Welcome to my backyard--the Florida Keys! I'm a travel writer, blogger and photographer with a passion for all things Florida, especially the Florida Keys. These islands are so much more than Duval Street and Jimmy Buffet. They are rich in history, culture, cuisine, nature and events--all surrounded by pristine waters teeming with wildlife. Whether you're a local or a visitor, the Conch Republic has many surprises in store. Let me be your guide.
History buffs will have a chance to travel back in time at Fort Zachary Taylor, a Civil War–era fort on Key West’s Atlantic Ocean shore,February 8-10 during Civil War Heritage Days. The three-day event will re-create the era when Key West was the only Deep South port to remain in Union hands, much to the consternation of many residents at the time. Fort Taylor played a major role in the Union blockage of Confederate shipping along one of the most important open water channels in the United States. While Ft. Zachary remained in Union hands throughout the Civil War and never saw any actual fighting, the festival provides a fascinating “what if” scenario, playing out skirmishes between the forces, as if the Confederate troops had actually made it to Key West.
The grounds at the fort and surrounding state park will be transformed into both Union and Confederate camps, providing a glimpse into how the soldiers lived in the 1860s. Over 100re-enactors dressed in period costumes will play the roles of military personnel, merchants, craftsmen and civilians and provide living history demonstrations throughout the weekend. Of course, the most excitement will come during the land and sea battles, as patrol skirmishes offer artillery demonstrations and schooners face off on the ocean, cannons booming across the water. The event is free with park admission.