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Getting organized early for summer can help you spend less on your family vacation so that you can get a piece of luxury at a slice of the price. It’s our way of treating you and your loved ones to a more affordable ticket to paradise following the long winter months, because you deserve to relax and have fun amid the beauty of the Florida Keys here at Tranquility Bay Resort in Marathon, Florida.
Our “Sale Into Summer“ promotion offers up to 25% savings on spacious two or three-bedroom beach houses with views of the Gulf of Mexico, so you can look out on your own private paradise. Our charming two-bedroom beach houses are perfect for a family of four, offering two-level living with French doors that lead out onto spacious porches on both levels.
We’ve created each beach house with comfort and luxury in mind, so you can indulge in style surrounded by quaintly painted furniture and enjoy the benefits of a private laundry service, flatscreen TVs, wireless internet and cable TV. The master bedroom features a king size bed and the second bedroom is perfect for siblings to share with twin size beds, all beautifully prepared with luxurious linens.
Also available in our ‘Sale Into Summer‘ offer are the super spacious three-bedroom beach houses, ideal for larger families or groups of friends. Offering all the comfort, luxury and detail of our two-bedroom houses, you will find even more space here for up to six people with an additional bedroom offering a queen size bed. Whichever size beach house suits you and your party, every morning you can guarantee to wake up to the sight and sound of serenity before you plan your fun-filled day of family adventure.
There couldn’t be a more ideal location for a summer family vacation than the Florida Keys. Tranquility Bay is surrounded by attractions and activities for all age groups to enjoy, including swimming with dolphins at the Dolphin Research Center, meeting sea turtles at the Turtle Hospital and snorkeling to find colorful coral and tropical fish. The resort is home to its own private beach, sparkling pools and the award-winning Butterfly Cafe which offers relaxed dining and a children’s menu. There are also more water-based activities than you can even fit into your vacation, to help make the most of your long-awaited summer break.
It’s no surprise that our resort remains the number one hotel in Marathon on TripAdvisor, so make sure you don’t lose out on the pleasure of unwinding in style at a lower price, as our family-friendly beach houses are set to sell fast the sooner summer arrives.
The “Sale Into Summer” promotion launches on May 5th and is available until May 14th for bookings over the summer through September 22nd. Book now via Call 877-705-5758 or visit www.tranquilitybay.com/saleaway.
Every mom deserves a much-needed break, and if she’s lucky enough to be spending Mother’s Day (May 11th) at Tranquility Bay Resort this year, she is sure to be pampered and indulged in style. Whether mom prefers an action-packed day soaking up the sights of Marathon, or a few restorative poolside hours to herself before sampling some of the island’s finest delicacies, there are many wonderful ways to celebrate mom this May. Call 855-597-7574 to book your Mother’s Day vacation today. Here’s our pick of the best ways to pamper mom:
1. Swim with dolphins
Treat mom to one of the most memorable experiences of a lifetime – swimming with beautiful dolphins. The nearby Dolphin Research Center runs a variety of fun programs including the Dolphin Dip, a perfect way for mom to plunge into fun with the whole family nearby. There are flipper shakes, back rubs and interactive behavior for mom to splash about and enjoy with her new-found dolphin friend, and the whole experience is captured on camera by professional photographers.
2. A tempting tiki lunch or refreshing drink
During your Mother’s Day weekend at Tranquility Bay Resort, you’re guaranteed to take time out at TJ’s Tiki Bar for a midday tropical smoothie, a bit of lunch, a mid-afternoon snack, or a pre-sunset cocktail. Imagine you’ve just stepped out of the sunshine and into the shade for a cool down. You need a long, fruit-based cocktail to go hand-in-hand with this slice of paradise, so may we suggest the Blueberry Mojito? It’s bursting with flavor and packs a punch with its well-balanced blend of Stoli Blueberry, fresh mint and lime juice. Then there’s the Key Lime Pie cocktail which is an absolute must for savoring the original flavors of the Florida Keys. Key lime rum is blended with vanilla ice cream and rimmed with a Graham cracker crust; it is the ultimate taste sensation from TJ’s Tiki Bar!
3. Time out for mom
Tranquility Bay Resort has its own private beach, so give mom the ultimate gift of relaxation with time out ocean-side to soak up the tropical Florida sunshine and escape into paradise. There are also three sparkling pools at the resort where mom can take a dip or lounge around with her favorite book in one hand and a tropical cocktail in the other. In-room spa services are also available upon request.
4. Dinner at Butterfly Cafe
Indulge mom over a leisurely lunch with the whole family at our award-winning Butterfly Cafe. The menu features the finest tropical flavors with ocean-fresh seafood among the most popular options, and our Key Lime Pie is a must-try for dessert. Expect a warm, welcoming service in light, beautiful surroundings that will make mom feel utterly spoiled.
5. Soak up a spectacular sunset
Be sure to bring a memorable Mother’s Day to an unforgettable close by taking mom to one of Marathon’s best spots to watch the sun go down. Head to Seven Mile Bridge, the longest bridge in the Florida Keys at the southern end of Marathon, and catch one of the most magnificent sunsets you’ll ever experience. Or if you’re enjoying the relaxing atmosphere of Tranquility Bay resort, soak up the sunset right from our private beach.
Let’s start the week off right with some exceptional offers from Tranquility Bay Resort. We’ve highlighted some of the best dates where you can save big bucks between now and the summer months. These offers are available as of the week of April 7th only so book now to avoid disappointment! Please note for all offers that rates do not include a daily resort fee of $25 or applicable taxes. Offers are also subject to limited availability and blackout dates. Your deposit and cancellation policy will additionally depend on the type of reservation that you have booked. Please call 855-606-4502 for details.
SUMMER WEEKDAY SALE FROM $219/NIGHT… A 15% SAVINGS!
Relax, unwind and find serenity this summer at our Florida Keys resort. Whether you’re traveling with friends, family, or are in search of a romantic retreat, Tranquility Bay offers a little something for everyone and relaxation for all. Dive into rejuvenating watersports activities, swim with dolphins nearby, try beach yoga, or just enjoy some traditional family fun. You can also soak up the sun on our 2.5 acre beach or our lagoon style pool. Discover paradise from just $219/night when staying Sundays through Thursdays in a Tropical Garden Guestroom. Find this offer on select dates from June 8 – August 23, 2014.
Call 855-606-4502 to speak with an onsite vacation planner or book online, now.
STAY 5 NIGHTS BEACH HOUSE SPECIAL: SAVE UP TO 20% FROM $299/NIGHT
Enjoy special savings for staying at least five nights at Tranquility Bay Resort! Book a two-bedroom waterview beach house on the following dates and receive up to 20% off of our best available rates:
- Sunday April 27 – Thursday May 1 (15% savings)
- Sunday May 18 – Thursday May 22 (15% savings)
- Monday May 26 – Thursday May 29 (15% savings)
- Sunday June 1 – Thursday June 5 (10% savings)
- Sundays through Thursdays from June 8 – 26 (20% savings)
Call 855-606-4502 to speak with an onsite vacation planner or book online, now.
MAY ESCAPES FROM $199/NIGHT IN A TROPICAL GARDEN GUESTROOM
Discover paradise in May when staying in our new Tropical Garden Guestrooms at Tranquility Bay Resort. Call 855-606-4502 for two and three-bedroom beach house pricing. Find this offer on the following dates:
- Friday, May 2, 2014
- Monday, May 5 through Friday, May 9, 2014
- Sunday, May 18 through Thursday, May 22, 2014
Call 855-606-4502 to speak with an onsite vacation planner or book online, now.
VALUE DATES FROM $169/NIGHT DURING SELECT TRAVEL PERIODS
Book a Tropical Garden Guestroom during the following dates and enjoy rates from just $169/night. Call 855-606-4502 for two and three-bedroom beach house pricing.
- Sunday, April 27 through Thursday, May 1, 2014
- Monday, May 26 through Thursday, May 29, 2014
- Sunday, June 1 through Thursday, June 5, 2014
- Sunday, August 24 through Thursday, August 28, 2014
- Many dates in September, 2014
Call 855-606-4502 to speak with an onsite vacation planner or book online, now.
Rates do not include daily resort fee of $25 or applicable taxes. Offers are subject to limited availability and blackout dates. Deposit and cancellation policy depend on type of reservation booked.
Why Families Love Marathon, Florida for Spring Break
The Florida Keys offer an array of family activity during the spring break period so it’s no wonder why guests flock to Tranquility Bay Resort in March and April. Marathon, Florida is far from a party town so families can rest easy knowing that Tranquility Bay is an excellent spring break destination for families in March and April, 2014.
As one of the best family resorts in the Florida Keys, we offer spacious two and three-bedroom beach houses that are ideal for families! If that’s not enough, kids love bouncing from our lagoon style tropical swimming pool and our white sand beach, located directly on the Gulf of Mexico.
You won’t have to go far for meals with casual dining at TJ’s Tiki Bar or try our award winning restaurant, Butterfly Cafe which has a fantastic kid’s menu. If you’re up to it, you can even cook a family feast in your own gourmet kitchen at Tranquility Bay.
Families and children especially love watching a gorgeous Florida Keys sunset, teeing up on our putting green, or enjoying an array of watersports, including: diving and snorkeling adventures, kayaking, paddle boarding, wave runners, Hobi Cat and small boat rentals and guided eco-tours.
Call 866-842-2512 to speak with an on-site vacation planner about spring break family vacations in 2014.
Florida Keys Spring Break Offers at Tranquility Bay
- Weekly Rate: Spend 5 nights and save more
- Weekday Retreat: Save more on weekdays
- Advance Purchase Savings: Book in advance and save
- View more spring break deals
View our Spacious Two and Three-Bedroom Beach Houses
These charming Florida Keys accommodations feature two-level living, ideal for up to four people. The beautifully proportioned first floor features a fully equipped gourmet kitchen, separate dining area for four, half bath and living room with 42-inch wall mounted plasma TV, and wireless internet.
French doors on both levels lead to spacious porches with spectacular, and unobstructed water views of the Gulf of Mexico. Laundry facilities and bedrooms are upstairs. View our Two-Bedroom Beach Houses or Three-Bedroom Beach Houses
If you’re willing to forego the kitchen and living room for a single-level guestroom, try our new Tropical Garden Guestrooms. A double queen guestroom can accommodate four guests, similar to hotel room accommodations.
Spring Break Family Vacation Ideas: Onsite Activities at Tranquility Bay
Featuring glorious weather year round and endless activities such as Florida Keys fishing, Marathon is an exciting destination for family vacations. With its exceptional setting, comprehensive facilities and knowledgeable staff, Tranquility Bay is the ideal choice for those who wish to experience all the Florida Keys have to offer, especially for those looking to the explore the awaiting adventures in our surrounding Florida Gulf waters.
Family Attractions in Marathon, Florida
- Bahia Honda State Park: The park is celebrated for having one of the world’s top beaches and is home to many rare and unusual plants and animals.
- Crane Point: Visitors to this 64-acre protected park may tour the Museum of Natural History, Children’s Museum, Adderley Town Historic Site and Marathon Wild Bird Center, or explore the extensive nature trail system, an ideal stop on your Marathon Key vacation.
- Pigeon Key: Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Pigeon Key served as a construction and maintenance camp for the Overseas Railroad during the early 1900s. The remarkable structures that remain provide a window back in time.
- Dolphin Research Center: Fun for the entire family, the Dolphin Research Center offers nature lovers, in-water encounters with marine mammals, as well as fascinating insight into their behavior.
- Turtle Hospital: Located next door to the resort, the Turtle Hospital is dedicated to the health and preservation of sea turtles. The Hospital offers guided, educational tours and a behind-the-scenes look at the rehabilitation of sick and injured turtles, something everyone in the family will appreciate on your Marathon FL vacation.
- Seven Mile Bridge: The longest bridge in the Keys is located at the southern end of Marathon and measures 35,716 ft. Take a family walk across the bridge and enjoy a majestic Florida Keys sunset.
- Sombrero Reef: Mile Marker 50, Oceanside. One of the most beautiful areas within the Keys’ living coral reef, Sombrero Reef is protected by the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuaries and is popular with eco-tourists who enjoy snorkeling and diving.
- Sombrero Beach: This 12.6-acre beach is one of the most popular vacation spots in Marathon. Renovated in 2003, the beach offers creative landscaping, walkways, picnic areas and a roped off swimming area.
- Coco Plum Beach: This small, natural beach is an enjoyable stop. It is a quiet, dog-friendly beach with clean-up baggies provided.
As we wave farewell to a long winter and welcome some much-needed warmer days on the horizon, now is the time to treat yourself to a last minute spring break escape, or book early for summer vacation in the Florida Keys.
To indulge in a slice of paradise complete with fresh seafood, relaxation, a calm ocean and unbeatable hospitality, head to the sunshine-filled Florida Keys and book a discount break at our luxury Tranquility Bay Resort in Marathon, during the “Spring Into Summer 7-day Sale.”
For a limited time only, we’re offering up to 25% off stays when you book by March 17, 2014.
You can unwind and relax in the peaceful, secluded surroundings of Tranquility Bay Resort during March or April and enjoy a 15% savings, or book a summer vacation and save up to 25% which is valid on stays through September 22.
Whether you choose to stay in one of our spacious self-catering two and three-bedroom beach houses, or if you prefer more intimate accommodation in one of our new “Tropical Garden Guestrooms,” you will experience the ultimate in relaxation at an affordable price making Tranquility Bay Resort the ideal hideaway for families and couples.
With great discounts on room bookings this spring and summer, you can sit back and make the most of all the resort has to offer.
There are three sparkling pools in which to take a dip; award-winning dining at Butterfly Cafe; refreshing cocktails to sip at our beachfront TJ’s Tiki Bar; a 2.5 acre white sand beach to lounge and relax before cooling off in the crystal-clear ocean.
And if you’re after adventure, Marathon is home to a range of activities for all ages, from world-class fishing and golf to water sports and snorkeling.
Call 877-705-5758 to speak with an onsite vacation planner or book online now.
If the clock is nearing lunchtime and your hunger pangs are setting in, this tempting reminder of why Keys cuisine is world-renowned is certain to tickle your appetite. Whether it’s the finest seafood you’re craving, from mahi mahi and lobster to conch and Florida stone crab, or a welcoming slice of Key Lime Pie relished alongside a refreshing ice-cool cocktail, a vacation in Marathon will send you on a spectacular, taste-bud teasing, gastronomic journey that’ll always leave you wanting to come back for more.
The Original Marathon Seafood Festival
Surrounded by a crystal-clear ocean teeming with gourmet delicacies, Marathon is one of the top global destinations in the world to sample the finest seafood fresh off the boat, which is why the tropical island will be the center of attention from March 8th through 9th when thousands of visitors will head to the annual Original Marathon Seafood Festival, the second largest Florida Keys event.
It’s taking place at the Marathon Community Park MM 49 oceanside and will showcase the best seafood from the waters of the Florida Keys, with a lively party atmosphere providing the perfect backdrop for sampling the luscious island flavors. There will be bucket loads of conch served in a whole manner of different ways, from fried golden fritters and ceviche to chowder and ‘conchwurst’ sausage, all expertly prepared by local chefs creatively crafting their seafood according to Keys-based recipes. The festival kicks off on Saturday March 8th from 10am to 9pm and continues into Sunday from 11am to 5pm.
Ten Not-to-Be-Missed Florida Keys Flavors
- Pink shrimp sautéed in scampi
- Stone crab claws
- Broiled lobster tail
- Mahi Mahi fish
- Smoked fish dip
- Florida Keys scallops
- Caribbean jerk chicken
- Golden deep-fried conch fritters
- Key lime pie
- Key lime rum blended in a tropical cocktail
After the Festival, Tempt Your Tastebuds at Butterfly Cafe
A talented team is also passionately working behind the scenes at Tranquility Bay Resort where the sourcing, preparation and serving of food and drink is taken as seriously as our welcoming Southern hospitality. This is why the resort is home to Butterfly Cafe, the number one rated restaurant in Marathon, boasting a mouth-watering menu which leaves diners feeling spoiled for choice. Here’s a sample of some of our Butterfly Cafe favorites:
The fresh, fruity samba salad is a perfect option after a sun-soaked day by the ocean. It tastes exotic with its blend of mango and avocado, and is certain to keep you longing for a main course. For seafood fans, how about tucking into the conch chowder, or perhaps you’d be tempted by some Key West pink shrimp in our shrimp cocktail.
Ocean-fresh seafood remains a favorite on the Butterfly Cafe menu, particularly the grouper complemented by a tropical coulis and selection of seasonal vegetables. Popular dishes also include the scallop risotto, coconut shrimp, mahi mahi with a mango salsa and the yellowtail snapper served with sherry brown butter. You can even help create your own unique dish featuring fish you’ve caught during the day which our team will gladly cook for you exactly how you like it. If it’s not fish you fancy, try the Cowboy which boasts a 22oz bone-in Angus ribeye or the Caribbean jerk chicken with a delicious fruity pineapple chutney.
The Butterfly Cafe award-winning Key Lime Pie will tempt any sweet-toothed diner, as will the ‘To Die For’ sticky toffee pudding and tropical cheesecake with a refreshing blend of mango and passionfruit. The friendly and welcoming restaurant staff will be on hand to recommend the perfect choice of wine to accompany your dish. If the whole family are dining together, children are catered for and the restaurant opens at 6pm to suit an early bedtime.
Shaken, Stirred and Blended to Perfection
Throughout your vacation at Tranquility Bay Resort, you’re guaranteed to take time out at TJ’s Tiki Bar for a midday tropical smoothie, a bit of lunch, a mid-afternoon snack, or a pre-sunset cocktail. Imagine you’ve just stepped out of the sunshine and into the shade for a cool down. You need a long, fruit-based cocktail to go hand-in-hand with this slice of paradise, so may we suggest the Blueberry Mojito? It’s bursting with flavor and packs a punch with its well-balanced blend of Stoli Blueberry, fresh mint and lime juice. Then there’s the Key Lime Pie cocktail which is an absolute must for savoring the original flavors of the Florida Keys. Key lime rum is blended with vanilla ice cream and rimmed with a Graham cracker crust; it is the ultimate taste sensation from TJ’s Tiki Bar!
Attracted by a weekend filled with sunshine and athletic fun, more than 700 racing circuit runners are expected to join the eighth annual Sombrero Beach Run scheduled for Saturday, March 1.
Runners and walkers from 28 U.S. states as well as international participants from Canada and Europe already have registered.
Raising Funds For a Good Cause
Proceeds for the popular “FUN-draising” event benefit Keys Area Interdenominational Resources, a Marathon-based nonprofit organization that provides food and emergency services to Keys families in need.
Event Info and Times
Co-sponsored by the Southernmost Runners Club, the 2014 weekend workout begins Friday, March 1, with a 5-6:30 p.m. registration kick-off party. Stocked with food, drinks, music and entertainment, the event is to be staged at Sombrero Beach at the end of Sombrero Beach Road, mile marker 50. Walkers and runners also can register on site at 7 a.m. Saturday, March 1. The 10k run starts at 8 a.m. and the 5k run/walk begins at 9:15 a.m.
Attractions on race day include food, beverages, raffle prizes, a fine art silent auction, music and fun in addition to a full slate of community and Keyswide events for attendees to enjoy.
Awards are to be given to the overall male and female winners, and second-place overall finishers in the 10k run, 5k run and 5k walk. Awards include Keys resort stays, cash and experiences with local eco-attractions and watersports. An awards ceremony on the beach follows the race with a barbecue, drinks, music and warm sunshine.
Runners also can register in a 15k challenge that includes both the 10k and 5k events and makes them eligible for awards in both categories. All 15k finishers are to receive a custom hat.
Pre-registration for the 15k event is $35 per person or $40 on race day. Students age 18 and under and U.S. military personnel can enter for $15. For 10k and 5k participants, pre-registration is $25 and the race-day cost is $30. Students age 18 and under can enter for $10. All participants can pre-register at www.active.com until 11:59 p.m. EST Feb. 27. The first 500 registered participants are to receive a custom logo T-shirt and welcome bag.
Event information: www.sombrerobeachrun.com or 305-289-9868
If your New Year’s Resolution is to be spontaneous, then a last minute trip to the Florida Keys may be just what you need. We have last minute availability during the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend at Tranquility Bay Resort so pack your bags and visit our tropical beach resort this weekend!
- Superior Tropical Garden Guestrooms From $199/Night
- 2-Bedroom Waterview Beach Houses From $279/Night
Call 855-318-0073 today to book your stay!
Attendees can discover the wares of fine artists and craftspeople from around the country Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 8-9, at the 20th annual Pigeon Key Art Festival at the Marathon Community Park, mile marker 49.
A nationally recognized outdoor art festival, the event is a tropically themed oasis of creative offerings that includes pottery, paintings, glass, sculpture, photography, jewelry and more. Each year artists demonstrate their skills during the show, giving attendees a glimpse of the techniques behind their original creations.
The event is named for Pigeon Key, a small island beneath the Old Seven Mile Bridge that housed workers constructing the iconic Florida Keys Over-Sea Railroad in the early 1900s.
Keys-based musicians are to provide live entertainment, and food and beverage booths are to serve local delicacies and sweet treats. In addition, activities for children are planned to round out the family-friendly event.
A traditional Sunday art raffle concludes the weekend. Raffle tickets are to be available through 1 p.m. Sunday for a chance to win one of more than 50 pieces of artwork.
Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $7 per adult and free for children under 12. Parking is free at the Marathon Community Park.
As an added value, patrons can retain their ticket stubs and redeem them for a buy-one-get-one-free ferry trip to Pigeon Key within one year of their show admission.
Festival proceeds help support the Pigeon Key Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving and educating the public about the historical, environmental and cultural significance of the Florida Keys.
Event information: www.pigeonkeyartfestival.com
The spirit of the holiday season comes alive in the Florida Keys with holiday happenings and festive functions spreading cheer in a subtropical climate. Tranquility Bay Resort offers a lovely Christmas Day buffet as well, with all of the festive fixings and a double helping of tranquility!
View our Florida Keys Christmas menu
From Marathon to Key West the calendar is packed with events designed to celebrate the holiday spirit — including lighted boat parades featuring vessels whose decorations range from traditional greenery to offbeat salutes to the season. Listed here are some holiday highlights, all spiced with a characteristically Florida Keys flair.
- Now through Sunday, Dec. 22
Holiday Photos with a Dolphin at Dolphin Research Center (Marathon)
At Dolphin Research Center, mile marker (MM) 59 bayside on Grassy Key, visitors who participate in the Meet the Dolphin program also can pose with the dolphins for a holiday photo. Visitors can bring their holiday-themed props to pose with, and DRC’s experienced photographers will shoot the pictures using high-resolution digital cameras. The program is offered several times each day on a walk-in basis and costs $25 per person in addition to general admission prices. The photos are supplied on a flash drive for $20 for one person or $35 for multiple people in the same shot. Group size is limited to four people. Contact: 305-289-1121 or www.dolphins.org
- Wednesday, Nov. 27, 6 p.m., throughout the holiday season
The Lighting of the Harbor Walk (Key West)
The harbor walk along the Historic Seaport at the Key West Bight, stretching from Greene Street to Grinnell Street, is to be festively lit from rooftops to the sea for the holiday season. Celebrate with holiday events, browse at local shops and galleries and relax at waterfront restaurants and watering holes. This and other seaport festivities are part of the inaugural Key West Holiday Fest. Contact:www.KeyWestChristmas.org or www.KeyWestHolidayFest.com
- Saturday, Dec. 7, 7 p.m.
Key West Holiday Parade (Key West)
The island city shows its holiday spirit with this annual hometown parade. Featuring marching groups and motorized and nonmotorized floats, the festive procession traditionally draws entries from churches, civic organizations, businesses and neighborhood and school groups. Starting at Truman Avenue and White Street, it proceeds down Truman to Duval, where it takes a right and continues on to Eaton Street. Contact: 305-809-3881 or visit www.keywestcity.com
- Sunday, Dec. 8, 4-7 p.m.
Annual Tree Lighting Celebration (Marathon)
An early evening event in the parking area outside Fishermen’s Community Hospital gathers the Marathon community to light the tree atop the hospital. Holiday entertainment includes a “special guest” appearance, raffles, activities for kids, tap dancers, music, hot dogs, cookies and punch. Contact: 305-743-5533
- Sunday, Dec. 8, 6 p.m. (sunset)
Key Colony Beach Lighted Boat Parade (Marathon Area)
Spectators can applaud vividly lit boats in the Middle Keys at the Key Colony Beach Boat Parade. Open to all boats, the parade is set to start at the 7th Street canal and wind its way through canals on the west side of the city, ending in the canal between 11th and 12th streets. The best viewing spots include the Sadowski Causeway at MM 53.5 and the dock area behind city hall and the post office. An after-party with awards for captains and crews is to be held at Key Colony Inn, 700 E. Ocean Drive, with a free buffet and cash bar. Contact: 305-743-7214 or http://kcbca.org/kcbca-events/holiday-lighted-boat-parade/
- Saturday, Dec. 14, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Big Pine & Lower Keys Island Art Festival (Big Pine Key)
Experience the joys of art and music, and find some unique holiday gifts, at this festival held on the wooded grounds of the Lower Keys Chamber of Commerce, MM 31 oceanside. Family fun highlights include live music by favorite local entertainers, exhibits and booths featuring the original work of artists and artisans, raffles and vendors offering food and beverages. Parking and admission are free. Contact:305-872-2411 or www.lowerkeyschamber.com
- Saturday, Dec. 14, 6 p.m.
Boot Key Harbor Boat Parade (Marathon)
At this Middle Keys holiday event, vessels from dinghies to mega-yachts are to cruise the harbor in a sparkling procession. The best viewing sites include Lazy Days South, Marathon Marina, Sombrero Dockside Lounge and Burdines Waterfront around MM 47-50. Contact: www.bootkeyharbor.com/christmas_parade.htm
- Saturday, Dec. 14, 7 p.m.
Lower Keys Lighted Boat Parade (Lower Keys)
All boats are welcome to participate in this favorite Lower Keys holiday event sponsored by the Lower Keys Rotary Club. Santa and Mrs. Claus are expected to arrive and hand out candy to the kids. Best viewing spots include the Old Wooden Bridge Guest Cottages & Marina, No Name Key Bridge and Big Pine Community Park, all off U.S. Highway 1 at MM 31. Contact: Steve at 305-923-5370 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Saturday, Dec. 14, 8 p.m.
Schooner Wharf Bar & Galley Lighted Boat Parade (Key West)
Festively decorated kayaks, fishing craft and schooners are to glitter in Key West’s Historic Seaport during the 23rd annual Schooner Wharf Bar Lighted Boat Parade. The Gerald Adams Elementary School Steel Your Heart Band kicks off the festivities at 6 p.m. singing holiday favorites, followed by popular family band The Doerfels. Spectators can view the dozens of participating vessels from resorts, bars and restaurants in and around the Historic Seaport. Contact: 305-292-3302 orwww.schoonerwharf.com
- Sunday, Dec. 15, 1-3 p.m.
Christmas on the Farm 2013 (Stock Island, Key West)
Kids and adults can visit the furry, fluffy and feathered residents of the Animal Farm and get a photo taken with Santa. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Animal Farm is situated at the county’s detention center just outside Key West at 5501 College Road. This event is free and open to the public. Contact: Jeanne Selander at 305-293-7300 or www.keysso.net/miscellaneous/animal_park.htm
- Sunday, Dec. 15, 3 p.m.
Southernmost Christmas Tree Celebration (Key West)
Holiday revelers enjoy free conch chowder and then board Conch Tour Trains to proceed to the continental United States’ Southernmost Point to set up the southernmost Christmas tree at sunset overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The event is an annual community thank-you party presented by the Monroe Association for ReMARCable Citizens. The fun starts at 1401 Seminary St. Contact: 305-294-9526
- Saturday, Dec. 21, 5 and 8 p.m.
Marathon Community Theater presents a Christmas Concert (Marathon)
Two shows are slated to ring in holiday cheer for Marathon-area audiences. Tickets are $5 for adults and $2 for children. Contact: 305-743-0994 orwww.marathontheater.org
- Tuesday, Dec. 31, just before midnight
Key West New Year’s Eve Celebrations (Key West)
The Southernmost City celebrates New Year’s Eve with a “conch shell drop” at Sloppy Joe’s Bar, 201 Duval St.; the descent of a super-sized red high-heel shoe carrying drag queen Sushi at the Bourbon St. Pub/New Orleans House complex, 724 Duval St.; the splash of a huge replica Key lime wedge into a massive margarita glass at Ocean Key Resort’s Sunset Pier and the descent of a pirate wench from atop a tall ship’s mast in the island city’s Historic Seaport. Contact: 305-296-2388, ext. 121, for the conch shell drop; 305-293-9800 for the high-heel drop; 305-295-7005 for the Key lime splash and 305-292-3302 for the descent of the pirate wench