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Saturday, February 4, 2012

Bahia Honda State Park & Key West

We started this day with Breakfast at IHOP,  and then exploring Bahia Honda Key, Bahia Honda State Park and Key West. It was Deb's birthday, so as a memento - we have this picture -

After leaving Marathon. the first stop was Bahia Hondo State Park. This state park has a small RV park that is probably one of the most popular in Florida. I asked about reservations, and was told that you need to be on the computer a year in advance and keep submitting you request and hopefully you will be lucky enough to get a spot.

By far the most picturesque is Bahia Honda State Park. The park encompasses almost the entire Key, and is picture perfect. The beach located between the key and the Overseas Highway is rated as one of the top 10 beaches in the US.

From this site you can get onto another section of the original Flagler Railroad network. The views are spectacular and definitely worth it.

They have restored a portion of the Railroad bridge so that you can walk out on it and get some terrific views.

From here it was off to Key West - with the first stop being Higgs Beach. In Higgs Beach are a couple of interesting things to see. The first is a mass grave of 260 African Americans that died while being rescued by the US Navy from three ships at sea. In total more than 1,400 African Americans were on board.
 This is also where the White Street Fishing Pier is located.
This concrete fishing Pier extends a good distance out from shore on the Atlantic side of the keys. It is a nice broad lighted walk that attracts a large number of tourist and locals.
The pier on the end, or outer platform has the largest compass that I have seen. It helps to put into perspective exactly where you are.
Installed by the Sunrise Rotary Club, it includes a brass cap in the center giving the direction of North and the Latitude and Longitude.
On the street end of the Fishing Pier is the Florida Keys AIDS Memorial. There were City workers there polishing the marble.
From here we went to the other side of Key West (north side I guess) and checked out the water front there. Roads in Key West are very narrow and parking is limited.
On this side you find things like Sunset Pier, which is a restaurant/bar that get packed with people when the sun starts to go down.
Of course Mallory Square the place to go at sunset. The first picture (below) is Mallory Square in the afternoon.
A large brick paved square bordered by hotels and businesses. This is is (below) what it looks like just before and during sunset.
The square fills with crafts people and vendors selling their wares, street performers and statutes>
I had to sit and watch to make sure it was not a statute, though I had not seen it in previous trips through the square.
Water Traffic going out toward the ocean increased as there were several sunset cruise tours.
And of course the whole reason people crowd to this square is to watch the sunset.

As the sun set and brought an end to daylight, our day continued with dinner at Two Friends Patio, then the drive home to our hotel. We will be back Key West.

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