What's New in the Florida Keys and Key West

What’s New in the Florida Keys and Key West

Saturday, 22 Jun, 2023 0

The Florida Keys & Key West continues its bicentennial celebrations, with heritage activities throughout Monroe County.

The 200-year anniversary is being celebrated throughout 2023, with museum exhibits, art showcases and festivals.

On July 3 — 200 years to the day, the world’s largest Key lime pie will be served – projected to measure 13.14 feet in diameter.

Here’s what else is planned in the Florida Keys this summer:


Keys Attractions

Cruisin’ Tikis Key Largo has added a third floating Tiki bar to its fleet and a second location, now departing from Sundowners in Key Largo. Options from Sundowners include Tiki Fun, Sunset and Night cruises for up to six people. Cruisin’ Tikis also operates two Tiki boats out of Snooks Bayside Restaurant and Grand Tiki Bar. Cruises run 1.5 to two hours. cruisintikiskeylargo.com.


In Tavernier, the new 6,500-square-foot Pinfish Entertainment Center, located in Tavernier Towne shopping centeris slated to open this summer. It will feature Duckpin Bowling, axe throwing with three lanes, an arcade with about 30 games including video games and virtual reality, and a self-serve beer tap wall. Duckpin bowling is similar to traditional bowling but with shorter lanes and smaller bowling balls and pins. The venue can accommodate from eight to 80 guests. pinfishentertainment.com.


In Marathon, the Pigeon Key Visitor Center and Pigeon Key train have additional summer tours, with four daily tours departing for historic Pigeon Key at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m. (including a shark pool feeding after the tour) and 2:30 p.m. The tiny island of Pigeon Key is beneath the historic Old Seven Mile Bridge. The train, consisting of a locomotive front and two 30-passenger coaches, travels along the 2.2-mile span of the bridge nicknamed “Old Seven.”  Visitors can swim, snorkel and fish from shore, and browse the on-island gift shop. The train depot is at 1090 Overseas Highway bayside at the old Seven Mile Marina property. pigeonkey.net


The Key West Aquarium — Key West’s first attraction — has undergone restoration of the building’s front exterior in a redesign resembling the original open-air aquarium that first opened in 1937. The new design features a nautically themed fountain and image of the aquarium from the 1930s. Inside the aquarium’s Touch Tank, a vertical fish tank filled with tropical fish has been added. A new “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” audiovisual show, with a hammerhead shark, entertains visitors. Educational tours and informative talks take place throughout the day. keywestaquarium.com


Keys Fishing

The new Landboat Charters, billed as the Florida Keys’ only team providing onshore bridge fishing charters, offers new family-friendly, three-hour bridge and Key West pier fishing charters that include rods, gear, bait and cold bottled water. Nonresidents are required to have a valid Florida fishing license, priced from $17 for three days at GoOutdoorFlorida.comfishthebridges.com


Keys Environment

In Key Largo, Mote Marine Laboratory’s third land-based Keys facility — the Key Largo Coral Nursery at Reefhouse Resort, has a new weekly “Slice of Paradise” activity. Visitors can experience coral microfragmentation using a small diamond-bladed saw to create coral fragments. After slicing the coral, participants mount the fragments onto ceramic pedestals to enable growth. Participants also tour the nursery and learn about endangered coral species and Mote’s genetic diversity. Minimum age is 10 and those ages 10 to 17 must be accompanied by a paying adult. Mote.org/KeysTours,


In Key Largo, the Coral Restoration Foundation has unveiled a new “Coral Bus,” a first-of-its-kind nursery-raised coral transport technology where corals are acclimated that closely replicates conditions of the open ocean. Through a partnership with Georgia Aquarium, the aquarium trailer enables practitioners to monitor and regulate water temperature, pH level, filtration and water flow. coralrestoration.org


In Marathon, the 63.5-acre Crane Point Museum & Nature Trails is to unveil a new Marathon Wild Bird Center as a permanent home. Featuring a new bird enclosure, hospital and rehabilitation facility for injured and rescued birds, it is slated to open in September. The new center will house 750 or more birds annually. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and located at mile marker 50.5, Crane Point is the site of prehistoric Native American artifacts and an early Bahamian village. Crane Point, located at the site of Marathon’s first train depot is the second-oldest house in the Keys outside of Key West. In addition, the property’s historic Crane House, built in 1954, has completed renovations and is to serve as a venue for weddings and events. Crane Point also features a museum, lagoon, plant nursery and several nature trails.  cranepoint.net


In Islamorada, Dolphins Plus Marine Mammal Responder rescue group is developing the Protect Center Whale & Dolphin Hospital as South Florida’s only working and teaching veterinary hospital to treat injured marine mammals. The new hospital and facility are to include a 40-foot-diameter pool for long-term marine mammal rehabilitation, an educational classroom and a 3,000-square-foot museum. It’s scheduled to be fully open by fall. Currently, the Protect Center’s retail space is open daily. Its art show, “A Wave of Color: Promoting Ocean Conservation” with over 20 curated ocean-themed works, runs through Sept. 7. Dolphins Plus has responded to more than 700 injured, sick and stranded marine mammals in the Keys.  connecttoprotect.org/hospital 


Two Florida Keys environmental leaders, Mike Goldberg of Islamorada and Dave Vaughan of Summerland Key have recently earned global accolades. Goldberg, co-founder of I.CARE, the Keys’ only Islamorada-based reef restoration organizationhas been named a CNN Hero. Vaughan, founder of Plant a Million Corals Foundation, was named an Ocean Steward and recognized with a sculpture placed at the John Brewer Reef in Townsville, Australia. Vaughan is the only American honored among eight coral reef champions.



Keys TV and Podcast

FloridaKeysTV is a new free, on-demand globally streaming channel showcasing exclusive programming dedicated to the Florida Keys. The channel is available on Amazon, Android Mobile and TV, Apple TV, Apple IOS for iPhone and iPad, Fire TV, Roku, Samsung and LG. floridakeystv.com.


The Florida Keys Traveler podcast is to air the 30th episode of its first season on July 3, commemorating the bicentennial. The podcast launched globally March 23 on more than 25 platforms including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify. Episodes feature Keys personalities including historians, wildlife experts, environmentalists, entrepreneurs and adventurers.  fla-keys.com/podcast/.

Learn more about :   Florida Keys & Key West ( N. America )  



TravelMole Editorial Team

Editor for TravelMole North America and Asia pacific regions. Ray is a highly experienced (15+ years) skilled journalist and editor predominantly in travel, hospitality and lifestyle working with a huge number of major market-leading brands. He has also cover in-depth news, interviews and features in general business, finance, tech and geopolitical issues for a select few major news outlets and publishers.

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