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The Florida Keys, FL

The Florida Keys EventsIn addition to its many cultural and historic landmarks, this destination hosts a number of outstanding festivals and events that may coincide with your visit.

By Patricia Miller

At the Marathon Seafood Festival , held in March, feast upon the freshest fish culled from Marathon's unusually deep bays. Lobster, grouper, conch, shrimp, snapper and stone crab await your appetite at the various food places; a boat show, live music, arts and crafts and a flea market flesh out the festivities.

The Seven Mile Bridge begins in Marathon, and every April 1,500 runners compete in the Seven Mile Bridge Run to race from one end to the other. Cheer them on in the destination while taking in the beauty of the vivid sapphire waters stretching to the horizon.

Blow your own horn in a conch-shell-blowing contest during Key West's Conch Republic Independence Celebration commemorating 1982's short-lived liberation of the Keys. Things to see during April's 10-day event include drag queens sprinting in stilettos in a “drag race,” a bed race featuring wildly decorated beds and a pirate's ball.

More Fun Things to Do

In keeping with Key West's motto "One Human Family" is the 5-day Key West Pride Festival in June. Shake your groove thing at clothing-optional late-night dance parties with live DJs; cheer on your favorite contestant at the Mr., Ms. and Miss Pride pageants. The family-friendly Pride Parade caps off the week with the carrying of the 100-foot-long section of the Sea-to-Sea Rainbow Flag and other things to do with kids.

In July, dive or snorkel in the clear waters of Looe Key Reef in Big Pine Key for the Underwater Music Festival . You'll be reelin' and rockin' to tunes played by undersea musicians surrounded by a beautiful coral reef and its colorful denizens, including angelfish, parrotfish and yellowtail.

Head back to Key West for some more fun things to do. The Hemingway Days Festival in mid-July pays homage to the isle's adopted son, Ernest Hemingway. Activities include a look-alike contest, literary readings, a marlin tournament, a Caribbean street fair and a short-story competition.

Things for Couples to Do in Key West

Key West earns its nickname of “Key Weird” during Fantasy Fest in late October. Mingle with some 70,000 others if you dare at this adult-themed saturnalia where Mardi Gras meets Halloween. Wacky costume contests, parades and parties galore are some of the highlights and things to do with friends.

Unusual things drop at midnight during the New Year's Eve Key West Celebrations , including a conch shell, a drag queen in a giant high heel shoe and a pirate wench from a tall ship. Fireworks blaze over Key West Harbor, welcoming a new year of good times in the Keys.

See all the AAA recommended events for this destination.

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The Florida Keys, FL

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Hilton Garden Inn at The Keys Collection

3850 N Roosevelt Blvd. Key West, FL 33040

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Hyatt Place Marathon/Florida Keys

1996 Overseas Hwy. Marathon, FL 33050

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Fairfield By Marriott at The Keys Collection

3852 N Roosevelt Blvd. Key West, FL 33040

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Best Western Hibiscus Motel

1313 Simonton St. Key West, FL 33040

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