Just outside of town from Key West on Stock Island you can find the Key West Botanical Gardens. There is a modest entry fee of $5.00 per person but for that fee you will get a brochure that tells you about the gardens and tells you what you are seeing at various stops throughout the gardens. The gardens host a wide variety of plant life that are endemic to the keys and it also has a nice display of rare palms on the premises.
With scattered freshwater ponds and art sculptures there is even something for the birdwatchers as well. I have been a birdwatcher for a very long time. I started bird watching when I was a budding Biologist for Texas Parks and Wildlife back in the day. And as such, I have a “life list.” What is a life list? – you may say… Well birders are a quirky lot of people (so we fit in well here in the Key’s) and there is a bit of competitiveness with many of them. So what they decided to do was come up with various lists of birds that they have seen here and there. The most well known list for birders is their life list or a list of birds they have seen during their lifetimes.
I bring this up because here in the botanical park I got two “lifers” or birds that I had never seen before to add to my life list. The White Crowned Pigeon and the Grey Kingbird were two birds I had never seen before my visit to the Keys. It has been a long time since I added a new bird to my list so this was a treat. So whether you are a plant person, art lover or a birder I recommend a visit to the Botanical Garden’s near Key West.
After walking in the gardens we headed into Key West to pay a visit to the local cemetery to check out some of the headstones that we had heard about. There is a free walking tour guide at the main entrance of the cemetery or one can be found on line via a google search. The cemetery has tombstone from back in the 1800’s and there are many highly esteemed and influential “Conchs” buried there. A Conch, by the way, is a local resident of Key West.
The cemetery is quite large and it is fun looking for the tombstones that have quirky comments on them such as “I told you I was sick” or “I’m just resting my eyes.” There is even one lady who on her tombstone self-proclaimed herself as the Admiral of the Conch Republic Navy. So if you are looking for something free to do in Key West make sure to visit the cemetery and look for the quirky tombstones (click on any of the photos to enlarge them).
After a fun filled day we headed over to the Hogfish Bar and Grill on Stock Island for Happy Hour. Hogfish Bar and Grill is indeed a Road Treat and although it is hard to find it is definitely worth it. After a few cold frosty beverages it was back to Bluewater Key Resort where we enjoyed a nice dinner of Pasta with Salmon in a Spicy Cream Sauce. Enjoy everybody!!!