by Shayne Benowitz
Your ship has arrived in the bustling Key West Harbor. The dock lines are secured, the gangway lowered, and you are free to explore the tiny island city of Key West. You’re excited about the parasailing or snorkeling shore excursion you’ve already booked with Fury. But you may be wondering how to optimize the few hours remaining before your ship departs to another exotic locale in order to get an authentic taste for what Key West is all about.
Well, look no further. Here is a simple guide to a few must-see Key West establishments that are only a stone’s throw from your ship. The last thing you want to do in Key West is rush around or stress out. Depending on how much time you have in town, pick one item from the itinerary below or do them all. Grab a map from the Fury Surf Shack, and get on your way!
Often times, lunch is the first order of business after a morning snorkel trip and you can’t go wrong swinging by the world-famous Hog’s Breath Saloon (400 Front Street) where the island’s best musicians perform around the clock. Try the hog dog smothered with chili, cheese, and onions and a hogarita or hog punch to wash it down with while relaxing on the patio.
On your walk from the marina to Hog’s Breath, notice Captain Tony’s Saloon (428 Greene Street). This is the site of the original Sloppy Joe’s (now just down the street at 201 Duval Street) where Hemingway frequented during his time on the island. He actually dragged a urinal home from this location when the bar changed addresses and it still functions as a fountain at the Hemingway Home & Museum today. Grab a rum punch for the road to celebrate your parasailing feats and try flipping a quarter into the giant grouper’s mouth that adorns Captain Tony’s façade.
If you’re in Key West, you’ve got to sample the key lime pie, and luckily you have two very tasty options nearby, The Blond Giraffe (412 Greene Street) and Kermit’s (200A Elizabeth Street, just a few blocks further). Go for the frozen chocolate-dipped key lime pie on a stick. It is so deliciously refreshing and at Kermit’s you can even get one with white chocolate and strawberry key lime pie. Yum!
Duval Street, crammed with restaurants, shops, and bars is where all the action is. For a more sedate side of Key West, pass through busy Duval Street and onto the Historic Seaport at Front Street. Here you can check out all of the gorgeous schooners, shiny yachts, and speedy fishing boats that dock along the way. Stop by the Conch Seafood Republic Company (631 Greene Street)—the locals call it the “Conch Farm”—and relax at the open-air bar with its giant saltwater aquarium overlooking the harbor. Order up some conch fritters (pronounced CONK), and why not? Another rum punch!
If you find yourself with more time on your hands, rent bikes and get lost peddling around Old Town just like the locals do. There is so much charm on every street, you will want to come back to Key West and spend more than just one day here.
Above all, make it back to your ship on time, and why not swing back into the Fury Surf Shack for one last souvenir splurge. Grab yourself a crew tee or one of our exclusive Quiksilver Key West t-shirts.
Shayne Benowitz is a Fury crewmember and freelance writer who is working on her debut novel. Shayne can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.