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Everything you need to know about the Conch Republic. Keep up on local events, nightlife and activities while in Key West.

5 Fantastic Ways to Celebrate the 4th of July in Key West

5 Fantastic Ways to Celebrate the 4th of July in Key West

June 15th, 2023 | Key West Events & Festivals

The 4th of July isn’t just about celebrating the country - it’s about enjoying everything wonderful about Key West. The island always takes on a festive vibe come Independence Day, making it the perfect excuse to spend the day exploring, partying, or simply chilling in our tropical paradise. From festivals to fireworks, read on for things to do in Key West on the 4th of July.

1. Party at the Key West Key Lime Festival

The quintessential summer festival is the Key West Key Lime Festival, which takes place every 4th of July. The national fruit of the island is celebrated in all its glory during the five-day fest, from pie drops to key lime-infused booze and pie eating contests. Did you know that key lime pie was named one of the ‘100 Most Popular American Foods and Beverages’ by TasteAtlas? That’s right, the sweet and tart dessert may feature a fruit indigenous to Malaysia, but the key lime has been connected to Florida since the 1830s when a botanist planted the trees on Indian Key.

For more festival fun around the 4th of July, check out the annual Key West Mermaid Festival.

2. See Spectacular Fireworks

Catch the annual fireworks show launched from the Edward B. Knight Pier after the sun goes down (just after 8 p.m.). Higgs Beach and Smathers Beach are excellent spots to lay out and look up. Another option is to view the light show from the water. Every year, the Fury catamaran’s 4th of July Fireworks Cruise finds the perfect spot offshore to post up and roll out Champagne.

3. Tuck into Classic American Cuisine

July 4th has its share of all-American food. Find popular dishes like pulled pork, brisket, and baby back ribs at Smoked BBQ, mini hamburger sliders and chicken wings at Jack Flats, and homemade ice cream at Flamingo Crossing. The popular ice cream spot has unique flavors (some with alcohol!) like key lime, Cuban coffee, banana, and mango.

For beverages, try local craft brews at The Waterfront Brewery or First Flight, award-winning rum at The Gates Hotel’s Rum Row, or partake in the Key West Pub Crawl to try it all!


4. Book a 4th of July Key West Getaway

Make sure to kick back and relax. Discover the best of Key West through design, comfort, music, and food and drink at The Gates Hotel. Our pet-friendly hotel boasts stylish, modern rooms that look out over our sparkling pool, and with amenities that go above and beyond and exciting on-site events, you may never want to leave (but if you do, simply jump on our shuttle to be whisked away to Old Town). We also offer regionally-inspired eats at our signature food truck The Blind Pig, an energetic pool bar at Rum Row, and a cigar lounge to experience a taste of Cuban-Key West history with Rodriguez Cigars.

We love the heroes who help make this country something to celebrate. This 4th of July, enjoy our special offers exclusive to hometown heroes like government officials, educators, and healthcare workers.

5. Rotary 4th of July 5K

Meet at the Edward B. Knight Pier at 7:30 a.m. for the annual 4th of July 5K walk/run around the island. Later that night, the Rotary Club of Key West hosts a VIP dinner and celebration in Indigenous Park next to Higgs Beach. For some 5K prep, when you stay with The Gates Hotel, we help you keep your fitness on track with popular walking/running maps for a 5K, 10K, or leisurely stroll.

There is so much more to do on the 4th of July in Key West. Attractions like the Key West Aquarium, Conch Tour Train, and Truman Little White House are open, and it’s always a great day to explore Old Town’s harborwalk or hang out on a restaurant’s patio or rooftop. The VNA/Hospice July 4th Picnic is an annual favorite as well. The party by Higgs Beach includes entertainment, a picnic buffet, cold drinks, live music, and a silent auction before the fireworks show.

If you’re ready to secure your 4th of July stay, choose from our best rates and special offers when you book direct with The Gates Hotel, a Conde Nast award-winning Key West destination.