Key West: 12 ways to make the most of a weekend visit
Six toes and all
7. Power Shopping
You cannot swing a purse on Duval Street without hitting a T-shirt shop. Gleefully avoid them all. For clothing and gifts ( such as $30 "Evil/Queen" cuff links), step into Fast Buck Freddie's, 500 Duval St. Or you can view -- and purchase -- the work of local artists such as Egg at the Guild Hall Gallery, 614 Duval St. Egg's sculptured creatures, made of recycled newspapers, have whimsical expressions. For edible Key lime souvenirs to take to those suffering back home, drop in on the Key West Candy Co., 810 Duval St., 305-292-1496.
8. Culinary Decadence
The food at Seven Fish, 632 Olivia St., is so good and in such demand that making a dinner reservation before arriving in Key West is a smart move. In addition to comfort foods such as meatloaf, there are fish specials, dependent on the season and the catch of the day. One of the best appetizers is the tropical shrimp salsa with chili-lime chips ($7.50), and a favorite entree is the banana chicken with caramelized walnuts ($15). The brownie with ice cream and toasted coconut ($7) is divine.
9. Dancing and Dollars
Calling it an early night is not allowed. There are plenty of saloons up and down Duval Street that feature live bands and dancing, including boisterous Sloppy Joe's, 201 Duval St., where Ernest Hemingway was said to have enjoyed a cocktail or three. On the gayer end of Duval -- past, say, Fleming Street -- the music becomes less blues-and-jazz and more dance-and-disco. Try Aqua, 711 Duval St., for dancing. There is a $3 cover charge on Fridays and Saturdays for the drag show. The sprawling Bourbon Street Pub, 724 Duval St., has large screens showing music videos and, after 10 p.m., an assortment of go-go men. Keep your $1 bills ready.
Sunday, 9 a.m.
10. Morning Caffeine
Start the day at the Croissants de France Bakery and Cafe, 816 Duval St., for coffee and a selection of pastries with a variety of fillings, as well as egg and vegetable dishes ($2.25 to $9.75).
11. Presidential Card Tricks
One of the remaining must-sees is the Little White House, 111 Front St., that was once a home to President Harry Truman. A highlight of the $10 guided tour is a mahogany dining table with a removable top that hides a poker table.
12. Graveside Wisdom
The island's hard coral rock forced the creation of the above-ground Key West Cemetery at Margaret and Angela streets. Its 19 acres are now somewhat overgrown and home to stray roosters. The memorials are a mix of the historic (a tribute to the Cubans who died in the 1868 revolution) and the humorous -- try to find the tombstone that reads, "I told you I was sick."