Key West, Florida
The Conch Republic draws boaters ranging from sailing bums to day-trippers, yet one thread binds them all; each seafaring visitor wants a taste of Key West’s Caribbean-inspired cuisine.
1. Hyatt Resort’s SHOR Seafood Grill stands above the rest in Key West Bight, the epicenter of transient boating. This elegant restaurant is also ideal for taking in Key West’s famous sunset on its plantation-style outdoor porch. Got to Try: After eating the chilled seafood tower and the chef’s specially prepared Florida lobster, our palates begged for more.
2. Schooner Wharf is ever-funky and billed as “a last little piece of old Key West.” It lives up to this adage by offering a laid-back open-air atmosphere chock full of entertainment — including watching the locals — while providing classic Key West dishes. Got to Try: The conch chowder or its ever-popular fresh mahimahi tacos are meals you will not forget.
Things To Do
Within walking distance of Key West Bight are dozens of attractions. Mel Fisher’s Maritime Museum is a fun bet. The museum features many of the artifacts found by this iconic treasure hunter, from Spanish Armada wrecks like the Atocha and Santa Margarita. A great way to see the entire town would be to hop on the Conch Train. Finally, a trip to Key West would not be complete without doing the “Duval Crawl” and stopping in at Sloppy Joe’s Bar, a known haunt of Ernest Hemingway.
Docking is complicated here, but totally doable. If you are a transient boater, your best bet is to tie up at the Key West City Marina, which is just a short walk to either restaurant. This friendly dock and dine marina offers hourly or daily dockage at its fixed docks. Be sure to run four lines to the dock and pilings along with a spring line. Schooner Wharf also offers daily rates and can be contacted via its website.