Thursday, May 7, 2015

THE FLORIDA KEYS MILE-MARKER GUIDE

Spring Break this year was an adventure 
to the Florida Keys & Key West!  
Fun Fact - The Keys are made up of 800 tiny islands 
with only 30 of them inhabited. 

is a must if you're driving to & from Key West. 
(click above for the link, copy and take it with you.)

It's an easy full day drive of eating, drinking and discovering new places driving down to Key West, then another full day driving back to Miami. These are a few of the things we discovered going to
and returning from Key West. 
(Thank you Cuzzz for sharing your adventure 
and this Mile-Marker Guide!! 
Mile Marker 104.1
My husband enjoys old movies and KEY LARGO with Humphrey Bogart is one of his favorites.
The exterior of the Caribbean Club was used in the 1948 movie KEY LARGO. Now you find local "personalities" hanging out in the bar
as well as KEY LARGO memorabilia. 

Frank McCloud:  When your head says one thing and your whole life says another, your head always loses!

Most road-kill that you see while driving along any road and highway is usually a possum or armadillo.
Iguanas are fast creatures; but some just aren't fast enough!!! We saw several green splats 
in the middle of the road. 
In the early 1900s, Henry Morrison Flagler built 
The Florida East Coast Railway to Key West. Sadly
in 1935, a portion of the line was destroyed by a hurricane.
The above mile-marker is in the back of the Caribbean Club, marking the distance by train to Key West and to Jacksonville.  
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Mile Marker 99.7
THE AFRICAN QUEEN
The original vessel from the 1951
Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn movie- 
THE AFRICAN QUEEN.
You can take an hour & 20 minute cruise in her and enjoy of her historical past. 

Mile Marker 86.7
RAIN BARREL ARTISAN'S VILLAGE

This giant Florida Lobster is anatomically correct.  She stands 30 feet high and 40 feet long. She's about 30 years old and is named Betsy.  
Yum! Yum!!

Mile Marker 85.3
HOG HEAVEN BAR & GRILL
Betsy, the Fla. Lobster made me hungry for seafood and I was told Hog Heaven had 
the BEST Fried Shrimp. 
Fresh seafood is the Keys staple and I have to admit that Hog Heaven's fried shrimp was almost as good as O'Steens in St. Augustine. And that's saying A LOT!! Plus eating out on the dock with this view = a fantastic beginning of our seafood adventure.

The conch fritters were OK, but I knew
the BEST conch fritters were yet to come! 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Mile Marker 81.5
ISLAMORADA FISH COMPANY
The Islamorada Fish Company sits behind the Worldwide Sportsman on the water.  The restaurant has its own fishing fleet so the fish is fresh off the boats. We ate here on our way back to Miami. 

Mile Marker 48.5
THE TURTLE HOSPITAL
Not visiting the Turtle Hospital was my only
 disappointment the whole trip!!
The Turtle Hospital supports its program of rescuing and rehabilitate about 100 injured sea turtles a year.  Visitors meet the injured sea turtles up close and are able to throw feed into their tanks. Their educational programs run on the hour from 10am to 4pm. We didn't get to take the tour because the space is limited and they suggest reservations. I called to make a reservation the day before we left Key West and they were already booked 3 days out!! 
Be sure to call in advance for a reservation!!
305-743-2552.
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Mile Marker 30.2
NATIONAL KEY DEER WILDLIFE REFUGE
Big Pine Key is home to the endangered Florida Key Deer. We never did find the Wildlife Refuge nor did we see a Florida Deer; but we did find
NO NAME PUB.
There are no signs to the Pub!
You just drive and drive in open space and through a residential neighborhood. They say this area is "teeming" with the tiny deer; but we were there at high-noon and not sunset when the deer usually come out.
There's history here!
The waitress was happy to tell us all about it. 
Since I was driving, 
I just had water and pretty good conch fritters. 
Interesting wall paper -- 
Dollar bills hanging from every inch
of the walls, beams and ceiling. 
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There are so many places to stop, explore and eat.
I wish we had a couple of days for just the drive from Mile Marker 127.5 in Florida City
to our final destination- 
Mile Marker 0
KEY WEST
The most stolen sign in town!! 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you're driving to Key West, 
is a must!! Click on the link and be sure
to take this wonderful guide with you!!

6 comments:

eileeninmd said...

Sounds like you had an awesome drive to the Keys...I loved the road itself, such beautiful views of the water.. Sorry you missed the turtles. We tried the conch fritter in various places, they are good.. Have a happy weekend!

TexWisGirl said...

what a fun tour! love the giant lobster and african queen, too. really neat place, for sure!

Linda @ A La Carte said...

What fun! I drove to Key West from Miami once many years ago. I would love to do it again.

Linda

Mereknits said...

What fun! I will have to do that myself one day, you would think I already had living in Florida and all.
Hugs,
Meredith

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

What fabulous photos! I've always wanted to go but not take the long drive down there! lol It sure looks great though. I would love to see the boat from The African Queen! I'm so glad you shared these. And I appreciate your sweet comment. I'm feeling much better....still have a ways to go but I'm so much better. Sweet hugs, Diane

BeachGypsy said...

That photo of the palm trees is amazing!