By: Karrie Carnes
January is a fantastic time to visit Key West! During this time of year, the island is still energized from the holidays and it’s pretty much guaranteed to be the warmest place in the entire continental United States. Locals like to proudly boast that the only things we salt here are margaritas, never sidewalks!
Sample local seafood at the Florida Keys Seafood Festival
No visit to the Florida Keys is complete without sampling some of our world-famous, freshly caught seafood. A great place to do this is at the annual Florida Keys Seafood Festival in Key West. Enjoy mouth-watering Florida stone crab claws, Caribbean spiny lobster tails, Key West pink shrimp and fresh fish while listening to live music and enjoying a cold beverage. Marine-themed artists showcase their crafts while a kids’ zone keeps the youngsters entertained.
Win a medal in the Key West Half Marathon or 5K
You won’t have to worry about seeing your breath when you go for a run in Key West in January (or ever)! Trade in your cold weather running routine for the Key West Half Marathon. The 13.1-mile course, which meanders through Old Town past historic landmarks and waterfront vistas, has been recognized by Runners World magazine as one of the 10 great half-marathons of the winter season. If you’re not quite ready for a half marathon yet, there’s also a 5K!
Take home a unique piece of art from the Key West Craft Show
Key West is home to countless talented artists, and the Key West Craft Show is a great opportunity to take home a little bit of the island with a one-of-a-kind art piece. More than 100 juried artisans and crafters display their unique wares in this outdoor street festival in Old Town. From jewelry to pottery, paintings to woodcarvings, there’s a myriad of colorful, handmade art representative of the both natural and cultural environment of the Florida Keys. The toughest part may be fitting it in your luggage for the return trip home, but you can always ship it back!
View wild dolphins in their natural habitat
Seeing wild dolphins in their natural surroundings is a memory to last a lifetime. The shallow, aquamarine waters around Key West are home to a resident population of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, which means you have a good chance of seeing them year-round. Board Fury’s Key West Dolphin & Snorkel Tour and Snorkel Tour for an opportunity to responsibly view these incredible marine mammals playing, feeding and resting in the shallow, near shore waters of Key West!
Wine and dine at the Key West Food and Wine Festival
Foodies will want to plan their winter migration to coincide with the Key West Food and Wine festival, a six-day adventure for your taste buds. Top chefs and restaurateurs showcase their culinary creativity at beachfront parties, poolside tastings, winemaker dinners, informational seminars and more! These ticketed events often sell out, so plan accordingly.