Key West is an odd place. I mean it would have to be with a history built on shipwrecking salvagers and isolation. Today it is somewhat of a hippie haven, inhabited by those seeking out warmer climates and a laid-back life. Along with them comes the strange, making odd things to do in Key West plentiful. I will try and narrow it down for you.
With that here are 6 odd things to do in Key West:
Say Hello to Robert
During Key West’s salvaging heyday’s, death was just a part of life in the Keys. This spooky past is well documented on the Ghost and Gravestone tour where guests are taken on a freaky ride through America’s 5th most haunted city. Although most of the tour is full-on cheese, there are chilling moments. No more so than a visit to the East Martello Fort which is home to one creepy doll – Robert. He has been haunting Key West since the early 1900’s and has found a permeant home in the spooky East Martello Fort after his last owner couldn’t take his presence anymore.
Now I’m not superstitious but with my 2015 year-long travel, I wasn’t about to risk snapping the photo of my own as it has been said that Robert will mess with your travel plans if you don’t talk nice to him and get permission to take a souvenir. Instead, enjoy this:
Bike Through the Above-Ground Cemetery
Sticking with the haunted theme, biking through an above-ground cemetery is high on this odd things to do in Key West list. Much like the above-ground coffins in New Orleans, Key West’s cemetery treats its dead with a shallow grave. This is done because of the hard stone under the surface and to save space. Either way, it is eerily peaceful to pedal through on a sunny day and makes for one of the more interesting odd things to do in Key West. Take in the cool gravestones and don’t miss the Battleship Maine memorial section.
Each October Key West is home to Fantasy Fest, a party that gives it’s guests a license to be weird. Odd costumes, exhibits, and body paint is the norm at this time. There is even a guy that walks around wearing nothing but a see-through plastic cup (because it’s technically illegal to wear nothing) for the duration of the party. Although I wasn’t there during this odd party, I did spot laddies sporting body paint and nothing more. There’re a few stores in town offering this service if you wish to (almost) bare all.
Eat Key Lime Everything
Key West is key lime crazy. With what I found in my 1st impression of Key West Key Lime products can be found in everything from hot sauce to cigars. For those looking for the best pie in town note that the Key lime Pie Company and Kermit supply most bars and restaurants. Be sure to ask if it is made in-house first!
No one has cornered the market more than Kermit’s Key Lime Shoppe. There you can sample cookies, ice cream, and even’s famous Key Lime pie dip in chocolate served on a stick. It’s worth the visit.
Search for Pirate Booty
With hundreds of shipwrecks off the Keys, Key West is a diver’s paradise. Several companies in town offer wreck dives that get you as close to the salvaging past as possible. Those looking to stay dry head to the Key West Shipwreck Museum which offers a collection of articles recovered from unfortunate wrecks offshore. This includes several coins, a piano, and the 64-pound bar of silver from the 1600s. The climb to the top of the tower is also worth the view!
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Pet a Six-Toed Cat
Finally, something odd to do in Key West for the pet lover. As mentioned in my Cats of the Hemingway House post, Earnest loved six-toed cats. So much so that he had upwards of 70 of them at one time. Today visitors to the Hemingway house can find around 50 cats, half having six toes, and all are direct decedents of Hemingway’s original “Snowball.”
Where to Stay
Find the best deal, compare prices, and read what other travellers have to say about NYAH at TripAdvisor
On my odd time in Key weird, I stayed at the uniquely awesome NYAH hotel. It offered the best combination of value and comfort and is in walking (or biking) distance from all the sights. I highly recommend!
What say you?
Do you have any odd things to do in Key West that is not on this list?
Let’s hear it!
For more reviews from Key West and beyond see HERE.
My odd things to do in Key West list was made possible by Historic Tours of America.
The opinions, weird experiences, and thoughts are my own.