Whether composing novels in his Whitehead Street writing studio or fishing for big game in local waters, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway left a powerful legacy in Key West.
Hemingway’s zest for life, literary accomplishments, and steadfast affection for the island he called home throughout the 1930s is well documented and celebrated once a year.
The celebration, Hemingway Days, is always held on the weekend on or near July 21, Ernest Hemingway's birthday.
Hemingway Days includes a popular look-alike contest, authors' readings, an offbeat "Running of the Bulls," a marlin tournament and the culmination of a short story contest directed by author and Hemingway granddaughter Lorian Hemingway.
During the annual Hemingway Days, you'll find him just about anywhere. Explore the La Concha Hotel, featured in his novel about the Florida Keys during the Depression. Photos of him fishing on his boat, the Pilar, decorate the walls.
You can also see Hemingway memorabilia, like his well-worn boxing gloves, on display at various venues around town.
A highlight of the festival is the "Papa" Hemingway Look-Alike Contest (see top photo) held over three days at Sloppy Joe's, Hemingway's favorite hangout for knocking back Teacher's scotch and soda with owner Josie Russell.
The festival's top literary event is the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition winners announcement and awards reception, held on Friday at Casa Antigua, Hemingway's first Key West residence.
If you share Hemingway's passion for deep-sea fishing, you can take part in the Key West Marlin Tournament, held during the festival and offering cash prizes for top catches.
Of if you're more of a land lubber, you might want to compete in the 5k Sunset Run and Paddleboard Race, a land-and-sea challenge inspired by Hemingway's enthusiasm for sporting pursuits.
Timeshare rentals in the Florida Keys are budget-friendly.
Photo Credit: visitflorida.com
Photo Credit: miami-cbslocal.com
Photo Credit:: hemingwayhome.com
Photo Credit: blog.ifeng.com