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Enjoying a walk at Key West
If you wish to have an interesting morning or afternoon, explore parts of Key West on foot, you actually get to see parts of Key West that are unusual, and many of the guided tours around the eare do not include visits or stops at these interesting places.
Start outside the 1891 Florida Bank Building on the corner of Duval and Front Streets.
Mel Fisher’s Maritime Heritage Society occupies a site at the top of Whitehead Street; its glittering treasure trove salvaged from Spanish wrecks is a sight to behold. A stone’s throw across the way, lovely Audubon House at Whitehead and Greene Streets, has an equally beautiful garden where ornithologist John James Audubon set up his easel in 1832. Reluctant to stay ashore for fear of contracting yellow fever, he nevertheless spent many fruitful days sketching the diverse birdlife around the gardens. Opposite Caroline Street, there is a detour through Truman Annex to President Truman’s Little White House.
From Whitehead, turn left on Caroline Street; passing several typical 19th century Key West style houses. Then turn right onto Duval Street.
Halfway down the block, the Oldest House Wrecker’s Museum, 322 Duval, is a historic gem filled with antiques and curios. Really interesting stuff. The volunteer guides are happy to answer questions and have so many interesting local anecdotes to liven up your visit. A left on Eaton Street reveals another clutch of attractive historic homes; then turn left again onto Simonton Street, named for Key West’s founder, John W. Simonton.
The T-Shirt Factory, 316 Simonton, sells great T-shirts at Outlet prices. Then you can visit the Pelican Poop Shoppe, 314 Simonton, and ask for a tour of the amazing Casa Antigua hidden garden, which is behind the shop. Key West Handprint Fabrics, 201 Simonton, is a popular stop with shoppers. They give free tours of their print workshops, and sell an enormous range of colourful Hawaiian style shirts (ideal for an Hawaiian evening) pretty print dresses, linen and some furnishing fabrics.
Take a left on Greene Street, and left again down Ann Street.
At the bottom of the lane, stop of at the gorgeous Curry Mansion Inn, 511 Caroline. The façade is a work of art, and although the owners operate a bed and breakfast business, visitors are welcome to inspect the lovingly restored interior for a small charge.
The last stop is back on Duval; a welcome drink at Sloppy Joe’s in the relocated premises of Hemingways favourite bar! !
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