Key West, Florida (PRWEB) August 18, 2012
Scheduled each year to coincide with the opening of lobster season, this fabulous festival is a tribute to the spiny lobsters of the Keys. Unlike lobster found in northern waters, in places such as Maine, spiny lobsters are clawless. The meat of these crustaceans is said to be sweeter as well. What better reason to celebrate! And celebrate they did, with record crowds and visitors filling up hotel rooms for the event. This is typically the slow time during off season so launching a new website with photo galleries and interactive maps was hoped to increase the turnout and help vacationers find a place to stay near all the action. The results and reviews continue to pour in this week. They loved it!
In order to get the most from a visit to Lobsterfest, it helps to know a little about Key West and its history. Originally known as Cayo Hueso, or Bone Key, this island is located approximately 130 miles southwest of Miami. A territory battle with other Indian tribes resulted in the Native Calusa people being slaughtered, and their bodies left to decay. When European settlers began to inhabit the area, all that could be found were the bones of the dead, and the island was named accordingly. It was not until the early 1800s that the island was re-named Key West. The economy of the island was boosted by several different industries over the years. Salt production, cigar manufacturing and fishing were prominent during this time. At one time a submarine base, Key West is now home to a Naval Air Station, providing additional employment for military personnel and civilians who now reside there.
As previously noted, Lobsterfest is a big deal in Key West. Joining in the festivities next year will require far advanced reservations for a place to stay, made as soon as possible. The host hotel this year was the Double Tree-Grand Key resort, but there were many other options available as well. There are numerous inns and motels on the island to choose from, and unlike years in the past, a good portion of them had completely sold out for the entire weekend. Bed and breakfasts like the Pilot House and Albury Court filled up quickly because of their proximity to the area of Duval st where fresh lobsters were being grilled up and served to the revelers. Condo and home rentals are also up as many families prefer to dive for and prepare their own crustaceans. Renting a unit with a kitchen a kitchen is a must and therefore in high demand. For a one stop index of all the lodging listings available, visit the new Happy Days website at http://www.happydayskeywest.com where you can still search by price to find the best deals on a great accommodation.
Some of the more adventurous travelers really want to get in on the action and go diving for lobster off the chain of Florida Keys. A Florida fishing license as well as a lobster permit is required for this activity. Lobsters are most frequently hiding near rocks, especially early in the season. The limit on lobster is six per day. For safety purposes, a surface flag when diving for lobsters that is visible to boaters in the area is also a requirement.
This year, the Lobsterfest activities got started little early. On Thursday night, August 9th, the first annual Tunes and Tails Party was held at the Smokin Tuna Saloon beginning at 6 p.m. Live music and seafood delights provided a great start to the weekend. On Friday night, the real kick-off party at Rick’s/Dirty Harry’s Entertainment Complex got underway at 8 p.m. The music was all over the place and guests danced until midnight.
Hopefully another event that will continue to coincide with the fest and we highly recommend taking time out from dancing festivities to join the famous Duval Crawl at sunset. Essentially a bar-hopping tour of one of Key West’s main streets, Crawl tickets are $18 and can be purchased at Durty Harry’s. T-shirts and lanyards are given out, and attendees are entitled to a few drinks as well. Proceeds from this event benefits the Key West High School scholarship fund.
On Saturday, from noon till 11 p.m., the annual Duval Street Fair took place. In addition to all types of arts and crafts vendors, local restaurateurs lined the street with mouth-watering culinary treats to choose from, including lobster appetizers and grilled lobster. All this, and a free live concert as well. It doesn’t get any better!
Not ready to leave? Then make reservations for the Lobster Brunch on Sunday at the aforementioned Double Tree-Grand Key Resort. Lobster remains the centerpiece of this luscious display. The price is $47.95 per adult, and includes a mimosa. Meals for children 13 and under are discounted. Infants and children up to age 3 are free.
Reservations for next year are already being made and we continue to have little sign of slowing down for off season, so visit the new site and bring the entire family down to the southernmost city for some fun in the sun!