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Best Things to Do in Key West in July (2022)

July is so much fun in Key West. The average temperatures can be a bit steamy, but there’s always an air-conditioned place to pop into to enjoy a beverage and listen to live music. I may be partial, but I think July is the best time to visit Key West. Partial… because it is my birthday month… but Key West is pretty special any month of the year. But what is there to do in Key West in July?

Even with a few rainy days, this is a great time of year to visit the island. There are festivals happening most of the month. Towards the end of the month is Hemingway Days. Be sure to check out our article all about this amazing festival. Of course, July is in the middle of hurricane season, so prepare for the possibility of rain. As with any month, Key West weather is unpredictable and changes on the hour.

Plan a trip filled with lots of fun. Come for the Key Lime festival and check out the pie-eating contest. Or, plan a trip during the Fourth and see awesome fireworks displays on Higgs Beach. July and August are some of Key West’s busiest months. Spend some time at Smathers Beach and enjoy the warm water temperature. Or head out to visit some of the many historic sites on the island.

Want to escape the higher temperatures of the summer months? Check out the events held at the Studios of Key West. Or check out the treasurers found at the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum.

Skip car rentals when you land at the Key West International Airport. Some of the best ways to explore the island are one foot, by scooter, or on a guided tour with a local. Daylight hours are long (although starting to get shorter), so take advantage of all that the island offers, from live entertainment to a Key West fishing tournament. Below is the list of events happening in Key West in July!

Key Lime Festival

Welcome to the Key Lime Festival: America’s Favorite Citrus Celebration! In the Florida Keys, we like to celebrate the things that make our islands unique. Citrus, eccentrics, people & pie. Our celebrations are fun, odd & unforgettable. Our people are too. Come on down to the birthplace of Key Lime Pie for a little taste and you’ll see what we mean. Love & Limes!

KEY WEST MERMAID FESTIVAL

The family-friendly festival features interactive mermaid adventures while raising awareness of oceans and salty shores. Events include mermaid meet-ups, swim encounters with the festival’s mermaid pod, ocean-themed parties, and a weekend mermaid- and ocean-inspired marketplace at Truman Waterfront Park. A portion of festival proceeds is to benefit Reef Relief’s efforts to protect the coral reef ecosystem.

SWAYZEES JULY 4 WEEKEND POOL PARTY & CONCERT

Your 4th of July Weekend party starts at 4 p.m. Join us to kick off the holiday weekend in style with the famous Key West band, The Swayzees! Drink specials, pool fun & of course a BBQ spread. Staged at The Marker Key West Harbor Resort, 200 William St. Those interested in attending the poolside concert can register for free online.

OCEAN BLUE POOL PARTY TO BENEFIT REEF RELIEF

Come dressed in your favorite shade of ocean blue and dance and swim the night away with the mermaids of Key West Mermaid Festival in a beautiful lagoon-style waterfall pool.  This MERvelous family-friendly event will benefit the nonprofit Reef Relief and its mission to improve and protect the Florida Keys coral reef ecosystem. Discounts off food and drink specials during the event with a donation of $10. Proceeds help Reef Relief. From 6-10 p.m. at Margaritaville Beach House Key West, 2001 S. Roosevelt Blvd.

ROTARY CLUB OF KEY WEST INDEPENDENCE DAY FIREWORKS

Since 1976, the Rotary Club of Key West has presented the island’s annual fireworks show. Staged from the Edward B. Knight Pier overlooking the Atlantic Ocean at 1800 White St., fireworks are to begin at 9 p.m. Attendees can purchase drinks and food including burgers and hot dogs at a booth across from the pier on Atlantic Avenue, with proceeds to benefit the Rotary Club’s scholarship fund. Alternatively, attendees can celebrate before the fireworks at a catered, ticketed “Patriotic Dinner Under the Fireworks” on the pier at 7 p.m. Dinner proceeds are to benefit the Rotary scholarship fund as well.

4TH OF JULY MERMAID SPLASH

Set for 10. a.m. to 2 p.m. at Lagerheads Beach Bar, the cutest little beach bar at the end of 0 Simonton Street. The shallow beach is perfect for a day of sandcastle building or relaxing in the Key West sunshine. The event admission is free, and part of the Key West Mermaid Festival. Tickets to swim with mermaids must be purchased.

HEMINGWAY DAYS

Ernest Hemingway fans can celebrate the late author’s literary accomplishments and colorful Key West lifestyle Tuesday through Sunday, July 20-25. The annual Hemingway Days festivities salute the legacy of the Nobel Prize winner who lived and wrote on the island for most of the 1930s. Events are to include the Hemingway® Look-Alike Contest at Sloppy Joe’s Bar, the “Running of the Bulls” featuring look-alikes and manmade bulls, literary readings and presentations, a museum exhibit of rare Hemingway memorabilia, a street fair, and the announcement of the winner of the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition. Most of the events are centered around Duval Street.

Hemingway Days – An Amazing Annual Event!

KEY WEST MARLIN TOURNAMENT

Anglers ply the waters once fished by novelist Ernest Hemingway, vying for $50,000 in guaranteed cash prizes. Held in conjunction with Key West’s annual Hemingway Days festival, the event awards $25,000 to the first-place team. Teams can enter one fun fish (dolphin, tuna, wahoo, or released sailfish) per day to add to their point total.

HEMINGWAY 5K SUNSET RUN & PADDLEBOARD RACE

The Hemingway 5k Sunset Run & Paddleboard Race is to challenge competitors Saturday, July 23. The race begins 5 p.m., from Southernmost Beach, 1405 Duval St. Celebrate your accomplishment while easing sore muscles from the race with an all-levels yoga recovery session Sunday, free to all participants.

RAMS HEAD PRESENTS: FITZ AND THE TANTRUMS & ANDY GRAMMER

Doors open 5:30 p.m., show begins 7 p.m, at Coffee Butler Amphitheater, 21 East Quay Rd. Tickets on sale online beginning April 15, 2022. Multi-platinum artists Fitz and the Tantrums have quickly grown from independent upstarts to bonafide hitmakers, including the group’s biggest hit to date, “HandClap.” Andy Grammer’s catalog consists of numerous bona fide hits, including the quadruple-platinum “Honey, I’m Good,” platinum singles “Keep Your Head Up,” “Fine By Me,” “Don’t Give Up On Me,” “Fresh Eyes,” “Good To Be Alive (Hallelujah),” and more.

38TH ANNUAL UNDERWATER MUSIC FESTIVAL

Come learn about our precious reef, listen to music, and enjoy food and beverages on July 8th from 6PM-8PM at Mote Marine. And on July 9th, from 10AM-2PM, get in the water with professional photographers and videographers at Looe Key Reef.

Key West Bicentennial Exhibit at The Custom House Museum

Key West Art & Historical Society welcomes the public to view the ‘Key West 200’ exhibit at the Custom House Museum, 281 Front St. The exhibit is to highlight Key West’s people, culture, and community beginning with the settlers and government officials who arrived on this remote island in early 1822, featuring rarely displayed artifacts. Divided by decade, the exhibit emphasizes many of the significant moments and people that have influenced so much of what we celebrate today.

2022 Art in the Garden at Key West Tropical Forest

The Garden is located 5210 College Road on Stock Island, just over Cow Key Bridge, and is open every day 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Meander over garden boardwalks and down pathways through dappled shade, colorful blossoms, and winged creatures of nature and spot…sculpture! Emphasizing harmony with nature, the return of ‘Art in the Garden’ showcases local art & sculptures with artistic expressions. These works are earth-friendly in the selection of materials and themes and include recycled, repurposed, and natural materials.

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