Saturday, December 29, 2012

Towels of Key West

Towels of Key West, the store on Duval Street, has been trading since 1986 - which makes (made - see paragraph below) it one of the longest trading in Key West. Opened back then by the same, current owners: Kent Henry and Stan Wellman. This makes this shop the oldest gay store on Duval Street and one of the oldest shops on Duval, period. 5 years ago they also started to sell their own cool clothing range - American Boy Key West - see the pics below. Their shop front window is always well designed, entertaining, and makes me chuckle when I pass.

Update: November 2016. Very sad news..... Unfortunately, you are too late. They closed and sold up and moved back to Idaho in July 2016. Their Facebook says they will open an online store but the link is dead and so nothing yet. Please open the online store guys - we miss you!
The towel range in Towels of Key West.  This shop does what is says on the tin!  I particularly like this blue Conch Republic towel.
Not surprisingly they stock a lot of, yep, towels - see above of a picture of part of the display.  But they also recently expanded into next door and now sell more than towels - including a great selection of funny, clever, and a little rude, t-shirts (exclusive to here).

This cock (as we call a rooster in the UK) is now mine. I bought the t at the top of this picture.
With the closure of FBF and some of the other unique stores in Key West we must treasure those that remain.  This is a gem, the staff are friendly, so go in today and purchase!  I did - I bought the rooster t-shirt in the picture above!

UPDATE: Even better than the great towels were the t-shirts. Now they have closed we are gutted - where are we going to get fab, humorous t's like these now? Argh!!!

Best Key West shopping - click 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Snorkeling in Key West

Let's come out and say it: Beaches and big waves and snorkeling are not very good in Key West (from the shore/beach).  The offshore coral reef breaks the waves several miles offshore.

There is excellent snorkeling at the Dry Tortugas - but that's a day trip from Key West on a boat.  Also Bahia Honda has good snorkelling - but that's 35 miles up the overseas highway.  There are many boat operators who will take you from Key West out to the coral reefs for half a day's snorkelling.

But where is the best snorkelling from the shore in Key West?

I've reported before on Fort Zach beach itself - which is by far the best on the island.

Here's a video I took in November 2012 to set the scene:

Today I tried snorkelling for the first time here.  Here are some pics of the beach today (November 2012):

It's November so not that busy.  Also it's Tuesday and only about 10.30am - the beach did get busier, but not that busy today.  That's the great thing about midweek in November - nice and quiet!
The beach at Fort Zach is 20% sand and 80% coral which makes walking and getting into the sea a tricky and sometimes painful affair!
My snorkel amongst the coral at Fort Zach beach.
Ready to snorkel.
Go! Heads down, looking.
So how was the snorkeling?  I saw 50 fish in total, maybe about 4 or 5 different types.  Even though the swell was not high, it was difficult to see because of the sand and stuff making the water murky.

This area of the beach (see pic below), swimming right up within 1 foot of the rocks, is where  I found the most fish.

You can hire a snorkel and mask from the same beach shack that hires out the deck chairs, right on the beach.
Best snorkelling rocks on Fort Zach beach

Full review and loads of great pictures of Fort Zach beach - click here.

Guide to Key West best beach.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Wyland in Key West

It's difficult to miss the artist Wyland in Key West as he has at least 2 large, dedicated art galleries (shops?) for his output, as well as very keen sales staff!

If you want to experience Wyland for free, his very large mural 'The Living Reef' can be seen half a block away from Key West harbor.  It was originally painted as part of the Whaling Wall series of 100 (this is number 52) in September 1993.  It was re-touched by him recently, in October 2012.  It was looking very faded after 19 years and the re-touch has made it look much better.

You can see it at the old Waterfront Market, at Caroline and William Streets.

Other articles on this blog you might like:

Key West hotels - guide to where to stay and why you should seriously consider a B&B/guesthouse when you stay in Key West

Things to do Key West - my personal recommendations