Disney Cruise Line and Its Ports of Call LIVE! Guidebook

PassPorter's Disney Cruise Line LIVE! Guidebook
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Playing in Key West

Playing in Key West

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ACTIVITIES

Sloppy Joe’s isn’t the original Hemingway hangout; that’s Captain Tony’s, which used to be Sloppy Joe’s. Captain Tony’s gave Jimmy Buffett his first place to waste away, but now Jimmy can afford his own Margaritaville. Got all that? Regardless of your choice, these and many other atmospheric bars are a short crawl from the ship.

One of the joys of Key West is its architecture. Walk along Whitehead Street and turn down a few of the side streets. The old, clapboard homes, trimmed with Victorian gingerbread and surrounded by flowering foliage and white picket fences, are a delight. Household eaves are painted sky blue to ward off bugs, demons, or some such.

This isn’t really a beach zone. The rocky bottom isn’t bare-feet friendly. Fort Zachary Taylor State Park offers an attractive, nearby place to sun (enter via the Truman Annex gate on Thomas St.), but be careful of the sharp shells (wear sandals).

Your day in port is too short for an all-day fishing or diving trip, but a half-day may work. Plan in advance. Visit the Florida Keys & Key West Visitors Bureau at http://www.fla-keys.com or call 800‑FLA‑KEYS for information and lists of charter operators.

Want some authentic Caribbean junk food? Try hot, greasy, conch fritters for a fair price at the stand by the Aquarium entrance. For seafood and Key Lime Pie, just follow your nose.

The daily Mallory Square sunset ritual gathers thousands of revelers to watch the legendary sunset. We surveyed the superb scene from deck 10. Go to http://floridakeyswebcams.tv for web cam previews. Sunset time is printed on the front of your Personal Navigator, or visit http://www.earthtools.org.

Key West has too many museums for a brief cruise ship visit. Choose just one or two. Whitehead St. is the equivalent of Museum Mile, with nearly every attraction listed here either on the street or a block away. For glimpses inside beautiful historic homes, visit Audubon House, Harry S. Truman Little White House, Hemingway House, and/or Oldest House. All charge admission.

Key West and t-shirts seem to go together. Nearly every bar sells its own, Hog’s Breath Saloon, Sloppy Joe’s, and Margaritaville among ‘em. Try the Conch Republic Store for local color. Brand luxuries can be had at U.S. prices, but you’ll also find items by local designers.

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