Destination: Everywhere, Florida – Day 4

Day 4 – Pigeon Key & Key West

We were up and moving by  8:30am on Tuesday, May 30th. The very first thing we did was make our way down to the little beach area at Gilbert’s Resort to soak in the view before checking out. It was great because it was still early enough that we had the whole thing to ourselves.

Gilbert's Resort, Key Largo, Florida
{The view from Gilbert’s beach}

After wandering around the property and grabbing a quick bite from their complimentary breakfast bar, we packed our bags back into the car and headed south down the Overseas Highway. We had somewhere to be by noon.

The last couple of times we came to the Keys we had noticed this island with an old, dilapidated ramp that was connected to the Old Seven Mile Bridge, which is no longer accessible. This tiny little island was dotted with a few cottages and had a banner hanging from the solar panels that read “See Pigeon Key”. We had been curious about this place from the first time we saw it, so it was about high time we checked it out. We stopped off at the Pigeon Key Visitor Center on Knights Key and hopped on a ferry boat.

Pigeon Key Visitor Center on Knight's Key in Monroe County, Florida
{Pigeon Key Visitor Center on Knights Key}
{Route from Knights Key to Pigeon Key… roughly… courtesy Google Earth}
{Going under the Seven Mile Bridge}
{Between both Seven Mile Bridges}
{Old Seven Mile Bridge}

Once we arrived at Pigeon Key, we were greeted by a very knowledgeable tour guide who showed us around the tiny island and gave us a run down of it’s history. The tour lasted about an hour, leaving us with an hour to wander around and check the place out. We hit it at the perfect time because we only had one other family of three with us during our tour, and we had caught the last tour before a very excited group of teenagers arrived for a 3-day marine science camp.

enviro fact (8)

Pigeon Key, Monroe County, Florida Keys
{Welcome to Pigeon Key!}
Pigeon Key, Monroe County, Florida
{The old Seven Mile Bridge runs right over top of the island}
Pigeon Key, Monroe County, Florida Keys
{Ramp to Old Seven Mile Bridge}
Pigeon Key, Monroe County, Florida Keys
{New bridge on the left, old bridge on the right}
Pigeon Key, Monroe County, Florida Keys
{The water in the Keys is typically very clear…}
Pigeon Key, Monroe County, Florida Keys
{… but the water around Pigeon Key was almost spring water clear!}
Pigeon Key, Monroe County, Florida Keys
{Parts of the island are very picturesque}
Pigeon Key, Monroe County, Florida Keys
{It’s an absolutely beautiful place!}

Before we knew it our two hour tour on Pigeon Key was over and it was time to make our way back to the dock. I really wished we could have more time here, I really wanted to go swimming. I was super upset with myself for not bringing our snorkel gear with us on the ferry. This place would have been awesome for snorkeling! Pigeon Key, I think it’s safe to say we will be seeing you again.

Pigeon Key, Monroe County, Florida Keys
{Swimming, anyone?}
{View of the open ocean from the dock}
{Until next time, Pigeon Key!}

Once we left Pigeon Key we headed straight for Key West and got checked into our room at the Caribbean House. (Don’t forget to check out to find the best rates on places like the Caribbean House!)

Caribbean House, Key West
{Caribbean House}
Caribbean House, Key West
{Caribbean House}

This place was adorable, but we didn’t hang out in the room for long. We were starving, so we headed back up the Keys a bit to Big Pine to grab some dinner at one of our favorite spots – No Name Pub.

No Name Pub, Big Pine Key, Florida
{The ceiling and walls at No Name Pub are completely covered in money!}
{We went, we ate, we hung another dollar!}

After leaving No Name Pub (and seeing 23 Key deer!) we headed back to the Caribbean House and then took a walk around the area. We went down Duval Street just to see it and then quickly diverted to the next street over. We found ourselves in front of the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, which is also on the Register of Historic Places. This place was actually on our itinerary for tomorrow. Of course it was closed at this hour, but that’s okay because we didn’t actually want to go in. It was on our list simply because this is where you have the best chance of seeing Hemingway’s famous six-toed cats.enviro fact (9)

Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum, Key West
{Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum}

Best chance is right! We walked up, peeked in the gate and boom… six-toed cat.

Six-toed cat
{If you look closely at the paw, you can see the thumb-like extra toe}

Well that was easy.

The fact that the museum was closed most likely worked in our favor since cats tend to make themselves scarce when crowds of people are around. I’m so glad we decided to take that late night stroll. Now it was back to the room to try and get some sleep.

{Poem carved in the sidewalk}

Totals for Day 4:

173 miles

23 Key deer

2 establishments on the Register of Historic Places

1 boat ride… in the Keys 🙂

1 beach/island

1 six-toed cat

{Trip planning and mapping made possible in part by the RoadTrippers app. And yes, these gas amounts are accurate. That’s what happens when you get 50mpg. All hail the Prius!}

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