Billy Litmer is the founder of Key West’s Honest Eco tours, specializing in wild bottlenose dolphin-watching and nature charters. Designer and builder of the island’s first lithium-ion battery-powered hybrid charter boat with electric motors, he shares his love for the Keys’ wildlife and environment with guests — inspiring them to cherish both.
A trip to the Florida Keys during the warm summer months means a terrific choice of sea-based activities for nature lovers, adventurers, and those seeking serenity and calm. Whether enjoying paddleboarding, kayaking or snorkeling, enthusiasts need just one basic ingredient to have a memorable outdoor experience in the Keys this summer: saltwater!
There’s no better way to celebrate the Florida Keys’ 200th birthday than with Key lime pie, the island chain’s luscious signature dessert — particularly if that Key lime pie is the world’s biggest! And there’s no better PLACE to celebrate the auspicious anniversary than at Big Pine Community Park, overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.
In the Florida Keys, it’s common for locals and savvy visitors to greet the news of some particularly offbeat happening by grinning and murmuring, “Only in the Keys.” The four-word phrase is a standard response by people hearing about everything from a costume contest for pets to mermaids attending a local music festival.
Mike Goldberg of Islamorada’s I.CARE and Dave Vaughan of Summerland Key’s Plant a Million Corals Foundation have recently earned global recognition for their work on coral restoration in the Florida Keys. Both men were previously recognized as Stewards of the Keys for their dedication to preserving and protecting the island chain’s undersea environment.
A Florida Keys vacation is an opportunity for personal renewal and meaningful pursuits that nurture body, mind and spirit. A respite for replenishing the stress-depleted soul while connecting to a genuine culture, community and lifestyle. And a perfect chance to experience “unplugged” relaxation and in-the-moment activities that support personal wellness.
Commemorate the Florida Keys’ bicentennial with a sunset celebration on the Middle Keys’ Old Seven Mile Bridge, a gala sea-to-table dinner in Islamorada, a family-style waterfront picnic in Key Largo, and Lower Keys festivities and fireworks featuring the creation of the world’s largest Key lime pie. All activities salute the Keys’ 200th birthday.
Celebrate the bicentennial of the subtropical Florida Keys island chain throughout 2023, starting with the “200 Years of Paradise Kick-off Concert” and dazzling drone show Saturday, March 25, in Key West. Events salute the 200th anniversary of the Florida legislature’s founding of Monroe County, which contains the entire Keys, on July 3, 1823.
Brian Vest, founder-president of the Conch Republic Marine Army, a nonprofit organization created to restore Florida Keys marine habitats, has taken more than 4,000 volunteers to the Keys backcountry. Nearly every Saturday, groups of up to 10 volunteers commit to a five-hour experience to clear debris washed up on remote, uninhabited islands.
“The Florida Keys: 200 Years of Paradise," a 60-minute television program that explores the culture and history of the island chain from the early 1800s to the present, debuts this spring on PBS channels across the United States. Meanwhile, three special events in Key West showcase aspects of the Keys’ two-century cultural heritage.