Hemingway Days in Key West celebrates the literary success and lifestyle of Ernest Hemingway, one of America’s most famous writers. Every year, to honor Hemingway’s birthday, Key West comes to life with lively literary events. During Hemingway Days, locals, visitors, and fans celebrate Hemingway with a look-a-like contest, poetry readings, and a three-day marlin tournament.
Hemingway spent much of the 1930s living on Key West. His home, where he wrote many of his best-known works, including Death in the Afternoon and To Have and Have Not, is now a landmark museum on Whitehead Street across from the lighthouse. Visiting Key West for Hemingway Days gives you a special glimpse inside our rich literary heritage.
Hemingway Look-Alike Contest
The Annual Hemingway® Look-Alike contest is held at Sloppy Joe’s Bar, a common hang out spot for the author while he was living in Key West. The contest attracts more than 100 participants and is hosted by the Hemingway Look-Alike Society. The contest is no joke -- it has two rounds of competition before the finals are held. Grab a seat to watch or just join in on the after party as it spills over into the streets.
Havana Club Key West Marlin Tournament
The Key West Marin Tournament is a celebration of Hemingway’s passion for deep-sea angling. The tournament started in 1982 and has been running almost every year since. Registration is limited to 75 boats vying for a chance to win up to $50,000 in cash prizes.
Hemingway 5k Sunset Run/Walk & Paddleboard Race
The Hemingway sunset paddleboard race and 5k run/walk starts at 5:30 pm at the island city’s Southernmost Beach. Paddleboarders race through a three-mile course before starting the 5k portion at 7:30 pm at the Southernmost Point in the continental U.S. Participants run through Old Town Key West and past the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum. The event is a celebration of Ernest Hemingway’s dedication to a sporting lifestyle.
Hemingway Century Tour
If the Hemingway 5k isn’t enough for your fitness routine, join in on the Hemingway Century Tour. The 100-mile bike ride from Key Largo to Key West began when runners decided to ride their bikes to the event and others joined in on the fun. The bike ride begins at Key Largo Bike and there will be four scheduled stops for food and hydration along the route.
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