In addition to the many celebrations and festivals that take place on our island, Key West is loaded with great attractions, restaurants, and things to do that are here all year round! Here are a few of our local favorites perfect for the sluggish, steamy month of September!!
The Cemetery in Key West is a lot like the city itself: quirky, crowded, colorful, and full of history to explore. It’s free, of course, and we recommend starting at the northwest corner (at Passover Lane & Angela Street) because a small office there has excellent free walking tour guides. With that in hand, the cemetery reveals fascinating stories of Key West & its people as you stroll amid sun-washed vaults, lovely statues of angels & lambs, and even an odd sculpture of a naked, bound woman. Some other local favorites include the graves of the real Sloppy Joe – “Sloppy” Joe Russell (Ernest Hemingway’s fishing guide), B.P. “Pearl” Roberts who famously inscribed “I told you I was sick.”, and Gloria M. Russell whose stone reads “I’m just resting my eyes”. You never know what you might find!
The Key West Aquarium is a fabulous, unique & inviting attraction fun for everyone to visit while in town. It is home to many fascinating aquatic animals including parrotfish, moray eels, barracuda, tropical fish, tarpon, sharks & grouper that guests can watch glide through vast open view tanks mimicking real underwater environments. It also features a touch tank of small sea creatures that children can touch and feed as well as a plethora of fun facts & information on all things aquatic. Guided tours take place daily at 11am, 1pm, 3pm & 4:30pm that include shark feeding and even an opportunity for guests to touch or “pet” a shark! So stop by and get up close & personal with some of the water-life essential to the lower keys ecosystems!
The slow month of September is an excellent time to hit the usually crowded downtown shops and stock up! Kino Sandals Key West is a MUST-see stop on your island to-do list. For over 40 years this family owned & operated business has been turning out some of the most sought after & talked about footwear around. Their sandals feature traditional hand-made techniques, natural leather uppers, and natural leather soles making them not only durable and long-lasting, but also swanky and comfortable! They have many colorful, fashionable styles to choose from sure to please all tastes and wardrobes, and come in fits for men, women, and children. Stop by their store at 107 Fitzpatrick Street and pick up a pair — you won’t be disappointed!
Get out and Kayak or Paddleboard the distinctive waters & mangroves of the lower Keys! Lazy Dog has the largest fleet of kayaks & stand up paddleboards on the island and is situated on one of the best little pieces of real estate around allowing guests to launch directly from their “office” and immediately be enjoying tidal pools, marine life, & more. They offer eco tours, backcountry snorkel tours, and unguided rentals where they give you an easy-to-follow map complete with suggested areas to explore. Also enjoy PaddleYOGA, paddle fitness classes, Full-Moon Meditation Paddles, and pet friendly excursions where Fido gets to join in the fun. Best of all, this great island company embraces a true Key West approach to life —“have fun in all that we do!!” — how can you go wrong!!
Pepe’s Cafe & Steakhouse is the oldest “joint” in Key West for a reason – Great food, funky atmosphere, and classic Old Town ambiance. They are open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch, & dinner (365 days a year) and feature daily Chef Specials and Happy Hour selections. Local favorites include specialty pancakes, grits, home-made soups, the popular steak sandwich (that will leave you in a heavenly food coma), delicious hand-cut NY Strips & Filets, and the famous daily fresh catch served up at least 5 different ways. Compliment any meal with a home-made dessert or renowned Margarita made with fresh squeezed lime juice (like NONE other). If you are looking for a relaxed, laid back restaurant and bar, this is the place for you. You will see the same faces, year after year, and there are lots of reasons for that!