Yay, it’s the start of the perfect time to visit Key West. Key West in March is incredible. One of our first trips to the island was in March… a long time ago. And, it remains one of my favorite months to visit.
Why? Well, the weather is starting to get warm. It’s not too hot and not too cold. There are fewer crowds as the snowbirds have begun to head back North. You may, depending on the year, have to contend with spring breakers but in general, it’s simply a great time to be in Key West. High season for Key West runs from December to March. Best month to visit? I think every month is the best, but we all know March is a favorite. So much to see and do. It really depends on your schedule and what you want to do.
Still think March will be too busy? September through November is usually what’s called the low season. This means fewer crowds and sometimes lower hotel pricing. But, many restaurants and tours close down in September to give their staff vacations and do maintenance and repairs. This lets them recharge for the upcoming tourist season.
Flying into Key West International Airport? Skip the car rental line. You will thank me. With limited parking and the walkability of the island. There is no need to spend the money on a car.
The average high for the month is in the upper 70’s and the lows hover around the upper 60’s. The humidity will still be relatively low. But, the humidity will begin to rise towards the end of March. Which we all know will be incredibly high in the summer months. Average rain fall for the month? Around 1.5 inches. See, perfect weather. Added bonus… not in hurricane season so little chance of any major storms.
Coldest month? January, but the high temperatures still are in the mid 70’s. Can’t beat Key West weather, especially if you are escaping from the snowy North.
As always, there is plenty to do in Key West in March. Wander down Duval Street to enjoy live music. Head over to Mallory Square and take part in the sunset celebration and watch a few street performers.
Head out to snorkel and explore the coral reefs. Or book a trip on the Yankee Freedom and check out the Dry Tortugas National Park. The average temperature for the water is around 74 degrees. Spending time in the water or enjoying a water view from Smathers Beach will be perfect. Now, let’s be real. A water temperature of 74 degrees isn’t the perfect beach day, but it’s warm enough to take a dip.
Wake up to a rainy day? Rainy days in Key West certainly don’t mean the fun is done. There are museums to explore, movies to see, and shopping to do. The palm trees will still be swaying and the rain will usually not last too long. Soon, it will be sunny skies and warm weather. But, plan a few activities indoors. There truly is a lot to see.
Another added bonus? Daylight savings time is always the second Sunday in March. I know, I know, you lose a full hour of your vacation in Key West… but… you gain a full extra hour of daylight at night. Daylight hours are now in the 12 hour range. Sunrise 7:30ish and sunset at 7:30ish. Again, see why I like March?
What else can you do in the month of March?
Key West Now Women’s Film Fest – March 1 – 29, 2023
Five fabulous films by women are on the docket for the five Wednesdays in March. The festival opens Wednesday, March 1 at the Tropic Cinema. “The Woman King” starring Viola Davis begins the festival with the saga of women warriors in Dahomey, fighting the Portuguese slave trade in the 1820s. March 8, “Born in Flames” is a dystopian docu-fiction tale about post-modern 1980s revolutionary U.S; followed by Ida Lupino’s convent school comedy “Trouble With Angels March 15; Agnes Varda’s “Cleo from 5 to 7” on March 22; and closing the festival on March 29 will be “The Janes,” focusing on pre-Roe Chicago. All films will be shown at 6:00 p.m. Tickets are available online or at the door.
Staged at the grounds of the Key West Lighthouse, from 5-8 p.m., enjoy an informal Conch heritage dinner prepared by acclaimed chefs Martha Hubbard and Dave Furman featuring a variety of classic Key West/Conch recipes. This year’s feast starts off with conch fritters, mollette, and chicken empanadas followed by the main course of whole roasted local fish, roasted pig, shrimp and grits, conch chowder, Cuban morros and fried plantains, followed by Key lime pie and other desserts. Tickets start at $75 per person. 938 Whitehead St., Key West.
With a seven-decade career, Willie Nelson has earned every conceivable award as a musician and amassed reputable credentials as an author, actor, and activist. He continues to thrive as a relevant and progressive musical and cultural force. Doors open 5:30 p.m., show at 7:00 p.m. General admission lawn tickets available online. The amphitheater is located at Truman Waterfront, 21 Quay Rd, Key West.
Key West Orchid Fair – Free Admission – March 3 – 5, 2023
The Annual Key West Orchid Society Show and Fair takes place at West Martello Fort. It is open to the public with free admission. Enjoy the beautiful orchids grown by locals in the show area and vote for your favorite. Orchids and orchid supplies will be on sale. There will be food vendors and raffles every hour. Friday March 3, 12-4. Saturday March 4, 10-4 & Sunday March 5, 10-4. 1100 Atlantic Ave. at Higgs Beach.
Florida Keys SPCA Spring Social– March 3, 2023
The 15th annual Spring Social to benefit homeless animals of the Middle & Lower Keys takes place at Coffee Butler Amphitheater, with VIP entry at 5:30 and General Admission at 6:30 p.m. Enjoy complimentary wine and beer with a cash bar, food stations, a huge silent auction and entertainment. Buy tickets online or call 3305-985-0433.
Annual Conch Shell Blowing Contest – March 4 – 5, 2023
An island tradition, this unique contest celebrates the historic importance of conch in the Keys and features contestants in several age categories attempting to make “music” with fluted conch shells. Contest located in the garden of the Oldest House, 322 Duval Street, free and open to all ages. Registration begins at 10 a.m., contest starts at noon.
Market on the Green – March 4, 2023
Held the first Saturday of every month from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m., visitors and residents are invited to browse and shop amazing local artisans. The monthly market is located at the Sunset Green Event Lawn, at Key West’s 24 North Hotel, 3820 N. Roosevelt Boulevard.
Spanish Galleon Replica Nao Trinidad in Key West – March 4 – 5, 2023
The Nao Trinidad is a modern-day replica of the ship commanded by Ferdinand Magellan. This replica is a beautiful life-size ship of 200 tons, 29 meters long and 8 meters wide, four masts, five sails and five decks, built with exquisite work in iroko and pine wood by the hands of master carpenters. Tours available Saturday at The Perry Hotel & Marina and Sunday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Mallory Square. Buy tickets online — $15 adults; $5 children 5-12; or $35 family admission good for two adults and three kids.
Key West Artisan Market – Preserve Island Life Edition – March 5, 2023
Shop a curated outdoor market offering fine crafts and art from talented Florida Keys makers, wide variety of food & libations, local musicians & authors and glorious ocean views. This week, donations support the local City of Key West — Preserve Island Life Campaign to help educate our community on how we can work together to be more ecologically responsible, sustainable and aware of our unique island culture. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., 1801 White Street, Key West.
Tennessee Wiliams Birthday Celebration – March 5 – 26, 2023
Internationally renowned playwright Tennessee Williams, who lived in Key West for more than 30 years, once said of his chosen home, “I work everywhere, but I work best here.” Fans of Williams’ classic plays can explore his writing and life in the island city through screenings of films adapted from his work, prose and poetry contests, theater presentations, curator-led tours of Key West’s Tennessee Williams Museum, located at 513 Truman Ave., and a commemoration of the 112th anniversary of his birth.
The Studios of Key West – Jazz on the Roof with Libby York – March 6, 2023
Critically acclaimed vocalist Libby York is known for her swinging renditions of Great American Songbook classics, bossa nova gems and obscure treasures. She’s appeared at top venues in New York, Chicago, LA and Paris. Her recordings are featured on jazz radio worldwide. This “First Monday” Jazz on the Roof concert will feature her trio in the beautiful Hugh’s View rooftop setting. Show starts at 5:30 p.m. Tickets $40. 533 Eaton St., Key West.
Red Barn Theatre – The Code – March 7 – 25, 2023
“The Code” graces the Red Barn stage March 7-25, as playwright Michael McKeever revisits one of his favorite subjects – Hollywood. It’s 1950, and Billy Haines, Henry Wilson, Tallulah Bankhead, and a beautiful young man have gathered for cocktails, caviar, and all-out war. With great humor and stinging insight, “The Code” explores the hypocrisy of what it takes to be a man in the land of make-believe. Order tickets online or at the box office. Showtime 8 p.m. 319 Duval Street.
The Studios of Key West – Amanda McBroom – March 9 – 10, 2023
Amanda McBroom has been called “the greatest cabaret performer of her generation, an urban poet who writes like an angel and has a voice to match,” by the New York Times. She first came to the attention music lovers when Bette Midler’s version of her song “The Rose” hit number one all over the world in 1979. Two shows, Thursday and Friday at Helmerich Theater. Tickets $75, VIP seating available. Show at 7 p.m. 533 Eaton St., Key West.
Feat Camp – Little Feat & Friends – March 9 -11, 2023
Feat Camp brings together members of Little Feat with Vince Herman, Leftover Salmon, Melvin Seals & JGB, Tommy Emmanuel, Donna the Buffalo and The Midnight Ramble Horns for a series of performances throughout Key West. Several are sold out, but single tickets are available for the Friday and Saturday night Coffee Butler Amphitheater concerts.
Ocean Blue Galleries – Tom Everhart Appearance – March 10 – 11, 2023
World-famous artist Tom Everhart will be at Ocean Blue Galleries Key West to meet all of his collectors and fans on Friday and Saturday evenings, March 10th and 11th, from 7 to 9 p.m. No tickets or appointments required. The event features the largest selection of Tom Everhart original and limited edition paintings in the world. 109 Duval St.
Tropic Cinema Movies under the Stars- Star Wars – March 11, 2023
Tropic Cinema presents “Star Wars” for the FREE March Movie Under the Stars cinema classic screening on Eaton Street. Bring your own chairs or blankets. Concessions available inside the lobby. Screening starts a half hour before sunset — approximately 6 p.m. on March 11. 416 Eaton St.
Tropic Cinema Oscar Party – March 12, 2023
Tropic Cinema rolls out the red carpet for its annual Oscars Watch Party. Red Carpet Walk begins at 7:30 at Carper Theater, then guests join the Oscars telecast at 8 p.m. $10 minimum donation to enter, and Oscar ballots available for $10 each. The first -place winner gets one free admission to a film of their choice at the Tropic. Concessions to be open during the telecast. Guests are encouraged to dress to impress, or in costume as your favorite Hollywood actor. Advance tickets available online. 416 Eaton St.
Artisan Market – Gone to the Dogs Edition – March 12, 2023
Shop a curated outdoor market offering fine crafts and art from talented Florida Keys makers, wide variety of food & libations, local musicians & authors and splendid ocean views. This week, donations support the local SPCA shelter. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., 1801 White Street, Key West.
Aficionados can expect to find fabulous works from some of the Keys’ established local favorites as well as discover the talent of some exciting new emerging artists. The auction is a great opportunity to add some unique new treasures to your art collection. Collectors can choose from the works of celebrated and renowned local masters to fresh new talents. To be held at Studios of Key West, doors open 6:15 p.m., starts 7 p.m.
March Merkin Invitational Permit Tournament – March 13 – 16, 2023
This charity flats-and-fly-only invitational tournament challenges anglers to catch and release silvery permit to vie for elite titles. The event is held at Oceans Edge Resort & Marina in Key West.
Fringe Theater – A Woman of the World – March 14 – 18, 2023
Emily Dickinson’s neighbor, Mable Loomis Todd, pushed to have the reclusive poet’s work published posthumously. But the life of the unconventional Mable Loomis Todd is the far more intriguing story – witty, insightful, scandalous and true! Perfomances at the Key West Woman’s Club, 319 Duval Street.
A great evening of music from the ages. Tickets $30, includes a generous reception. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 401 Duval St.
Old Island Restoration Foundation’s 63rd Annual Key West Home Tours – March 17 – 18, 2023
Enjoy tours of beautiful and historic Key West homes and gardens. Your ticket purchase supports the ongoing mission of preserving and promoting Key West’s unique architecture, culture and history. Tickets purchased online in advance are $45 for members, $55 for non-members and $60 at the door. Visit the website or call 305-294-9501.
Key West Theater – The Irish Way – March 17, 2023
When Suzanne Moore takes the stage on Saint Patrick’s Day, you know you’re going to have a night of the best Irish music on the island. This year she brings along a host of world class musicians to the concert stage to take you on a magical musical journey celebrating both traditional and contemporary Irish music. Doors open at 6 p.m., show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets $35 to $75. 512 Eaton St.
Key West Theater – Red Rooster Revue – Tatah for Now – March 18, 2023
The original “Red Rooster Revue” is back to bid a fond farewell to the Conch Republic’s Queen of Burlesque, Tatah DuJour. A celebration and showcase of favorite moments and memories from 17 years of Key West Burlesque, the show features a collection of crowd pleasing moments since the beginning of Lady DuJour’s career. The star-studded revue features favorite burlesque performers both old and new including; Moana Amour, Aurora Natrix, Frankie Markstone, Lila Starlett, Kevin Dixon, the Key West Burlesque Dancers and many more. Special guest appearances by Landon Bradberry, Dark and Stormy, Cheryl Hunt and Steve Crane. Age 21 and over. Tickets available online. Doors open at 7 p.m.; show at 8 p.m. 512 Eaton Street, Key West.
The Smoke & Sizzle of Tennessee Williams – March 23, 2023
A collection of readers present a program that explores the more sensual side of Tennessee Williams. Presented by Tennessee Williams Museum and Fringe Theater at 7 p.m. at the Little Jazz Room Club, 821 Duval St. Tickets are available online starting at $23, and include a glass of house wine or procecco.
South Florida Symphony at Tennessee Wiliams Theater – March 25, 2023
South Florida Symphony Orchestra closes the 2022/2023 25th Anniversary Season in Key West with an evening of Dvorák Masterworks. The program features his love letter to America, “New World Symphony,” as well as the greatest of all cello concertos (Cello Concerto in B minor), performed by Zuill Bailey, who also appeared during the Key West Symphony’s inaugural concert 25 years ago.
Coffee Butler Amphitheater – 200 years of Paradise Kickoff Concert – March 25, 2023
The opening event of the Florida Keys’ multi month bicentennial celebration includes live music by Nick Norman and Howard Livingston, presentations by local dignitaries, and excerpts from the South Florida PBS documentary “The Florida Keys: 200 years of Paradise.” Capping off the free-admission event is a visual extravaganza — 250 drones are to illuminate the sky in a dazzling “fireworks” display. Doors open at 5 p.m. with the celebration beginning at 6 p.m.
Key West Impromptu Classical Concerts – Calefax Winds – March 26, 2023
This Dutch based group is known for inventing the Reed Quintet more than three decades ago. In great demand around the world, the Quintet is known for its playing, brilliant arrangements, and innovative stage presentation. 4 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 401 Duval St, Key West.
South Florida Symphony – 25th Anniversary Rum-Paired Dinner – March 26, 2023
South Florida Symphony Orchestra debuts a new arts recognition program as part of its 25th anniversary dinner and private concert set for 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 26, at Hemingway’s Library at Hemingway Rum Company/Papa’s Pilar Distillery. The “Sound of Success” will celebrate eight arts and culture advocates in the Keys who champion musical creativity and innovation. The evening, benefiting the Symphony in the Schools children’s music education program in the Florida Keys, will feature a cocktail reception followed by an exquisite rum-paired dinner by Chef Martin Liz, and an intimate concert by GRAMMY award-winning cellist Zuill Bailey. Tickets start at $300. 201 Simonton St.
Keys to the Keys – A Tropical Gala – March 31, 2023
The annual fundraiser gala benefiting Habitat for Humanity of Key West and the Lower Florida Keys is a tropical-themed event that will be a fun night filled with music, drinks, dining, dancing, games, auctions and more. All money raised helps build and repair affordable homes for Keys residents. The event takes place from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Truman Little White House, 111 Front Street, Key West. Call 305-294-9006 for more information and to RSVP.
Key West Fishing Tournament – Until July 31, 2023
More than 40 species of fish are targeted during the multi-month tournament, with divisions for men, women, junior anglers (ages 10 to 15) and Pee Wees (under 10 years old). The Key West Fishing Tournament strongly encourages the release of game fish. All participating anglers receive certificates noting their catches and qualify for a variety of prizes.
Art Guild of the Purple Isles Annual Members’ Judged Art Show – Until March 16, 2023 (Islamorada)
The 57th annual members’ judged art show for the guild continues through March 16 at Florida Keys History & Discovery Center. The show features 74 pieces of original art by 46 artists in nine different medium categories.
Key West Arts & Historical Society – Bahama Village – Relics of a Fading Community – until May 21, 2023
Bahama Village, in the westernmost portion of the city, was a neighborhood comprised of Black Bahamians and Black Cubans, Chinese, and other groups of color. In this exhibition, their history and stories are woven together through various events that shaped the Black and Indigenous cultures of Key West. “Bahama Village: Relics of a Fading Community” contains never-before-on-view objects that tell the inspiring history, culture and contributions of the island’s Black residents. The exhibition is an excellent activity to honor the island’s Black residents during Black History Month. 281 Front Street, Key West. The exhibition continues through March 19.