LOTS of places to stay in the keys, especially if you want to spend LOTS of your dollars. Many of our prior vacations we rented through VRBO or AirBNB but not this time. We’re moving around, not staying in one place so we had to go the more traditional route. BTW – if you haven’t tried that route, do it at least once. I think I like it better than ‘tradition’. First selection was SugarLoaf Lodge. It’s 17 miles north of Key West.
After checking in parking was along the backside of their one building, housing 31 rooms. It had been owned and operated by the Good family for almost 4 decades.
Front side faced the water, gulfside.
Rooms were nothing fancy, but adequate. We weren’t planning on spending any time in the room, except to sleep.
Unfortunately their restaurant and tiki bar was closed on Sundays & Mondays. Morning coffee was pretty basic, but available!
Dropped the bags and headed further south for our first night in Key West. Eric found a really cool place – Hogfish Bar & Grill. VERY low key and local, no AC, all seating was open-air, but covered – thank goodness – with lots of fans. Yep, also considered a tiki bar.
They’re not kidding about finding this place. it was hard to find even with knowing about it and (trying) to follow google maps You drive past a trailer park neighborhood that looked fairly rough before coming up to an unpretencious building with parking roadside under overgrown bushes & trees.
Shots of their menu are below.
Waiting for our fish dip to arrive we had some local brews.
And then came the smoked fish dip – absolutely yummy, it had a slight kick which we all enjoyed.
Eric and I both ordered the hogfish & chip basket. G.R.E.A.T. choice. Asked Eric why I had never seen hogfish available elsewhere and he said it’s a reef fish, not commonly served in seafood restaurants. If I ever see it again on a menu – I’m in!
He started with a bowl of conch chowder before the fish & chips arrived.
This sign always makes me chuckle – even if I’ve seen something similar before. Keeping my fingers crossed that no hurricane starts up even though we are in ‘the season’.
Somebody had waaaaaay too much time on their hands. Not sure if the truck runs, but would definitely be scary if it did. This was sitting across from the bar.
Time to go SOUTH! We headed for Mallory Square.
This is where everything starts and the phrase ‘See you at sunset’ embodies the spirit and history of Key West. It started in the late 1960s with local acts trying to make a few extra bucks and gathering happens about two hours before sunset – 8:24 pm when we visited. Basically, its a large area where everyone gathers couples and families alike. There’s the potential to see magicians, jugglers, psychics, local musicians, artists and food vendors. LOVED this vendor. If it could have gotten a video it would be much, much, much more impactful.
The guy was serving coconut water, straight from the coconut. He handled his machete like a pro and (being somewhat theatrical) had the coconut ready for drinking in 4 strokes of his tool.
Here’s my shot when we first arrived.
And here’s Adrienne’s photo (with her I-phone 11 – Eric?).
And that’s why we came.