There’s a new “Papa” Hemingway on the island where legendary author Ernest Hemingway lived for most of the 1930s. White-bearded Floridian Jon Auvil won the 2022 Hemingway Look-Alike Contest, the highlight of Key West's annual Hemingway Days. And Nick Henke of St. Louis earned top honors in the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition.
Fans of adventurous living and fine writing can celebrate the legacy of Ernest Hemingway July 19-24 in Key West, his home during the 1930s. Hemingway Days highlights include a world-renowned look-alike contest, the culmination of the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition and a marlin tournament that salutes Ernest’s passion for Florida Keys fishing.
From shrimp to traditional Cuban food to Key lime pie, the Florida Keys have a wealth of unique culinary treats to sample. Fish and seafood dishes are a standout on many restaurant menus, for good reason: the incredibly fresh fish diners are served at night was probably unloaded at the docks that morning!
Many people know Key West was once the home of Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams, that Jimmy Buffett created his Margaritaville empire on the island, and that former President Harry Truman ruled the country from his Key West “vacation home.” But beyond those well-known facts lies a wealth of lesser-known tidbits and tales.
Even in August, Key West’s breezes generally moderate the summer heat. However, there’s one summertime event that definitely raises the energy level, heat quotient and vibe of the island. Tropical Heat, coordinated by the Key West Business Guild, is a five-day event for gay men that features sizzling events on land and sea.
Want to hunt the skittish gray ghost of the flats, the bonefish? Come to the Keys. Feel like battling a reel-emptying blue marlin? Come to the Keys. The subtropical weather, nearby Gulf Stream and long arc of islands that makes up the Florida Keys create one of the world’s best fishing environments.
It’s likely to get messy in Key West on July 4 — at least for everyone who steps into the “limelight” to participate in the annual Key Lime Pie Eating Championship. Up to 25 contestants with an appetite for the Florida Keys’ luscious signature dessert will vie for top honors in the quirky challenge.
Looking for open-air natural experiences to enjoy in the Florida Keys? Visitors can find a wealth of intriguing spots — including the world’s first undersea park, a refuge for tiny Key deer, and remote Dry Tortugas National Park and Fort Jefferson — to explore while discovering the island chain’s fascinating history and land-and-water environment.
In the Florida Keys, the Fourth of July means lively hometown parades, laid-back beach parties, on-the-water fun and lots of fireworks displays. Of course, holiday happenings in the Keys often feature an offbeat twist. So there’s also a July 4 event that illustrates the region’s quirky seaside spirit (and yes, it involves mermaids).
Key West has several beaches where people can beat the summer heat, but an even better way to “chill” is on a sailing excursion — whether on the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico. Blu Q has offered gay sailing adventures for nearly 25 years, including all-male Sandbar & Snorkel trips and sunset sails.