No trip to Key West is complete without playing on the water.

We all know the very best thing to do in Key West is look at homes for sale with me. Then you get to live here. Other fun things to do in Key West are done on the water.

When it comes to hot summer days in Key West, cooling off isn’t just an option.  It’s necessary!  Our 4×2 mile island has plenty of places to soak up the sun, but the real fun is out on the water. Vacation is the perfect time to experience an adventure you’ll never forget. It’s time to dive in and cool off with our list of the top 5 Key West water activities!

Scuba diving:

The 120-mile Florida Keys island chain is home to the continental United States’ only living coral barrier reef.  With average visibility of 50-80 feet, you’re sure to spot sea turtles, sharks, plenty of fish, coral heads and much more.  Don’t miss the most popular diving destination in Key West, General Hoyt Vanderberg sunk in 2009.  Don’t know how to scuba dive?  No problem!  Learn to scuba for a day or extend your vacation and become certified in 4 days.


You don’t need to be a certified scuba diver to enjoy the beauty of the coral reef!  A catamaran or sailboat charter provide you with snorkeling equipment, safety vests and swim noodles (if needed).  This Key West water activity is the perfect fit for any level, beginner to expert.  Best of all, cocktails are free on your ride back!

Jet Ski Tours:

We’ve heard it a million times, some tourists tend to think this “tour” doesn’t sound like much fun.  Well, we beg to differ and are pretty sure you’ll agree once you try it out.  This hour and a half tour encourages you to go fast: the faster you go, the smoother ride.  Your guide makes about 5 stops along the route to gather the group and point out unique views of the Southernmost Point, Key Haven and beautiful sand bars. Ladies, no need to ride as a passenger … get your own and feel the rush!

Kayaking or Paddleboarding:

The perfect Key West water activity for both couples and families!  Explore the mangroves and backcountry at your own pace.  Hop aboard a tour that takes you out near the wildlife refuge or go out on your own right from a marina in Stock Island.  The sights and sounds will have you relaxing and enjoying your Key West vacation in no time!

Sunset Sails:

Not a fan of being IN the water?  We hear ya – it’s not for everyone.  But you don’t have to miss out – enjoy the ocean views from the safety of catamaran or sailboat!  Choose from a variety of amenities including dinner cruises, wine tastings with appetizers, free cocktails and more.  And don’t forget your camera!  You’re sure to capture one of our famous Key West sunsets.

The best part of all of these fun things is they only take a few hours. That leaves plenty of time in your day to look at Key West homes for sale with me. Let me make you a local.


Gary McAdams, PA
Realtor/Notary Public
Barbara Anderson Realty
Key West, Florida 

Big Pine Key Boater's Dream, buy it before it hits the MLS

Boater’s “Dream Home”!!! Not on the MLS yet. This 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom concrete home is located on the best canal system on Big Pine Key. Sailboat depth canal with no bridges to go under leading into the wide channel of Newfound Harbor. Full service Marina less than 5 minutes away by boat. Canal in the back yard and watch the sunset over the salt marsh estuary from the front side of the house. You can see it before the Realtors.

Located close to grocery shopping and restaurants. Less than a 30 minute drive to Key West or Marathon. Call me direct at 305-731-0501 and you can see it before other Realtors or their buyers.


Gary McAdams, PA
Realtor/Notary Public
Barbara Anderson Realty
Key West, Florida 

Sunday Brunch in Key West

I have always liked Sunday Brunch. Better yet, taking a future local out to Sunday Brunch before we go look at Key West homes for sale. Once you buy that house in Key West you can go to one of our many Sunday Brunches. That leads you to the question of where? Here are a few of my favorites.

Hot Tin Roof os my favorite. If the term “vacation” translates to pampering, don’t bother brunching anywhere else on Sunday morning than Hot Tin Roof. This ain’t no buffet, folks. This is fine-dining brunch style at the Ocean Key Resort! Pay one price and sit back and relax. The drinks seem to refill themselves as the attentive servers bring unending, freshly made tapas from the kitchen. It’s luxury at it’s finest. With over 1,200 5 star reviews, you don’t even have to take our word it, just read the reviews!

The Breakfast Club Too is another great Brunch. I loved the movie "The Breakfast Club" and I like The Breakfast Club Too. If you have an early boat trip off of the Historic Seaport, then Breakfast Club, Too was the perfect launching (or landing) point. Located conveniently on Greene Street, this breakfast bistro has a nice combination of cool, dark inside seating (if you’re fight fighting off a hangover) or sunny porch spots. Come hungry because the breakfast skillets are mountains of deliciousness.  Wash it down with their own signature roasted coffee.

Another favorite is Matt's Stock Island. As a winner of OpenTable’s 2019 Diners’ Choice award for Best Dining, Ambiance, Seafood, and Lunch, and named #2 out of the Top 10 Restaurants in Key West by Timeout magazine, you best be darn-toot’n that Matt’s Stock Island Kitchen & Bar’s brunch stands up the the high expectations set by their head Chef Kalen. Come on any day of the week and the breakfast includes American Coastal Comfort Food favorites such as chicken and waffles, guava & cheese stuffed french toast, and pink shrimp omelettes. But if you manage to stop in on a Sunday, be prepared to dine on stocked buffet tables full of bushels of oysters on the half shell, ceviches, pastries, tropical fruits, peel n eat shrimp, and bottomless brunch drinks for $50 per head. You can take your overflowing plates inside or dockside, with unobstructed views of the working waterfront to watch impressive yachts and boats glide in and out of the marina.

Since you're in Key West why not have Sunday Brunch on a boat? If you’re only in Key West for a good time, not a long time (say ‘just the weekend’) then why not kill 2 bird with one luxurious stone. Enjoy a relaxing Sunday morning on the only 75' luxury catamaran sailing yacht in Key West. They source the very best brunch fare from the top Key West restaurants to bring you an amazing al fresco noshing experience. Enjoy bottomless mimosas, premium wine and craft beers, juices and coffee but seriously, don’t miss the Bloody Mary’s! Winner of 7 “Best in the World Bloody Mary’s” awards, The Saint Hotel’s concoctions are literally a meal in itself! Build an artfully crafted skewer of Key West pink shrimp, meatballs maple syrup, Yorkshire pudding, even prime rib parcel with homemade horseradish cream! Mmmm Delicious!

You can expect a relaxing morning as the SV Argo Navis doesn’t play any music and never overcrowds the boat so you can enjoy space to stretch out while experiencing the tranquility of a wind driven vessel in the beautiful azure waters of Key West.

There are as many choices for Sunday Brunch in Key West as there are great Key West homes for sale. For both things, I'll help you find the right one.


Gary McAdams, PA
Realtor/Notary Public
Barbara Anderson Realty
Key West, Florida 

Auction to benefit The College of The Florida Keys (Former Florida Keys Community College).

One thing you will find with the Florida Keys locals is that they are very charitable. It seems there is a fundraiser for something every week and our locals keep on giving. This is one of the many reasons I love living here. You will too so call me at 305-731-0501 today to start looking at Florida Keys homes for sale. Then you can attend these charity events as a Keys Local.

The College of the Florida Keys’ (CFK) annual fundraiser, the Seaside Soiree, is going virtual this year with an online auction that will run Monday, March 22 through Saturday, April 3. Items up for bid include art, jewelry and sports equipment, as well as adventure and travel packages. Participants can go to to access the auction website to view auction items and place bids starting at noon on March 22. Throughout the auction period, new items will be introduced. Bidders are encouraged to visit often. Bidders will receive email notices if they have been outbid.  

Sponsored by Centennial Bank the Seaside Soiree auction proceeds will benefit the students and programs of the college. For more information about the Seaside Soiree or to contribute auction items or financial gifts to the CFK Foundation, contact Frank Wood, CFK vice president of advancement and executive director of the foundation, at or 305-809-3287.

Going to some of our charity events can be as much fun as looking at Key West homes for sale but the most fun is buying your home from me and being a Keys resident.


Gary McAdams, PA
Realtor/Notary Public
Barbara Anderson Realty
Key West, Florida 

Is it a Goliath Grouper or a Jewfish?

This debate has been going on since America became Politically Correct. You'd be surprised how many times I have been showing Florida Keys homes for sale to have the buyer tell me he/she drove over the Jewfish Creek Bridge then ask what a "Jewfish is. That's a hard one to answer without offending someone. There are many different answers and nobody really knows why it started being called a Jewfish.

Why do some people call them “jewfish,” while others call them “goliath grouper”?

Well, jewfish isn’t just a nickname for this massive fish, it used to be its official name.

In the spring of 2001, a group of scientists successfully petitioned to have the official name of the fish changed from “jewfish” to “Goliath grouper.”

But how did it get the name “jewfish” in the first place?

Well, like many things in life (including why they say bananas are bad luck), there are several myths and no “real” answers.

The other day I had a conversation with Sid Dobrin about these gargantuan fish, and he threw a few of the myths at me (one being it was a jewfish that swallowed Jonah (a Jew) from the Bible).

This got me thinking, what other myths are out there about the origin of the name “jewfish” (aka Goliath Grouper)?

After some serious research, interviewing seasoned anglers and diving through the depths of Google, I uncovered these five myths…


According to the Bible, Jonah was a Jewish prophet from 8th century Israel who was swallowed by a big fish.

The bible doesn’t specify what kind of fish swallowed Jonah, but since goliath grouper are so big, some people say they’re the culprit.

Now, the world record goliath grouper was a 680-pound behemoth caught off of Fernandina Beach, FL.

This bad boy is pictured above, and if any fish is swallowing a man whole, I’m putting my money on a goliath grouper.


William Dampier, an English traveler and certified adventurer (this dude circumvented the world 3 times!) wroth about goliath grouper in his book from 1697 titled, A New Voyage Round The World.

He said, “The Jew-fish is a very good Fish, and I judge so called by the English, because it hath Scales and Fins, therefore a clean Fish, according to the Levitical Law.”

He was talking about his time spent with Jewish Jamaicans, and this is one of the earliest known references to these fish as “Jew-fish”.

So the fact that goliath grouper are kosher is another potential source for the name.

However, one argument against this is that nearly all fish are kosher.


In Italian, giupesce, means "bottom fish".

So when you sound it out, it sounds like “jew-pesce”, and “pesce” means fish in Italian.

So, after some mixing and matching of languages, you could see how the name “jewfish” might have come about…


Goliath grouper have massive jaws.

Some may say they’re even big enough to swallow a man alive and let him live inside their stomachs for three days… (see myth #1)

So it’s possible that they were once called jawfish, and one day some yahoo mixed up their a’s and e’s and the name jewfish stuck.

Maybe if the old English alphabet didn’t have their confusing “æ” character this wouldn’t have happened…


When early European settlers first came to the Caribbean there were tons of goliath grouper.

They were clearly thriving and multiplying, which reminded them of where it says in the Bible, “Go forth and multiply!”

I don’t know about you, but I’d love to have been able to wet a line back then!


While we may never know the true origin of the name jewfish, we do know that they chose the name Goliath grouper because of how big they are.

They’re so big, in fact, that they’re known to snap a heavy-duty rod right in half!

Which myth do you think is most likely the true origin of the name jewfish?

I have heard more reasons for why it is called a Jewfish and the truth is I have no idea. What I do know is they are amazing to see underwater. They have been known to grow to well over 600 pounds. They are a lot of fun to catch, the smaller (100 pounds) ones that is. If you do catch one, they are strictly a catch and release fish. They are very protected and come with a huge fine of you're caught taking them out of the water. Come down to the Keys and look at some homes for sale. Then we can go diving and try to find a Jewfish for you to see.


Gary McAdams, PA
Realtor/Notary Public
Barbara Anderson Realty
Key West, Florida 

Cruise Ships in Key West, Yes or No?

There has been a love/hate relationship with the Cruise Ships in Key West. Hotels hate them because they take business away and block the views for the waterfront resorts. Businesses and vendors love them because they bring in thousands of people spending money. Boats love them and hate them. They block the easy access to and from the marinas but they bring a lot of customers/passengers. The restaurant owners love them because they bring people who go to lunch at a "Local Restaurant". The servers and bartenders hate them because, in general, they are poor tippers.

My opinion, for what it's worth is we need the Cruise Ships.. All the above negative factors are very much true but they bring a lot of money into a community and our main economy is tourism. 

The information below was copied and pasted directly from the City of Key West website regarding the Cruise Ships.

Cruise Ships / Marine Services

There have been some exciting changes to the City’s approach to managing our waterfront. The concept of these changes called for the consolidation of City waterfront responsibilities. This includes the deep-water port activities of Cruise Ships and of Navy vessel activity coordination. 

The objective of the Plan is to make our City waterfront operate more efficiently, as well as effectively. As the City’s mission statement states, we are " to maximize services to our customers in the most cost effective way." Not only does the consolidation make for a more efficient and effective operation, it also provides for better accountability and a more consistent approach in the interpretations of policy and procedures affecting the waterfront environment.


The City’s Vision states " We will strive to be a user-friendly city, establishing an atmosphere of trust and confidence by providing quality, professional services." The recent realignment of responsibilities reinforces that thought and direction.

The waterfront is yours, to some the waterfront is our heritage, to others it is what has drawn us here, whatever the reason - protect and enjoy it!

Port of Key West Mission

A public benefit City department providing maritime, real estate services, and management of infrastructure to enhance the local economy, providing recreational opportunities for its citizens, and at the same time protecting both our heritage and the marine environment for future generations.

History of Port of Key West

In 1969 the Port of Key West received its first regularly scheduled cruise ship; it was the SUNWARD.  She called on Key West once a month. The Sunward moored at either the Navy’s Mole or Pier B facility. Records indicate that between 1969 and 1984 the Port of Key West received 266 port calls. In 1999 fiscal year 415 cruise ships called on the Port of Key West allowing 597,009 passengers to experience Key West’s charm, many making return trips to complete their Key West experience.

It wasn’t until 1984 that the City Commission, at the recommendation of City staff, made improvements to the City-owned Mallory Dock, making it a full cruise ship docking facility.

Docking Facility

The Port of Key West now consists of three docking facilities: Mallory Square Dock, Pier B (privately owned) and the Navy Mole.

Gary McAdams, PA
Realtor/Notary Public
Barbara Anderson Realty
Key West, Florida 

Paddle Boarding in The Florida Keys

We've all heard the expression "When in Rome do as the Romans do" so when in the Florida Keys do as the locals do. We go paddle boarding. Well first we become a local. Then we go paddle boarding. Let's look at some Florida Keys homes for sale, make you a local then we can go paddle boarding. There are many great homes out there for you to choose from. Now, back to paddle boarding. Where do you want to go? There are so many great places to see nature and wildlife. Here are some of my favorites.

Bahia Honda State Park

Bahia Honda State Park is one of my top picks on this list for standup paddle boarding (SUP). Inside the park, you can find several waterways with calm water suitable for a casual session of stand up paddle boarding or exploring. Wildlife can be spotted in various places. The beautiful beaches and crystal clear blue water are the perfect choices for beachgoers. And there are more surprises waiting for you to discover. Note that there’s currently no stand up paddleboard rentals in or near the park, so remember to bring your own SUP gear.

Stock Island

Stock Island is the perfect destination for a paddle boarding adventure. This is The water is clear enough for you to see through the bottom and the mangroves are just magnificent. Wildlife can be spotted throughout the whole trip in the mangroves. If you want more than a causal paddle boarding session, Stock Island is the place to be. Rentals can be found nearby so it’s okay if you don’t bring or have your own paddle boarding gear.


Islamorada is one of the most interesting places in the Florida Keys for stand up paddle boarding. What’s really interesting about it lies in the ocean. The water is clear enough for you to see what’s in it. Things you might see in the water include an old wrecking colony, marine life like baby sharks, etc. In the nearby mangroves, you might even spot alligators. If you are concerned about exploring the place by yourself, go to Beach Bum Paddle Sports, they offer SUP board rentals as well as tours in the place.

Fort Taylor

Fort Taylor is an amazing place for newbies and people who want to relax while paddle boarding. Beaches in the state park is beautiful and perfect for launching your SUP board. You can start your standup paddle boarding trip here and hit the calm water in the ocean. The great views and the beautiful, blue water is sure to give you an unforgettable paddle boarding experience in Key West. Rentals are available in the state park.

Sugarloaf Key

For the most quintessential stand up paddle boarding experience in Florida Keys, head over to Sugarloaf Key. It’s got all kinds of destinations that can suit the needs of standup paddleboarders of different skill levels. The calm water makes it easy for beginners to paddle on and exploring the Mangroves would be a nice touch to your SUP trip here.

If you intend to become a Keys local, it's suggested that you get your own standup paddle board instead of rent SUP gears everytime you visit a new place. First priority, buy a Florida Keys home from me. Then buy your paddle board. For rookies and paddlers who prefer to paddleboard casually, an inflatable paddle board would be a suitable choice. Goosehill SUP and a lot of other SUP brands offer a lot of wonderful inflatable standup paddleboards and you should be able to find one that suits your needs.

Let's get out and look at Florida Keys Homes for sale then get out on the water with your new paddle board.


Gary McAdams, PA
Realtor/Notary Public
Barbara Anderson Realty
Key West, Florida 

Who has the best Happy Hour in Key West?

Everyone likes a bargain. It's human nature. That's why Walmart prices their products to end with $0.88. K-Mart will advertise shampoo at $4.99 and Walmart prices it at $4.88 and advertised that they are cheaper than K-Mart. Same idea applies to Happy Hour. All the bars try to outdo each other offering something better than the bar next door. Shopping for Key West homes for sale can be tiring and you might want to unwind at Happy Hour once you pick out your dream home. But where?

In Old Town Key West, the options for cheap drinks, fresh seafood, and a great view are endless. With just a few days to spend on vacation, how do you know you’re making the right choice for an afternoon snack and cocktail? It was tough work, but someone had to do it. We sampled ALL the options to bring you the Best Happy Hours in Key West!

Southernmost Beach Cafe

1405 Duval Street | 305-295-6550
We get not wanting to leave the beach to celebrate happy hour. In Key West, you don’t have to! Southernmost Beach Café, located at the south end of Duval Street, offers a tasty menu of drinks and apps. From 4pm to 6pm, enjoy an ocean view as you sip a discounted fruity rum punch and munch on fresh seafood treats. On another topic, they have a great breakfast at the Beach Café.

Alonzo’s Oyster Bar
700 Front Street | 305-600-3405
Alonzo's Oyster Bar makes our list of the Best Happy Hours in Key West for it’s tropical drinks and fresh seafood. From 4 – 6:30 pm daily, they offer half-off well drinks as well as beer and wine by the glass. They also offer deep discounts on appetizers. Sit on the marina-side patio and indulge in baked oysters and beer steamed shrimp! I'm not a drinker but I go to Alonzo's Happy Hour for the food.

Conch Republic Seafood Company
631 Green Street | 305-294-4403
Just down the sidewalk from Alonzo’s is the Conch Republic Seafood Company, a favorite of locals and visitors alike. While there is no deal on food, enjoy buy-one-get-one-free beer, wine and well drinks from 4pm – 7pm. This open air joint offers live music and picturesque views of commercial boats coming in to the harbor.

Hard Rock Cafe

313 Duval Street | 305-293-0230
This restaurant on Duval Street inhabits a gorgeous mansion, built in 1888 by Florida’s first millionaire, William Curry. It offers not one, but TWO daily happy hours for your tasting pleasure. From 4pm – 7pm and 10pm – 12am, enjoy half priced appetizers and drinks at the bar.

Mary Ellen’s
420 Applerouth Lane | 305-294-7750
Mary Ellen’s is your local neighborhood bar with all kinds of shenanigans going on all the time. They have a 6 hour (you read that right!) Happy Hour Monday through Friday from noon to 6 pm and a 3-hour Happy Hour on Saturdays and Sundays from 3 to 6 PM. Wine, well drinks, draft beer, and draft cocktails are all two for one and there are some excellent munches for $6 each, including a grilled cheese sandwich, tomato soup & garlic bread, fried mushrooms and tater tots. There’s also $2 off their signature Jameson Frozen Irish Coffee. I love the location of Mary Ellen's because it is on a small, quiet street that the tourists usually don't find.


115 Duval Street | 305-296-6609
You’ll feel right at home at Bagatelle, situated in a historic mansion built in the 1880s, like Old Town Manor, but converted into a restaurant in 1979. They have two Happy Hours for maximum eating and drinking pleasure. The first is the Breakfast Hangover Happy Hour from 9 – 11:30 am daily, highlighting a tapas, small-plate style of breakfast. They also have a 4-6 pm Happy Hour at the bar with $5 tasting plates and half-off most cocktails. As mentioned abouv, I like food Happy Hours. Bagatelle has a great breakfast Happy Hour too.

Ram’s Head Southernmost
804 Whitehead Street | 305-440-3196
Formerly Blue Macaw, Ram’s Head Southernmost is a new establishment in Key West, keeping the vibe of its former inhabitant and the awesome happy hour deals we all love. They offer a Happy Hour Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 pm with half-price appetizers and $3 house drafts, well drinks, bottled beers, and house wines.

1000 Atlantic Boulevard | 305-292-1117
The sister restaurant to the well known Blue Heaven Restaurant in Old Town Key West, Salute! is located right on Higgs Beach near the White Street Pier. Salute is everything Blue Heaven used to be. Blue Heaven is now, in my opinion, an overpriced tourist trap. Happy Hour here is from 4 to 6 pm daily at the bar or on the patio and offers $2 domestic beers, $3.25 well drinks and half off glasses of wine. If you are coming for dinner during Happy Hour, you can enjoy those prices at the tables too.

Fat Tuesday
305 Duval Street | 305-296-9373
Fat Tuesday is the local outpost of the famous New Orleans frozen drink bar. One of the very few places on Duval Street that the locals go to. We usually avoid Duval at all costs. Happy Hour is from 4 to 7 pm Monday thru Friday and offers $1.50 off mixed drinks, $4.50 daiquiris (frozen drinks), $3.25 domestic beers, $3.50 import beers, and $1.00 jello shots.

There you have it, a list of good places to save you money on drinks in Key West, which can be very expensive. The more money you save on drinks is the more money you'll have to spend on that house in Key West you buy from me.



Gary McAdams, PA
Realtor/Notary Public
Barbara Anderson Realty
Key West, Florida 

Key West and Lower Florida Keys Real Estate Market Activity, 05/19/2024

Sunday is a great day for shopping for Florida Keys homes for sale. You've already started the process by opening this blog post. Keep r...