21 May 2009

Is it a beach or a butler?

I can't tell if they are beach names or butlers. I keep referring to Smathers and Higgs beaches as Smithers and Higgins.

Smithers is the largest beach on Key West. All the KW guides say that the beach runs along the southern shore for almost 2 miles. But, the actual beachy part is only a little over 1/2 a mile - the walk/bike path along part of the southern shore, which happens to also be along the beach, is a little over 2 miles. The island rumor is that the sand on Smithers is brought in from the Bahamas... but, that may be just what the locals want to blelieve so they can feel like they live on a real Caribbean island.

Higgins, the county beach, not to be confused with the neighboring Rest Beach, is the more popular beach among locals, probably because of the bar and restaurant right on the beach (which may have good food, but has a poor beer selection) and the free beach wi-fi. It was once a burial site, unmarked for well over 100 years, for nearly 300 victims of the African slave trade. The burial site was largely forgotten after 1860, and only marked as a historical site in 2001.

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