Underwater Pumpkin Carving in the Florida Keys — Divers compete to wow judges with jolly jack-o-lanterns during the annual Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest. Carvers descend 30 feet beneath the surface in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary to transform orange gourds into frightening facial features. The 2014 contest is Sunday, Oct. 19.
Hunting Ghosts in the Florida Keys — According to paranormal expert David Sloan, Key West is one of the most haunted cities in the entire United States. Learn more about a 90-minute nightly walking tour that spotlights some of the island's most noteworthy and well-documented spirits.
Swim for Alligator Lighthouse off Islamorada — The Alligator Reef Lighthouse Swim is an 8-mile open-ocean swim to raise awareness of the need to preserve six aging Florida Keys lighthouses. Each more than 130 years old, they are no longer maintained because of modern advances in maritime navigation. Join this year's race September 20, 2014!
Rehabbed Loggerhead Sea Turtle Joins — "Pine Tyme," rehabilitated at the Turtle Hospital after being struck by a boat, was fitted with a satellite tracking transmitter and released from a Florida Keys beach in August. Pine Tyme joined the Tour de Turtles, a three-month-long "race" monitoring the forward progress of 11 sea turtles.
Winter Star Party in the Lower Keys — Amateur and professional astronomers gather in the Lower Florida Keys attracted by the chance for 180-degree viewing of the Southern Cross and other constellations. The Keys' southern location and relative absence of large-scale artificial lighting at night provide optimal viewing conditions.
Fantasy Fest Pet Masquerade — Dogs, cats, domestic pets and their people unleash their inner heroism or wickedness during the annual Pet Masquerade and Parade in Key West that draws costumed canine, feline and avian contestants — and even a rabbit, pot-bellied pig, lizard, snake or goat. This year's promenade is Oct. 22.
Fishing for Yellowtail Snapper in the Florida Keys — Captain Randy Towe has been fishing the ocean and bayside waters off the Florida Keys for more than 30 years. Find out why, of so many available species, yellowtail snapper is his favorite. You can hire some of the best fishing captains and guides anywhere in the world, here in the Florida Keys!
Skip Bradeen Marks 50 Years as Keys Charter Boat Captain — He is the dean of the charterboat skippers in the Florida Keys. September 2014 marks Captain Skip Bradeen's 50th year in the charterboat business. The legendary Islamorada skipper is best known for his enthusiastic personality and quick wit. See why Captain Skip will never retire.
Immerse in the NEW Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters! — Visitors to Marathon can swim with & feed reef fish, invertebrates, stingrays and even sharks. The hands-on, interactive learning center combines fun with marine conservation and education about the fragile and complex underwater habitats in the Florida Keys. Dive in and learn more!
Key West Brewfest, Labor Day Weekend — Brewfest Key West is a celebration of beer and the many types of beer from Florida and all over the world. Events from beer dinners, beer brunches, happy hour parties, pool parties, late-night parties, seminars and the Signature Tasting Festival Event are some of the great activities on tap.
Anything That Floats Regatta Race — Trashy items like PVC, buckets, pool noodles, plastic wrap, lawn furniture or cardboard can be bound together as "hulls" during the race each August in Key Largo. Boat builders bind together their crafts with duct tape, plastic wrap or other sticky substance long enough to hold teammates inside.
Hemingway Days in Key West — Key West's annual Hemingway Days festival honors acclaimed author Ernest Hemingway, who lived on the island during the 1930s. The main event is the "Papa" Hemingway Look-Alike Contest. The festival continues through Sunday, July 20.
Key West Has First Legal Rum Distillery — Open in Key West on the site of a long-ago saloon and former Coca-Cola bottling plant, and conceived by renowned kiteboarder and chef Paul Menta, a unique emporium recalls the days of illegal alcohol manufacturing in 1920s Prohibition America.
Art! Key West! — Established and emerging talents in visual, literary and performing arts take center stage during this celebration of creativity in late November each year that three days of artistry throughout historic Old Town. Spotlight events rotate among multiple cultural districts.
Key West Food and Wine Festival — Indulge your appetites at this annual event each January, an edible extravaganza that spotlights a lively culinary scene, talented chefs, indigenous ingredients and multifaceted flavors through gourmet galas & tastings, food & wine seminars ... even bowling - with coconuts!
Sculpture Key West — Dramatic contemporary sculptures grace the land- and seascapes of a Civil War-era fort and an Atlantic Ocean beach during the annual Sculpture Key West exhibition. Generally scheduled for the island's balmy "winter" months, the open-air show spotlights the talent of both national and local artists.
Uncorked: Key Largo and Islamorada Food & Wine Festival — Keys culinary experts step up to the "palate" to present nearly 30 tasty food, wine and spirits events over 10 days of wine tasting, cooking demonstrations, wine dinners, food and wine pairing classes, progressive wine dinners and the 'Grand Tasting Finale.' The 2015 dates are Jan. 8-17.
South Florida Symphony Plays in Key West — The South Florida Symphony, a unique gathering of professional symphonic musicians from around the United States, began as the Key West Symphony and is guided by nationally recognized conductor and Key West native Sebrina Maria Alfonso. A Master Concert performance is set for March 27, 2014.
Woofstock: A Peace, Paws and Groovy Music Festival — Dog lovers and music lovers unite to raise pet population awareness and adopt rescues to "fur-ever" homes during the Woofstock Music Fair each March. Agility competitions and dock diving demos are among the highlights, with prizes for the winning pooch. Watch the far-out, fur-friendly festival.
Fantasy Fest Parade Highlights — The Fantasy Fest Parade is the traditional highlight of the island city's lavish 10-day Fantasy Fest costuming and masking celebration. This year, the parade is Saturday, Oct. 25. Watch some past parade highlights!
Corals Spawn Along the Florida Keys Reefs — Coral spawning occurs in August and September a few days after the full moon, when millions of gametes, or reproductive cells, are released underwater in a synchronized mass-spawning exchange, enabling the eggs and sperm to enter the water over a broad geographic area to maximize fertilization.
Key West Historic Marker Tour - Make Note for a Must-Do! — Contemporary visitors can discover and experience Key West's multifaceted history via the Key West Historic Marker Tour. The tours include sites and properties bearing Key West Historic Marker plaques that highlight their place in island history.
Kona Kai Botanic Garden — The Botanic Gardens at Kona Kai Resort, located at mile marker 97.8 bayside in Key Largo, is one of only two frost-free botanic gardens in the southeastern U.S. Ethnobotanic tours, lasting about 90 minutes, foster an understanding of the significant role plants play in everyday lives.
Flagler's Florida Keys Over-Sea Railroad — Imagine a Florida Keys if Flagler had not built the railroad. Who would be here? See how Florida Keys & Key West celebrated the centennial anniversary of the completion of Henry Flagler's Over-Sea Railroad, a historic milestone, 100 years after the first train arrived in Key West in 1912.
Experience Key West Brewfest Over Labor Day Weekend — Key West Brewfest celebrates many types of beer from Florida and around the world. Each Labor Day weekend enjoy beer dinners, brunches, happy hour parties, pool parties, late-night parties, seminars and the Signature Tasting Festival Event.
'Magic in Key West' Celebrates Viva Florida 500 — Adventurer Ponce de Leon discovered the Florida Keys including the Dry Tortugas in 1513. As the modern-day Keys celebrate the 500th anniversary of that momentous event, Keys musician Howard Livingston performs his exuberant song showing why there's still so much "Magic in Key West."
Key West Film Festival — Indulge in cinematic premieres, private film screenings and VIP parties at oceanside hotspots while listening to top emerging filmmakers' insights into their creations. Watch Kevin "Dot Com" Brown of "30 Rock" explain why there's no better place for film than America's elite southernmost island.
Uncorked: Key Largo and Islamorada Food & Wine Festival — Enjoy a multi-sensory experience as Keys' culinary experts step up to the "palate" to present tasty food, wine & spirits events. Cooking demonstrations, food and wine pairing classes and dinners, art & wine shows and the "Grand Tasting Finale." Uncork and unwind in the Keys, Jan. 9-18, 2014.
Key West Nutcracker Ballet — Marvel at the Key West version of the classical holiday ballet "The Nutcracker," recast to showcase the island's tropical atmosphere, coral reef environment and seafaring heritage. Don't miss this timeless holiday production, set for a seven-show run through Dec. 22, 2012.
Stone Crab Eating Contest Celebrates Season Opening — October heralds the much-anticipated stone crab season, as well as a consumption competition for amateur eaters in an annual Stone Crab Eating Contest. Watch highlights and find tips how you could win this year, Oct. 19!
Key Largo Food and Wine Festival, July 27 - Aug. 5 — Visitors can discover their personal palate as Key Largo's culinary experts present plentiful pairings with tropical seafood during the island's Food and Wine Festival, a tasty annual event to see local chefs as they prepare signature dishes to sample and experts uncork a grand selection of wines.
Ride the African Queen in Key Largo — The iconic original vessel from John Huston's classic 1951 film "The African Queen," starring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn, is plying Key Largo's nearshore waters and canals for Florida Keys visitors to take a ride on the historic vessel from the Holiday Inn Key Largo.
Divers Help Keep Keys Reefs Healthy Through Voluntourism — Divers can help Keys reefs while vacationing for the greater good. Coral restoration efforts with marine scientists from Key Largo's Coral Restoration Foundation enable recreational divers to learn about Florida's reefs and join hands-on dives to restore endangered staghorn and elkhorn corals.
Dry Tortugas National Park — Almost 70 miles west of Key West lies a cluster of seven islands, composed of coral reefs and sand, called the Dry Tortugas. The surrounding shoals and waters make up Dry Tortugas National Park, famous for its bird and marine life, legends of pirates and sunken gold, and military past.
Island Sweets at Key Largo Chocolates — Chocolate's rich, dark history is 2,000 years old according to historians, but Key Largo visitors are discovering a newfound love of cocoa confections. Culinary creator behind Key Largo Chocolates, Kristie Thomas is currently the only chocolatier in the Florida Keys, making tropically sweet treats.
How to Blow a Conch Shell — The 51st Annual Conch Shell Blowing Contest is set for this Saturday in Key West at the Oldest House Museum. Click the play button to learn how to blow a conch shell and then join the fun beginning at noon.
Lighthouse Larry Replicates Florida Keys History — Larry Herlth, an Islamorada-based artist known as "Lighthouse Larry," has fashioned his passion for lighthouses and crafted six of these structures off the Florida Keys into exact scaled replicas of the historical beacons, three of which were built before the Civil War. View his artistic vision.
Huge Outdoor Mural Honors Flagler Railroad — An outdoor art mural located at MM 95 bayside honors the 100 years since the completion of Henry Flagler's Florida Keys Over-Sea Railroad. Sixty feet long and 11.5 feet high, the mural depicts a train similar to a Florida Keys Over-Sea Railroad passenger train. Bring your camera!
Key West New Year's Eve 2012 — In Times Square, they drop the ball. In much warmer Key West, the Bourbon Street Pub Complex drops a spicy drag queen named "Sushi" in a red shoe. Mouse over the monitor and click "play" to see how the island city welcomed 2012.
Ernest Hemingway's Cats — In 1935, author Ernest Hemingway received a cat named "Snowball" while living and writing in Key West. With paws featuring six toes, "Snowball" was the first of a long line of felines that has helped make the Hemingway Home and Museum one of the most popular visitor attractions in the Florida Keys.
Dachshund Parade in Key West - Weiner Dog Walk — Key West has gone to the dogs! Watch as nearly 200 dachshunds and their owners parade through historic Old Town. This wiener wonderland walk is an annual family-friendly prelude to the island's New Year's festivities on Dec. 31.
Santa Makes a Splash in the Florida Keys — Santa trades in his sleigh to go diving off Key Largo in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary each year. Atlantis Dive Shop owner Spencer Slate, garbed as Santa, spreads holiday wishes to the marine inhabitants on a section of America's only living contiguous coral barrier reef.
Jimmy Buffett Plays Surprise Key West Concert — In 2011, Jimmy Buffett returned to his former Key West home for a rare surprise performance before some 3,500 "Parrot Head" fans. This year's Parrot Heads in Paradise Key West gathering is set for Nov. 1-4. Click play and sing along.
The Underwater World of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary — View the incredible underwater world of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, in high-definition. Watch and discover why the Florida Keys is the dive capital of the world.
Stone Crab Season Open through May 15 — Bring on the dipping sauce! Starting Oct. 15, stone crab claws, brought fresh to shore from Florida Keys waters, are steamed, cracked, plated and served dipped in melted butter or a savory mustard sauce. Click play to crack open the succulent, meaty details.
It's Fantasy Fest Time! Watch Some Parade Highlights — Key West's Fantasy Fest is a wild array of masquerade balls, costume contests, exotic escapades and a glittering grand parade, each year themed to make a splash at Key West's wildest party! Click play to indulge in this annual 10-day event, continuing through Oct. 28 in the southernmost city.
Visit Historic Pigeon Key — Nestled beneath the Old Seven Mile Bridge lies a historical treasure known as Pigeon Key. The five-acre island served as base camp for workers who built Henry Flagler's railroad in the early 1900s. Explore the tiny island with an enormous reputation for remaining unchanged as the Keys evolved.
Marathon's Turtle Hospital Welcomes Visitors — Marathon's Turtle Hospital is the only licensed veterinary clinic of its kind in the world. Sept. 24 was named "Richie Moretti & the Turtle Hospital Day" for his and the hospital's contributions to the plight of the sea turtle for more than 25 years. Learn about this unique facility.
Jimmy Johnson: From Football to Fishing in the Florida Keys — Former NFL and college football coach Jimmy Johnson has lived in the Florida Keys for more than 15 years. His name graces Jimmy Johnson's Big Chill at Fisherman's Cove, a private residence club in Key Largo and namesake National Billfish Championship each March. Discover why JJ loves it here.
Ease on Down the Highway for Key West Poker Run — Hit the road as motorcyclists from throughout the United States travel one of America's most scenic highways for charity during the annual Key West Poker Run in September. The Keys-wide riding event is scheduled for Sept. 19-22.
Islamorada Third Thursday Art Walk — Showcasing Islamorada's artistic, musical and culinary nuances, the Morada Way Arts & Cultural District features national and local artisans from galleries at Morada Way between mile marker 81 and 82, "culinary art" and live music from 6-10 p.m. Free event.
Lobster Lovers Feast at Key West Lobsterfest — A hearty appetite and a passion for lobsters are mandatory during the annual Key West Lobsterfest, a celebration of Florida's clawless lobster set for August each year. Click play for the buttery details. Festivities are Aug. 8-11.
In the Keys You Can Fly Like 'James Bond' — Visitors to the Florida Keys can now pretend to be — and actually fly like — "James Bond" with a new watersport providing levitation-like flight. The Keys are the first place in the United States to offer the amazing experience to travelers.
Dragon Boat Racing Hits the Beach — Waters off Marathon's Sombrero Beach transform into a swift racecourse for the annual Battle in the Bay Dragon Boat Festival every May. Click play to watch teams power these sleek, 40-foot-long boats. Make it a beachin' weekend on May 12!
Better Angels Key West Songwriter's Festival — More than 150 chart-topping songwriters perform their hits on audience-friendly island stages during the annual Key West Songwriters Festival, happening April 27 through May 2. Click play for a "backstage pass" to the musical magic.
Key West's Great Conch Republic Drag Race — High heels eclipse high octane during this hilarious event, and lipstick is mandatory (though tiaras are optional). Click "play" to see the unusual race down the island city's famed Duval Street, each April during the Conch Republic Independence Celebration.
Schooner Western Union Gets $1.25 Million Facelift — A $1.25 million restoration project has kept a historic sailing schooner in Key West, the same city it was built and launched 72 years ago. The refurbishment allows Key West visitors an opportunity to sail into history. Click "play" to learn more.
Exhibit Features 100 Years of Flagler Railroad — January 22, 2012, marked 100 years since first Florida Keys Over-Sea Railroad first rolled through the Florida Keys to Key West, connecting the islands with the mainland. A lasting, expanded "Speedway to Sunshine" exhibit can be viewed at Key West's Museum of Art & History at the Custom House.
Pigeon Key Art Festival — Revered for its fine artists and craftspeople, the Pigeon Key Art Festival transforms a middle Keys venue into a tropically themed, covered oasis of artwork, pottery, paintings, sculpture, photography, and more, each February. Click play to be artfully inspired.
Key Largo Stone Crab & Seafood Festival, Jan. 25-26 — Combining fresh seafood, live local entertainment, cooking demonstrations, casting classes and costume contests, the delicious annual Key Largo Stone Crab & Seafood Festival is held a full weekend each January, at Rowell's Marina, mile marker 104.5 bayside. Don't miss this weekend's foodie fun!
Key West Food and Wine Festival, Jan. 24-27 — Attention, food lovers! Sunshine, standout dishes and stellar vintages star in the annual Key West Food and Wine Festival. This is a "taste" of the island city's finest flavors. Click play to savor some of the scrumptious details from this annual event for foodies and oenophiles.
How to Make a Florida Keys Conch Fritter — Make your own little piece of the Florida Keys right in your own kitchen. Follow along with the experts at the Islamorada Fish Company as they make this classic Keys dish.
Islamorada Artist Enamored with Florida Keys — What is talented artist Stacie Krupa's top reason for living in Islamorada and painting in the Florida Keys? It's one of the most important aspects for all artists around the world. Click on the "play" button to find the answer.
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park — John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, established in 1963 as America's first underwater preserve, draws more than a million visitors annually to explore its nature trails and beaches and observe the abundant underwater wildlife that inhabits its 70 square nautical miles. Discover this Key Largo gem.
Marathon Wild Bird Center — A middle Keys gem, the Marathon Wild Bird Center is a bird rehabilitation center for injured or orphaned birds, located along nature trails within the hammock preserve of Crane Point. Click 'Play' to learn about the wild birds of the Florida Keys.
Get Ready for Fantasy Fest 2011 — It's uninhibited, unbelievable and unparalleled. It's Fantasy Fest, Key West's outrageous 10-day masking and costuming festival each October, themed in 2011 as "Habitat for Insanity."
Marathon's Dolphin Research Center — The Dolphin Research Center is a not-for-profit organization that promotes peaceful coexistence, cooperation and communication between marine mammals, humans and the environment. Its protective environment for dolphins and sea lions draws national and international visitors to the Florida Keys.
Sport Fishing off the Florida Keys — In the Florida Keys, the fish are biting better then ever. Click on the play button for summertime fishing action captured off Islamorada, known as the Sportfishing Capital of the World.
Underwater Music Festival in the Florida Keys — The Florida Keys are well-known for its quirky festivals, and the Underwater Music Festival off Big Pine Key is no exception. Click play and "gear up" for the 30th annual festival set for this July 12!
This is the Underwater World of the Florida Keys — Join divers as they explore a portion of the coral reefs as part of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary off Key Largo, considered by many the dive capital of the world.
Stand-up Paddle Boarding in the Florida Keys — Stand-up paddling, or paddleboarding, is a perfect sport for fun, or to quietly enjoy secluded ecotours through backcountry flats in an environmentally friendly way. Click play and learn how to paddle the Gulf Stream.
The Original Marathon Seafood Festival — The Original Marathon Seafood Festival takes aim at the tummy with local delicacies like Florida lobster, stone crab claws, plump pink shrimp and smoked fish recipes. Whet your appetite for the annual Middle Keys munch-a-thon. The 2013 festival is Saturday and Sunday, March 9-10.
Keys Museum Traces History of Diving — Islamorada's History of Diving Museum traces man's endeavors to explore the oceans, and is dedicated to collecting, preserving and displaying artifacts, antiques and photographs that relate to diving, with 3,000 square feet of interactive exhibits, meeting space and research library.
There is No 'App' for a Vacation in the Florida Keys! — View one of the innovative television commercials for the Florida Keys. Sure, there's an "app" for just about everything. But there's no "app" for a vacation in the Florida Keys.
Key West World Championship — "Known as the "Indianapolis" of the offshore powerboat racing circuit, Key West hosts the World Championships each November, this year set for Nov. 3-10. Get a preview and plan be part of the excitement and unbelievable, bone-jarring speeds.
Farm-Raised Coral Spawns in the Florida Keys — Marine scientists in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary documented the first known case where Atlantic-Caribbean, farm-raised coral has reproduced to serve as a foundation for future reefs. Learn about coral spawning in the Florida Keys, and plan to join a scheduled nighttime coral dive.
Hemingway Days Honors Literary Legend — Key West's annual Hemingway Days festival honors acclaimed author Ernest Hemingway, who lived on the island during the 1930s. The main event of the week, held in July each year to commemorate the anniversary of Ernest's July 21 birth, is a look-alike contest for Hemingway imitators.
Feed the Tarpon at Robbie's in Islamorada — Some visitors bill it as the most unique and cost-effective attractions in the entire Florida Keys. For a buck admission and $3 for a pail of baitfish, you can handfeed tarpon at Robbie's in Islamorada. The beloved tarpon are part of the Robbie's family just like a dog or cat might be.
Key West Six-Toed Cat Cam — Somewhere in one of Key West's many bars roams a six-toed cat named Aurora with a tiny video camera strapped to her furry head. Click play to follow the feline through the southernmost city.
National Key Deer Refuge — The Lower Keys are home to the National Key Deer Refuge, established in 1957 to protect and preserve habitats for wildlife, most notably the diminutive Key deer, a subspecies of the Virginia white-tailed deer. Learn more about the 8,000-acre refuge of prime Key deer territory.