Key West, Florida, has the scenery, accommodations and activities to rank amongst the world's top vacation destinations. Let the ever present sunshine and turquoise water usher you to a vacation you won't forget.
Home to some of the world's finest scenery and resorts, it's no mystery why so many hold Key West in such high regard. The warm blue waters that encompass Key West are ideal for a host of things to do. You can hire a guide and test your skills with world class fishing opportunities, take a snorkeling adventure to see the stunning coral reefs, or just relax on a sailboat while witnessing a beautiful sunset. The city also plays host to some of the finest chefs and restaurants. From unique food fusions to down-home classics, you’ll find it all here. A few popular local restaurants to check out are Blue Heaven, El Siboney, and Seven Fish.
If you're interested in history, Key West is the destination for you. The island's rich history is documented at a network of great museums and historical sites. A few locations you won’t want to miss include Hemingway Home and Museum, Audubon House and Tropical Garden, and the Key History and Discovery Center. Key West is a vibrant community that loves to celebrate, and that’s never more clear than at one of the big local events like the Key West Lobsterfest.
For 20 years, the Key West Lobsterfest has been showcasing the finest lobster-themed culinary creations. With an expected attendance of over 20,000 people, the festival has established itself as one of the region's top seafood events. Serving as a kickoff for Key West’s lobster season, this four-day event is the largest summer celebration in the city. At the festival you’ll find a variety of fun activities to try. Things to do at the event include a lobster boil, street fair, boat trips, snorkeling adventures, live music and even a bar crawl. We got the opportunity to interview Erik Adams from Key West Promotions, Inc. and the Key West Lobsterfest Committee to talk about this fun and exciting event.
RAL: Tell me a little bit about the event.
EA: This is the 20th year of the Key West Lobsterfest. It’s a community wide “celebration of our favorite crustacean” that coincides with the opening of commercial lobster season in the Florida Keys each year.
RAL: How many annual participants do you draw?
EA: This year we are expecting over 20,000 people in attendance. Demographically we see mostly couples, but there are also many groups of friends and singles.
RAL: What makes this event unique?
EA: Key West Lobsterfest is a celebration of the spiny lobster season in which chefs from local restaurants come together to prepare unique dishes featuring the succulent lobster meat. Over
20 local restaurants participate and produce a wide variety of offerings from lobster tacos to honey fried lobster tail to a full surf-and-turf dinner.
RAL: Take me through the activities of a typical day at the event.
EA: The event lasts four days and includes:
Lobster boil and welcome party
Street fair including a free concert
Art and craft vendors
RAL: Walk me through the dining options people will encounter at your event.
EA: Thursday, August 11th: Lobster Boil at Sunset Tiki Bar and Grille. Enjoy a casual lobster boil at this oceanfront setting. Outside seating with live entertainment and plenty of Corona on
Saturday, August 13th: There are numerous dining choices at the street fair held on the 100 to the 500 blocks of world famous Duval Street in downtown Key West. Traffic is shut down from noon until 11pm for festival goers to enjoy various lobster dishes prepared by local restauranteurs ranging in price from $5 to $25.
Sunday, August 14th: Enjoy a lobster brunch at the Key West Marriott Beachside Resort
RAL: What is the overall environment like?
EA: Most events are outdoor in the beautiful Florida sunshine. From the historic buildings to the pristine white sand beaches, it’s always scenic and fun in Key West.
RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?
EA: Lodging options include everything from five star resorts to quaint bed and breakfasts, and even seaside campgrounds.
RAL: Are there any lodging specials that are set up specifically for the event?
EA: Yes, the Key West Marriott Beachside Hotel is our host hotel and features special rates.
RAL: Is there maybe one place in particular that guests have been flocking to since the event started?
EA: Duval and Greene Streets are can't-miss venues and conveniently located in the center of town. This is where the event all started 20 years ago with a challenge between some locals to see who could prepare the better lobster.
RAL: Does this drive business to your local economy?
EA: Yes, the event sells out all of the hotels on the island and is a good boost to the economy during “off season”.
RAL: Does the event support a special cause in the community?
EA: Yes, proceeds benefit the Key West High School Scholarship fund.
RAL: Why should people come to your event?
EA: Our catch phrase for this event is fresh lobster, cold beer, and live music… What’s not to like? If you are a foodie, music lover, or lover of arts and crafts, there is something for you at the street fair on Saturday and did I mention the event is free?
For more information about the Key West Lobsterfest, please visit their website.