Florida Keys suggestions/meetup

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    Sep 11, 2009 12:27 AM GMT
    Hey guys,
    I'll be in the Keys for work (yeah, brutal, I know ;) in the latter half of October (10-27) but I never been there before and was wondering if any of you had suggestions on things to do there, both gay and nongay related. Also would be down to meet up with locals or any other passerbys.
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    Sep 11, 2009 5:47 AM GMT
    that's right in the middle of Fantasy Fest in Key West. If you like big parties, you're set. I should be there doing massage
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    Sep 11, 2009 6:30 PM GMT
    Thanks for the tip! I guess I'll be there the last couple days so we'll see.

    Any others or more?
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    Sep 11, 2009 6:42 PM GMT
    there are many places to stay and bars to visit. There is a whole gay key west website that you can visit for fun things to do. I can' think of the site right now, but tonight I will look it up and let you know

    if you want just normal stuff. rent a car, drive up to the marathon key, i belive is where it is, and swim with the dolphins. it is like 45 min. drive VERY COOL
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    Sep 11, 2009 6:42 PM GMT
    All my recommendations are for Key West:

    Go to Bourbon Street and see Porsche, the girl with a 1,000 voices. She's fun to see once.

    Check out the cage in the back of One Saloon.

    At least have lunch at Island House.

    There are several good restaurants in Key West. Seven Fish is excellent. Blue Heaven is quite good.

    Otherwise Key West is a tourist trap that gets pretty awful when cruise ships are in port. I haven't been there for Fantasy Fest so that might make Key West better.

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    Sep 11, 2009 7:51 PM GMT
    What ever you do, WALK where you are going! Don't rent one of those farting-mosquitoes they call scooters. You'll really see KW this way.
    Do Mallory Square sunset one evening. Lot's of people, lot's of silliness.
    KeyWestMallorySquareSunset1024.jpg
    Sarah's is great food. Steer clear of Margaritaville, unless you just have to do the 'tourist' thing. Take a sunset cruise on The Blue Q..
    .blue-q-while-snorkeling.jpg
    all gay, all men...and a hot 1st mate, too boot!
    Enjoy yourself. I hate you. LOL
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    Sep 11, 2009 8:17 PM GMT
    dr_jackl saidHey guys,
    I'll be in the Keys for work (yeah, brutal, I know ;) in the latter half of October (10-27) but I never been there before and was wondering if any of you had suggestions on things to do there, both gay and nongay related. Also would be down to meet up with locals or any other passerbys.


    DUDE GO SNORKELING!!!!!!!!!!!! Its fantastic there. And dont just do it off Key West, explore other islands. Email me directly and we will chat. Maybe I'll drive down and meet ya!
  • islander24

    Posts: 161

    Sep 11, 2009 9:15 PM GMT
    Ok - here we go. You didn't say if you are in Key West or the Florida Keys. There is a big difference. The Keys are a chain of islands 125 miles long x 4 miles wide connected by 42 bridges. Most of the Keys have something to do...snorkle or fish are big in most of them. We use Mile Markers to give directions. 0 is Key West Bahia Honda State Park at mile marker 35 (approx) has the best beaches. Islamorada at Mile Marker 80 is famous for fishing
    Key Largo has Pennekamp state park Mile Marker 101 has great diving. Anything north of Key West roll up the sidewalks at 8 or 9 pm. Sorry to say some of it is pretty redneck , too. And there are lots of federal/ state lands in between...can you say undeveloped woods.
    The Everglades National Park is about 15 miles out of Homestead on the tip of Florida- there are plenty of signs.

    If you 're in Key Largo you might check out the gay scene in Miami/ Ft Lauderdale as it is as close as Key west or closer.
    I know you have to work, but surely the boss is going to give you a day or two to explore.

    I came here 6 times than moved here and that was almost 25 years ago...forget the Florida bashing of the last few days we are something special in Key West.

    Key West is a 2 x 4 mile island. The reccommendations above are all good.
    Bourbon Street Pub at 724 Duval Street has male dancers/ across the street is the 801 (Duval St) Bar with the drag queens.
    Most businesses are very gay friendly. LaTeDa has had Randy Roberts female impersonation show that is outstanding, but Randy has his show on the road presently and I can only guess if might be back before Fantasyfest.

    You should do some of the touristy things that is what vacations are for.
    www.Trustedtours.com offers most attractions at discounted prices.
    To try to advance plan, details are at KeyWestAttractions.org

    Cruise ships do come in to Mallory Square on the lower end of Duval / Gulf side - usually they are gone before 2. Do try to go to sunset at Mallory. It free and lots of fun. The street performers live on tips.
    Most gay bars and restaurants are on the upper end of Duval / Atlantic Ocean end.

    GLBT Center is located on Truman Ave just off Duval Street. They have a small museum on GLBT . The city's official slogan is One Human Family and atleast 90% of us believe it. They also sponsor a separate gay trolley tour on Saturdays at 11 am.
    They have a couple of websites GayKeyWest.com ; ReturnToKeyWest.com
    and our county site is Fla-Keys.com/gay

    Dude, you are going to miss most of Fantasyfest.icon_cry.gif The costume parade and all is Saturday, Nov 1
    There are some earlier events and full details are at www.Fantasyfest.net
    This year's theme is Villians, Vixens and Vampires in case anyone else is planning to come

    Hope this helps
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    Sep 11, 2009 10:07 PM GMT
    I can't do better than the advice others have already given here, especially madtown, and bjw21, who lives there. I might provide these direct links to Gay Key West and to Fantasy Fest, which have already been mentioned:

    http://www.gaykeywestfl.com/

    http://www.fantasyfest.net/

    Fantasy Fest is Oct 23 to Nov 1 this year, so you'll be able to see some of it, including the Coronation Ball, where the King & Queen are elected. That can be fun, and entrants will attempt to reflect this year's fest theme with their costumes & acts.

    I've voted before, and we'd get tables near the stage on Duvall Street, thanks to knowing some of the organizers. Which brings up the point: expect parts of Duvall and some adjoining streets to be blocked at different hours all the time you're there. I'm not sure whether their web site gives that info.

    Anyway, I don't believe we're going down this year for Fantasy Fest, cause that's close to our own monster party here, that we're throwing the first week of November. We'll be up to our eyeballs in preparation for weeks before. It's AFTER that when we could use a Key West getaway. Plus we'll be down there in January for the annual SMART Ride bicycle fundraiser for HIV/AIDS.

    Have fun!
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    Sep 11, 2009 11:56 PM GMT
    Hey fellas,
    Thanks so much for the wonderful thorough suggestions! I will definitely be referencing this thread as I plan out my off-work time.

    Bjw, yup I'm definitely a Florida Keys neophyte. I did realize there were 80 mile markers but didn't realize that translated to 80 miles of actual land (uhh ... duh!). But yeah, I'll be at Key Largo mostly.

    Feel free to drop me or this thread a line if you have more suggestions or want to meet up!
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    Sep 12, 2009 1:34 AM GMT
    Key Largo = snorkeling or fishing....or watching blue-haired old ladies drive.icon_rolleyes.gif

    Key West = FUN FUN FUN. icon_cool.gif


    It's not that far a drive to KW from Largo. BUT! If you do get stuck in Largo, stop by Key Largo Internet Cafe One of the best places to eat while there without being $$$.
    Ask your front desk clerk for directions.
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    Sep 12, 2009 2:10 AM GMT
    dr_jackl said I did realize there were 80 mile markers but didn't realize that translated to 80 miles of actual land (uhh ... duh!). But yeah, I'll be at Key Largo mostly.

    Ah, Key Largo. Then as bjw21 said, Pennecamp is an attraction there. Be aware that US 1 traffic along the Keys tends to be heavy going south at the beginning of the weekend, and heavy going north at the end, for obvious reasons. US 1 is the ONLY road connecting the Keys, 2-lane for much of it, so time your anticipated travel accordingly.

    Yeah, the US Federal mile marker system is universally numbered from south to north, so where US 1 ends in Key West is 0. As you drive north you count up. You count down driving south.

    It's roughly 90 miles from Key Largo to the Fort Lauderdale area, comparable to the distance to Key West, as bjw21 says, and Miami & Miami Beach are closer. But frankly, being that near to Key West, I'd set my compass south. You can always fly into Miami or FtL some other time, but driving down through the Keys is best. And it's Fantasy Fest.