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November 2008

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Loki

mamamarlea in thefloridakeys

tourist

Hi, my name is Marlea, I'm from PA and I'll be RVing with my family in the keys for,at least, the first half of February. Just wondering about places to check out while we're there. We'll (there are 7 of us from age 13 to 65) be staying off mile marker 20. Would love to check out live music, fairly inexpensive restaurants or just about anything you deem worthy ;) I haven't been any further South than North Carolina so this will be totally new for me, any advice? Oh, and a question about bugs...I have 3 cats, my brother has a dog, should we worry about fleas or other bugs that bite?? Right now, here up North it's too cold for them but I'm wondering if I need to be prepared for them when we come down. Thanks for any help and advice. I'm sure I'll be posting again soon with more questions... :)

Comments

it depends on your idea of live music....i really like the Green Parrot and Finnegan's Wake in Key West proper. Green Parrot probably has the best jukebox in Key West, if not the keys, but they also have alot of bluesy bands playing and a heap load of local atmosphere. Finnegan's Wake is an irish restaurant with a killer potato soup. my all time favorite places in Key West while growing up are Sandy's Cafe, Sweets of Paradise, and El Siboney. You need to get a cafe con leche and pan con queso to start out the day from Sandy's Cafe. El Siboney has some killer cuban food. i'm partial to Sweets of Paradise because i worked there, but they have some awesome fudge and homemade ice cream. Also, Chico's Cantina on Stock Rock for mexican food and 5 Brothers for bollos. Take your dog to Dog Beach by Louie's Backyard. it's hard to suggest things to do. a lot depends on if you have a boat with you or plan to go out on the water. there's a very limited amount of cheap things to do. visit the Key West aquarium (if it's repaired), conch tour train, wrecker's museum, Hemmingway's house....

i second No Name Pub though. good good pizza.

also if you like shooting pool go to Stick n Stein's. they have bowling and video games in side as well. Mr. Z's is also located inside it and they have good eats.

Big John's pizza is one of the best on the island.

Key West

I didn't mention Key West because I got the impression they were stopping at MM20 and not going all the way down.

You're definately right about El Cibone for great Cuban food (and really nice folks). Other favorites of mine in Key West are Pepe's, the Raw Bar, and the old conch farm (Conch Republic Seafood Company). Used to love Billie's but alas, both the restaurant and the bar are gone now. %-( And I know a lot of people will say it's touristy, but I think Margaritaville has great food at reasonable prices, and they always give you more than you can possibly finish.

I've never eaten at Louie's (out of my price range) but I'm waiting for the KW Ron Jon's to put out a "Surf Dog Beach" t-shirt. ;-)

If you *are* going to KW, one more touristy but extremely worthwhile thing to do is take the Conch Train. You'll learn more about the island's history in two hours than you'll ever learn just wandering around. %-)

And yes, the Green Parrot is a great place to hang (although be respectful of the locals). A friend of mine is in a band called the Yard Dogs; if they're playing there, don't miss them! And Schooner Wharf also has good local live music. If you're lucky, you can catch Hugo Duarte at the Hog's Breath (the HB music schedule can be seen here ~ http://www.hogsbreath.com/entertainment/index.cfm). I think that only Schooner Wharf is kid friendly, though ... check ahead.

Have a ball!

Re: Key West

sorry i was born and raised in Key West, i can't really offer too much insight about the other keys....especially past big pine.

i've never gone to Louie's Backyard, i offered it as a reference point to find Dog Beach. like the shirt idea.

my brother works at Margaritaville....show me a local who loves Jimmy Buffet and i'll show you someone who isn't a native. haha sorry!

Re: Key West

Um ... what? I didn't mention Jimmy Buffett. I just noted Margaritaville as a favorite restaurant, and for good reason. Just sharing favorite places with the original poster who requested them. Your mileage obviously varies.

Re: Key West

Yep, we'll be checking out as much of the area as possible including KW. I know what you mean about tourists, we have a ton in my area (surprisingly enough) who come to see the Amish and go to have their pictures taken at the different towns here (Intercourse, Blue Ball, Virginville, Bird-in-Hand and Paradise, etc...makes me wonder about the founding fathers,lol) I know how rude some people can be without realizing it, and sometimes purposely, not caring. We're pretty laid back, and can't wait to get there and enjoy. I know we'll probably be major tourists, ogling everything, but having help with places to visit helps a ton. Thanks again.
We enjoy any kind of music (although I'm not a huge country fan, myself...). My hubby and brother are both in a hard rock/blues band here in PA. Of course they'd love to see that kind of music being played but we enjoy anything, really. It's more about getting out and really enjoying the vacation for us. Finnegan's sounds great, I could probably live off of potato soup, I love it so much, so that sold me on the place right away. I'll try the foods recommended at the other places,too, I'm up for anything new, and Cuban food is different as can be from this PA dutch country food we usually eat, I can't wait. We're definitely staying for 2 weeks, hopefully longer if possible, so I hope to visit most, if not all of the places you folks suggest. We heard about the conch train and aquarium (although I didn't know it was closed) and planned on those. Thanks for the dog park info! My SIL actually said she enjoys taking their dog to the dog park more than anything else so she'll be more than happy knowing there's one nearby. Thanks again for the advice!