March, April, and May are beautiful but scorching. Hurricane season stretches from June to November, threatening devastation to delicate tropical life. Really the ideal time to visit the Florida Keys is in January, when deliciously cool weather makes for perfect camping and kayaking conditions. Besides the outdoorsy fun to be had in our southernmost regions, several unique events are taking place throughout the Keys this week.
If your ideal vacation is spent in the company of a good book, check out the 25th annual Key West Literary Seminar. The impressive lineup includes Margaret Atwood, Wally Lamb, Amy Tan, and Ian McEwan, all of whom will appear at a free public presentation Sunday, January 14, from 2:00 to 4:30 p.m. Call 888-293-9291, or visit www.keywestliteraryseminar.org.
For those who prefer snacking on the bounty of the sea, consider the Florida Keys Seafood Festival. The family-friendly feeding frenzy takes place Saturday, January 13, at Key Wests Bayview Park (Truman Avenue and Eisenhower Drive). Admission is free, but the offerings for sale include lobster, stone crab, and conch chowder prepared by local fishermen. Call 305-619-0039, or visit www.fkcfa.org.
If you like your taste of salt to come from the wake of a speeding boat, check out the North American Championship and Tradewinds OpenCat Nationals. This series of catamaran races begins today in Islamorada. Call 305-451-3287 for location information. Also check out the International Sailing Regatta, which will bring more than 250 beautiful boats within view from any of Key Wests waterside restaurants or hotel bars. The prestigious event will take place from Monday, January 15, through Friday, January 19. Call 781-639-9545, or visit www.premiere-racing.com.
For a distinctive souvenir, stop by Art Under the Oaks at the San Pedro Church (Mile Marker 89.5 bayside on Plantation Key). On Saturday the lush grounds will come alive with local crafts vendors, food, and live music. Call 305-664-5574, and visit www.fla-keys.com.