Thursday, January 26, 2012

Checking out Key West

Jan. 21-26, Florida Keys

Aside from checking out my brother's favorite spots for happy hour, we made a few trips to Key West. The first one was to hear a good cover band at the famous Green Parrot. We went to the early set on a Friday night, but the bar was already packed when we arrived. Fortunately it is an open bar to the street and we would enjoy the music from the sidewalk, but also eventually found a long bench inside with a perfect view of the impressively talented rock and roll band. To top off the night, we stopped at one of Mike’s favorite bars in Looe Key which also had a 60s style rock ‘n roll band and room to dance on the dance floor.
The famous Green Parrot parachute on the ceiling

Are we having fun yet at the Green Parrot?
Our second trip to Key West was a daytime adventure. We wanted to walk down the whole stretch of Duvall Street as well as check out the Truman Annex where our friend Marilyn lived on Penny Lane when she went to high school (her father was a naval officer—I think). Turned out to be quite an exclusive area with historic plantation-type homes that conjured up nostalgic images of graceful island living. Below are photos from our day trip to Key West:

Our third trip to Key West involved researching campgrounds and trying a Hogfish sandwich at the Hogfish Bar on Stock Island—just before Key West. 

Here is a run-down of the campgrounds we checked out:
Curry Hammock State Park—This beautiful state park located on the Atlantic side of Marathon on Fat Deer Keyon has only 28 camping sites. The park takes reservations six months out and is usually booked Oct-May at $42 a night and, like most state parks, has a two-week maximum stay.
Bahia Honda State Park-- This park, thirty minutes from Key West on Big Pine Key, has 48 RV sites on the Atlantic side of the Key. The park takes reservations six months out and is usually booked Oct-May with rates of $42 a night and a two-week maximum stay.        
Sunshine Key RV Resort—This large (over 400 sites), friendly Encore Resort is located at the south end of the seven-mile bridge on Big Pine Key. The campground is located on the bay side of the key with a marina, waterfront lots with docks, swimming pool, restaurant, and a good variety of planned activities. The sites are fairly close together and daily prices range accordingly from $65-$100. Since the park is part of the Encore and Thousand Trails network, there are potential discounts for long term stays and club members. Seemed to be a popular place.
Boyd’s Campground—This popular vacation site for campers is just minutes away from Key West on Stock Island—and walking distance to Hogfish Bar. The park is on the ocean side with waterfront sites that are quite cozy with other campers. Daily rates range from $80 and up during the high season with weekly and monthly rates available. They also have a pool, game room, and activity center with a full calendar of events.
Bluewater Key Resort—This incredibly beautiful private campground on mile marker 14 sells sites for up to 300k. Many of these sites have their own private tiki bars, storage units, and lush tropical landscaping. The minimum cost for renters in the winter months is $125 plus 12.5% tax with no weekly or monthly discounts. The park has a small pool and community center with a modest calendar of activities. Worth some photos:

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