101 Things To Do In Key West Book Review - A Guide To One Unforgettable Trip to Paradise (Pictures)

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101 Things To Do In Key West, from Schiffer Publishing and Gary J. Sikorski, present a breathtaking trip through the furthest point south in the continental United States and highlights everything the island paradise has to offer.

Sikorski, a professional travel photographer, brings more than 300 images across 152 pages, highlighting a island paradise that many dream of and, even with the millions of tourists that flock to the zero mile marker each year, few actually make the trek.

For many who venture south of Miami, the drive, while not for the faint at heart, takes about four hours along Highway 1, the Overseas Highway and passes through more than 40 islands before reaching Key West. Direct flights are also available daily. Coach transport provided by Greyhound provides an inexpensive alternative.


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For many tourists one day carved out of a bulleted vacation itinerary is the most they’ve allotted themselves to soak up this glorious paradise. For those this book offers a guide for an unforgettable perfect day.

Sikorski, a former resident and island guru of sorts, explains “’Many times I’ve been asked by these people, I’m only going down to Key West for the day, what should I do?”’ Realizing it would be difficult, not to mention impossible, to do all of my 101 things in one day, I’ve created a manageable itinerary for all you day-trippers. So here are my suggestions for that perfect day in beautiful Key West.

He creates a manageable day beginning at 8:00am with a combination of culinary tastings, sea faring adventures, local live music, the world famous sunset celebration, a late dinner, a stop at the legendary Sloppy Joe’s Bar (where American novelist Earnest Hemingway drank), forget about leaving, sleep peacefully at the local Southwinds Motel. Wake early and by 8:00am the following morning your Island adventure is an Instagram memory as the islands breezes push you along Highway 1 North.

For the others, who decide on two days the option of sampling some of the best sea-to-table seafood in the world becomes the objective beginning at Roof Top Café and the cuisine of Executive Chef Brendon Orr. Table service restaurants provide everything from authentic Cuban home cooking at El Siboney Restaurant; the classic Cuban Sandwich at Sandy’s Café; breakfast from Pepe’s Café, the eldest restaurant on the island. To take out Key West Conch Fritters; to take home Tomasita Seafood (a secret and local’s favorite).

For those looking to for something sweet, Key West offers more than the world famous Key Lime Pie at Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Pie. Better Than Sex dessert only served from the bordello of decadence try the Cookie Nookie Pie if straying from the routine is of interest.

No trip to Key West would be complete without sampling the libation offerings. Before Prohibition Rum Runners would deliver thousands of cases from Cuba to Key West where Key West First Legal Rum Distillery still operates today. The tour provides a shot of history and the prize is the sampling of the flavors.

For shoppers the dollar stretches on the island with Mallory Square bazaars catering to the tourists who believe the inexpensive trinket from the furthest point south in the continental United States will be the draw. Conch Shells, a must have, are available at Shell Warehouse for all the exotic shells the sea has to offer.

Mallory’s world famous Sunset Celebration, which has become a must do and don’t think of heading north until you’ve spent one sunset with the locals, paused in Zen silence, as another breathtaking day ends with a pink-red-yellow-orange sunset sinking below the horizon. There are also sunset cruises available.

For those who travel Highway 1 for literary inspiration. Key West was home to Ernest Hemingway, one of the great American writers for his home is now a museum which can be toured. Notes as one of the most acclaimed attractions on the island. “It was in his very house where the famed author, from his poolside office, wrote several of his most famous books.” Filled with memorabilia, the Hemingway Museum is usually very crowded.


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On the literary trail, the second most important stop would be the Tennessee Williams Exhibit which honors the playwright’s life and work. Williams also found solace and inspiration on the island and lived in Key West from 1941 until his death in 1983.

And for a bit of history, tour the Harry S. Truman Little White House, where presidents after hm have spent time relaxing.

Historical museums, land and sea animals habitats, deep sea fishing, dolphin swimming, a tiny beach (a hidden gem for locals and tourist if you can find it); Sunset Celebrations, literary Inspirations, beach combing, shark hunting, culinary connoisseurs, libations lovers, Key West has something for everyone.

101 Things To Do In Key West is currently available through Schiffer Publishing, Amazon, and at fine book store everywhere.

All images courtesy of Schiffer Publishing and Gary J. Sikorski.

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