1. Key West Best BACON HAPPY HOUR
At the new 2¢ Bar, bacon happy hour is irresistible. Yes, strips of crispy bacon stick out of rocks glasses, and you can even roll the dice for a price of your drink. (NOTE: Don’t roll a 6 like I did! You want to roll a “1” — this means your Albarino will cost only a buck!)
And Scottish eggs — a hard boiled quail egg, rolled in sausage and sauteed to a crisp!
Everything — I mean, EVERYTHING — in the 2¢, from the hyper-creative menu concoctions to the repurposed chandeliers (compliments to the designer from Chicago), to the pressed tin and custom woodwork and hand-sponged counters, is a personal creation of owner Chris.
2¢ gets my vote for the Conch Republic’s most eclectic yet modest new gem, with the warmest welcome!
2. Key West Best FISHING THE FLATS
Fishing the “flats” — which some people call the “Banks” – is the best Key West angling experience! The flats are sandy expanses, 15 minutes our of the marine, where you can fish, in a special no-draft boat, for baracuda, shark, and more!
This is really fun, guys! No fishing experience needed, you stand on the bow, and “sight cast”, meaning you look for a blackish-blue 4′-ers swimming across the clear turquoise. Then you cast your line just past their nose, and reeeeeeel in quickly. It’s a hoot to see them spot the lure, and turn in a dash towards the boat!
Another type of flat fishing in amongst the mangrove islands, where you can find Jacks and, if you’re lucky, a school of big Reds!
3. Key West Best AFTERNOON AT SOUTHERNMOST HOUSE
It’s a privileged overnight (or a superb wedding venue!) at this historic Victorian on the sea, built by the Ramos merchanting family in 1819, and more recently owned by the much-respected Circuit Judge (not to be confused with Salvage Judge) Jeptha Harris.
But if you don’t want to plunk down the $250/night for a room, you can enjoy this Best of Key West experience for the day.
For $10, you get a poolside chair and towel, chilled limewater by bowl of fresh fruit, and even one complimentary drink!
This is a wonderfully secluded and calming oasis to afternoon, away from the crowds!
4. Key West Best OCEANVIEW FLAT
Want the best Key West hidden lodging? Here’s a great cottage, for you to call home in Key West! Right on the beach, on the eastern side, smack in the middle of the Louie’s Backyard action, you’ll wake up to killer views, yet enjoy privacy, tucked behind the sea grape and palm!
5. Key West Best OYSTER HAPPY HOUR AT THE HALF SHELL
This may not be new, but it’s so good, it bears mention.
50* oysters! On the half shell. Starting at 4pm.
You can get 2 dozen of the freshest bursting-with-brine oysters and 2 glasses of crisp Pinot Grigio, for under $20! I am not kidding!
NOTE: if the place is packed, don’t wait! Order at the bar, and walk our platter out to the dock, to slurp shellfish amongst the sailboat masts, with the pelicans!
Santiago’s Bodega — already an unchallenged Key West Best for afternoon tapas, just introduced their cherry-encrusted shortribs! Add to your decadence with some flambeed haloumi cheese and roasted brussel sprouts, and you could be there for hours!