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April 25th
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Key West Vacation Rental Blog

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Vacation Homes of Key West (VHKW) News. We are on your favorite social networks. Friend Us, Like Us, & follow Us for updates on the latest additions to our vacation rental property inventory, and beautiful pictures of and information about Key West.

The 36th Annual Conch Republic Independence Celebration 2018

Are you ready for the annual Conch Republic Independence Celebration coming up April 21 - 30, 2018.

The week-long Independence Celebration of the Conch Republic, takes place at various locations around the island, on land and sea. For landlubbers the highlight is often said to be the wildly popular benefit bed races down Duval Street. The female impersonator "Great Conch Republic Drag Race" &  the "Conch Republic Red Ribbon Bed Race." There will also be a "conch cruiser" car show, a pet stroll, a pirates ball, and various other entertaining salutes, tributes, and events in honor of the Conch Republic. You never know quite what to expect in these zany events. But one thing for sure is that a fantastic time is had by all.

  1. 4/20- 7pm - Kick-Off Part and Conch Shell Blowing Contest at The Schooner Wharf

  2. 4/24- 9pm - Captains' Meeting for the Bloody Sea Battle at The Schooner Wharf

  3. 4/26- 9pm Conch Republic Independence Celebration Parade Party & Awards Ceremony

  4. 4/27-9pm - Conch Republic Celebration Victory Party and Surrender Ceremony of the Great Sea Battle in the Key West Harbour

  5. 4/28- 7pm - Conch Republic Independence Day Celebration Pirates' Ball & Pig Roast and Pirate Costume Competition

If you're quite not clear on how the Conch Republic came about, we have to go back in time to 1982, when a group of Key West locals 'seceded from the United States.' The U.S. Border Patrol had set up a road block at the north end of the Florida Keys, looking for drug traffickers. The ploy was ineffective in catching drug runners, but the nuisance traffic delays it created did have the unfortunate effect of discouraging tourists from making the drive down the Florida Keys, therefore stifling tourism in Key West.

In humorous protest, a group of Key West creatives, lead by then Mayor Dennis Wardlow, was proclaimed the Prime Minister of the Conch Republic, who 'declared war' by symbolically breaking a loaf of bread over the head of a fellow prankster dressed in a Navy uniform. Within minutes, they 'surrendered' to the man in mock Navy costume and applied for a billion dollars in foreign aid. The Conch Republic evolved over time in legend and lore, and was possibly best described by the late great Secretary General who served with dedication from 1990 - 2014:

“Dedicated to the fundamentally American spirit of a people unafraid to stand up to ‘government gone mad with power’ that embodied the founding of the Conch Republic in 1982. As the world’s first fifth world nation, a sovereign state of mind seeking only to bring more humor, warmth and respect to a world in sore need of all three, the Conch Republic remains the country who seceded where others failed.”

-Sir Peter Anderson, Secretary General of the Conch Republic


Vacation Homes of Key West is most excited for the sea lovers sailing race, known as the Wreckers Cup, that's staged in honor of the tenacious salvagers known as "wreckers." With tongue-in-cheek reckless abandon, seaworthy participants sail out and around the coral reef recreating in the imagination the torturous journey taken by the wreckers of Key West's past. There will also be the truly amazing annual Battle of Key West Secession, a 'mock battle' in the Key West Harbor. The Conch Republic Navy, made up of Key West wooden schooners and tourist boats, and the Conch Republic Air Force, made up of volunteer planes flying overhead, face-off in folly with an actual U.S. Navy vessel! This is an unbelievably outrageous Key West event that you don't want to miss. Make sure you grab a seat on the dock at the Key West Harbor. And don't forget to bring a conch shell horn to blow in support.


We know you'll be here with us in spirit, Sir Peter Anderson, Secretary General of the Conch Republic,  1990 - 2014. May you rest in peace.

Hurricane Irma Takes Some Trees but Not Key West Spirit

Mother nature is incredibly resilient, and as refreshing rains followed Hurricane Irma, green leaves began to quickly sprout from the trees. At first the skyscape seemed nearly barren with trees down and leaves blown off by the storm. But already the canopy is green and flourishing. Read More

Summertime Things to Do (on the water)

There's nothing better to do in the summer than be out on the water. The surrounding oceans of Key West provide plenty of possible activities to fill everyday for everyone from those who have never seen the ocean to confident boaters and spear-fisherman. The only way you can miss out on your summertime vacation in Key West is if you spend every day on land! Read More

Parks, Picnics, and Playgrounds

A local Key Wester takes you on a tour of some of his favorite public places on the island. This guide will take you to a number of Key West parks, beaches, and points of interest you probably don't know about. If you're someone who enjoys to picnic, exercise, or just relax with a book under a palm tree, be sure to check out some of these spots to spend your day with local knowledge. Read More

Available Properties For The 4th of July, 2017

Key West loves the 4th of July and there is plenty of family fun to be had. At VHKW, we have many privately owned vacation rentals that are perfect to host you own 4th of July celebration. Read More

Vacation Homes of Key West - VHKW Hosts Business After Hours With The Chamber of Commerce

As members of our local Key West Chamber of Commerce, VHKW staff enjoy participating in the regular chamber events. Key West is a unique island community, and gathering face-to-face for a business social, always promises a fun event and an opportunity to build on our commitment to sustain and develop locally owned and operated business with other local merchants. Read More

7 Mellow Ways to Beat the Key West Rainy Day Blues

Just because the sun isn't out now doesn't mean there's nothing to do! These seven suggestions for rainy day activities will keep you off the standard tourist track and let you keep living your vacation to the fullest. Museums, beach walks, and pools are just some of the many ways locals enjoy the rain and you can too. Read More

Latest Pins On Pinterest

Stunning Elise Kaufmann in her gorgeous wedding gown at the gardens of the Key West Oldest House. #keywestladiesstyle #keywstwedding #keywestoldesthouse #oldtownkeywest
37th annual 7 Mile Bridge runners race on the Florida Keys US 1 Overseas Highway. April 14, 2018. #floridakeys #7milebridgerace #overseashighway
Porch balustrades cast a shadow on the front of this old town Key West gingerbread house. Photo by Bill Klipp #keywestneighborhoods #oldtownkeywest #keywestgingerbreadhouse
Sunrise at the Key West White Street Pier - By Don Kincaid #keywest #whitestreetpier
Flying into Key West - 150 Miles our to sea. Photo by Bill Klipp
Key West Bait and Tackle Shop. A Key West fishing tradition. At the Historic Seaport. #keywestfishing #keywesttips
Orchids blooming in the trees of Molly Parker’s Garden, Key West. #orchids #keywestgarden
Dreamin’ of Boating while Truckin around Key West. #keywestconchcruiser #conchcruiser #keywest
Lucy’s Retired Surfers Bar, Key West. Road closed for St. Patrick’s Day.
Scott Kirby at the Smokin’ Tuna Saloon in Key West. #smokintunasaloon #keywest #keywestbars #thingstodoinkeywest