Y’all. Last month we went down to the Keys to visit my parents, and let me tell you how amazing it was! The first full day we were there we drove the hour and a half down to Key West and spent the whole day walking around, shopping, eating, and experiencing Island Life! And let me tell you, Island Time is definitely NOT a myth; it’s a real thing. We watched the sunset from Mallory Square, which is a super famous area of Key West, known specifically for its sunsets!
The entire transportation system down there is something to behold! Route 1 (known down there as A1A) runs the entire length of the Keys, from the mainland right down to Key West. Around the 1920s, a man named Henry Flagler built a train track to run that entire length. It took SEVERAL years and a whole lot of money, but finally right before 1930 it was finished! In 1935, a huge hurricane swept through the keys and knocked out most of the train tracks! They eventually rebuilt part of it, adding a wider road on top for cars. Several years later, another hurricane came and wiped out that as well!! Obviously the road has been rebuilt, but not in exactly the same places. There are still some parts of the original train track that exist and just stay, unused. There are certain areas throughout the Keys where you can walk out onto restored parts of the old bridges. One is at 7 Mile Bridge; there’s a two mile stretch that has been restored as a walking and bike path and leads out to a tiny island. Another is in a national park called Bahia Honda. Usually you can walk out to the end of the restored bridge and see straight across the break to the unrestored part, but the day we went was too windy and we couldn’t walk all the way out. We did, however, go down to the park area and see the break from afar.
If you’ve never been to Key West, or really any of the Keys, I totally recommend going! It’s absolutely gorgeous, has a ton of neat history that you wouldn’t necessarily know about (like the Flagler Train!!) and is just an awesome place to take a vacation!! I can’t wait to go back 🙂