Every summer a multi-day celebration is held in honor of Mel Fisher, a man who pursued his dreams and discovered a fortune in treasure in the seas off Key West, inspiring millions to follow their own dreams and earning him the title of The World’s Greatest Treasure Hunter. The 2015 Mel Fisher Days are set for July 9-12 and will celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the historic Atocha Mother Lode find with treasure-trove of events ranging from the educational to the adventurous.
There is no better time to explore the eerie side of Old Town Key West than during the run up to Halloween. Visitors to America’s most southern city should climb aboard the “Trolley of the Doomed” and let a gravedigger guide them along a Ghosts & Gravestones tour of Key West, America’s fourth most haunted city. These evening adventures offer guests an opportunity to explore the macabre past of this eclectic city when the restless souls and spirits of the past begin to stir. Patrons will hear the sinister tales of creepy Count Karl von Cosel and Elena Mesa, his dearly departed wife. Visitors will be spell bound by the web of intrigue created by stories of lynchings, murder, mayhem, clandestine burials and the island’s many superstitions.
The Fort Meyers to Key West Ferry (on the Key West Express) is your gateway to the southernmost city in the continental United States. When the high-speed boat docks, you will be in the tropical paradise that inspired Ernest Hemingway and Jimmy Buffett. You can explore the history, culture and charm of this idyllic resort community. “Parrotheads” and Hemingway devotees will enjoy the museums dedicated to the legacy of these artistic legends. Another popular attraction is Harry Truman’s southern White House, which served as his official winter residence from 1946 to 1952. Climb aboard the Conch Train for a ride around the Old Town area of the city and see the sights along Duval Street, Mallory Square and the famous seaport. Fort Zachary Taylor provides a romantic backdrop for sunset picnics and weddings. The park has picnic facilities, barbecue grills and a concession area. Remember to pack water shoes or flip flops to protect your feet from the coral. Eateries serve local favorites like cracked conch sandwiches.
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You can enjoy the marvelous panoramic vistas from the observation tower of the shipwreck museum or the historic Key West Lighthouse. Snorkelers and divers explore the beautiful reefs and translucent blue water just offshore. A glass-bottom boat enables visitors to view the mesmerizing underwater world as well. You can embark on a dolphin-watching or deep-sea fishing cruise.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! is renowned for highlighting strange and mystifying things and events that occur around the globe. A 20th century Indiana Jones, Robert Ripley enjoyed traveling and collecting unusual items to chronicle his journeys to distant lands. The amateur anthropologist visited more than 200 countries in search of distinctive and unusual natural and cultural artifacts. Mr. Ripley’s enduring legacy is the “Odditoriums” that entertain more than 12 million people each year in over 30 worldwide destinations.
Tour the Island
Set aside the first 90 minutes of your visit for an entertaining narrated tour of the island on the Old Town Trolley or the Conch Tour Train. They give you a great vantage point from which to see sights you might otherwise miss. You’ll get an insider’s view of the free-spirited community, experience the buzz of activity along the narrow streets, and catch whiffs of fragrant frangipani and fresh Cuban coffee. You’ll go from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic, passing by all the important places along the route: Hemingway’s home, the Southernmost Point, the Historic Seaport, to name a few. You’ll marvel at the magnificent kapok and the flame-red Royal Poinciana, and catch details on the charming homes pointed out along the way. You’ll be introduced to the quirky: dogs in sunglasses riding scooters; sun-baked palm weavers barely visible on frond-laden bikes; red-combed roosters holding court; and wildly painted conch cruisers driving by. Tours operate daily.