Ghosts and Gravestones Trolley Tour!

Here is LilaMeow posing with Robert the Doll. Of course, she did ask his permission for the photo!

Here is LilaMeow posing with Robert the Doll. Of course, she did ask his permission for the photo!

Last night I went on the Key West Ghosts & Gravestones tour with my friend, Kurt. The tour began at 501 Front Street, on the corner of Front and Duval Streets where we boarded the trolley, fittingly decorated to fit the “ghoulish” theme. There were dead vines on the ceiling, creepy flickering candles (fake, of course for safety sake!), and other fun decorations to add to the spooky experience. The tour guide, you guessed it, is DEAD! It took Kurt twenty minutes to figure this out even though our guide, Elsa, wore dated attire from the 1800’s and was extremely pale with dark, sunken eyes. By the way, Elsa had fallen down the steps of the Key West Lighthouse to her death.

During the course of the tour, your guide will share various ghost stories and tales from different historic landmarks here in Key West. Some of these sites include Captain Tony’s Saloon and St. Paul’s Church, to name just a couple.

My favorite part was stopping at the Fort East Martello, where the infamous Robert the Doll resides. We were met by Benjamin Jonah, our dead “hooker” from the 1800’s. Benjamin told us he collected corpses from the ocean when yellow fever struck Key West. He gave us a brief tour of the fort, then told us Robert’s rules. When entering Robert’s room, you must do the following: acknowledge him by saying hello, ask his permission to take a photo, and remember to say good bye. Supposedly, there have been numerous reports of strange and not-so-good things happening to individuals that do not follow these rules! Oh! And you also get a ghost radar to carry around with you as well! I followed all of the rules and had my photo taken with Robert while my radar went off the charts! It was terrifying but a lot of fun, nonetheless.

Try and lift this puppy!

Try and lift this puppy!

After the fort, we boarded the trolley again and continued the tour, driving by several more landmarks while listening to more stories. We finally ended up at the Shipwreck Museum at Mallory Square. We had access into the museum and were told of the most recent haunting there. It was very dim and reminded me of the haunted houses I had visited around Halloween while growing up.
Our guide was sarcastic, witty, enthusiastic, and very knowledgable. I loved the interactive aspect of the tour too; if someone yells, “you’re doomed!” as you drive by, you must yell back “YES! We are the doomed!”

My friend, Kurt, has resided in Key West for a number of years now; he had never done the trolley before. He was far more terrified than I was during the tour, but we both thoroughly enjoyed it. The entire experience was an hour and a half long. It was entertaining, informative, and downright fun! I highly recommend it to not only visitors but locals as well. My recommendation would be to go at night; the darkness adds to the tour! Maybe not the tour for the truly faint of heart though! Call 305-29-GHOST for more information and to make your reservations, which are required!

For more information about Key West, check out our Key West information site. Also, make sure to visit the restaurant review section of this blog to help you decide where to eat during your stay on our island!

Lila Meow

Ringing in the New Year in Key West! Welcome 2017!

ChampagneIt seems like everyone is ready for 2016 to be over! If you are ringing in the New Year in Key West, check out all of the New Year’s Eve holiday happenings below. Find out where you can go to enjoy a meal with a glass of champagne or two and where to find entertainment that can only be experienced here on our island! Let’s welcome 2017 with a party in Paradise!


Abbondanza is doing a 4 course classic Italian dinner for $41 per person. Please call 305-292-1199 for reservations.

Commodore Waterfront Restaurant is offering a special 3-course menu for $79 per person. Please call 305-294-9191 for reservations.

Duffy’s Steak and Lobster House is having a 4-course dinner for $39 per person. Please call 305-296-4900 for reservations.

The Grand Cafe located at 314 Duval Street has a special 4-course dinner for New Year’s Eve. The early seating is priced at $95 per person and the late seating is priced at $110 per person. For reservations call 305-292-4740.

Martin’s Key West at 917 Duval Street is offering a special 4-course meant for $125 per person. Check out the menu! Call 305-295-0111.

One Duval at the Pier House Resort and Spa will have a special new years eve menu featuring delicacies such as foie gras and grilled lobster tail. For reservation, call 305-296-4600.

Rooftop Cafe offers their full dinner menu along with holiday specials. In addition to the regular menu, special multi-course menus are often available. Reservations on all major holidays are recommended. Please contact the restaurant in advance for specific details or questions.

SHOR at the Hyatt Resort will have a special menu for New Year’s Eve! Please call 305-809-4000 for reservations.

Southernmost Beach Cafe located at 1405 Duval Street is open for dinner New Year’s Eve! Call 305-295-6550 for reservations.

Entertainment / Celebrations

New Year’s Eve: Pirate Wench Drop at Schooner Wharf – For piratical partiers, a New Year’s Eve salute to Key West’s rowdy seafaring roots is scheduled at the island’s Historic Seaport. At midnight, a winsome pirate wench is to descend from the top of the mast of the tall ship America 2.0 as cannon blasts welcome 2014. A dove release is to follow. Scallywags in attendance can expect live music, dancing and festivities until 4 a.m., without a cover charge, at the Schooner Wharf Bar, 202 William St.

New Year’s Eve: Conch Shell Drop at Sloppy Joe’s – The arrival of 2014 is to be heralded on the island’s Duval Street with the “drop” of a gigantic manmade conch shell, the symbol of the Florida Keys, to the flat roof of Sloppy Joe’s Bar, 201 Duval. Thousands of spectators gather on Duval for the annual gala, emceed by a rooftop host starting at 10 p.m. and featuring dancing in the street and a countdown to midnight recorded on a huge clock. At midnight, the shell descends and cheers erupt. Stellar Mojo Band is to perform on Sloppy Joe’s indoor stage, rounding out the revelry. No reservations or tickets are taken, but a door charge is required to party inside the bar.

New Year’s Eve Shoe Drop Celebration – The Southernmost City celebrates with a descending 6-foot red high heel shoe carrying drag queen Sushi at the Bourbon Street Pub/New Orleans House complex, 724 Duval St. Seconds before midnight, the high heel bearing a lavishly gowned and coiffed Sushi is to be lowered from the second-story balcony of the complex toward the cheering crowds below. As midnight strikes and the New Year officially begins, she will land and gleefully pop the cork on a ceremonial bottle of champagne.


DON’T DRINK & DRIVE!!! With that in mind… The City of Key West Department of Transportation is offering transportation for the holiday so that you won’t drink and drive!

Two city buses will travel along Northside Drive, Flagler Avenue, Maloney Avenue, North Roosevelt Boulevard, and South Roosevelt Boulevard and Four Lower Keys buses with service between Marathon and Key West will be traveling southbound to Fausto’s Food Palace and returning as far as MM 52.5 across from Walgreen’s on 109th Street in Marathon. Designated pick up and drop off points in Old Town Key West is Fausto’s Food Palace at Bahama and Fleming Streets.

The New Year’s Eve shuttle begins service at 4:00PM in the Lower Keys and 6:00 pm in Key West and Stock Island. The Last trip from Key West at Fausto’s to Marathon will depart no later than 2:00AM. One way safe ride shuttle fares are $10 per person per trip for Lower Keys revelers and $5 per person per trip for city revelers. Exact change is required and no passes or discounts will be available for this shuttle. No alcohol, toys or weapons are allowed. For more information you can visit or call 305-600-1455 or 305-809-3910.

See what else is happening on the island during your visit by checking out our Key West Events Calendar, and for other things to do and see in our island city, go to our Key West Web Site.

Before making your reservations for dinner reservations check out our restaurant reviews!

Feel free to Email Me if you have any questions about Key West!!
Island Genn

Key West Concierge

2016 Key West Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day Feast

Thanksgiving Day Feast

I love the Thanksgiving holiday. When sharing favorites like turkey and pumpkin pie with family and close friends, what’s not to love? Especially for foodies! If you are visiting Key West this Turkey Day, have no fear! You will still be able to enjoy these holiday favorites at several different restaurants. Or, you can always start a new tradition and enjoy a local seafood dish instead.

Below is a list of places that will be open for Thanksgiving this year, some of them offering special holiday menus. Reservations are highly recommended!
  • A&B Lobster House – 700 Front Street / 305-294-5880
  • Antonia’s – 615 Duval Street / 305-294-6565
  • Azur – 425 Grinnell Street / 305-292-2987
  • Bagatelle – 115 Duval Street / 305-296-6609
  • Bliss Key West – 411 Petronia Street / 305-240-1281
  • The Boat House – 700 Front Street / 305-294-9191 – Serving their regular menu as well as a special Thanksgiving menu for $19.95 per adult and $12.99 per child. Thanksgiving business hours of noon until 10pm.
  • Cafe Sole – 1029 Southard Street / 305-294-0230 – A traditional Thanksgiving Day dinner will be served from 4pm – 10pm for just $32 per person. Or, you can still order from their regular menu as well!
  • Charlie Mac’s – 404 Southard Street / 305-320-0204 – Enjoy smoked turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie all for just $15 per person.
  • Commodore – 700 Front Street / 305-294-9191 – Serving their regular menu and a special three course Thanksgiving menu which will run $35 per adult and $14.95 per child. Restaurant will be open from 4pm until 10pm.
  • Dantes – 951 Caroline Street / 305-293-5123 – Enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving buffet for $21.95, from 1pm until 5pm.
  • Doubletree Grand Key Resort – 3990 S. Roosevelt Blvd / 305-293-1818 – Offering a special Thanksgiving Day buffet from 1:00pm until 9:00pm for just $35.95 per person.
  • Duffy’s – 1007 Simonton Street / 305-296-4900 – Serving their regular dinner menu all day and a special three course Thanksgiving menu priced at $24.99 per adult and $12.99 per child. Thanksgiving business hours of noon until 10pm.
  • Firefly Key West – 223 Petronia Street / 305-849-0104 – Enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner including smoked turkey, fried turkey, delicious sides, and desserts for $50 per person.
  • Grand Cafe Key West – 314 Duval Street / 305-292-4740 – For $26.95 per person you can enjoy their Thanksgiving Manu which boasts baked carved turkey breast with gravy, seasonal herbed stuffing with thyme and shallots, cranberry relish, potato puree, and creamed spinach.
  • Hard Rock Cafe – 313 Duval Street / 305-293-0230
  • Hot Tin Roof at the Ocean Key Resort – 0 Duval Street / 305-295-7057 – A special Thanksgiving day fixed price four-course menu is available for $69 plus tax per person.
  • La Te Da – 1125 Duval Street / 305-296-6706
  • La Trattoria Oceanside – 3593 S Roosevelt Blvd. / 305-295-6789 – opened on Thanksgiving Day. Enjoy classic Italian dishes!
  • La Trattoria Old Town – 524 Duval Street / 305-296-1075 – opened on Thanksgiving Day. Enjoy classic Italian dishes!
  • Martin’s – 917 Duval Street / 305-295-0111 – In addition to their full menu, Thanksgiving Day specials to include: pumpkin soup, oven roasted turkey breast, turkey schnitzel, and pumpkin pie.
  • Nine One Five – 915 Duval Street / 305-296-0669
  • One Duval at the Pier House Resort – 1 Duval Street / 305-295-3255 – A Thanksgiving Day brunch will be served for $42.95 plus tax per person from 11am until 9pm.
  • Prime Steakhouse – 951 Carolien Street / 305-296-4000
  • Rooftop Cafe – 308 Front Street / 305-294-2042 – Offering their full dinner menu along with holiday specials.
  • SHOR at the Hyatt Resort – 601 Front Street / 305-809-4000 – Offering a “build your own” Thanksgiving Day dinner for $40 per person. You can choose from one protein (turkey, short ribs, or mahi mahi), three sides (mac & cheese, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, sweet potato puree, roasted root veggies), and one beverage (pumpkin punch, pumpkin white Russian, pumpkin ale ice cream float).
  • Southernmost Beach Cafe – 1405 Duval Street / 305-295-6550
  • Spencer’s by the Sea at the Reach Resort – 1435 Simonton Street / 305-296-5000 – Enjoy a three course Thanksgiving Day dinner for just $55 per person from 4 – 10pm.
  • Sun Sun at the Casa Marina Resort – 1500 Reynolds Street / 305-296-3535
  • Tavern N Town at the Marriott Beachside – 3841 N Roosevelt Blvd / 305-296-8100 – Serving their regular menu along with specials for Thanksgiving day. Open from 3pm until 10pm.
  • Thai Life Floating Restaurant – 1801 N Roosevelt Blvd / 305-296-9907
Looking for action this Thanksgiving rather than the normal lackadaisical Turkey Day? Here are some options for you!
  • The Fishing Is Amazing Here In Key West over Thanksgiving! Check Out Dream Catcher Charters – Key West best resource for fishing charters since 1994.
  • Fury Watersports Ultimate Adventure features sailing, snorkeling, parasailing, jet skiing, and more plus a special holiday menu for both breakfast and lunch including roasted turkey. Thanksgiving Day from 10am until 4pm for $165 per person.  For reservations please call Island Genn at 1-888-362-3474 and tell her that you would like to reserve seats on the Fury Thanksgiving Day Ultimate Adventure.
  • Sunset Watersports Thanksgiving Dinner Cruise – Enjoy the sunset and a buffet dinner aboard the Sunset Party Cat for just $69 plus tax per person. Check in is at 4:30pm at 201 William Street. Call Island Genn at 1-888-362-3474 to make your reservation today!
Want to enjoy Thanksgiving in the comfort of your home or hotel room? Well then you can order meals to be picked up!
  • Great Events is creating a Thanksgiving feast that you can bring home to enjoy without having to doc all of the prep work! Order by November 21st at 5pm. Pick up between 9am and 2pom on Thanksgiving Day. They will even deliver to your door for an additional $25! Menu includes: rotisserie style roasted and carved turkey, sour cream and chive mashed potatoes, giblet gravy, cornbread roasted apple sage stuffing, cranberry orange chutney, green bean casserole, and monkey bread. Other tidbits such as desserts are also available as are custom menus. This dinner for four is $120, and cash orders will be discounted. Great Events is located at 925 Truman Ave. Contact: 305-292-2252 /
  • Date & Thyme is offering a selection of ready to eat vegan,  gluten free, and organic side dishes available to be picked up on Wednesday, November 23. All orders must be placed by Saturday, November 19. Order by the pint or the quart: vegan mac & cheese, butternut squash soup, green bean casserole, autumn kale salad, roasted brussel sprouts. Located at 829 Fleming Street. Contact: 305-296-7766.
  • Saltwater Sandwiches located at the VFW on N Roosevelt Blvd. is doing a Thanksgiving to Go! Dinner for 4 includes sliced oven baked turkey, stuffing, gravy, mash potatoes, green beans, and cornbread for just $65.95. To place your order call 305-294-9968. All orders will be available for pick up starting at 10am on Thanksgiving Day!
Below are places that have been opened for the holiday and may have offered specials for Thanksgiving in years past. We are still awaiting confirmation that they will be opening this year as well, so stay tuned for updates to this list!!

Before making your reservations for Thanksgiving dinner, be sure to read my restaurant reviews; check out our restaurant review section of this blog as well as our restaurant reviews. Also, to see what is happening on the island during your visit, check out our Key West Events Calendar to see other upcoming special events.

For more information about the fun side of Key West… things to do and see in our island city, go to our Key West Web Site.

Feel free to Email Me if you have any questions about Key West!!

Island Genn – Your Key West Concierge

Key West Lobsterfest 2016

Key Wes Lobsterfest 2016The dates of August 11 – 14, 2016 should have lobster lovers excited. That is because spiny lobster season is now open and in celebration Key West will host the annual Lobsterfest event. This year marks the 20th anniversary of this popular festival celebrating the lobster, benefitting the Key West High School Scholarship Fund.

Not only do the locals love to attend, but Lobsterfest draws about 20,000 visitors each year as well. So, if you have not already booked your hotel rooms, you better do it now!

The highlight of this event would have to be the local chefs creating delicious recipes with the spiny lobster for us to sample and enjoy. But there are many other events happening during this festival as well:



FRIDAY, AUGUST 12th, 2016




SUNDAY, AUGUST 14th, 2016


And when you have had enough lobster (is that even possible?) visitors can enjoy so many other fun aspects of the island. We have several beaches, fun fishing charters, snorkeling trips to the gorgeous reef, and plenty of museums about Key West’s rich history.

It is hot outside, so please remember to wear hats, lots of sunscreen, and drink plenty of water while you are walking around Duval Street.

Before deciding where you are going to eat (besides at Lobsterfest), be sure to read my restaurant reviews; check out our restaurant review section of this blog as well as our previous restaurant reviews.

For more information about the fun side of Key West… things to do and see in our island city, go to our Key West Web Site.

Feel free to Email Me if you have any questions about Key West!!

Island Genn
Key West Concierge