People in Key West have a love-hate relationship with cruise ships. Those that love the mega-liners coming in for the day generally own a shop on Duval Street or a restaurant close by. Those that hate it are the people that like to walk down the street without encountering an extra 3,000 people.

The cruise ships are not going anywhere, but I think it is important that cruise passengers have a good time on our little island. I have prepared a cheat sheet of things to do. Here they are, in no particular order, the Top 10 Must-Dos when in Key West for only a day:

  • Even if it is 96 degrees in the shade, you should stop in to Pepper‘s and taste some hot sauce. Don’t like the hot stuff? They have plenty of good gifts.
  • While we are eating (it is after all, MY top 10 list, so it will involve eating and drinking at every given opportunity) stop in to Kermit‘s for a slice of frozen key lime pie on a stick dipped in chocolate. If you’ve been following along, you know this is, hands down, my favorite key lime pie in town. Take it out to the back, and indulge while enjoying the koi pond. I happen to like the one named Carrot Top.
  • After Kermit’s, take a walk down Lazy Way and along the harbor. You may see some tarpon in the water, and you can ogle a bunch of really nice boats, too.
  • Stop in for a drink at the Hog’s Breath. They usually have live music from 1PM until well past my bedtime. It’s usually someone good, too.
  • After (or before, remember this is in no particular order) the Hog’s Breath, stop by Kino’s and pick up a pair of ubiquitous Key West sandals. They are are cheap, comfortable and come in a zillion colors. You may need to try a few pair in your size before you fine ones that fit just right. They make a great souvenir of you trip. Picture yourself at home, in January, in Buffalo, with twelve feet of snow on the ground, and you are lounging in your Kino’s wishing you were in Key West again. Good times.

There you have it. A great day in Key West with some souvenirs to take home. I know that was only a Top 5 list, and I promised 10. You’ll have to come back on Saturday for part II. See you then.