A unique refuge on the grounds of the Sheriff’s Office detention center near Key West shelters some surprising creatures: about 150 domestic and exotic animals from 45 species, ranging from armadillos to Kramer the emu. Benefiting both the animals and inmates who help care for them, the facility welcomes visitors twice each month.
The subtropical island of Key West will welcome revelers to its annual Pride celebrations June 1-5, with a jam-packed schedule that features several dozen Pride events. The festivities showcase the diversity and equality that help make the continental United States’ southernmost city a top vacation destination for LGBTQ visitors from around the world.
Divers and ocean enthusiasts can celebrate the 20th “sink anniversary” of the third-largest vessel ever intentionally scuttled to become an artificial reef — the retired 510-foot Navy Landing Ship Dock Spiegel Grove, which lies off Key Largo — with events May 15-17 and a contest to win a Keys trip to dive the famous wreck.
It’s revered as legendary author Ernest Hemingway’s 1930s hangout. Known as the 1981 birthplace of the internationally renowned Hemingway® Look-Alike Contest. Famed as must-see stop for visitors to Key West. And on May 5, 2022, Sloppy Joe’s Bar marks 85 years at its iconic home at the corner of Duval and Greene streets.
Michael Ingram has lived in Key West, and worked tirelessly to benefit it, for over 30 years. A respected architect, he has owned the Aquaplex for over 15 years and oversaw the debut of its exciting new offerings. He also played a pivotal role in the creation of Key West’s poignant AIDS Memorial.
Captain Dave Dipre, Marathon-based operational captain with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Division of Law Enforcement, oversees operations from Key Largo to Key West. His love of the Keys, and his sense of environmental responsibility, run as deep as the 125-mile-long island chain’s waters that he’s charged with protecting.
In April 1982, the Florida Keys symbolically “seceded” from the United States and were reborn as the independent Conch Republic. Today the republic is internationally acclaimed as the Keys’ irreverent alter ego — and this month, the 40th annual Conch Republic Independence Celebration commemorates the historic action with a roster of rollicking events.
Few people visit the Florida Keys without sampling a few pieces of Key lime pie, renowned as the island chain’s signature dessert. Millions of slices of the tart, creamy treat — voted the official pie of Florida by the state legislature in 2006 (yes, really!) — are savored every year by Keys visitors and locals.
Encouraging actions that support the environment is a vital element of the Florida Keys’ commitment to protecting the island chain’s natural resources. And from Big Pine Key to Key West, visitors can find a wide variety of positive environmental activities and attractions that illustrate how to share that commitment — while making lasting memories.
Embark on a journey though the Florida Keys and discover the islands’ lively seafaring history, flourishing creative community, balmy subtropical climate and natural wonders that include the continental United States’ only living coral barrier reef. Yet the Keys’ most important asset is intangible: a laid-back vibe that seems worlds away from everyday cares.