Roughly 18 years ago, the March Merkin permit tournament was born in the Florida Keys. One of the longest-running permit challenges in the world, the fly-fishing tournament is hard to fish and hard to win. Guest blogger Allison Delashmit provides a look at the angling event, and ways people can support it.
Renowned as a world-class destination for anglers, history-rich Islamorada is where backcountry sport fishing and saltwater fly fishing were pioneered. For decades, savvy anglers have found themselves “hooked” on stalking finned and gilled prey in area waters. Much to their satisfaction, there’s something to fish for during every season of the year.
Alligator Reef Lighthouse, a 150-year-old lighthouse that has been dark for a decade, is shining again at night in the Florida Keys. An Islamorada group working to restore the aging lighthouse recently installed solar-powered lights in the lantern room — shining a beacon across the water to highlight the need to preserve the landmark.
Divers planning a Florida Keys vacation can anticipate days of world-class underwater adventure — exploring a fascinating shipwreck trail that stretches from Key Largo to Key West within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The trail features long-ago wrecks and ships intentionally sunk to create artificial reefs, now home to myriad fish and corals.
Legendary singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett, who passed away Sept. 1 at age 76, is remembered and honored in Key West, the island where he developed his engaging tropical-flavored style. Jimmy discovered Key West in the early 1970s and it was his home for many years — inspiring classic tunes like the iconic “Margaritaville.”
On Labor Day 2013, Diana Nyad walked ashore onto Key West's Smathers Beach — becoming the first person to swim from Cuba to the Florida Keys without a shark cage. Keys Voices marks the 10th anniversary of Diana’s iconic feat with a look back at the challenges and perseverance that led to its accomplishment.
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.
There’s a wonderfully meaningful celebration coming up in Key West, and everyone who values equality, openness and diversity is invited to participate. It’s the 20th “birthday” of the island’s famed 1.25-mile sea-to-sea rainbow flag, and it will be marked with a three-night laser light show during Key West Pride 2023 — scheduled June 7-11.
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.
If you’ve spent time in the Florida Keys, you’re aware that Keys residents are generally easygoing and friendly. But unless you want to make them cringe, don’t ever say “kontch” — because the widely-used word “conch,” despite its spelling, is properly pronounced “konk.” Especially at the upcoming birthday party for the Keys’ Conch Republic.