What is the best way to learn all you can about the place you are visiting? How about a bike tour. And where is biking totally appropriate and fun? Key West, Florida.
I found Key Lime Bike Tours via Tripadvisor. What immediately got my attention was not only do you get a fun tour of all the hot spots, historical and quirky, but at the end of the tour you get a bonus. A stop at the Kermit Key Lime factory for some flavorful, authentic Key Lime pies and all other things Key Lime.
Christopher, the owner and main guide, of Key Lime Tours is a transplant from the Northeast and has been coming to Key West for over fifteen years with his wife. Not only is he a Key West lover, but a history nut as well. And you know what history buffs do best, they can tell you all the nitty gritty cool info of the place. And that’s exactly what we got.
Quote of the day:
Christopher began the tour by telling us who are the people that move to Key West: “We are all here (as in Key West), because we are all NOT fully here (pointing to his head).”
That pretty much sums up Key West’s history as well, since it is entwined with many types of people that were not fully right in the head (in a good way and not so good way).
What We Saw On Our Key West Bike Tour
After we got the run down of how to use the bikes, which were brand spanking new. Plus so easy to maneuver and extremely bright green – my absolute favorite color. I was the only one who used my helmet (which came off after I realized I was the only dork with one).
Our first main stop was Mallory Square. This is where you will find all the freaks for the sunset show (we were too early for it). It is also where the cruise ships come in.
After Mallory Square we headed to the center of town where the Government offices and most of the museums were located.
Next we traversed through narrow, cobble stoned, fruit laced streets learning all about the architecture.
And then we came to marker zero. When you travel in the Keys most of the addresses are markers and numbers. The number represents the miles on Highway 1, and marker zero is the very beginning of all major highways on the east coast of the US. This is the most photographed sign and also the most stolen sign.
While learning all about President Truman, as we stood in front of his summer home, we got to meet some of the most prominent citizens of Key West – the wild chickens and roosters that roam free here because the entire island is an animal preserve. They seem totally at home and are everywhere. I’m quite curious what happens when the chickens meet up with the second most prominent citizens of the island – cats?
Duval Street – you can NOT come to Key West and not visit Duval Street. This is where all the action takes place (at night). However, it is full of history, shops and fun all throughout the day as well.
And don’t forget the second most famous person of the island, after Ernest Hemingway – Jimmy Buffet. And of course the original Margaritaville restaurant located on Duval Street. But it’s not on the coolest side of town with Sloppy Joe’s and Captain Tony’s restaurants and bars.
Key West is so completely diverse it was truly incredible that such a small island can have so many different neighborhoods and vibes. One of my favorite was the Bahama Village where Bahamians still live to this day. It is the most colorful part of town, with great restaurants.
The reason Bahamians came here was due to the treasure hunting. They were the only ones that could free swim, back in the late 1800’s, almost 30 feet underwater and stay there longer than any other men.
One of the last spots was the most cliche thing to do on Key West. But you can’t come all the way here and not visit the ‘Southernmost point on the continental US‘. Ironically enough, it isn’t the southernmost point, since the army base gets that piece of the land. But it was still amusing to sit and watch all the people line up to take a photo with it. The line was a good 45 minutes, or I could just snap it without anyone in the picture without any wait at all.
The island is sooo cute. I loved our leisure rides as we rode past colorful stores and restaurants on our way to the Key Lime pie factory, the finale of our tour.
The Key Lime Factory was way more than just key lime pie.
It was an assortment of all things key lime. We had so many tasty samples that I was too full for dinner (almost).
Information for Riding with Key Lime Bike Tours
We arrived to the Florida Keys on a Harley Davidson rental, so technically we could have done a lot of the tour on our own. But trust me, you don’t want to do that.
Doing the bike tour was without a doubt the highlight of our entire mini-honeymoon and exploration of all the Florida Keys. And I would do this over and over again.
Christopher is a super guide, knowledgeable and fun. You can tell that he is not doing this for the money, but out of true enjoyment and that’s what makes the adventure so much more fun.
Aside from getting all new bikes, Christopher also has bikes for families with young kids too. You might not want to do the full tour with really young ones, but you can rent them and go on your own, or do a partial tour as well.
Prices – $39 per person, which includes:
– a bottle of water at departure
– a stop at Kermit’s Key Lime Pie Shop for a taste of all things key lime, including his world famous key lime pie on a stick!
* is approx. 2 1/2 hours*
Address: DBA KEY LIME BIKE TOURS, KEY WEST, FL