Discover Key West
This may be the best we ever had. A must try dinner suggestion would be, one of the fantastic selection of daily soups or the Pan seared yellow tail snapper over sauteed swiss chard with jumbo pink shrimp and extra virgin olive oil (to die for). And it’s located right on the property. website
Azur Café at the Eden House
Great fish sandwich and the fries are REAL, get them CRISP! Try the Key Limeade. Head east to the Key West Key Lime Company for your dessert (read on.) (Corner of William and Caroline) 294-9272. website
Mexican Food. Try the portabella mushroom enchilada or the asparagus enchilada with the green chili sauce. Great salsa and Guacamole. (5230 Highway 1, 2 lights north of Key West on Stock Island) 296-4714 website
Beside great service and food, the ambiance will knock your socks off. Open air dining on the water at its best. They are located at the Garrison Bight Marina near the intersection of Eaton and Roosevelt Streets. website
Ambrosia is back and they are better than ever. You might remember them when they were on Virginia St many years ago. They call themselves a sushi restaurant – sake bar. I think they are much more. Patricia will greet you and tell her I said hi. 1401 Simonton St (south) lunch 11:30-2 M-F Dinner 6-10 daily 293-0304 website
Where the locals get their cheese toast and con leche in the morning. The Cuban mix is the best on the island. Don’t tell me you’ve never had a mix. (The corner of Southard and Grinnell Streets) 296-5205 website
The restaurant-which was the original and only synagogue on the island for half a century-and garden dining make this “neighborhood restaurant” a perfect backdrop for a perfect meal. (530 Simonton Street) 293-8181 website
Homemade ice cream, yogurt, sorbet, and Italian ices. No additives or preservatives. Get a single scoop in waffle cone with two flavors, but don’t even think about a double scoop. (Corner of Duval and Virginia Streets) 296-6124 website
“Boiled & Baked” bagels fresh daily. “Corned beef on rye with Dr. Brown’s soda is a must,” Ira says. Nancy said, “You can tell a good Jewish deli by it’s chopped liver. Goldman’s ain’t chopped liver.” Open 7 days a week. (Overseas market/ 2769 N. Roosevelt Blvd) 294-DELI website
Goldman's Bagel Deli
Owners Sylvie & Yolande have been selling their wares from a small cart around town for years and now their new location on the corner of Thomas & Petronia Streets (Bahama Village). 7 days a week – 7:30 til 5 PM 300 Petronia 305-517-6799 (Cash Only-ATM coming soon) website
I have recently rediscovered the Half Shell Raw Bar. Some of my favorites are grilled tuna caesar salad and shrimp steamed in beer. My daughter thinks the Conch fritters are the best on the island. Great cold beer and plenty of funk. (321 Margaret St) 294-7496 website
Half Shell Raw Bar
El Siboney is the place for Cuban food. The garlic chicken is my choice. Dump the entire bowl of black beans over the yellow (saffron) rice and wave the basket when you want/need more hot overly buttered Cuban bread (baked fresh daily on the island). Daily 11 til 9:30 PM 900 Catherine Street 305-296-8850 website
One of my favorite Italian Restaurants on the island. It’s all great and don’t miss the creme brulee. Carmelo is owner and has been for the past 15 years. Jeff is the main man in the kitchen. Opens at 5:30 PM closes at 10:30 except Fri. & Sat. at 11 PM. (524 Duval St. & Applerouth Lane) 296-1075 website
Raw Bar and Restaurant in Key West, Florida. Serving only the finest ingredients. Including fresh local catch, as well as an array of oysters and other choice seafood items for all those thirsty mermaids. Not to mention, an extensive list of craft beers and wines.
Island and German food at it’s best. The blackened shrimp and chicken salads are great. The best eggs benedict on this side of the ocean. If Martin is not cooking, he’ll be at the bar with a mineral water. He’s shy, so stop by and tell him Mike says, “howdy.” (917 Duval St.) 296-1183 website
An acre of lush garden in the heart of old Key West. Take a picnic, get married or just lay in the shade. $6 donation. Where we got our great wind chime. (One Free-School Lane, off the 500 block of Simonton St. NO CARS ) website
Nancy's Secret Garden
Great stadium seating, lots of interesting/different movies and good vibes. They are located about six blocks from the Eden House. Doesn’t that sound good, dinner and a GOOD movie in Old Key West? Beer, wine, seasoned popcorn and/or a cappacino – they have it all. (416 Eaton Street) 294-5857 website
Fausto’s (on Fleming Street) is offering a new service. You can order food on line and have it in your room when you arrive. Great idea, huh? Have those ice cold Coronas waiting for you when you slip into that bathing suit. website
Things to do on the way down or up the Keys. **Please note that all “rights” and “lefts” are in reference to driving down the Keys. If you are leaving Key West and driving back up the Keys, just reverse those rights and lefts. MM = Mile Marker Just in case you were confused
A more scenic drive into or out of the Florida Keys from Miami/Florida City.Less people tend to take this road because of the slight difference in distance, but it is absolutely beautiful with all the natural South Florida/Florida Keys ecosystem surrounding you. There is $1.00 toll for the bridge…fyi.
Card Sound Road
MM 102.6, They have a nice Visitor Center with a 30,000 gallon Aquarium that is fun to check out (open 8-5, daily). They have snorkeling from right off the beach, which features a Spanish wreck just 100ft. off the shore. The park also offers snorkeling and SCUBA diving trips.
John D. Pennekamp State Park
MM 93. It will be on the right hand side of the road. There is a large sign, but you don’t really see it until the last minute. They are a great organization, taking in all different kinds of injured birds from Hawks and Owls to Herons and Sea Gulls. It is all volunteer run, and they release the birds back into the wild once they have been rehabilitated.
Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center
MM86 Not much to say but that a 40′ lobster is great to take pictures with. It’s a lobstrocity!
Giant 40' Lobster
MM 84.9. This is where they used to mine the fossilized coral rock for the railroad. The old quarry shows you shear cut walls of the coral rock. It offers a few great trails through the natural hammock of the Florida Keys. Great for a stretch of the legs.
Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological site
MM 92 In case you decide to make a trip of your drive or are trying to catch a plane early in Miami and don’t want to stay there we suggest the Coconut Palm Inn. It’s on the bay and has very nice clean room at a good rate. 305-852-3880 This place is worth checking out, or checking in!!
Coconut Palm Inn
MM 82. This is a great place to stop and eat. It is right on the water it has the perfect feel of the Keys. Whether you are on your way to start your trip or on the way out it will be a good ending or beginning to your trip!!!
MM 77.5. Here you can feed the Tarpon by hand!! There is a school of 50-100 Tarpon that visit daily and hang out for hours. They have been doing this for 18 years.
Robbie's Marina of Islamorada
MM 73.5. You will find this spot on the left hand side of the road. There are two entrances just several hundred yards apart; they are connected by a boardwalk. When you walk along the boardwalk, make sure you watch closely at the ground under you because you’ll spot all the little, and occasionally big, crabs scurrying back into their holes. There are public restrooms here too.
MM53.5 in Key Colony Beach Marina. They are known to have the best fish tacos in the Key’s. I am also told to try the Gratinee and Blue Cheese Chips. Another great place right on the water.
Sparky's Landing Fish & Cocktails
MM48 Yep it’s just like it sounds a hospital for our beloved turtles of the Florida Keys. They do a tour of the hospital a few times a day. Really neat place and they do a great thing.
MM 67.5. Great little state park. Has the Golden Orb trail, which is an incredible walk through many different ecosystems. If you look closely along the sides of the trail, you can sometimes spot the spider that the trail is named for, the Golden Orb Weaver. They have canoe rentals available on site.
Long Key State Park
The Key West Express – Hop on from Ft. Myers or Marco Island and get to Key West in less than 4 hours!
Air Key West – Private Charters at reasonable prices from several cities around Florida.
Keys Shuttle – Mick Jagger once said, “a change is as good as a rest.”
Grey Hound Bus – Take your earplugs and a good book.
AirTran Airways – Invest the time and save a dime.
Home on the Beach (NC) – Looking for some beach time? Check it out.
Comfort Tours and Travel – Can’t go wrong with these folks.
Little River Inn (Aldie, VA) – If you can’t make it all the way to Key West, check out Tucker’s place.
Inn The Woods (Hyde Park, NY) – When you need to get a break from the big apple, I know just the place to go. And it’s only a two hour trip.
Angels Nest ( Weatherford, TX) – When traveling in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and need a place to lay your head. Check out Candace’s place. Lots of history and loads of charm. Candace is my kind of person.
Coconut Palm Inn – A really nice place to stay in Key Largo on your way to or from Key West.
Heather Clark – her professional name is H.B Clark. She is right out of the 70’s. Though she is too young, I know that I met her at a concert or two back then. I am not too young.
David Bromberg – if you are over 40 and want your socks blown off…..see this man. He might go back into retirement and then you’ll be S.O.L.
John Prine (Music) – I have been a John Prine fan since the early 70’s and just saw him for the first time. He was at the Gusman Center in Miami. What a show! I don’ think that I have ever seen a better show and that includes the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan. An amazing connection with the audience, and his stories are off the chart. If you ever get the chance to see John Prine, do yourself a great big favor and see him.
Ronny Elliott (Music) – has been staying with me for a long, long time and his music just gets better as he and I get older. What does that tell you? If you figure it out, let me know. It is hard to pigeon hole Ronny’s music but I guess I would call it Americana. It is good stuff and you owe it to yourself to give it a listen. Ronny has seven CD’s and I think another is in the works. It is nice when you can understand the words and they tell a story.
Dan Hicks & the Hot Licks (Music) – WOW! Dan Hicks has a new CD and it is HOT! It is called “Selected Shorts” and includes duets with Jimmy Buffett, Willie Nelson, and Gibby Haynes. The recommended age for listening to this CD is 40 years and older. That is unless you have very eclectic tastes in music. (Do not mix with foreign substances. Can lead to tapping your feet or worse). Also has a CD on Surfdog Records called Alive & Lickin’. I am a big fan of Dan Hicks and I think this is his best CD. Dan has been around since the late 60’s and came out of the San Francisco Bay area. I can’t sit still while listening to this CD.
Frederick Libby (Author) – I just read a book (non fiction) called Horses Don’t Fly by Frederick Libby, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Libby was born in 1892 in Colorado and was a cowboy until he enlisted in the Royal Flying Corps at the age of 22. He went on to fly 350 hours of combat missions when the life expectancy of a pilot was 10 hours. During World War I he was awarded the Military Cross by King George V for gallantry, became the first Ace (he shot down 24 planes – 14 as a pilot and 10 as an observer) of the war, and was the first to fly the American colors over enemy lines. He wrote his story in 1961 and his granddaughter published it in 2000. His humble nature comes through in his story.
Billy Ware, of Beausoleil (Cajun / Zydeco music) – recently stayed at Eden House with his friend Sondra. The group stayed at the Eden House about 10 years ago while playing at the Tennessee Williams Fine Art Center. At that show, I bought their CD, Bayou Cadillac; from that CD, I have the song “Island Zydeco” on our web page. Billy gave me a copy of their new CD Encore, Encore!! The Best of Beausoleil on Rhino Records. Their new CD has become a standard by the pool. Of course, the music is great and I highly recommend it.
Jr. James (Music) – While in Asheville, NC, I picked up a CD by Jr. James and the Late Guitar, It’s called Second of Nine. I would call it funkified music and highly recommend it. I would assume Jr. James is from that part of the country.
Bap Kennedy (Music) – I’m hooked on Bap Kennedy’s music and these two CD’s are a must. That is if you like music with a melody and want to understand the words. Not everybody does. Lonely Street by Bap Kennedy (4.5 stars out of 5 based on 9 reviews) Domestic Blues by Bap Kennedy (5 stars based on 10 reviews)
Dick Siegel (Music) – is also from the band A Squared and is one of my favorites (yes, I have many favorites). You can get his CD Angel Aweigh on Schoolkids’ Records in Ann Arbor. His CD Snap! is out of print.
Christopher Moore (Author) – Here’s a little off the wall reading material. Christopher Moore is one of my favorite authors. He reminds me of Tom Robbins of Another Roadside Attraction and Cowgirls Get the Blues fame. These guys drag me back to the 70’s. Check out Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore. If you’re in a pissy mood this would be just the book to bring you out of it. 4 and 1/2 stars based on 103 reviews on Amazon.com (5 stars is the best)
Tom Corcoran (Author) – Tom’s reappearing Alex Rutledge is a true Key West character. All his books are a must read.
The Hammock Company – By far the best selection of hammocks, swings and accessories out there. When you see the bold new look of our hammocks and swings you will see for yourself.
Cheesie Bob’s – The variety runs from smoked to onion and everything in between. Great cheese! Go Packers! (Ask for the 10% Eden House discount)
Jeff Bridges – interesting person…has world hunger on his mind.
Jeff Daniels – Great website, real good music! Proceeds from CD benefit his Purple Rose Theatre.
Dan Francis – a picture is worth a thousand words…unless you stutter.
Ryan Fitzsimmons – Check this guy out. Good shit! I ain’t blowing smoke either. Ryan is from up Boston way and this CD is a must.
Califlora – (for sunburns) Natural homeopathic Clanendula gels are better than Aloe, believe it or not. Boericke and Tafel make my favorite brand. Get it at Sugar Apple.
New Age Cribs – These are the new pack and plays. They are very safe, easy to store and so far all the parents that have passed through the Eden House love them. They can be used as a bed, changing table or small pool. Check em out.
Southernmost Bocce League – Bocce is one of the most popular sports in Key West. The Eden House has a team in the league.
J World School – Wanna learn sailing? This is a great place to go.