Two Key West public gardens invite visitors to wander off the beaten path and experience the island's unique horticulture and foliage, hidden natural beauty and unique ecosystems showcasing Mother Nature at her best. Discover the Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden and the Key West Garden Club’s headquarters at West Martello Tower.
Each spring, the Tennessee Williams Birthday Celebration honors the openly gay playwright who lived and wrote in Key West from 1949 to 1983. The 2022 commemoration includes showings of films adapted from Williams’ plays, curator-led tours of Key West's Tennessee Williams Museum, writing competitions, theatrical presentations and a birthday reception (complete with cake).
Now that winter snow and freezing weather have invaded much of the U.S., why not escape to Key West? As well as far warmer temps, the laidback island offers scenic wide-open spaces, outdoor activities like swimming, snorkeling and paddling — and five amazing LGBTQ-oriented lodging options with lots of extras in store for guests.
Celebrating its 38th year of delighting audiences, Key West’s Headdress Ball is set for Saturday, Feb. 26, at the Coffee Butler Amphitheater. The glamorous LGBTQ gala typically features about 25 contestants showcasing huge and elaborate original masks, cowls, bonnets and other headgear — with top Florida Keys talents staging dazzling entertainment between headdress presentations.
Teams from around the world will compete in adrenaline-packed sporting events in Key West Jan. 24-31, during the 30th annual Kelly McGillis Classic International Women’s & Girls’ Flag Football Championship. The fun includes acting workshops and performances guided by Kelly McGillis herself, a former Key West resident who co-starred in “Top Gun.”
Although the southernmost island in the continental United States has never experienced a traditional white Christmas, visitors can immerse themselves in seasonal spirit and celebrations throughout December. From tours of historic lighted inns and neighborhoods, to a boat parade featuring dozens of decorated vessels, they’re sure to put the holiday spirit into overdrive.
Fritzie Estimond is a welcoming presence at the Key West Business Guild’s LGBTQ Visitor Center — and the guiding spirit behind the guild’s annual events. What does she like best about Key West? The “small community” feel, the acceptance that allows people to be their authentic selves, and what she cheerfully calls “the weird.”
Each year bicyclists navigate the entire Florida Keys island chain, along scenic Overseas Highway and Heritage Trail routes, during the 165-mile Miami to Key West trek known as the SMART Ride. Now in its 18th year, the event has raised an astounding $12.5 million for AIDS service organizations in Florida and the Keys.
Great news — Fantasy Fest is a go for 2021! Revelers can enjoy over 50 costume contests, masquerades, parties and performances during the high-energy annual event, though traditional large-crowd highlights aren’t taking place to protect against potential coronavirus spread. This year's popular masking and costuming festival entertains partygoers from Oct. 22 through Oct. 31.
Key West is known as one of the most haunted cities in the United States. Visitors can experience several year-round ghost tours that are delightfully unnerving, including an award-winning trolley tour with a “ghost host” and the exploration of a haunted Civil War–era fort where they encounter the eerie Robert the Doll.