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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Key West & Fort Jefferson

Seven Mile Bridge to Key West

Some of the old stately homes

Fort Jefferson via Seaplane

Making our way over many bridges towards Key West

 As you drive down  I-95 towards Miami do yourself a favor and continue on US Highway #1 to the Florida Keys (160 miles/260kms and a 2 to 3 hr drive) and visit this coral archipelago of 1700 islands but which only 43 are accessible by bridges or causeways and take in some great sights. But besides that, its like going back in time and remember these islands were only connected by rail to the mainland not that long ago (1910s) which then was mostly destroyed by a hurricane in 1935.....that's when the government decided to replace the tracks with a highway a few years after this natural disaster. So do as i did and stop along the way during your drive along one of the 32 Keys that Hwy#1 includes, then have a fish taco, Ybor Gold (local beer) maybe talk to the locals and take in the atmosphere/history and you might hear how they became (for a time) an independent nation called Conch Republic and separated from the United States in 1982. Now of course everybody wants to end up in Key West, so book a room ahead and i would suggest (KeyTip) looking for a Guest House/B&B as hotels can be expensive. ($300-$400 per night) Also once here i took a room away from Duval Street as its the area everyone goes to, so lots of noise all night! But during the day its the place to be (Old Town) of Duval, Mallory Square, Truman Annex and Fort Zachary Taylor and take in the architecture of the late 1880s with its pastel colors, gingerbread trim, covered porches and side-hinged shutters also lots of history to see from the winter White House of President Harry S Truman, residences of Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, Calvin Klein, Jimmy Buffett etc, to facts for example that Pan American Airlines was founded here to fly visitors to Havana before the blockade was imposed. Now you know the K-Man would find something else to explore that was different..... that would be Fort Jefferson that is located 70 miles west of Key West (either by seaplane or boat) which i learned is the largest masonry structure in the Western Hemisphere, how big you ask? 16 million bricks!! and was built for the defense of the Gulf Coast back in the 1840s but now with Tortugas (another Key) it is designated a National Park since 1992. Once back, watch the sun go down as your walking up Duval Street taking in all the sights and sounds enjoying your visit to the southern most point in Continental USA and one of the most interesting place you will ever visit.

Always have your camera........never know what you find when walking 

Lots of odd things to see in Key West lol
Always famous for its amazing sunsets

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