Come hungry to the Key Lime Festival because it's overflowing with delicious lime-flavored treats, and you won't want to miss a single one. This festival, which happens in Key West, Florida, exudes the eccentric spirit of the island itself. From the Key Lime Cocktail Sip & Stroll to the hilarious Key Lime Pie Drop, you'll find plenty of unusual experiences to fill the entire weekend. Come with friends or bring the family; the Key Lime Festival is fun for everyone. Plus, when you're not celebrating the birthplace of the Key lime pie, you can enjoy gorgeous beaches and sparkling water.
The Key Lime Festival is truly one of a kind. It's infused with the sense of fun and relaxed charm that's typical of the Key West community. The festival kicks off on Thursday, July 2 with Chef Brendan Orr's Tipsy Tasting Wine Reception. You can sample different wines and enjoy small bites of local specialties such as ceviche, conch fritters and, of course, Key lime pie. This event, which is limited to just 100 people, is the perfect way to get into the spirit of the festival.
The Key Lime Festival takes place on Key West, which lies about 160 miles southwest of Miami. Venues are scattered around the island; they include the lighthouse, the Curry Mansion Inn, the Key West First Legal Rum Distillery and General Horseplay.
On Friday at 11:00 a.m., head over to the Key West Lighthouse to watch one of the most unusual events of the festival: the Key Lime Pie Drop. Participants build structures to protect small Key lime pies, and then they throw them off the top of the lighthouse, hoping the pies will land unscathed. If you're bringing kids, this is one of the best events to attend. On the same day, expand your culinary skills at the Key Lime University VIP Baking Experience. Work with a Key West native and learn how to make a delicious pie at the Curry Mansion. Afterward, stick around to attend the Key Lime Cookbook Signing, Mansion Tour and Champagne Reception.
Prefer to spend your day running around town? Join in the festival's signature Key Lime Scavenger Hunt. This family-friendly event, which is open to teams of two to five people, takes you all over Key West. It's a great way to see the island's most iconic sights.
If you can't attend the VIP Baking Experience, check out one of the other Key Lime University events. Learn to make Hooker Pie with Chef Paul Menta on Saturday or make Key Lime Cocktails on Friday.
On Saturday afternoon, leave the kids behind for the adults-only Key Lime Sip & Stroll. One of the most popular events at the festival, this stroll takes you to seven different bars on the island. At each one, your Sip & Stroll ticket gets you a sample of a margarita or a martini. Then, you get to vote for the best one. Prefer a pastry-based stroll? Join the Key Lime Pie Hop on Sunday afternoon. This tour takes you to five spots; at each one, you get to taste a different Key lime pie. Be sure to bring walking shoes and an appetite for this event.
An RV is a fantastic way to set up camp during the Key Lime Festival. During the heat of the summer in Key West, you'll love the chance to relax in your cozy camper. Bring your own RV or consider an RV rental from RVshare. The festival doesn't offer special RV camping options, but the Florida Keys offer a variety of RV sites. Keep in mind that many of them require a bit of a drive from Key West, so it's important to bring a separate vehicle.
If anyone in your group is affiliated with the United States military, you might be able to get a reservation at the Sigsbee RV Park or Trumbo RV Park.
For non-military visitors, the closest campgrounds are located a couple of miles from downtown. At Leo's Campground, you'll find sites that fit RVs up to 42 feet long. Each one offers full hookups and cable; there are also Wi-Fi hot spots located throughout the park. If you're planning to stay for a few days, you'll enjoy the hot showers and laundry room. Keep in mind that July is the Key West high season, and rates can start at $98 or higher with an additional fee if your RV is 30 feet or longer. Pets are allowed for an extra charge.
On the east side of Key West, check out El Mar RV Resort. Here, you can wake up to views of the water and enjoy stunning sunsets over the ocean. This park offers 11 sites with six located on the water. All sites come with perks like full hookups, cable TV and Wi-Fi. The gravel sites offer plenty of space for big rigs, and the paved roads are easy to navigate. Nearby, Boyd's Campground also offers spectacular waterfront sites, partial-view sites and inland sites. Keep in mind that many spots here are back-in only. With full hookups, cable TV and concrete patios, this is a great place to relax. While you're in town, make sure to check out the many activities at Boyd's, or you can lounge by the pool, check out the game room or rent a kayak to explore the shore.
Keep driving down Highway 1, and you'll find a range of cozy RV parks. RV Key West offers sites in varying sizes, and Geiger Key Marina provides secluded, relaxed sites. If you're bringing a boat, check out Bluewater Key RV Resort.
Key West offers a large selection of hotels and bed-and-breakfast inns if you're not staying in an RV. Many are located on the west side of the island, so you can walk to most of the festival events. Book a waterfront-facing room at the luxurious Casa Marina Key West or enjoy the pool at the Marquesa Hotel. If you love cocktails, the Smallest Bar Inn claims to have the world's smallest bar. When budget is a concern, look to the hotels and inns located toward the interior of the island. Can't find a room near downtown? Look to the many waterfront properties that line Highway 1 on the northern and eastern edges of Key West. A little farther out, you'll find the occasional hotel situated next to Highway 1 as it winds through the Florida Keys.
The Key Lime Festival happens in Key West, which is located at the very end of the Florida Keys. The only route to the island is Highway 1; it runs from Homestead and throughout the islands. Whether you're in an RV or a car, plan plenty of time to get to Key West.
The streets on Key West are notoriously narrow, so it's a good idea to drive your RV to your campsite and plan to leave it there during the festival. The easiest way to get around the festival is on foot or by bike. If you're coming in a passenger car, head to the City of Key West Old Town Garage, the Key West Bight parking lot or the public parking area on Simonton Street. Alternatively, you can find limited street parking near the beaches and in residential neighborhoods.
The Key Lime Festival involves a series of events; some require tickets while others are free and open to the public. For some events, such as the opening Chef Brendan Orr's Tipsy Tasting Wine Reception, you can buy a $40 ticket on the festival website. Another popular event, the Key Lime Sip & Stroll, requires a $39 ticket. There are also a few free events at the festival, including the Key Lime Pie Drop. Planning to attend one of the ticketed events? The organizers expect each session to sell out, so it's a good idea to buy your tickets online in advance.
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