South Pointe Gallery (1201 Duval St., 305/295-9354) is a unique art store focusing on vintage posters from Hollywood’s golden era, Jazz Age France, and the glamorous years of air travel.
Besame Mucho (315 Petronia St., 305/294-1928) sells an array of boutique soaps, lotions, and other personal-care products along with jewelry, classic Latin crafts, and unique domestic products. All of it is housed in a gorgeous tin-roofed bungalow that’s almost as charming as its contents.
Cuba! Cuba! (814 Duval St., 305/295-9442) sells maps, posters, flags, Cuban art, ceramics, and even coffee paraphernalia from the island just 90 miles away. They don’t, however, sell cigars; for that, head for Conch Republic Cigar Factory (512 Greene St., 800/317-2167), which sells a custom line of hand-rolled cigars made from Cuban-seeded tobacco.
Pelican Poop (314 Simonton St., 305/292-9955) sells souvenirs, but instead of shot glasses and T-shirts you can pick up maritime-themed trinkets, art prints by local painters, weathervanes, lamps, and other unique gifts. If you spend enough, the owners may give you a tour of both the building—which originally housed the hotel where Hemingway first stayed in Key West, and where A Farewell to Arms was written—and their orchid gardens in back.
Voltaire Books (330 Simonton St., 305/296-3226) is a fantastic and modern independent book store, stocking over a million titles and staffed by folks who actually know a thing or two about books. A full line of Key West writers, as well as Hemingway and Tennessee Williams titles, are always available, along with other specialties like Cuban literature.
The Hip Tourist (903 Simonton St., 305/292-3332) offers a concierge service that can help arrange for rentals, special dinners, groceries, gift baskets, and other time-saving treats while you’re on Key West.
© Jason Ferguson from Moon Florida, 1st Edition