We loved KEY WEST, Florida
Exploring historic Key West was marvelous. It's definitely a little touristy, but still full of authenticity and history. We tried to stay off of Duval Street and traverse around a little bit more. We loved walking through Mallory Square, checking out the fantastic architecture of the historic homes, reading about the significance of the Little White House, peeking in some of the shops, and seeing huge cruise ships and yachts on the docks.
SOUTHERN MOST POINT
When we reached the iconic Southern Most Point buoy marker, there was a HUGE line of tourists waiting to get their picture in front of it. We skipped waiting in the line and opted for this quick selfie in front of the crowd.
TREASURE HUNTER - Mel Fisher Museum
One of the coolest things we did in Key West was visit the Mel Fisher Museum (per the advice of our good friends!) A lifelong treasure hunter, Mel Fisher is famous for finding the 1622 wreckage of the Spanish galleon ship Atocha in 1985 with an estimated $450 million worth of treasure - gold, silver, emeralds and so much more! The Atocha was sunk near Key West in the midst of a hurricane on its journey back to Spain loaded full of riches and artifacts. Mel Fisher dedicated his life to uncovering this prize, and would declare to his crew every morning, "Today's the day!"
The museum showcases the collection in a way that tells a story of those committed to the discovery. It also features so much more information about sunken ship recoveries, including the slave ship, Henrietta Marie.
THE ORIGINAL KEY LIME PIE
In our opinion, a trip to Key West wasn't complete without sampling a taste of local key lime pie. We took our taste buds to the birthplace of key lime pie in Key West (in 1856), the Key Lime Pie Bakery on Greene Street. In true Gentry fashion, we purchased an entire pie, walked ourselves down to the pier and enjoyed eating it while watching the impressive boats docked in the turquoise water. It was a true delight!
MEETING COOL PEOPLE - Umpire JOE WEST
While walking around Key West (on the way to eat our key lime pie by the pier), we randomly struck up a conversation with a nicely dressed gentleman and his wife. Turns out he was the famous MLB umpire, Joe West, who called a record of 5,460 regular-season games during his career and also made an appearance in the movie "Naked Gun." He let the boys try on his World Series ring, which was just amazingly cool.
INSIDER TIP: EAT AT GARBO's
Grab a super delicious lunch (or dinner) at Garbo's Grill @ Hank's Hair of the Dog. You order out of a little airstream, pick an outdoor table, and enjoy! The food was ah-mazing, and the atmosphere was laid back and fun. The kids loved the mango dogs, I LOVED the poke bowl, and Ray feasted on the fish tacos.
It's just behind the Mel Fisher Museum, super convenient to everything!
(We scored this tip from KEEP YOUR DAYDREAM, and the hype did not disappoint.)