La Concha Hotel & Spa in Key West, FL
By Steven O. Evans, PhD
Traveling to Key West? It’s one of the most unique places in Florida to visit. Less than four hours by car, it makes for a great weekend or weekday trip to get away. Coming in from out of state? There is no shortage of things to do, people to meet, clubs for drinking, or sights to see in this island of less than 4.2 square miles. Arthur Wood (my Associate Editor) and I make frequent trips to this other “Island City.”
What’s there to do on your trip? Try the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory (www.KeyWestButterfly.com) for an up close and personal look at this world as you walk among hundreds of beautiful live butterflies and colorful birds. The Old Town Trolley Tours (www.TrolleyTours.com/Key-West) is always a favorite. See the town in this open air, guided tour of the town. For the even more adventurous, try the Ghosts and Gravestones Tours (www.Trolleytours.com/Key-West/Ghosts-Gravestones-Tour). Try not to be spooked by the local spooks. Ready for a gay day out on the ocean, the Blu Q (www.BluQKeyWest.com) is a day not to be missed. Captain Steve and his crew will take you out to snorkel, paddle, sail, and view the magnificent Key West sunset. Some are “all male,” so be sure to check those dates on Steve’s online calendar.
Looking for a place to eat? Locals and visitors both frequent Mangia Mangia (www.Mangia-Mangia.com). Enjoy a fantastic smorgasbord of their homemade pasta, with lots of gluten-free options. My personal favorites are the Seafood Scampi and the Fresh Sea Scallops over spinach fettuccine.
And after dinner, go check out the boys (and the pool and hot tub out back) at Bourbon Street Pub (www.BourbonStPub.com). Never a dull night, the Pub is the hub of gay nightlife in Key West.
Looking for that perfect place to stay? Book your time at the La Concha Hotel and Spa (www.LaConchaKeyWest.com). Located at 430 Duval Street, Key West, FL 33040, your room is literally right in the heart of the happenings of Key West. Arthur and I had an amazing room with two queen beds, high ceilings, and full plantation shutters. Ours was nearly twice the size of an average hotel room.
Venture down, and you can enjoy that perfect glass of wine at Wine O. Set in this blend of contemporary and turn of the century decor, this venue offers the perfect place to relax before heading out on the town. During my last trip down with Arthur, I enjoyed a glass of sparkling Lamberti Prosecco, while Arthur had his 94-points Pine Ridge Estates Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley.
On the “Bites” menu, I had the Grouper Picatta – parmesan and herb encrusted local grouper, lemon double cream, mashed potatoes, and crispy capers. The lemon was the perfect complement to the fresh fish and its accompanying breading. Arthur enjoyed the Petite Tender Medallions – seared medallions, boursin cheese, crispy onion with mashed potatoes, and demi glaze – served medium rare. Each of our selections was completed with sauteed asparagus and well presented with a purple and white edible orchid bloom. To tell the truth, we ended up splitting and sharing them both. With the large portions, they made for more than a meal. Having been raised on a cattle farm in Kentucky, I enjoyed the tender steak. The mashed potatoes reminded me of the ones my mother used to make back home.
La Concha also boasts a relaxing pool. Arthur and I enjoyed our afternoons swimming and lounging in the part-sun and part-shade oasis. But, don’t be fooled. We still spent time at the outdoor bar with our laptops working on articles and ads for the next issue of OutClique. Our trip wasn’t all play and no work.
So, call (305) 280-0208 or visit www.LaConchaKeyWest.com for more information on where to stay, eat, drink, and relax right on Duval Street. So, get out and enjoy Key West, FL.