How to Celebrate the Holidays in Key West

The Lighted Boat Parade is a beloved annual Key West tradition.

The Harbor Walk lights are lit at the Historic Seaport, the lobster trap tree is trimmed and nautical holiday displays with island-style decorations glimmer along the streets from Greene to Grinnell. Key West is ready for the holidays.

Pay a visit to the southernmost island this holiday season and enjoy Key West’s Holiday Fest celebrations.

Don’t forget to check out these 11 new things to do on your next Key West trip.

Holiday Parade – Dec. 2

Local flavor prevails with marching bands, school groups, motorized and non-motorized floats and lively community participation. Kids can catch candy tossed from floats. The route begins at Bayview Park and the best viewing spots are along Duval Street and Truman Avenue.

Conch Tour Train & Old Town Trolley’s Holiday Lights & Sights Tours – Dec. 6-23

Join the Conch Tour Train or Old Town Trolley for their annual holiday lights tours of the island. You’ll see the island’s most elaborately decorated houses, buildings and neighborhoods and enjoy caroling. Call 305-294-5161 or 305-296-6688, respectively, for reservations and information.

Historic Lighted Inn Tours – Dec. 8 & 15

Visitors can discover the holiday spirit — and Key West’s unique architecture and heritage — by exploring five festively decorated properties with edible treats and libations. Trolley transportation between inns is included in the tours, or attendees can provide their own transportation. Tickets are priced at $30 and are available at keystix.com or by calling 305-296-4959.

The Studios of Key West Holiday Artisan Market – Dec. 9

Make holiday shopping fun! Enjoy cookies and coffee as you stroll through a friendly, festive indoor market. Over 20 artisans present unique and locally produced gifts, jewelry, textiles, home accessories and quality crafts. From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., 533 Eaton Street.

Lighted Boat Parade – Dec. 9

On-the-water enthusiasts can show their holiday spirit for the Schooner Wharf Bar Lighted Boat Parade at 8 p.m. when dozens of decorated vessels, ranging from majestic schooners to fishing boats and even kayaks, light up the Historic Seaport and harbor areas while vying for more than $20,000 in prizes. Revelers can watch along the waterfront or get in on the action aboard Sebago’s Schooner Appledore II, Catamaran Echo or other boats participating in the parade with seats open to the public.

Sail with Santa – Dec. 14

Enjoy a festive sail aboard Fury Catamarans including holiday music, appetizers, treats, hot chocolate, beer, wine, champagne and Santa. Call 305-292-4600.

Need a place to stay? Check out these Key West and Florida Keys hotels.

For more information and the complete Key West Holiday Fest schedule, visit keywestholidayfest.com or call 305-296-4959.

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