Local Happenings | Key West Activities

It’s hard to be bored when in Key West.  Key West attractions range from museums and national/state parks to the famed “Southernmost Point” and the nightly held “Sunset Celebration” just to name a few.  There is something for everyone to explore and enjoy in Key West!

32nd Annual Conch Republic Independence Celebration

IndependenceCelebration, At Home in Key WestHAPPY BIRTHDAY CONCH REPUBLIC!!  
Want a one-of-a-kind Key West Experience to write home about? — Well this is IT!

Join locals and visitors alike as the island celebrates its secession from the United States – we have always dared to be different!  This 10-day long birthday bash is full of wacky, wonderful events including the notorious Drag (Queen) Races, conch shell blowing contests,  the Schooner Wharf Conch “Car” Show, and of course the infamous bloody battle in Key West harbor where Conch Republic vessels toss stale Cuban bread at Coast Guard vessels in a mock secession.  Also enjoy scores of live music performances, fabulous food fairs, and other enjoyable pet & family friendly activities throughout the entire gala.  This event showcases the independent & eccentric spirit that characterizes the Florida Keys!

Dates:          April 18th – 27th
Times:         *various:  see full schedule for complete details
Locations:   *several:  see full schedule for complete details

For more information including the full event schedule, please visit http://www.conchrepublick.com/schedule.htm or call 305-296-0213

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19th Annual Taste of Key West

Taste_of_Key_West_2014.4, At Home in Key West, Taste of Key West, Key WestOne word —- YUM!!!  

More than 50 Key West restaurants offer up scrumptious tapas-sized samples of their signature (and our favorite) island cuisine.  Always well attended, this culinary celebration will have you dashing from fare to fare all the while enjoying a generous selection of wines & the beautiful ocean scenery of the Truman Waterfront.  Each taste costs only between $3 -$8 & proceeds benefit AIDS Help Inc. — a noteworthy cause sure to leave you happy & full!!

Car traffic is usually heavy – so come by bike or foot and cruise on past the cars lined up. The Old Town Trolley offers free transportation for the event starting at 5:30pm at the Pier House (1 Duval Street) with stops at the Westin, La Concha, the corner of Simonton & South Street, and the Casa Marina Resort. The Trolley runs every 30 minutes until last departure from Truman Waterfront Park at 9pm.

Date:          Monday, 4/14
Time:         6-9pm
Location:   Truman Waterfront Pier at the end of Southard Street

Admission to event is FREE. Food tickets sold in $1 increments. For more information including a complete list of restaurants & wineries, visit http://www.aidshelp.cc/taste.html or call 305-296-6196.


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Easter at the Family-Friendly Sheriff’s Animal Farm

EasterAnimalFarm, At Home in Key West, Key West Vacation RentalsThe Sheriff’s Animal Farm invites you to bring the family & spend a day of Easter-Fun with the animals on the Farm!

Kids can visit horses, a cow, pigs, goats, bunnies, alligators, tropical birds, a Kinkajou, Sloths, a Lemur, Kramer the Emu, a family of Patagonian Cavys, tortoises & turtles, snakes and many more feathery, furry Farm friends.  Activities include an Easter egg hunt, crafts, photos with the Easter Bunny and much more!  Admission is FREE, & Groups may schedule special tours at the farm by calling ahead.
Donations of any amount are always welcome.  Every bit counts!

Date:         Sunday, 4/13
Time:         1 -3pm
Location:   Monroe Sheriff’s Office Animal Farm, 5501 College Road

For more information, visit the Farm on Facebook, or call Jeanne Selander at 305-293-7331.

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Book Launch & Signing Event

AfterLife, At Home in Key West, Key West Vacation RentalsJoin authors Carol Tedesco, Roberta DePiero, & Jane Newhagen as they present their new release After Life – Images from the Key West Cemetery’ at a public book launch & signing event!

The collection captures the island’s unique final resting place in all its poignancy, character, & eccentricity and proves a “must have” for Key West locals and adorers alike.  Tedesco & DiPiero have caught the spirit & shapes of the Key West graveyard from morning dew until sunset & distinctive prose by Newhagen adds remarkable individuality to this incredible work of art.  Don’t miss this event & your chance to you’re your own copy hand-signed by the artists!

Date:                    Saturday 4/12
Location:             Salute on the Beach, 1000 Atlantic Blvd.

For more information including where to purchase, please visit http://www.keywestauthors.com or contact ctedesco@aol.com. 

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12th Annual Michelle’s Willie Wonka Chocolate Festival

chocolatefestival, At Home in Key West, Key West VacationNeed something to counter the 7-Mile Bridge Run on Saturday? — Stop by the CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL Sunday!!

Spend an afternoon of decadence with chocolate, chocolate, CHOCOLATE galore! This super sweet, sinful event offers beaucoup belly-busters with All-You-Can-Eat goodies including cakes, cookies, pies, candies, brownies, and more.  (Beverages and a cash bar are also available for the ‘big’ kids!)

Tickets are only $10, and proceeds benefit the Cancer Foundation of the Florida Keys.  It would just be wrong not to “help out”  ;)

Date:         Sunday, April 6th
Time:         11am – 3pm
Location:   Southernmost House, 1400 Duval Street

For more information, please call Doria Goodrich (293-7104) or Judy Lakin (296-5667).

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33rd Annual 7-Mile Bridge Run

7milebridgerun, At Home in Key West, Key West VacationsThe ONLY run known that is completely surrounded by water from Start to Finish!! 

A field of 1500 runners participate in this annual one-of-a-kind foot race across the longest of the 43 bridges that help make up the Florida Keys Overseas Highway. This highly sought-after race typically sells out in under 10 minutes & attracts people from all over the world adding even more flamboyance, fun, & flair to our islands!  So come out & join the fun & show your support — monies raised are donated to the local youth of the Middle Keys through both schools & other youth groups which promote athletically oriented activities…how can you say no!?
For more information, please visit www.7mbrun.com or contact 305-395-7040

**Travelers please be advised that the bridge closes from 6:45am – 9:00am and NO TRAFFIC will be permitted through.   Plan accordingly and expect delays!!

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April 2014 Events

april2014calendarLooking for things to do in Key West this month?  Check out a few of our favorites below!

April 5, 2014 – Migration Mania: The Great Egg Hunt & Wild Bird Show!
This family-friendly, educational event helps promote awareness & appreciation for our fabulous feathered friends that visit our Garden!  Enjoy educational activities, egg hunts, arts & crafts, games, live bird presentations (they prefer them to be called performances) and much more.  10am – 3pm.  Admission $5 – Botanical Garden Members admitted free.
For more information, email mmcrae@kwbgs.org or call 305-294-3210.

April 12 & 13, 2014 – Key West Annual Garden Tours  The Key West Garden Club features five astonishing gardens to explore each day between 10am – 3pm.  Visit some of the island’s most exquisite, private oases and learn from local experts identifying some of the most unique & exotic plants around.
For more information & ticket locations, please visit http://kwbgs.org/news.asp?id=188 or call 305-745-2030.

April 14, 2014 – 19th Annual Taste of Key West!  50+ area restaurants present mouthwatering samples of their signature cuisine to help benefit AIDS Help Inc.  Eat your way along the Truman Waterfront (overlooking Key West Harbor) and enjoy fantastic Key West grub along with a generous selection of fine wines.  Car traffic is usually heavy – so come by bike or foot, or take the Old Town Trolley offering free transportation for the event starting at 5:30 pm at the Pier House (1 Duval Street), with stops at the Westin, La Concha, corner of Simonton & South Street, and the Casa Marina Resort. Trolley runs every 30 minutes until last departure from Truman Waterfront Park at 9pm. Admission to event is FREE. Food tickets sold in $1 increments.
For more information, visit http://www.aidshelp.cc/taste.html or call 305-296-6196.

April 18-27, 2014 – 32nd Annual Conch Republic Independence Celebration  Celebrate Key West’s brief secession from the US in wacky, entertaining, Key West fashion!  This 10-day birthday bash is full of fun events from drag (queen) races on Duval Street (April 19th 1-11pm), to a stale Cuban-bread battle in KW Harbor between Conch Republic vessels and the US Coast Guard vessels.  The party kicks off Friday, April 18th at 7pm at Schooner Wharf Bar — the beginning of a surefire good time!
For more information including a full event schedule, please visit http://www.conchrepublic.com/schedule.html or call 305-296-0213.

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5th Annual Keys Ocean Festival & Craft Show

oceanfestivalThis is one event you will NOT want to miss!!  Celebrate the Florida Keys’ distinct marine environment in true Key West style with fun, sun, food, & friends!

Florida-based Mote Marine Laboratory hosts this open-air festival full of fantastic attractions to help support the region’s coral reef restoration programs.  This family-friendly, free-admission bash is sure to offer merriment & entertainment for children, adults, visitors, and locals alike.

Attractions include live music throughout the day, lots of shopping from over 60 artists & vendors, a HUGE silent auction packed with fabulous finds, and great food & drinks.  Kids’ activities include live animals & touch tanks, face painting, free sky rides on Keys Energy bucket trucks, painting with Wyland, and fishing! (fishing is for children ages 5-11 & requires prior registration at www.keysoceanfest.org )

The Keys island chain is home to the only living coral barrier reef in the continental United States and preservation is essential to maintain the vast array of life and beauty that help make the islands so special.  So come out and show your support — it promises to be the place to be this weekend!

Dates:       Saturday 3/29
Times:      11am – 6pm
Location:  Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center on Truman’s Waterfront at the end of Southard Street

For more information including the full event schedule, vendor & sponsor listings, and ways your support helps the organizations, visit http://www.keysoceanfest.org/

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Key West Artisan Market

Artisan Market, At Home in Key WestA “must-see” for sure when visiting Key West!!  This monthly event hosts something for everyone — art, food, wine, beer, shopping, children’s activities & entertainment!!

One Sunday each month, 1111 Eaton Street is transformed into an open-air bazaar bursting with artists, authors, chef-made cuisine, craftspeople, performers & fresh produce.   Shop art, photography, handicrafts & gifts exclusively made in the Keys.    Enjoy a singer/songwriter showcase, local authors, theatre performances, chef demonstrations, kid’s activities, & live street art mural designs.  Taste & buy local specialties, farmer’s market fruits & vegetables, bakery items, seafood, concession, beer & wine, and other culinary items — some even for our four-legged friends!

The Key West Artisan Market beautifully demonstrates the diversity of creativity, originality, & locally made products of true Key West, and gives residents and visitors alike a chance to shop fresh and local!

Date:           Saturday, March 30
Time:          10am – 2pm
Location:    1111 Eaton Street. Guests are encouraged to BYOB (bring your own bags)!

For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/KeyWestArtisanMarket or call 305-294-7994 
Contact: Sean Krikorian 573-619-2200
Email: sean@dailyplan-it.net

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It’s FRIDAY!! Can you say HAPPY HOUR?!

Key West has some of the best Happy Hour spots!  You can choose beach views, outdoor venues, clustered hotspots, or off-the-beaten-path hideaways — whatever tickles your fancy.  And the best part?  They’re so close you can hit a few! 

Here are three of our  local favorites…we’ll be sure to research many, many more and continue to pass our findings on to you! 

alonzos, At Home in Key WestAlonzo’s Oyster Bar
Seafood lovers DELIGHT!  Located in the historic seaport area of Key West, Alonzo’s serves the largest variety of cold and warm water oysters on the island.  Other favorites include local Key West pink shrimp, fresh catch dishes, and fresh steam middle neck clams in an outstanding garlic sherry broth.  Choose from indoor or outdoor seating, both with amazing harbor views that add an element of island life to the whole dining experience.  Their happy hour is definitely an island favorite for locals and tourists alike!
Happy Hour every day from 4 – 6:30pm.

Southernmost Beach Cafe SouthernMost Beach cafe, At Home in Key West
This open air restaurant & bar is situated right on the beach and serves up a great happy hour menu with unbeatable views.  They feature well drink & draft beer specials as well as a handful of yummy appetizers for under $5.  And afterwards be sure to order a drink to go and take a walk on one of the islands best beaches!
(Locals Tip:  The happy hour menu is only served at the bar.  So get their early to get a seat!)
Happy Hour Sun – Thurs from 4 – 6pm.

Conch Republic, At Home in Key West Conch Republic Seafood Company
Deemed “Key West’s Best Happy Hour!” joint, this spacious waterfront restaurant & bar serves up some of the best grub in town and pairs it with incredible 2-for-1 happy hour drinks. Choose from bottle & draft beer, wines, & premium well drinks galore all with an amazing front row seat on the harbor – HEAVEN!  Food favorites include a huge raw bar selection, fresh local catches delivered daily to their dock, and amazing secret recipes that make common dishes outstanding (ie, the calamari dipping sauce!)  And if all that isn’t enough, cop a squat at their 80-ft conch bar with over 80 brands of Rum to sample…sure to keep you busy for awhile.
(ps…try the calamari!!!!)
Happy Hour every day from 4 – 7pm

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