2019 March Featured Destination of the Month: Florida Keys & Key West
Friday, March 01, 2019 04:11 PM

Florida Keys and Key West:

Curving below the southern tip of the Florida mainland, the Florida Keys are connected by the famed Overseas Highway’s 42 bridges over the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. The region is divided into five unique districts, beginning with the northernmost island of Key Largo, known for its unparalleled diving and snorkeling.

Farther down lies the sport-fishing paradise of Islamorada, the Middle Keys and the historic, iconic Seven Mile Bridge at Marathon; the unspoiled nature preserves of Big Pine and the Lower Keys, and at the southernmost tip of the continental United States, quirky and charming Key West.

The Keys are characterized by a rich seafaring history, flourishing creative community, balmy subtropical climate, natural environment that includes continental America’s only living coral barrier reef and a laidback vibe that seems worlds away from the mainland.

Florida Keys & Key West Q&A:

What’s one attraction that can’t be missed when visiting The Florida Keys & Key West?
The continental United States’ only barrier coral reef. The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary protects the world’s third largest living coral barrier reef, attracting visitors for snorkeling, diving and other recreational opportunities.

What story ideas will travel media uncover at your destination?
Check out media.fla-keys.com on our site fla-keys.com. The Florida Keys, truly, are a story-rich destination. We can assist with individual story ideas, in-destination research, photography and B-roll, and other potential opportunities.

What plans and events does your destination have scheduled that travel media should be aware of?

  • Key West’s Key Lime Festival (July 4-7; keylimefestival.com) celebrates its signature dessert during its seventh year, with wacky events such as a Key lime pie toss, Cocktail Sip & Stroll and a Key Lime Pie Hop. This lighthearted Key West event salutes the tiny, tangy fruit that inspired the Florida Keys’ signature dessert. Events include a gravity-defying “pie drop” and the Key Lime Cocktail Sip & Stroll.
  • Inaugural Key West Mermaid Festival (July 5-7; keywestmermaidfestival.com), the first of its kind for the Keys, is to showcase awareness of oceans and salty shores. Events include mermaid meet-ups, book readings, sunset celebrations, mojitos with mermaids, and a Salty Street Fair. 
  • In the Lower Keys, the 35th Annual Underwater Music Festival (July 13; lowerkeyschamber.com), a nationally acclaimed submerged songfest, is held at Looe Key Reef in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The only-in-the-Keys event promotes reef preservation. Music is broadcast underwater via Lubell Laboratory speakers, suspended beneath boats positioned above the reef and staged by a local radio station.
  • In Key West, the life and work of legendary author Ernest Hemingway, who lived and wrote in Key West during the 1930s, are showcased during the annual Hemingway Days Festival (July 16-21; hemingwaydays.net). Highlights include the three-day Hemingway Look-Alike Contest for stocky, white-bearded aspiring “Ernests” during the 39th annual celebration, Running of the Bulls and other hilariously fun and literary events.
  • Masquerade madness takes center stage during Key West’s 40th Annual Fantasy Fest (Oct. 18-27; fantasyfest.com), themed “Celebrating 40 Years of Fantasy!” The outrageously fun 10-day masking festival includes a dazzling parade recognized around the world. Colorful events include a costume competition for pets, a headdress ball and street fairs. Its culmination is a parade with lavish large-scale floats, marching groups and island-style bands.
     

Is there anything else you feel travel media should know about your destination?
Through our “Connect and Protect” initiative, we’re promoting sustainable tourism and experiential, environmental, cultural and soft-adventure activities, encouraging visitors to forge a personal connection with the Keys and its unique environment. Part of that initiative is “52 Weeks: Sustainable Spotlight,” with weekly social media posts about environmental attributes and attractions and other additional stories. Another program, “Shared Celebrations,” will focus on wedding, honeymoon and multigenerational markets, highlighting new and enhanced properties, appealing to various generations, throughout the 125-mile-long island chain. Another initiative, “Taste the Keys,” promotes indigenous cuisine such as pink shrimp and stone crab claws.

  

Visit their website: www.fla-keys.com
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