Ringing in the New Year in Key West! Welcome 2017!

ChampagneIt seems like everyone is ready for 2016 to be over! If you are ringing in the New Year in Key West, check out all of the New Year’s Eve holiday happenings below. Find out where you can go to enjoy a meal with a glass of champagne or two and where to find entertainment that can only be experienced here on our island! Let’s welcome 2017 with a party in Paradise!

Restaurants

Abbondanza is doing a 4 course classic Italian dinner for $41 per person. Please call 305-292-1199 for reservations.

Commodore Waterfront Restaurant is offering a special 3-course menu for $79 per person. Please call 305-294-9191 for reservations.

Duffy’s Steak and Lobster House is having a 4-course dinner for $39 per person. Please call 305-296-4900 for reservations.

The Grand Cafe located at 314 Duval Street has a special 4-course dinner for New Year’s Eve. The early seating is priced at $95 per person and the late seating is priced at $110 per person. For reservations call 305-292-4740.

Martin’s Key West at 917 Duval Street is offering a special 4-course meant for $125 per person. Check out the menu! Call 305-295-0111.

One Duval at the Pier House Resort and Spa will have a special new years eve menu featuring delicacies such as foie gras and grilled lobster tail. For reservation, call 305-296-4600.

Rooftop Cafe offers their full dinner menu along with holiday specials. In addition to the regular menu, special multi-course menus are often available. Reservations on all major holidays are recommended. Please contact the restaurant in advance for specific details or questions.

SHOR at the Hyatt Resort will have a special menu for New Year’s Eve! Please call 305-809-4000 for reservations.

Southernmost Beach Cafe located at 1405 Duval Street is open for dinner New Year’s Eve! Call 305-295-6550 for reservations.

Entertainment / Celebrations

New Year’s Eve: Pirate Wench Drop at Schooner Wharf – For piratical partiers, a New Year’s Eve salute to Key West’s rowdy seafaring roots is scheduled at the island’s Historic Seaport. At midnight, a winsome pirate wench is to descend from the top of the mast of the tall ship America 2.0 as cannon blasts welcome 2014. A dove release is to follow. Scallywags in attendance can expect live music, dancing and festivities until 4 a.m., without a cover charge, at the Schooner Wharf Bar, 202 William St.

New Year’s Eve: Conch Shell Drop at Sloppy Joe’s – The arrival of 2014 is to be heralded on the island’s Duval Street with the “drop” of a gigantic manmade conch shell, the symbol of the Florida Keys, to the flat roof of Sloppy Joe’s Bar, 201 Duval. Thousands of spectators gather on Duval for the annual gala, emceed by a rooftop host starting at 10 p.m. and featuring dancing in the street and a countdown to midnight recorded on a huge clock. At midnight, the shell descends and cheers erupt. Stellar Mojo Band is to perform on Sloppy Joe’s indoor stage, rounding out the revelry. No reservations or tickets are taken, but a door charge is required to party inside the bar.

New Year’s Eve Shoe Drop Celebration – The Southernmost City celebrates with a descending 6-foot red high heel shoe carrying drag queen Sushi at the Bourbon Street Pub/New Orleans House complex, 724 Duval St. Seconds before midnight, the high heel bearing a lavishly gowned and coiffed Sushi is to be lowered from the second-story balcony of the complex toward the cheering crowds below. As midnight strikes and the New Year officially begins, she will land and gleefully pop the cork on a ceremonial bottle of champagne.

Transportation

DON’T DRINK & DRIVE!!! With that in mind… The City of Key West Department of Transportation is offering transportation for the holiday so that you won’t drink and drive!

Two city buses will travel along Northside Drive, Flagler Avenue, Maloney Avenue, North Roosevelt Boulevard, and South Roosevelt Boulevard and Four Lower Keys buses with service between Marathon and Key West will be traveling southbound to Fausto’s Food Palace and returning as far as MM 52.5 across from Walgreen’s on 109th Street in Marathon. Designated pick up and drop off points in Old Town Key West is Fausto’s Food Palace at Bahama and Fleming Streets.

The New Year’s Eve shuttle begins service at 4:00PM in the Lower Keys and 6:00 pm in Key West and Stock Island. The Last trip from Key West at Fausto’s to Marathon will depart no later than 2:00AM. One way safe ride shuttle fares are $10 per person per trip for Lower Keys revelers and $5 per person per trip for city revelers. Exact change is required and no passes or discounts will be available for this shuttle. No alcohol, toys or weapons are allowed. For more information you can visit www.kwtransit.com or call 305-600-1455 or 305-809-3910.

See what else is happening on the island during your visit by checking out our Key West Events Calendar, and for other things to do and see in our island city, go to our Key West Web Site.

Before making your reservations for dinner reservations check out our restaurant reviews!

Feel free to Email Me if you have any questions about Key West!!
Island Genn

Key West Concierge

2016 Super Boat International Offshore Races

Island Genn and Dr Catcher MTI Race Boat

Island Genn and Dr Catcher sitting in the cockpit of an MTI go fast boat!

Power boat racing has been a huge event in Key West for many years. And in just a few days the island will host the 36th annual world championship Super Boat races. This is where the worlds biggest and fastest power boats come to Key West to compete for the title of the baddest boat on the water. There are several classes of boats to watch during the three days of racing. And if you don’t want to watch the races, you can still check out these amazing boats at the Truman Waterfront where the race village is set up and people are able to marvel. Check out the schedule of events for the Super Boat races below. (My personal favorite part of this event is the parade on Sunday! Oh, and of course seeing all of my friends from Mercury Racing that are down visiting.)

Sunday, November 6

  • 9am – 5pm – Race Village opens & race boats will be on display at the Truman Waterfront
  • 9am – 3pm – Racer registration at the Truman Waterfront
  • 4pm – Boat Parade down Duval Street

Monday, November 7

  • 8:30am – Mandatory drivers meeting at the Marriott Beachside Hotel
  • 9am – 5pm – Race Village opens & race boats will be on display at the Truman Waterfront
  • 9am – 5pm – Passes / credentials at the Truman Waterfront entrance
  • 11am – 5pm – Racer registration at the Truman Waterfront
  • 11am – 5pm – Race boat inspection at the Truman Waterfront
  • 11am – 3:30pm – Water dunkers test at the Florida Keys Community College
  • 6pm – 9pm – Welcome party at the Truman Waterfront (pass or credentials required)
howard livingston, Island Genn, Indiana Bones, Boat Parade, Key West

Howard Livingston of the Mile Marker 24 Band poses for a picture with Island Genn and Indiana Bones at the 2012 Superboat World Championship Boat Parade in Key West

Tuesday, November 8

  • 9am – 5pm – Race Village opens & race boats will be on display at the Truman Waterfront
  • 9am – 5pm – Passes / credentials at the Truman Waterfront entrance
  • 11am – 5pm – Racer registration at the Truman Waterfront
  • 11am – 5pm – Race boat inspection at the Truman Waterfront
  • 10am – 2pm – Water dunkers test at the Florida Keys Community College
  • 10am – 5pm – Fueling at the Truman Waterfront
  • Noon – 4pm – Launching at the Truman Waterfront
  • Noon – 4pm – Testing for race boats attest Truman Waterfront

Wednesday, November 9 (Race Day #1)

  • 6:30am – 7:30am – Driver physicals at the Truman Waterfront registration tent
  • 7am – 4pm – Passes / credentials at the Truman Waterfront entrance
  • 7am – 5pm – Race Village opens & race boats will be on display at the Truman Waterfront
  • 7am – 5pm – Launch & recovery of race boats at the Truman Waterfront
  • 7:30am – Race morning drivers meeting at the Truman Waterfront registration tent
  • 8am – 1pm – Fueling at the Truman Waterfront
  • 10am – Start of 1st race at the Truman Waterfront
  • 11:30am – 12:30pm – Harbor open for commercial traffic
  • 12:30pm – Start of 2nd race at the Truman Waterfront
  • 1:30pm – Start of 3rd race at the Truman Waterfront
  • 2:30pm – Start of 4th race at the Truman Waterfront

Thursday, November 10

  • 9am – 5pm – Race Village opens & race boats will be on display at the Truman Waterfront
  • 9am – 5pm – Passes / credentials at the Truman Waterfront entrance
  • 9am – 3pm – Racer registration at the Truman Waterfront
  • 10am – 5pm – Fueling at the Truman Waterfront
  • Noon – 4pm – Launching at the Truman Waterfront
  • Noon – 4pm – Testing for race boats attest Truman Waterfront

Friday, November 11 (Race Day #2)

  • 6:30am – 7:30am – Driver physicals at the Truman Waterfront registration tent
  • 7am – 4pm – Passes / credentials at the Truman Waterfront entrance
  • 7am – 5pm – Race Village opens & race boats will be on display at the Truman Waterfront
  • 7am – 5pm – Launch & recovery of race boats at the Truman Waterfront
  • 7:30am – Race morning drivers meeting at the Truman Waterfront registration tent
  • 8am – 1pm – Fueling at the Truman Waterfront
  • 10am – Start of 1st race at the Truman Waterfront
  • 11:30am – 12:30pm – Harbor open for commercial traffic
  • 12:30pm – Start of 2nd race at the Truman Waterfront
  • 1:30pm – Start of 3rd race at the Truman Waterfront
  • 2:30pm – Start of 4th race at the Truman Waterfront
  • 7pm – 11pm – Duval Street Party

Saturday, November 12

  • 9am – 5pm – Race Village opens & race boats will be on display at the Truman Waterfront
  • 9am – 5pm – Passes / credentials at the Truman Waterfront entrance
  • 9am – 3pm – Racer registration at the Truman Waterfront
  • 10am – 5pm – Fueling at the Truman Waterfront
  • Noon – 4pm – Launching at the Truman Waterfront
  • Noon – 4pm – Testing for race boats attest Truman Waterfront

Sunday, November 13 (Race Day #3)

  • 6:30am – 7:30am – Driver physicals at the Truman Waterfront registration tent
  • 7am – 4pm – Passes / credentials at the Truman Waterfront entrance
  • 7am – 5pm – Race Village opens & race boats will be on display at the Truman Waterfront
  • 7am – 5pm – Launch & recovery of race boats at the Truman Waterfront
  • 7:30am – Race morning drivers meeting at the Truman Waterfront registration tent
  • 8am – 1pm – Fueling at the Truman Waterfront
  • 10am – Start of 1st race at the Truman Waterfront
  • 11:30am – 12:30pm – Harbor open for commercial traffic
  • 12:30pm – Start of 2nd race at the Truman Waterfront
  • 1:30pm – Start of 3rd race at the Truman Waterfront
  • 2:30pm – Start of 4th race at the Truman Waterfront
  • 7pm – 9pm – Race awards presented at the Marriott Beachside Hotel (pass or credentials required)

To see what else is happening in Key West during your visit, check out our Key West Events Calendar to see  upcoming special events. For more information about the fun side of Key West… things to do and see in our island city, go to our Key West Web Site.

And before deciding where you are going to eat while visiting Key West or any of the Florida Keys, be sure to read my  restaurant reviews; check out our restaurant review section of this blog.

Feel free to Email Me if you have any questions about Key West!!

Island Genn – Your Key West Concierge

Key West Lobsterfest 2016

Key Wes Lobsterfest 2016The dates of August 11 – 14, 2016 should have lobster lovers excited. That is because spiny lobster season is now open and in celebration Key West will host the annual Lobsterfest event. This year marks the 20th anniversary of this popular festival celebrating the lobster, benefitting the Key West High School Scholarship Fund.

Not only do the locals love to attend, but Lobsterfest draws about 20,000 visitors each year as well. So, if you have not already booked your hotel rooms, you better do it now!

The highlight of this event would have to be the local chefs creating delicious recipes with the spiny lobster for us to sample and enjoy. But there are many other events happening during this festival as well:

THURSDAY, AUGUST 11th, 2016

  • LOBSTER BOIL AT THE SUNSET TIKI BAR & GRILLE @ 617 FRONT ST.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 12th, 2016

  • REEF & RITAS  3 HOUR CATAMARAN SAIL AND SNORKEL TRIP SPONSORED BY MARGARITA LIFE.
  • DUVAL CRAWL JUST $20 FOR THE T-SHIRT, LANYARD & DRINK SPECIALS

SATURDAY, AUGUST 13th, 2016

  • STREET FAIR – ART, CRAFTS, MERCHANDISE AND OF COURSE, LOTS OF LOBSTER!
  • FREE CONCERT INTERSECTION OF DUVAL ST. AND GREENE ST

SUNDAY, AUGUST 14th, 2016

  • LOBSTER BRUNCH – A SUMPTUOUS BRUNCH WILL BE SERVED AT THE KEY WEST MARRIOTT  BEACHSIDE

And when you have had enough lobster (is that even possible?) visitors can enjoy so many other fun aspects of the island. We have several beaches, fun fishing charters, snorkeling trips to the gorgeous reef, and plenty of museums about Key West’s rich history.

It is hot outside, so please remember to wear hats, lots of sunscreen, and drink plenty of water while you are walking around Duval Street.

Before deciding where you are going to eat (besides at Lobsterfest), be sure to read my restaurant reviews; check out our restaurant review section of this blog as well as our previous restaurant reviews.

For more information about the fun side of Key West… things to do and see in our island city, go to our Key West Web Site.

Feel free to Email Me if you have any questions about Key West!!

Island Genn
Key West Concierge

 

 

2016 Lobster Mini-Season

Florida Lobsters

Catching Lobsters In the Florida Keys. Here the Guys of Dream Catcher Charters pose with their catch.

Sportsman Season, a.k.a. Lobster Mini-season, takes place on the last Wednesday and Thursday in July.  This annual two day event, during which properly licensed snorkeler and/or diver are allowed to take up to six legal sized lobsters per day in Monroe County waters, typically brings around 25,000 visitors to the Florida Keys and Key West.

Lobster Mini-season allows for lobster lovers to spend time on the water trying to catching a few crustaceans before the opening of the regular lobster season which starts on August 6th. While it can be a good time on the water, please make sure to follow the rules and be safety conscious. FWC officers will be patrolling on and off the water during mini season, and you will see about twice as many officers as usual on duty. In addition, undercover agents and police dogs trained to sniff out lobsters will be around to enforce the strict rules protecting the area.

To get you started, check out the FWC brochure on Lobster regulations: FWC_spinylobster_brochure. Please do not forget to use a dive flag and dive or snorkel with a buddy. And if I find any of you diving in the canal in front of my house for lobsters (which is not only rude but illegal by the way) you will be getting the stink eye from me as I put in a call to the local law enforcement agencies to have you arrested.

After catching your lobsters, check out some of our recipes, as we have some great ideas for preparing Florida Spiny Lobster. You can also take your lobsters to one of the local restaurant that will cook your catch and they will be happy to prepare them for you; check out my restaurant reviews.

Coming up, Lobsterfest is a must attend event for lobster fans! Several local restaurants set up booths all down Duval Street and serve up lobster in a variety of ways. Even Indiana Bones loves going downtown for Lobsterfest!

To see what else is happening on the island during your visit, check out our Key West Events Calendar to see other upcoming special events. For more information about the fun side of Key West… things to do and see in our island city, go to our Key West Web Site.

Island Genn – Your Key West Concierge