4th of July fun

Best Things To Do in July

July has it all in Key West: Mermaids, Hemingway look-a-likes, fireworks and lobsters! And Summer weather means great boating with clear, warm water…

Ask us how to get on the water and enjoy Key West like a local with a sandbar boat rental or sandbar charter.

Insiders Tip: Book your rentals, charter, or watersports adventure early. Trips sell out fast! Call 305-422-9811

1. Annual Key Lime Festival

The Florida Keys are famous for their limes and what better way to celebrate than a festival. Each year on the first weekend in July, Key West hosts a variety of Key lime inspired events. Contests include: Pie Eating, Martini Making, and of course a Key Lime Pie Making Championship. Learn more.

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2. Key West Annual Fireworks Show

 Since 1976 the 4th of July is a Key West tradition for generations of locals and visitors alike. Enjoy the Key West Fireworks Celebration at 9 p.m. at the Edward B. Knight Pier (White Street Pier). Live local music, family friendly games, along with a spectacular view of the fireworks.

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3. Key West Mermaid Festival

Our crew and mermaid pod are over the waves excited to bring you this three-day weekend event, packed with so many fun and mervelous events. From “Mermaid Meet & Greets” and our “Sunday Funday with Mermaids”, to mermaid vendors with a splash of entertainment and heaps of ocean awareness, dancing under the sea, and much, much more! With activities for the little mermaids and adult mermaids at heart, the Key West Mermaid Festival is an entire island family friendly event welcoming Florida Keys locals and visitors from across all of our oceans! Learn more.

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4. Mel Fisher Days

Come commemorate the anniversary of Mel Fisher’s famous 16-year search for the Spanish galleon Atocha and the discovery of the Atocha Mother Load. Annual Dock Party at Schooner Wharf Bar on Saturday, July 13, with tours of salvaging vessels, raffle, silent and live auctions and live entertainment. Private tours of the Fisher Family Conservation Laboratory July 11 & 12. Net proceeds from these events benefit Wesley House Family Services, Inc.  Learn more.

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5. Annual Hemingway Days

This annual celebration of the legendary author’s work and lifestyle features literary readings, the Running of the Bulls, a short story competition, fishing tournament, 5k Run and Paddleboard Race, Sloppy Joe’s Look-Alike Contest and a birthday “party” commemorating Ernest’s July 21st birthday. Learn more

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6. Sloppy Joe’s Annual Hemingway® Look-Alike Contest

The look-alike challenge is a highlight of Key West’s July 16-21 Hemingway Days celebration, created to salute the writing talent and adventurous life of the literary master who lived and wrote in Key West throughout the 1930s. It takes place at Sloppy Joe’s Bar, 201 Duval St., where Hemingway enjoyed sharing cocktails and camaraderie with friends. The look-alike challenge takes place at Sloppy Joe’s Bar, 201 Duval St., frequented by Hemingway when he lived and wrote on the subtropical island throughout the 1930s. The contest’s preliminary rounds are set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, July 18 and 19, and the newest “Papa” is to be chosen during a final round beginning at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, July 20. Learn more

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7. Stock Island Marina Village Key West Marlin Tournament

Anglers ply the waters once fished by writer Ernest Hemingway, vying for $50,000 in guaranteed cash prizes. Held in conjunction with Key West’s annual Hemingway Days festival, the event awards $25,000 to the first-place team. Teams can enter one fun fish (dolphin, tuna, wahoo or released sailfish) per day to add to their point total. Learn more

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8. Mini Lobster Season

On the last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday in July, take the opportunity to catch some Florida lobster before everyone else can! For 2 days, you can catch up to 6 lobsters per person. This quick event draws hundreds of boating enthusiasts to Key West in search of the perfect catch. The official Lobster season starts August 6th and runs for 8 months but the mini-season is annual tradition that people love to celebrate. For more details, contact Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation. Learn more about lobster mini season.

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9. Native Plant Sale at the Key West Tropical Forest

The Nursery at the Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden will be offering native trees, shrubs and vines for sale from 9am to noon. Nursery volunteers have propagated 161 species of plants bringing the inventory to more than 1,500 plants which attract butterflies and birds. Many plants are on the State of Florida endangered species list. Sizes range from one-gallon to 15-gallon pots. Key West Tropical Forest members receive a 15% discount. All proceeds directly benefit the Garden’s conservation program. The Garden is located at 5210 College Road on Stock Island. Learn more

10. Have a vacation of a lifetime! Spend the Day like a Local, on the Water

Everyday 🙂 Spend your vacation on the water, like a Key West Local! Enjoy the local sandbars and remote islands, with a remote sandbar charter or rental boat. Have a vacation of a lifetime! Or, try one of our many watersports.

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