Sunday, November 16, 2014

Welcome to Key West

Welcome to Key West
This blog is for those planning a Key West vacation or if you're already on holiday here.

It'll help you decide if Key West is the place for you. Or, for those already on vacation in Key West, to make sure you don't miss anything.

It's written by me, a fellow visitor to Key West who has visited dozens of times over the years. The blog is totally independent, please feels free to browse the 200 posts covering all manner of subjects related to Key West. This blog is kept up to date, with the latest update made on 23 November 2014.

Where to start?
The top 10 viewed posts on this blog are here. 

Looking for the Best in Key West? You can find that here.

Finally, here's some posts along the Key West useful/fun spectrum.


Me,  Key West David
This is me drinking a Key Lime Martini in Blue Heaven, a unique Key West restaurant:
Key West David in Key West
If you're interested, here's more about me, including how to contact me. I'd love to hear from you. Please leave me a comment in the comment section below, or follow this blog.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Top 10 posts on Key West Lookout

Here are the top 10 most read articles on this blog since I started Key West Lookout in 2009. Key West Lookout is written by me and only me. I am a regular Key West visitor, and have been taking vacations in Key West since 1998. My aim is to provide the best, most comprehensive and most up-to-date Key West vacation guide on the planet. See you in Key West!

#1: Best time of year to visit Key West

#2: Key West hotels

#3: Top things to do in Key West

#4: What to do in Key West when it rains

#5: Key West restaurants

#6: Gay Key West

#7: Best cocktails and martinis in Key West

#8: Key West guesthouses

#9: Planing a Key West vacation

#10: Key West pictures




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...

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Aqua nightclub Key West

Inga on the stage at Aqua nightclub Key West
9pm at Aqua bar and nightclub on Duval Street in Key West is showtime when the Aquanettes hit the stage with their drag show called Reality is a Drag. It's $15 entrance (no drinks included in this price): get there for the 9pm show and, if you like it, you can stay through the next show for free (which is at 11pm Friday and Saturday). This is a great show, good fun, not for the easily offended and highly recommended.
For more pictures of the show and the performers click below…

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Fantasy Fest 2014 live

7 November 2014. Well Fantasy Fest 2014 is well and truly over. Very good fun, great events, absolutely no inhibition (I definitely saw too many naked bodies with body paint), 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 Saturday of the main parade. But then Key West got much less busy immediately before and after the main parade. The parade was ok to good - congratulations to the private groups and individuals who spent so much time on their parade floats. I was not so keen on the corporate floats. 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.

Here's looking forward to Fantasy Fest 2015!

Also on my blog:

My best 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 2015 in Key West

Fantasy Fest 2015 in Key West is set for 23 October to 1 November 2015 and the theme is All Hallows Intergalactic Freak Show. It's a 10-day series of parties, events and fun -  the weather is sunny and the events are hot. Almost all of Fantasy Fest is adult oriented, fancy dress and creative costumes are highly recommended but only a sense of fun is mandatory!

I was luck enough to go to Fantasy Fest 2014 and here is my live blog of the big events. There are lots of pictures so you can get an idea for there craziness and the fun.

See you at Fantasy Fest 2015?

Also on my blog:

When is the best time to visit Key West?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Sunrise in Key West

Today's sunrise in Key West was exceptional. A few strategically placed clouds and no wind made the sea a mirror. Here are the pictures - taken at sunrise, 7.30am this morning taken on S Roosevelt Blvd on my way to the airport.

I've blogged before on the obsession with Key West's sunset (the "Sunset Celebration") so I'm pleased to see a sun rise today just as good, if not better. Updated: In fact, it was so good we went back to S Roosevelt Blvd the next day to take sunrise take 2 photos. I've added both day's pictures below.

Which sunrise do you think is better?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Coming soon on Key West Lookout

I'm currently on vacation in Key West and so the blog is going to take a vacation too! I will be back in a few weeks with the following posts. Check back soon.

Coming soon on this Key West Lookout blog:
  • Key West's best budget, great value guest houses and hotels - brand new post
  • Updates to Key West's best restaurants, best cocktail places, and Key West vegetarian, Key West things to do
  • Tomorrow we are flying to Fort Jefferson national park on a sea plane and so there will be a post on that
  • My annual "changes, good and bad, that I've noticed in Key West" post (late December 2014)
  • MOTM Parrothead convention
  • Halloween in Key West
  • My pictures of the week. A small selection of the thousands of images I've taken this week, like this one below

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Getting out of Key West for a day

If you have the time it's great to get away from the small island which is Key West and take a day on the Lower Keys where there's lots of interesting stuff to do - and that's exactly what we did today. The requirements were: getting away from Highway 1, not too much time in the car, "getting close to" nature, and getting salty wet.

We've also done a fair number of things up and down the Keys already. So we didn't want to do the Turtle Hospital again, or Theatre of the Sea - even though both are excellent.

Here's what we did today. First stop Publix in Key West for picnic provisions. Then out on Highway 1 to Sugarloaf Key, coming off the main road onto Sugarloaf Blvd. and drove for a few miles amongst the mangroves. I wanted to take Old State Road 4a north to do the loop and rejoin Highway 1 but it was closed. So we took the Old State Road 4a south for a little while, to where it crosses Sugarloaf Creek, turned back and came back the same way we came.

Visiting Key West in October and November

This vacation we are arriving in Key West on 23 October and leaving on 1 November - what a fantastic time to visit Key West as you get five events during just these few days. These tend to happen on the same dates every year so this is always a great time to visit Key West. The dates below are from 2014 so you'll need to double check the dates for 2015.

FIRST: you get the two best events in Fantasy Fest, the adult themed mardi gras of Key West. That's the Masquarade March on Friday 24 and the main parade on Saturday 25 October.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Busiest tea dance of the year at La Te Da Key West

The final event of Fantasy Fest is the "It's not over until the fat lady sings" Tea Dance at La Te Da hotel in Key West, which was last night 4pm until 8pm, Sunday 26 October.

I've never seen the tea dance, a regular Sunday afternoon institution in Key West, busier. It was packed. The whole of the hotel was open - with a new pool bar and also the Crystal Room bar was open - plus access to all the many balconies in La Te Da. And the hotel was looking better for a little bit of love and attention as a result of the new owners.

Hundreds of dancers, swayers, movers and shakers enjoyed a fantastic set from usual tea dance DJs Rude Girl and Molly Blue, who were resplendent in their bright pink woopie cushion costumes. All in all a very good night indeed. I just never can figure out why the tea dance has to stop at 8pm!

Here's my previous coverage of the tea dance at La Te Da - from March 2013.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Fantasy Fest 2014 Key West

Fantasy Fest Key West is a 10-day series of events and crazy parties which ran from 17 to 26 October 2014. The 2015 dates are 23 October to 1 November 2015. This is my guide to Fantasy Fest if you're new to it and are Fantasy Fest curious. Fantasy Fest theme 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.

November 2014: For the duration of Fantasy Fest I ran a live blog which is on another post on this site. Click this link to see nearly 200 pictures from the two main events of this year's Fantasy Fest - the Masquerade March and the main parade.


CLICK BELOW TO READ my guide to Fantasy Fest for newbies and first timers...

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Flying from the UK to Key West

London to Key West is a 13 hour journey 
London to Key West is 4,554 miles and the flying time is 13 hours, via Miami airport. I fly out of London Heathrow at 11am and walk through the door of my Key West guesthouse at 8pm the same evening. Once in my Key West room, I down a glass of wine, catch a quick shower, and am out by 8.45pm and by 9pm sitting in Virgillio's, potent martini in hand, looking out at the crazyness of Duval Street and preparing to eat at the bar from their wonderful Italian menu. And relax.

Then because of the martini(s) consumed, the jet lag is hours from kicking in, so a detour via Bourbon Street pub is inevitable. Hit the pillow after midnight. All in one day.

As I write (August 2014), I've done the London to Key West trip 18 times - 18 flights out, and 18 flights back. Yes it's a long way but it's worth it.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Best hotel in Key West

Pier House Key West's private beach
The best hotel in Key West 2014 is the Pier House Resort with an ideal Old Town Key West location, perfect ocean views, a private beach, relative seclusion and it has the best bars. It's a luxury, expensive, four star hotel (there are no 5 star hotels in Key West) located just off Duval Street. If you can afford their magnificent ocean view rooms I highly recommend the Pier House.