The Island really does change with the seasons and you must experience it during all times of the year. Key West isn’t just Mallory Square or Fantasy Fest. It’s quiet mornings, sunrises, warm salt air, morning bike rides and lazy afternoons.
Each season offers its own characters. With little change in the weather, seasons may be harder to recognize, but they are there.
High season is January through Aprilish, the Snowbirds are in town and those trying – even if for a short period of time- trying to escape Old Man Winter. In April the tropical flowers come into bloom. The vibrant colors fill alleyways and give a sweet aroma to the warming spring air. Evenings are still crisp but warmer than up North.
Spring break brings the younger crowd filing the beaches by day and Duval by night. It has been called “Fantasy Fest without the wrinkles”. Amazingly enough town is filled with families taking in the sunshine, aquarium and history this wonderful Island offers. These kids and families are taking in the wonders of the Island and will definitely return again and again. At the end of April the Keys celebrate Conch Republic Independence. This is the celebration that sums up the independent spirit of Conchs, Freshwater Conchs and wannabe Conchs.
May kicks of the start of the low season. Town is a little more quiet. As you walk down Duval on a Tuesday night you feel the town somehow belongs to you. Not too crowded but a little slower pace and time to sit, relax and really connect with people.
Summertime, contrary to rumor, isn’t pavement melting hot. With tropical breezes the Island keeps under 100 degrees (without humidity). But your hair will curl and frizz. Early morning runs and activities give way to afternoon naps by the pool. A nice break in summer is the Hemingway Days festival. The town fills up to celebrate the man, the legend, Hemingway himself. After all, doesn’t the songwriter say Key West is “Hemingway’s Hideaway”?
Fall the Island has moved on from hurricane watch to cooler nights. Then Parrotheads fly into town and the sounds of Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefers fill the streets and on their heels are the PowerBoats. They roar into town with a parade and several days of fast paced powerboat racing.
Fantasy Fest, well it’s an adult Halloween is the best way describe it. If you haven’t been in town for Fantasy Fest, you can check out the many, many youtube videos, but, as with any other events in town, it must be experienced first hand.
Then, imagine Christmas trees, no Christmas palms, lining the streets and homes ready for the annual visit by St. Nick. I think he makes this his last stop so he can relax by the ocean and warm himself after a long night of delivering presents. After all, no better place to relax, recharge and prepare himself for another busy season.
Roll this all into a New Year’s celebration party that makes New York look small and tame. Then, take a breath and let’s experience all of the seasons all over again.
For your next trip down, plan to be here to experience something new.
Sunsets are beautiful no matter the season and sunrises continue to be breathtaking,
If you always visit during a certain season, step out and try a new time. See all of what Key West offers. It is a an Island that is a year round vacation spot and more importantly a lifestyle.
Put it on your bucket list to see all of Key West’s seasons.