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Old November 18th, 2008, 10:35 PM
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Default Key West

What tours or sites to see in Key West for a 1st time visitor would you recommend. Going on Destiny 12-11. Booked it almost last minute, got a good deal on a 1A cabin, so Xmas comes early to me. Thanks in advance!!
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Old November 18th, 2008, 11:01 PM
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Just take the "train" from the port to their drop off spot and walk sing the map to all the sites. Do a bit of research if you want to hit something special - like Blonde Giraffe - and just walk it all through.
Southernmost Point, Lighthouse, Hemmingway's place, the strip for shopping, etc. If you can walk this is the best way to go.
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Old November 18th, 2008, 11:27 PM
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Default Re: Key West

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Originally Posted by Dr Plunger
What tours or sites to see in Key West for a 1st time visitor would you recommend. Going on Destiny 12-11. Booked it almost last minute, got a good deal on a 1A cabin, so Xmas comes early to me. Thanks in advance!!
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Old November 19th, 2008, 08:15 AM
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My wife and I recently returned from the Majesty of the Seas (RCI), remember if you go outside the US and then return to Key West you will have to go through imigration before leaving the ship. We booked the Conch Tour Train tour via their website prior to the cruise. The ship's excursion didn't start till 11:00 but because we were able to breeze through imigration we were able to take the 9:30 tour. The tour lasts about 90 min. and gives you a comprehensive view of Key West and was well worth the $26. p/p price. We then walked down Whitehead Street to the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum (again we were able to get discounted tickets from the Conch Tour Train) and continued on to the Southern most point. On our return we walked down Duval Street past Sloppy Joe's and had a piece of Key Lime pie by the Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum.

Wear comfortable walking shoes because you will be doing lot's of it and by the end of the day we were exhausted.

My wife can now scratch off "visit Key West" from her list of thing to do before you die but undoubtable we will go back again.
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Old November 19th, 2008, 12:05 PM
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For first time visitors to Key West, I would also suggest taking the Conch Tour Train or Old Town Trolley, they provide a quick tour with lots of history thrown in and you can check out locations of places you want to visit on foot. There is so much to see in Key West, you can't cram it all into a few hours. The people who have never been to Key West and just do the Duval Street pub crawl are missing out on a lot. After you get off the tour train, it's an easy walk to Mel Fisher's Maritime Museum where you can hold a real gold bar in your hands and see the rich treasures exhibited, the Pirate Soul Museum, the Shipwreck Museum (climb the stairs to get a birds eye view of Key West), Ernest Hemingway's Home, the Harry S. Truman White House, Audubon House, etc., not to mention all the great restaurants. Along with the richness of its history, Key West also has a lot of tacky tourist shops and bars. The Blond Giraffe on Simonton Street makes the best key lime pies right before your eyes. If you can't get enough of the water, there is a beach located at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park where you can snorkel (very close to the pier) that has a snack bar and restrooms. Remember also that a lot of attractions discount if you are a member of AAA. If bars are your thing, there are lots to chose from, Hogs Breath Saloon, Sloppy Joes, Tony's, Margaritaville and Crabby Dicks.
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Old November 19th, 2008, 04:00 PM
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We did the Glass Bottom Boat tour. It was nice but didn't leave us enough time to see many of the other sites. We're going back in December and we will do the Conch Train then walk to the individual sites we want to spend more time at.

There is a lot of shopping, but unlike most of the rest of the ports, these shops are inside the US so are not duty or tax free so their prices are not the usual bargains you get at cruise ports.

Whatever tour you take, make sure there is time available to walk around and take in the atmosphere.
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Old November 19th, 2008, 04:10 PM
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We really enjoyed the Butterfly Conservatory. We went to the aquarium but were a little underwelmed. Had to try the conch fritters I enjoyed them. My sister and nices ...not so much. Had the best slice of Key Lime pie. Yum :-)
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Old November 19th, 2008, 07:17 PM
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I would ditto the Conch Train. It gives you a taste of the high points. You can do that, plus see southernmost point. Mel Fishers Museum is also interesting, you to see treasure, from the Atotcha wreck.

One of the nicest stores there is, Fast Buck Freddys...right on Duval St. They also have a clearance shop close by....
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Old November 22nd, 2008, 03:42 PM
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Been here for 14 yrs and still have not gone to see Key West. It sounds like a fun place to visit. I have to put it on list of places to go in 2009.
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 12:15 AM
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I'm going to try the catamaran sail and snorkel in a week or so.

I absolutely plan on getting some conch fritters from the cart near the aquarium, assuming it is still there.
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 01:15 PM
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I'll be there in April of 2009. I want to see the tacky tourist shops. I am all about tacky tourist gift items for me and people at home!!!!!

Maps-where can I find a good map that I can print off of the streets and sights. The ones I have found, when printed, are so tiny a microscope is needed to view the streets and where everything is!

I planm on jumping on the Conch Train, but I wish it would stop for a few minutes at key points for photo ops....I do like to take pictures...
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 01:43 PM
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You can also book the Conch train or trolley once you get into town. They are about 1/2 block from where you get dropped off from the ship. The only downside is that, depending on how many ships are in port that day, it can be so busy that getting back on after you stop somewhere is tricky at best, so allow lots of time to get back. I actually find that most of what I want to see is within walking distance and I have mobility problems. So, relax and enjoy. Key West is not as funky as it used to be, as more and more tourists come, but still fun.
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 09:00 PM
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Marty I have to agree with you. Over the years of visiting Key West, to my mind as well, it has become less tacky....many of the Caribbean stores have found a home there, and that was just not the case before..

I found a nice bead store, which made me happy, and as I mentioned before, Fast Buck freddys gets some of muy mad money..
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Old November 25th, 2008, 11:44 AM
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Thanks to all that answered!! It sounds like the Conch Train Tour will be the one. I am sure it wll be great. And I hope I get to walk around and see much more afterward. Two more questions come to mind: Does the train tour pick you up at the ship and how far from town does the ship dock? Walking isn't a problem to me, just trying to plan the day as we only have from 7:30 to 2:00 in Key West.
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Old November 25th, 2008, 12:52 PM
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Depending where you port, you can walk or, a shuttle will take you to town. There is a depot there for the Conch Train....

http://www.conchtourtrain.com/
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