Jim Abbott on Travel
Postcards from Florida
December 4, 2010
Who needs a white Christmas when there are so many things to do in your shorts and flip-flops in the Florida Keys?
There's everything from tours of historic homes to lighted boat parades. Even the dolphins get into the act.
Here's a sample:
Through Dec. 22: You can have a holiday photo taken with Santini or another dolphin at Dolphin Research Center in Marathon. Visitors may pose with props such as Santa hats, reindeer antlers and holiday wreaths. The program is offered daily on a walk-in basis and costs $25 per person in addition to the regular admission. (305-289-1121; dolphins.org)
Through Jan. 1: Take a Harbor Walk of Lights along the historic seaport at Key West Bight. The stretch from Greene to Grinnell streets will be festively dressed for the season. (305-292-5044; kwholidays.com)
Monday through Saturday: Christmas in Key Largo celebrates the season with live music, decorations, food and drinks. (305-822-1088; lightupkeylargo.com)
Friday and Saturday, and Dec. 17 and 18. Holiday Historic Lighted Inn Tours will be conducted from 5:30-8:30 p.m. and will focus on Key West's architecture and history. The tours include masterpieces by island chefs and offerings by local artists, writers and performers. (keywestinntour.com; 305-295-1334)
Saturday: All varieties of watercraft convene at dusk for Marathon's Boot Key Harbor Lighted Christmas Boat Parade. Viewing is available at Lazy Days South, Marathon Marina, Sombrero Dockside Lounge and Burdine's Waterfront. (305-743-9629; bootkeyharbor.com)
Dec. 12: At 3 p.m., visitors enjoy free conch chowder, then board Conch Tour Trains to the continental United States' Southernmost Point to set up the southernmost Christmas tree. (305-294-9526)
Dec. 28-29: Presented by the Old Island Restoration Foundation, the annual self-guided Holiday House Tours showcase festively dressed Key West homes and gardens. Tickets: $25. (305-294-9501 or oirf.org)
Dec. 31: The Southernmost City celebrates New Year's Eve with a "conch shell drop" at Sloppy Joe's Bar on Duval Street. Other unique things to be dropping include a super-sized red high-heel shoe (Bourbon Street Pub/New Orleans House) and a pirate wench from atop a tall ship's mast in the Historic Seaport. Visit fla-keys.com, for additional event information.
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