There’s never a dull moment in Key West, and April seems to host some of the island’s most unique and memorable events. Be sure to pack your senses of wonder and humor along with your flip-flops!
Give back to the ocean
The ocean is the lifeblood of the Florida Keys and Key West, and our friends at MOTE Marine Lab organize the annual Florida Keys Ocean Festival as a way to give back to the waters that give us so much. Runners kick start the day with the Smokin Tuna Trot 5K race, while kids enjoy fishing classes, games and activities. Adults will likely gravitate to the libations, live music and craftsmen selling an abundance of nautical novelties. And the best part, all the proceeds go to MOTE’s coral reef restoration program!
Set a personal record in a 0K race
That’s no typo! 0K – as in zero kilometers. Everyone is a winner in the Cow Key Channel Bridge run, where participants clad in costumes receive awards for the fastest AND slowest to cross the 300-foot bridge that connects Key West and Stock Island. Puns abound in this udderly awesome event with tongue-in-cheek awards like the Divine Bovine and Golden Calf. This festive event embodies all that is wacky and wonderful about Key West!
Get back to nature
Key West is a great place to unplug, unwind and get back in touch with nature. If you’re looking for a slice of serenity and want to see how locals spend their days off, then Fury’s Island Adventure is just the trip for you! Our comfy catamaran will take you to the “backcountry” where you can snorkel sponge gardens or sunbathe on sandbars. Don’t be surprised if your cares float away with the tide as you paddle among the mangroves admiring wildlife above and below the water.
Celebrate the birth of the Conch Republic
Of all the zany and colorful events Key West has each year, the Conch Republic Independence Celebration takes the cake, or rather the conch. In 1986, Key West seceded from the US (for one minute), and has ever since been calling itself the Conch Republic. In addition to having its own flag, Navy and passports, the Conch Republic throws a weeklong party each April celebrating its short-lived, but fierce independence. From drag races and car shows to the “World’s Longest Parade” and the Bloody Battle, this party is one you have to see to believe.
Tantalize your taste buds
Key West is a culinary destination on its own, but foodies will want to mark their calendars for the Taste of Key West. This late afternoon event is a great way to sample fare from more than 30 of the island’s best restaurants in one place. Event participants purchase tickets, which are used in exchange for drinks and small plates of each restaurant’s tastiest dishes. This treat for the taste buds is held on the picturesque Truman Waterfront and is a fantastic place to soak in the setting sun with a glass of wine and a full stomach.
Take home a gift from a local Key West artisan
Want to buy a souvenir that is quintessentially Key West? Then time your trip to coincide with the first Sunday of the month (November through May) and the Key West Artisan Market where local artisans, craftsmen and chefs from Key West and the lower Keys sell their unique wares. From locally harvested honey and handmade pottery to sea glass jewelry and reclaimed wood furniture, the problem isn’t what to buy it’s how to fit it all in your luggage.