Enjoy an outdoor lunch of shrimp and crab cakes at Grand Café.
Conch Republic passports get you everywhere you want to be.
9 a.m.--Rumbling stomachs pull us from our comfortable slumber. We follow the clucking chickens to iconic Blue Heaven, where fresh
shrimp or lobster Benedict tempts even the person who normally skips breakfast. We ask our Key West-native waitress what our
first sight in town should be. "I'd stroll the cemetery. You can learn a lot about Key West just by reading tombstones." She
tells us to look for headstones reading "I told you I was sick," "I'm just resting my eyes," and "Devoted Fan of Julio Iglesias."
Of course we take her advice and meander through the quiet resting place.
10 a.m.--After an hour in Key West, we decide this quirky place feels like a nation of its own. Fittingly, it is. Key West belongs both to the Conch Republic and the U.S. This sovereign nation, named for the popular sea critter, was born on April 23, 1982, in response to a U.S. Border Patrol blockade of the Florida Keys. We head to the office of the secretary-general to obtain a souvenir passport.
11 a.m--Knowing that Key West is the past and present home to a slew of literary and artistic geniuses, we decide to follow a walking tour of their homes. The best-known resident was, of course, Ernest Hemingway. We step over dozens upon dozens of cats in his house and eye first editions of his books. Other literary figures of Key West include Shel Silverstein, Tennessee Williams, and Elizabeth Bishop.