Sunday, November 30, 2014

When is the best time of year to visit Key West?

Best time to visit Key West is January to May
Most visitors say the best time to visit Key West is January to May because the weather is perfect: it's not unbearably humid yet, and it's so cold at home. In fact, from November to March Key West is the hottest place in the continental USA. As a result, it's peak season, very busy and super expensive in Key West in these months. The off season (June to December) has its charms, but big downsides you need to be aware of, as I explain below.

Next: some Key West best time of year Frequently Asked Questions followed by a month by month guide to visiting Key West….

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Key West Lookout photo blog

Key West Lookout, this blog, is part photo blog and photographs and images of Key West have always been a vital part of the blog from the beginning. There must be more than a thousand images on this blog by now, with more being added all the time. And these selected carefully from the tens of thousands of pictures I have taken in Key West over the years.

Here's my picture of the week, I LOVE it!
Pelicans in free flight during Key West sunrise
click below for more picture of the week...

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Fantasy Fest 2014 live

7 November 2014. Well Fantasy Fest 2014 is well and truly over. Amazing fun, great events, little inhibition and tens of thousands of beads later. No rain for the main events on Friday and Saturday, and actually great weather. It was super busy on the Saturday of the main parade. Well done to all the people who selflessly organise, and raise money around, Fantasy Fest.

The best: Ten times better than Saturday's parade, and the best event of Fantasy Fest overall, was the Masquerade March on Friday. Brilliant! Key West locals you're the best. We had an amazing party again. The variety and creativity of fancy dress was amazing!

Here's looking forward to Fantasy Fest 2015!

THIS IS A LIVE BLOG ARCHIVE OF FANTASY FEST 2014. 

I WAS LIVE BLOGGING THROUGHOUT THE EVENTS AND HAVE COMMENTARY AND PICTURES DAY BY DAY.....PLEASE ENJOY FANTASY FEST 2014.....THESE PICTURES ARE REAL..NO PHOTOSHOP WAS INVOLVED!!
My best 3 pictures: I took hundreds of pictures, so here are a very small number of my favorites....
Of the thousands of costumes and fancy dress creations on the 2014 Masquerade March here is my very favorite 
Fantasy Fest 2014 Masquerade March and my favorite picture overall - the view along Simonton Street of thousands of locals and visitors in full costume
One of the brilliant things about the Masquerade March, where everyone expresses themselves as they wish, is the occasional contrast this philosophy produces, like the one shown above 

Fantasy Fest Key West

This is my guide to Key West Fantasy Fest and I'll answer questions like is it for me, how adult is it, what are the best events and what's the weather like this time of year. If you're new to Fantasy Fest you can get a good idea if Key West Fantasy Fest is for you. Fantasy Fest is a 10-day series of events, parades and parties which runs the last two weeks of October. 

The 2015 dates are 23 October to 1 November 2015. Fantasy Fest always has an annual theme which most people ignore: for 2014 was Anim├ęted Dreams and Adventures, 2015's is All Hallows Intergalactic Freak Show (who thinks these themes up?!).

Fantasy Fest 2014 Key West
Fantasy Fest 2014 Key West
2014 was the 36th annual Fantasy Fest in Key West and the very best events (in my view) come at the end: the Masquerade march on Friday 24 October and the big showpiece event, the parade on Saturday 25 October 2014.

Link on my blog: 2014 Fantasy Fest live blog + 200 pictures

Continue reading for my guide to Key West Fantasy Fest for new visitors and first timers. Please leave a comment in the comments section below, I'd love to hear from you.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Key West signs


There are many great signs in Key West, in turns funny, historic, touching, the odd few iconic, and some just plain visually beautiful. Some are from businesses or times past and are a visual record of the Key West of old. They also show the variety that can be found here.

So for visitors, locals and those just curious here is my collection of Key West signage. These are all original photos. all taken by me over the last 15 years and none artificially adjusted or touched up in any way. Even the first one here is real, enjoy the signs.....

This is a good sign sign. Round the back of Schooner Wharf Bar in Key West.

Island Dolls closes in 2016 after several years on Fleming Street. The sign's not so good by day...

...but comes alive by night. Just like the establishment itself used to! Neon Island Dolls sign.




The last mile marker MM126 on Highway, just outside of Homestead

On this site in 1897 nothing happened. Sign on Peacon Lane, at junction with Caroline Street. 

Fausto's Food Palace sign on Fleming Street. Sign by night. The gold lettering is very bight as the it had just been re-painted when I took this picture in November 2016.

Fausto's sign by day.
Pepe's Cafe sign with shells. On Caroline Street.

One Human Family in the Conch Republic

Birthplace of Pan American World Airways Key West - Caroline Street and Whitehead St

Half Shell raw bar sign in Key West. Eat it Raw

To see 68 more cool and funny Key West signs click below....

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Peppers of Key West

Visit Peppers of Key West store: as if Key West is not hot enough already this experience makes you even hotter. This is a great store on Greene St in Key West which sells all things related to peppers and chillies. Sit up at the tasting bar and let the team take you though a tasting of a dozen sauces, starting from mild and going as hot as you dare. How far up the hot scale can you go?....
The tasting bar at Peppers of Key West at 602 Greene Street. We're mid-tasting here, starting off with some very mild and tangy sauces.  This is great fun, and free!






Click to see the rest of the story and a video of us at the chilli tasting bar on a recent visit....and to see their most powerful $2,000 bottle of hot sauce....click below...

Tarpon feeding in Key West

See the tarpon feeding while you're in Key West, daily 4pm, free. Watching the tarpon feeding is a must do while you are in Key West. Update 2016: They don't seem to do the feeding here in the Historic Harbor anymore. I hear they might do it further up the island on the Charterboat Row. As a local or a fisherman if you want more information. It's shame because, as you can see from the pictures below, it was great entertainment.

There's a lot to take in: the fisherman who expertly gut the fish, the huge tarpon who lurk just below the surface, the dozens of fighting, arguing pelicans who compete viciously for the off cuts - the guts, the heart, the eyes. It happens daily on the Harbor Walk (Historic seaport/Key West Bight), right by the A&B restaurant.  It's meant to happen at 4pm but on the day these pictures were taken it started at 3pm.

It's one of the most fascinating shows in town. Here's a video and click below to see more great pictures of this daily spectacle....