owned by another friend, Jose Garcia Rio. Joe’s Cuban bar was ridiculed as being  sloppy due to constantly melting ice that made a big mess of the floors….. Hence Havana’s aptly monikered “Sloppy Joe's”.  One thing led to another….. and one drink led to another…. and the Silver Slipper became the now famous Sloppy Joe’s at the urging of Hemingway!

 

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Top 3 Things to do for Valentine’s Day in Key West

Jan 24, 2017 3:56:08 PM / by Key West Express posted in Luxury, Water Activities, Waterfront, Restaurants, Casual, Old-Town, Formal, Lunch, Upscale Casual, Holiday

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Make your Valentine feel as special as he or she is! Make memories in Key West by starting aboard the Key West Express. Visitors are drawn to the southern charm and Caribbean influences of this laid-back island city, only 4 miles long by 1.5 miles wide. During the day or at night, the island is alive with sidewalk cafes, world-class restaurants, fishing, watersports, shopping, performing arts, musical entertainment and galleries before the island gathers each evening at Mallory Square for the world renown sunset celebration.
  •  Enjoy a romantic lunch on the seaside deck at Louie’s Backyard
  •  Sail off into the sunset aboard a cruise with Fury Water Adventures
  •  Complete your perfect Valentine’s Day at Better than Sex before retiring to one of Key West’s romantic B&B’s

Louie’s Backyard

Now this is one back yard that anyone would love to have. Enjoy mouth watering Caribbean American food as you relax on the fabulous multi-level deck above the sandy beach overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Whether for lunch, dinner or cocktails at sunset, to toast your Valentine, Louie’s is a culinary experience which has become a Key West tradition.

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Key West Food and Wine Fest

Oct 24, 2016 9:00:00 AM / by Scott Schofield posted in Mexican, Activities, Restaurants, Casual, Tours, Italian, Seafood, Steaks

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January 26-February 2 2020

The annual Key West Food and Wine Festival has been recognized by the Travel Channel as one of the top 5 food and wine events that you must attend in 2019.  This series of wine and food themed venues showcases a diverse range of wines and inventive cuisine, hosted by their passionate creators at iconic island locations.

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Wine Dine Key West

Aug 16, 2016 5:17:34 PM / by Scott Schofield posted in Luxury, Mexican, Restaurants, Casual, Old-Town, Formal, Tours, Bar & Grill, Italian, Lunch, American Cuisine, Steaks

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Not sure what you want for lunch, dinner or in-between?  WineDine Key West is a month long event between mid September and the middle of October celebrating fine dining at an affordable price.  If you're looking for a great Key West excursion, in the cooler months, but aren't quite ready for Fantasy Fest. Well, this just may be for you.

Legendary Key West restaurants offer up three-course prix-fixe menus specially priced for you to experience what makes this islands food so special.  Want to know who's making what, when and where? Head on over to their Facebook page, below, and find out all of the info you'll need. 

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