On the offbeat island of Key West, even the zombies defy stereotypes. Instead of stumbling through dark wastelands in tattered clothes — as often portrayed in films and TV shows — Key West’s zombies are to hop on their bikes and pedal beside the Atlantic Ocean Sunday, Oct. 22, during the annual Zombie Bike Ride.
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.”
Visitors seeking cultural experiences to supplement the Florida Keys’ subtropical “fun and sun” lure will find arts offerings in virtually all genres. Enthusiasts can discover galleries from Key Largo to Key West, festivals that spotlight the island chain’s rich creative heritage, eclectic events that showcase the talents of local residents — and even gyotaku.
When the “real world” seems especially stressful, escape to a place that recharges the body, soothes the soul and inspires reconnection with life’s natural rhythms. The Florida Keys backcountry is that place — a realm of wild beauty and tranquil waters, with one of the most diverse assortments of marine life on the planet.
Meet the newest “Papa.” White-bearded Wisconsin man Gerrit Marshall has won the 2023 Hemingway Look-Alike Contest, a highlight of Key West's Hemingway Days festivities. The retired television broadcast engineer triumphed over nearly 140 other contest entrants on his 68th birthday — just a day after the July 21 birthday of the original "Papa" Hemingway.
In the Middle and Lower Keys and Key West, personal renewal, wellness, mindful pursuits, and enriching experiences take center stage to create an unforgettable vacation. Visitors can stroll a historic bridge between seemingly endless sea and sky, taste tropical fruits in a hidden grove, kayak to discover secret mangrove realms, and much more.
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!
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.
It’s not always easy to stay afloat. Especially if your vessel is made of a 4-by-8-foot sheet of plywood, two 8-foot-long two-by-fours, a roll of duct tape and a pound of fasteners. But staying afloat is the goal for teams in the Schooner Wharf Minimal Regatta, a Key West Memorial Day weekend tradition.
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.