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Summer will be here before you know it and the glorious Key West sunshine will keep you longing for Pina Coladas and a cool dip in one of our four sparkling pools. Welcome to Key West! This beautiful island is soaked in sunshine and the surrounding ocean is waiting to lure you in and cool you down. At the peak of summer, the average high is 89° F (32° C). Luckily Key West doesn’t have any super-highways or urban sprawl to radiate the sun’s heat. Not only that, but our islands are surrounded by cooling ocean waters. View our top tips for family vacations, and also see why families love Parrot Key Resort.
Sunset-loving Floridians from the mainland flock to the Keys on steamy weekends because the air is usually a few degrees cooler here. The water temperature might be in the mid-80s (30° C) but the sea is nevertheless refreshing for swimming, snorkeling or diving. Parrot Key Resort will also help you keep your “cool” with lush shaded gardens or you can try an array of water based activities with special discounts, just for being our guest!
With summer around the corner, you’ll be seeking ways to stay refreshed in the heat during your summer vacation so to give you a helping hand, Parrot Key Resort has selected the best ways to keep cool in Key West, whether you’re after fun, relaxation, an exhilarating experience, or all three put together!
Breezy days on the water
With a huge variety of water-based activities available in Key West, there is every opportunity to cool down while having fun with the whole family. Try a majestic sunset cruise on warm summer nights to enjoy the gentle Gulf breeze and a glowing Florida Keys sunset.
Next, you can explore the island from the ocean with a local guide on a refreshing 25-mile WaveRunner tour. You’ll head around the Southernmost Point in the USA, taking in the submarine pits, stopping at a sand bar and having a chance to free-style on the one and a half hour tour.
Or feel the welcoming tropical ocean breeze cool you down as you gently cruise through the water on a paddleboard or kayak. You can take your time to soak up the stunning scenery around you, stopping off at beaches along the way for a swim, leisurely lunch, or just park and keep cool in the shade.
The ultimate cool down involves the wind whipping all around you as you glide over the majestic waters of Key West! Experience the thrill of peacefully floating high above Key West with a unique parasailing adventure.
If you want to try it all, we recommend the Do It All Key West Watersports Adventure which lets you do just that. Discover an action-packed day of kayaking, windsurfing, banana boat rides, knee boarding behind ski boats, snorkelling, cruising on WaveRunners and water skis, and gliding into the water on a giant slide – you’re certain to feel refreshed afterwards and a cool cocktail will go down nicely at sunset too!
Into the cool, deep blue
For the ultimate cool down, book a Key West snorkel trip and submerge yourself into an underwater paradise. You’ll head out on a power catamaran boat and be whisked away to the Key West coral reef to discover a spectacular biological wonder, filled with a colorful array of wildlife including tropical fish, coral, reef sharks, turtles, and dolphins. Snorkel trips include friendly crew, safety equipment and a selection of refreshing drinks.
Take a refreshing dip at Parrot Key
As you take a walk through the beautifully landscaped (and shaded) gardens at Parrot Key Resort, you will soon discover four sparkling pools hidden among a lush, tropical oasis. Each pool offers the ultimate in relaxation and privacy, allowing you to just focus on cooling down and taking it easy in the refreshing water while the serenity-scented air revives your senses.
Ice cold poolside cocktails
Sipping away at your favorite cocktail in the sunshine defines that moment of relaxation you only ever get during summer vacation. At Cafe Blue, you can get a taste of our drink menu bursting with flavor, from tropical fruit smoothies to our legendary cocktails, all tempting you to take time out and cool down poolside. Cocktails are served from 11am to sunset.
Dip in and out of the ocean at Smathers Beach, enjoying the complimentary Parrot Key Beach Club service that includes a free shuttle transfer, beach towels and beach chairs for the day, allowing the whole family to kick back and relax in absolute comfort. There are plenty of watersports to choose from, or you can just cool down in the shade.
Contact us at 877-746-4701 to book your Key West summer vacation today!
There are many words we like to use when describing the perfect vacation, and many of them happen to begin with the letter ‘s’. Whether it’s sunshine, sunsets, sea, sand, simplicity, serenity, or just space to enjoy your freedom away from the routine of everyday life. We’re going to add another ‘s’ for good measure – suites! At Parrot Key, we have created spacious one and two-bedroom suites with style and comfort in mind which make them ideal for couples seeking a little extra indulgence, or for families and friends after much-needed privacy.
Each suite features stunning views and you can choose to live among the tree tops with your own garden view balcony or choose our waterfront suites with views of Florida Bay. If you’re seeking extra savings, a garden suite is the way to go. Don’t just expect to see a pretty display of flowers when we highlight the garden views; in your suite, you will wake up every morning to the spectacular sight of towering palm trees and lush foliage, all helping you to feel the great distance between your newly-found paradise and the hectic urban sprawl you left behind. You and your loved ones will feel revitalized and refreshed living in luxury with the uplifting sight and scent of our peaceful tropical oasis surrounding your spacious suite.
Whether you choose the king one-bedroom garden suite, or the two-bedroom garden suite featuring a master king room and a second queen room or twin room, each room has its own flat-screen TV and DVD player for when you need time out to switch off and recharge. However, bringing the party together will also create some of the best highlights of your vacation, which is why our living rooms are perfectly designed to ensure everyone can sprawl out and watch the latest entertainment on a 42″ flat-screen TV and enjoy all the benefits of a dry bar area, mini-fridge (in most rooms) and coffee maker.
You may wish to stay in your suite all day with such beautiful views and comfortable surrounds, but once you step foot outside and make your way through the landscaped tropical gardens, you’ll soon discover one of our four pools, each sparkling among its own private sculpture garden.
Within a short stroll is Café Blue, serving light lunches, snacks and cool cocktails, a perfect spot for relaxing throughout the day and celebrating an unforgettable Key West sunset. Take our shuttle bus to Smathers Beach and you’ll later find yourself immersed in one of many water sports activities. Venture onto the streets of Key West and the line-up of adventure seems unending, from the Conch Tour Train, the lively atmosphere of Mallory Square, and the many museums and attractions all telling the fascinating story behind this colorful Florida Keys island. Happy vacation!
To book one of our spacious garden view or waterfront suites, book online or speak to the reservations team at 888-211-0348.
Key West is famed for many types of music, from techno, hip hop, jazz and raggae, to calypso, blues, country and western, so a night out will always feature a show that appeals to all musical tastes. The island has an array of live music venues to enjoy when the sun goes down, or for a summer afternoon of toe-tapping fun. Here are our top ten recommendations for live music venues in Key West:
Schooner Wharf Bar, 22 William Street. Laid-back, comfortable and oozing with character, this bar is just a few blocks away from Duval Street and overlooks the harbor. It’s popular for its live music, friendly service and rustic charm.
Little Room Jazz Club, 821 Duval Street. Renowned for being Key West’s finest blues lounge, the cosy Little Room Jazz Club is on the quieter side of Duval Street. It’s one of the top local spots for sipping beer whilst enjoying some of the island’s best jazz.
Smokin’ Tuna Saloon, 4 Charles Street. This popular venue is home base for the Songwriter Festival. Throughout the year it stages some of Key West’s hottest acts with a music schedule on offer every night alongside a tempting menu of fresh seafood.
Sloppy Joe’s, 201 Duval Street. Famed for being Ernest Hemingway’s favorite watering hole, Sloppy Joe’s is one of the most iconic bars in Key West. Expect a lively party atmosphere with its regular live music schedule.
Willie T’s, 525 Duval Street. If it’s a cool mojito you fancy whilst checking out the latest quality live music acts, head to Willie T’s. The mojitos here are legendary and the walls are decorated with dollar bills from patrons past.
Island Dogs, 505 Front Street. One of Key West’s coolest hang-outs, you’ll find live music most nights at Island Dogs where the Key Lime Pie Martini is a must-try, along with the chargrilled oysters.
Hog’s Breath Saloon, 400 Front Street. Locals and visitors have been coming to Hog’s Breath Saloon for around 25 years for its daily schedule of live music and friendly service.
Green Parrot Bar, 601 Whitehead Street. Another Key West icon, Green Parrot Bar is loved by locals and welcomes visitors every night with its exciting line-up of live music which makes the venue fun and bursting with energy.
Turtle Kraals, 231 Margaret Street. Catch the latest live music from the harbor-based Turtle Kraals which not only offers the best views of the Key West Historic Seaport, but serves up a refreshing selection of drinks, including the delicious Key Lime Margarita.
Bull and Whistle Bar, 224 Duval Street. Here you’ll find two bars under one roof with live music showcased on the Bull stage. The party atmosphere entices large crowds most nights, making it one of Key West’s most popular venues for musical entertainment.
The laid-back atmosphere, tropical breeze and eclectic line-up of attractions in Key West are just some of the reasons why this destination continues to attract all age groups through the year. Visitors in the senior years of their life, find the island lifestyle rejuvenating and restorative and it’s hardly surprising. After all, this is an island that has everything to offer, from its warm ocean and beautiful beaches, to rich historic and cultural heritage, along with delicious local delicacies. Whether you’re nearing retirement or already retired and ready for your next adventure, you’ll find it here in Key West where a treasure trove of culture and natural beauty is waiting to be discovered.
Delve into Key West’s past
Key West is famed for his colorful history and cultural diversity. It’s home to shipwreck artifacts, literary legends, celebrated artists, and a previously bustling seaport, all beautifully preserved and showcased throughout the city’s fine collection of museums. Among the most popular are the Key West Shipwreck Museum, Ernest Hemingway House, Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum, and the Martello Gallery – Key West Art and Historical Museum, and they all make fascinating places to explore.
Sail away and find your catch
Leave the crowds behind as you sail through the calm waters surrounding Key West with highly-skilled offshore captains. You can explore the Florida Straits, a 90-mile wide trough of deep water beyond the reef that Hemingway once described as “the Great Blue River.” Swimming all around Key West is a rich abundance of fish including snappers and groupers that inhabit the island’s shipwrecks, reefs and back-country channels, making a day’s fishing trip so rewarding.
Music to your ears
Music underpins some of the best memories you’ll take away with you following your vacation, and in Key West there are live music venues round every corner that are sure to get your toes tapping and help you relax. The island’s streets carry a diverse blend of sound in the air, from jazz and blues, to country and western and calypso, making sure you’ll be spoiled for choice in your quest to unwind.
Breathtaking natural beauty
Be prepared to look around in awe as the beauty of Key West’s natural world unfolds before you. With our onsite concierge team, active seniors can take your pick from a range of water-based activities including kayaking and snorkeling, so you can explore the wonders of the ocean at your leisure. Back on dry land, Key West is teeming with places to enjoy natural beauty and the island’s renowned sunsets will no doubt become your favorite part of the day. Head to Mallory Square for the best views and join the Sunset Celebration which takes place every night. Here you’ll find a festival atmosphere as visitors and locals alike all gather to watch the sparkling sun sink into the Gulf of Mexico. Don’t forget to stop by Key West’s Butterfly Conservatory for one last glimpse of the city’s majestic beauty.
Yet another jewel in Key West’s crown is The Waterfront Playhouse, named by Florida Monthly Magazine as ‘the best professional theater in Florida’. For over 70 years, locals and tourists have been treated to a diverse program of productions in this intimate, 150-seat theater which is well-positioned in Mallory Square where the Sunset Celebration adds to the dramatic atmosphere.
Parrot Key Resort for Seniors
Whether you are looking for spacious accommodations or a room with a view for two, we have a range of options available including guestrooms, suites and villas. Depending on your age and mobility, we also offer accessible accommodations and ground floor rooms without stairs to accommodate all needs. Many seniors choose Parrot Key Resort because we are located away from the noise of Duval Street (three miles) in a quiet, tropical paradise.
Our concierge will also arrange sunset cruises, dolphin tours, and a range of other exciting activities. Or if you prefer to lounge on the beach, take our complimentary shuttle service to nearby Smathers Beach. Many guests prefer to lounge on our white sand terraces or at one of our three sparkling pools. Whatever your pleasure, Key West and Parrot Key Resort offer a range of exciting activities for seniors.
Let us help plan your vacation for you by calling 855-327-7200 to speak with our onsite vacation planning team.
- Book our senior discount
- Accessible accommodations
- Guestrooms without stairs
- View Key West activities
- Taking a road trip to Key West
- Live music venues in Key West
- Florida Keys for seniors
- Florida Keys senior adventures blog
As the summer sun dips into the horizon and the autumn months make their arrival, the warm tropical air still surrounding Key West is blended with a sense of calm following the busy family season, making it a desirable destination for couples of all ages.
With kids back at school, the months from mid-September to early December are filled with peace and quiet yet there is still every opportunity to find fun during autumn, particularly with an exciting line-up of events taking place throughout the season. As the majority of the world braces itself for the start of an inevitable cold snap, the sun is still shining its golden rays over the Florida Keys so you can escape the chilly winds and warm up in paradise.
5 Romantic Reasons Why Autumn is the Best Time to Visit Key West:
1. You Can Space Out With Less Crowds
If you’re traveling with your loved ones or a group of friends, you will enjoy more space to sprawl out on beaches together after the summer crowds have left the island. With the average temperature topping 84 degrees and the ocean remaining beautifully warm, you can take time out to soak up the autumn sun and indulge in watersports without being surrounded by the excitable sounds of families on vacation.
2. Celebrate Federal Holidays and Special Events
With summer tucked away and Christmas looming in the distance, there is still plenty to celebrate in autumn. You can enjoy a long peaceful weekend break or week-long vacation during Columbus Day on October 13 or Veteran’s Day on November 11. Thanksgiving Day on November 27 also provides the perfect opportunity to celebrate in style and make the most of the extended weekend break.
Surrounding these key holiday weekends are a flurry of exciting events in Key West including the Fantasy Fest, the island’s largest event of the year, from October 17 through 26. The festival features outrageous costume competitions, street fairs, a grand parade and themed parties. While the island is peaceful during autumn, this ten-day celebration of flamboyancy will be lively, energetic and full of color.
Other festivals during the autumn months include:
- The Goombay Festival in Bahama Village from October 17 – 18, featuring island-style food, arts, crafts and dancing, a Headdress Ball on October 21 (all leading up to Fantasy Fest)
- International Latin Arts Festival November 7 – 10
- Key West Film Festival November 12 – 16
- Key West World Championship Races November 2 – 9 which brings together high-speed offshore powerboats, all racing in Key West Harbor and surrounding waters creating an unforgettable sight
3. Fall in Love All Over Again
Key West is perfect for couples looking to indulge in a romantic break and autumn is one of the best seasons in which to enjoy some quiet time together. Parrot Key Resort is rated as one of the top three romantic hotels on the island, according to TripAdvisor, with its spacious accommodations and secluded pools nestled among lush tropical gardens, poolside dining and serene atmosphere. When couples venture beyond the privacy and tranquility of the resort, there is a buzz of activity throughout Key West which beckons adventure-seekers, food-fans, sun-worshipers and culture-lovers.
4. Enjoy the Perfect Weather
Although the autumn period is considered Key West’s “shoulder season,” many locals will agree that autumn is the best time to visit Key West with temperatures topping an average of 84 degrees. Combine these warm temperatures with a gentle breeze and Parrot Key Resort is the perfect setting for holding hands on your outdoor balcony or watching a Florida Keys sunset from our sunset pier.
5. Catch a Deal
Autumn is the best time to secure an unbeatable deal at Parrot Key Resort, so if you’re after a budget-friendly getaway then you’ll find a variety of discount options from our specials page. If you book directly through Parrot Key, you are guaranteed our best rates so call 888-504-4174 to speak with one of our on-site vacation planners and secure an unbeatable package this autumn.
Three reasons to visit Key West in 2016, include three amazing bedrooms, spread over three floors with plenty of space for your entire party. Sprawl out in style with room for eight family members or friends in our three-bedroom Key West villas. Enjoy sun, sea, serenity… and space; along with some exciting villa offers as well!
Traveling with family or a group of friends means a Key West vacation packed with plenty of fun surrounded by your favorite people. It can also mean the need for a little extra space to avoid feeling too cramped and ensure that everyone has some much-needed privacy. Even the closest of friends and happiest of families can end up feeling under each other’s feet in the wrong type of accommodation, so it’s important to select where you spend those precious vacation days, carefully.
At Parrot Key Resort, we have created spacious three-bedroom villas with families and groups of friends in mind. You can all enjoy each other’s company in the exclusivity of your own three-bedroom villa overlooking the sparkling Gulf waters or our tropical gardens, without compromising space. Each villa is unique with a combination of different bed types, so everyone can sleep up to eight people comfortably based on the needs of your party.
If it’s a waterfront Gulf view that you prefer, choose a three-bedroom villa offering space, privacy and luxury including pristine white sand terraces. Every bedroom has an en suite bathroom, so there will be no family fights to get to the bathroom first each morning in Key West!
The villa includes different bed type combinations over three floors so that you can decide how best to keep your friends or family well-rested each night in Key West.
Each room has is own flat screen TV for when you need time out to switch off and recharge. However, bringing the party together will also create some of the best highlights of your vacation, which is why our living rooms are perfectly designed to ensure everyone has enough leg room to sit back and watch the latest entertainment on a 42″ flat screen TV.
From the blue views of our waterfront Key West villas to the serene green of our tropical garden views, you will be surrounded by paradise in whichever view you choose. The porch entrance to each of our three-bedroom garden view villas is surrounded by towering palm trees and lush tropical foliage, helping you to feel a million miles away from the urban sprawl you left behind.
Our garden views offer the same level of luxury, comfort and space as our waterfront villas, the only difference welcoming you are the garden tree top balconies. You and your family or friends can truly feel on top of the world. Call 855-327-7200 to learn more about our three-bedroom villas. View our family package which includes exciting offers in our three-bedroom villas.
One of the nation’s most renowned road trips involves cruising from one island to another, and it’s right here in the Florida Keys from Key Largo to Key West. With your Florida vacation at Parrot Key Resort sparkling on the horizon, we have some of the best insider tips for making the most of your drive along the Overseas Highway to reach Key West. The trip of over 100 miles takes around three hours, however with so much to see along the way, we recommend allowing a whole day to soak up the spectacular scenery of the Sunshine State’s stunning island archipelago. After all, there are some important pit stops to make along the way to sample the delights of freshly-caught seafood and Key lime pie.
Ready, Set… Key Largo!
Once you’ve entered Key Largo, you’re officially in the Florida Keys and the unbroken blue horizons of ocean and sky will stretch out before you. Start your road trip off in style with a leisurely breakfast at some of Key Largo’s most talked about dining spots, including Harriette’s Restaurant (Mile Marker 95.7) which offers a warm and welcoming service, wallet-friendly prices and huge muffins to help keep you refueled until the next stop. Doc’s Diner (Mile Marker 99.6) is another tempting breakfast option, popular among locals for its generous portion sizes including tropical French toast and breakfast burritos.
Next Stop: Islamorada
Continue your drive from Key Largo to Islamorada, which sits between the saltwater wilderness of the Everglades National Park and the deep waters of the Florida Straits. Stop at the Rain Barrel Artisan Village (Mile Marker 86.7) which is impossible to miss with its giant fiberglass lobster standing proudly at the entrance of this fascinating sculpture art gallery. There are individual shops all nestled under a canopy of giant Banyan trees selling a tempting selection of unique homemade gifts including unusual jewelry, pottery and ceramics, so allow enough time for some all-important perusing.
Is your stomach rumbling again? It’s nearing lunchtime after all, and if there’s one place in which to indulge over a memorable lunch in Islamorada, it’s Lorelei (Mile Marker 82). As popular for its daytime menu as its evening sunset celebrations, this restaurant and Cabana bar offers one of the best views of Florida Bay which you’ll no doubt happily soak up over seafood tacos or the “Lorelei’s World Famous Fish Sandwich,” all washed down with a Keys-style frozen drink.
The sparkling ocean is looking calm and the afternoon sun is stretching its rays across a cloudless sky; it’s looking too good outside to hop back into your car, so take some time to unwind on one of Islamorada’s finest beaches. Anne’s Beach (Mile Marker 73) is a perfect stretch of paradise, conveniently located next to the Overseas Highway so you won’t struggle to find it. The beach is an ideal spot for sunbathing, switching off for an afternoon nap, cooling off in the shallows, or just taking in the beautiful ocean views.
Marathon or Bust
Your relaxing lunch will set you up for the next stretch as you cruise down Highway 1 to the Middle Keys which are anchored by Marathon, a 10-mile-long island with a family-friendly reputation and a rich fishing heritage. Take a break from your car and stretch your legs by taking your pick of several attractions in Marathon. First, you will come across the Dolphin Research Center (Mile Marker 59) in Grassy Key where you can interact with dolphins and learn about exciting dolphin research. Also nearby way is the new Aquarium Encounters (just after Vaca Cut Bridge at Mile Marker 53). Here, you will find an interactive Florida Keys aquarium experience with daily shark feedings, stingray encounters, and the opportunity to swim among fish on the attraction’s coral reef. Or if you prefer an outdoor nature experience, nearby at Mile Marker 50 is Crane Point, a nature center with walking trails through a tropical hardwood grove.
Further west is a wildlife lovers’ paradise at the Turtle Hospital which is dedicated to helping injured sea turtles return to the wild. If you need to wet your whistle or just bask in the glory of the sea, pop into Tranquility Bay Resort’s beachfront TJ’s Tiki Bar for an island drink (right next door to the Turtle Hospital at Mile Marker 48.5).
Seven Mile Bridge
The Middle Keys not only signal the halfway mark in your Overseas Highway road trip; it is also the point at which you can stop to capture images of the impressive Seven Mile Bridge soaring over the Gulf of Mexico. Running alongside it is the Old Seven Mile Bridge, the hurricane-battered railroad built by Henry Flagler in the early 1900s which is now a popular spot for fishing. After its destruction in the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, it was later rebuilt in 1978 and features a rising arc in its center so you’ll feel like you’re driving right off into the sky! There are plenty of places to pull over and take some photos, enjoy a stroll and watch the wildlife fly by.
Just south of Marathon lies the tiny island of Pigeon Key which is well worth a stop, particularly if you’re after a taste of Florida Keys history. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Pigeon Key is a five-acre property which served as a home base for railroad workers operating the Old Seven Mile Bridge. You can reach Pigeon Key by bicycle or foot along the historic bridge (a 2.2 mile trek) or by ferry service which departs from the Pigeon Key Visitor Center and Gift Shop on Knight’s Key (Mile Marker 47).
The Lower Keys
The further south you drive, the more beautifully remote the scenery becomes in the Lower Keys. For some much-needed leg-stretching, stop off at Bahia Honda Key (Mile Marker 37), a tropical island home to one of Florida’s southernmost state parks with beautiful beaches, magnificent sunsets and excellent snorkelling. As you drive south into Big Pine Key (Mile Marker 29) there are plenty of places to pull over for a pit stop if your hungers pangs start kicking in, including No Name Pub on Watson Boulevard which serves up great pitchers of beer and pizza.
For classic Keys-style dining, try The Wharf Bar and Grill at Mile Marker 25.5 on Summerland Key where you can enjoy freshly-caught fish and vegetables grown from the restaurant’s organic garden, all served up in a peaceful waterfront setting with indoor and outdoor seating. If you need to satisfy your sweet tooth, head further south in Sugarloaf Key at Mangrove Mama’s (Mile Marker 20) for a generous slice of Key lime pie on the sun-baked, palm tree-lined patio, or try Baby’s Coffee (Mile Marker 15), which is famous for its Cuban roasts and Key lime pie to-go.
Final Destination… Key West
As the afternoon starts merging into evening, your last leg of this world-renowned road trip will end in Key West just where the true vacation begins. You’ll arrive just in time to find a spot for your first Key West sunset perhaps on Parrot Key Resort’s sunset pier, and you won’t be disappointed.
Check-in at Parrot Key Resort and refresh before stepping outside to celebrate the moment the golden sun dips into the ocean. Tomorrow marks the start of your Key West vacation in this place known as paradise, so dine out and enjoy the moment until it’s time for a much-needed rest, surrounded by the simple luxury and comfort of your Parrot Key Resort guestroom, suite or villa. Sleep tight and let the Key West fun begin tomorrow!
Endurance swimmers can celebrate Father’s Day weekend with a one-of-a-kind, 12.5-mile open-water swim for solo participants and relay teams around the island of Key West. The athletic challenge is set for Saturday, June 18. The epic Florida Keys Community College Swim Around Key West competition annually attracts athletes from throughout the United States, Canada and abroad in age categories of 12 and under to 65 and over. Parrot Key Resort makes the perfect base for the event weekend.
Newly added this year is a shorter 10k or 6.2-mile race to give swimmers a chance to test their open-water skills in the Atlantic Ocean. Entrants can register as solo competitors or in teams of two to six swimmers, with or without fins. The World Open Water Swimming Association-sanctioned swim begins at 7:30 a.m. Saturday at Key West’s Higgs Beach at 1000 Atlantic Blvd.
The clockwise swim follows a route past Key West landmarks that include the Southernmost Point buoy, marking the southernmost tip of land in the continental United States. Swimmers navigate both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.
Each long-distance swimmer and team must provide an accompanying support crew and kayak or boat. Swimmers can’t touch the boat except when teams are making relay changes. Lifeguards and kayaks are positioned for safety throughout the course.
Swimmers opting for the shorter 10k challenge, starting at 8:30 a.m., aren’t required to have a support crew. Additional short events include 800-yard, 1-mile and 2-mile races off of Higgs Beach.
Swimmers must be registered by Friday, June 17. Entry fees for the 12.5-mile race are $110 per solo swimmer, $180 per two-person relay team, $270 per three-person team, $360 per four-person team, $450 per five-person team and $540 per six-person team. The 10k race is $50 per person, while shorter races are $30 per swimmer. United States Masters Swimming and USA Swimming members get discounts.
The annual event benefits swim programs at Florida Keys Community College, Key West High School and the Keys’ Bone Island Swim Club.
Event information and registration: www.fkcc.edu/fkccswim
Exhilarating fun and challenges are planned for visitors to Key West Pride 2016. The annual festival, set for Wednesday through Sunday, June 8-12, salutes diversity in one of America’s leading gay and lesbian getaway spots. Parrot Key Resort is a member of the Key West Business Guild and offers an excellent location for Pride festivities–minutes from Old Town but nestled in a tropical oasis away from it all.
Contests bring an extra bit of fun to the five-day festival, including a 10k relay for tutu-wearing runners and walkers, pageants to select Mr., Miss and Ms. Key West Pride and a special Pride edition of television’s classic “The Newlywed Game.”The celebration on the subtropical island of Key West features daytime pool parties, late-night drag shows, on-the-water adventures including snorkeling, kayaking, paddleboarding and a Veterans of Foreign Wars fishing tournament; a rainbow bike parade, a street fair on renowned Duval Street, a burlesque experience tailored to the LGBT audience; a one-of-a-kind trolley tour documenting the LGBT community’s impact on Key West history and culture, a festive brunch served with a drag show on the side and more.
Scheduled highlights include the 2016 Stoli Original Cocktail Challenge’s Wednesday night Pride kick-off gala, Friday night contestant runoffs and Saturday night final round. The contest features regional winners from LGBT bars in 15 North American cities, all competing to create an original Key West cocktail that reflects the island’s creativity and spirit.
The final round is set for 7-10 p.m. Saturday on an open-air stage in the 700 block of Duval Street. Broadway actor and former “Queer Eye” television personality Jai Rodriguez and Stoli USA’s national LGBT ambassador Patrik Gallineaux are to host, with Emmy Award-winning comedy writer and actor Bruce Vilanch, actress and singer Latoya London and acclaimed Key West female impersonator “Sushi” on hand as celebrity judges.
The winner is to be honorary grand marshal of the 2016 Pride Parade. The all-welcome procession, to feature a 100-foot section of Key West’s famed sea-to-sea rainbow flag, is slated to begin at 5 p.m. Sunday, June 12, and proceed up Duval Street from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean.
Following the parade, revelers can meet for Stoli’s official after-parade party at La Te Da, 1125 Duval St.
Tips to Pamper Mom in Key West
Parrot Key Resort is celebrating mom throughout May in Key West. Every mom deserves a much-needed break, and if she’s lucky enough to be spending Mother’s Day Weekend (May 8th) at Parrot Key Resort, she is sure to be pampered and indulged in style. View our top tips below, to make Mother’s Day 2016 one to remember. Call 877-746-4701 to book your accommodations today.
Whether mom prefers an action-packed day soaking up the sights of Key West, or a few restorative poolside hours to herself before sampling some of the island’s finest delicacies, there are many wonderful ways to celebrate mom this May. For a memorable Mother’s Day vacation to the Florida Keys, read our guide on the best things to do together in Key West:
Breakfast at Cafe Blue
Surrounded by lush, tropical gardens and overlooking one of our calm, sparkling pools, Cafe Blue is the perfect place to start mom’s perfect day. Sipping a cool, freshly squeezed Florida orange juice, mom can leisurely open presents from the family while breakfast is being prepared. The menu offers healthy options including our tropical fruit plate, omelettes and old-fashioned oatmeal, as well as indulgent treats such as delicious Belgian waffles.
If mom fancies some “me time” on her Mother’s Day getaways, catching up on her favorite book before taking a refreshing dip in the pool, whisk the kids away for a few hours and let mom just be. With four secluded pools to choose from, each surrounded by a tranquil atmosphere and nestled among stunning landscaped gardens, mom will feel completely revitalized and relaxed in her poolside paradise.
Conch Tour Train
Keep the whole family entertained at one of Florida’s most popular attractions. The Conch Tour Train unearths Key West’s quirky history, snaking all over town to explore the island’s special architecture and tropical fauna. It’s fun, informative, and mom can sit back and soak up the beauty surrounding her. The tour takes 90 minutes and departs from Mallory Square all day long.
A leisurely lunch prepared especially for mom with loved ones around, is an absolute must on Mother’s Day 2016, and Key West is teeming with charming restaurants to help set the scene. For a memorable dining experience in the historic Bahama Village, try Blue Heaven (729 Thomas Street) which prides itself on serving quality culinary creations in a quirky environment. Mom will love the menu: there’s Caribbean shrimp deglazed with red stripe, Jamaican jerk chicken, and yellowtail with citrus beurre blanc among others to choose from. Or there’s Nine One Five on Duval Street, a Victorian house boasting a fine menu with plenty of local seafood, including pan-roasted grouper with chorizo, spinach and olives.
Time out beachside
One of the best ways to switch off and escape during your Mother’s Day in the Florida Keys is to head beachside. Take mom to Smathers Beach and enjoy the complimentary Parrot Key Beach Club service that includes a free shuttle transfer, beach towels and beach chairs for the day, allowing the whole family to kick back and relax in absolute comfort. We don’t expect mom will ever feel bored of feeling the powder white sand between her toes as she gazes out across the clear blue waters of the Atlantic, however if she does fancy some action then there is plenty to choose from, including paddle boarding, kayaking, and parasailing which is offered for an added cost.
However you choose to appreciate mom this year, make sure you end Mother’s Day with a celebratory cocktail at sundown. Cafe Blue serves cocktails from 11am until sunset with happy hour between 5pm and 7pm. Treat mom to a Bahama Mama and make a toast as the sun sets on a memorable day in Key West.