20 Days, 20 Ways to Celebrate
With last week’s official grand opening, The Marker made history. We’re the first new hotel built in Old Town Key West in 20 years!
To celebrate, we’ve launched a special series called “20 Days at the Marker.” From rum tastings to massages, each day offers a unique opportunity to discover different talented locals who make Key West special. You can check out an abbreviated calendar here. But here’s a full guide to what you’ll find – and some 20-related trivia about each exciting event.
That’s how much of your beer drinking will be craft brews by 2020.
Move over, mass market beer. The craft brew movement has exploded across America, and here’s a sudsy surprise: The Brewers Association, the industry’s national organization, expects craft beers to represent 20% of total beer on shelves by the year 2020. So get on trend, and wrap your koozie around a frosty glass from Islamorada Beer Company. The team behind the Florida Keys’ top craft brewery will be offering a Happy Hour Beer Tasting with varieties like the “Sandbar Sunday,” a relaxing, citrusy ale that will quench any thirst.
When: Fridays, December 12 & 19 (4-6 PM)
20 Years Old
That was Lloyd Mager’s age when he first visited Key West in 1972. He’s been here ever since.
Like countless others, the New Jersey native fell in love with island life: the sun, the surf, and the wild mix of friendly faces. Today, Mager shares his love of Key West through Lloyd’s Tropical Bike Tours, which offers easy, two-hour tours of the island’s exotic beauty. Not in the mood to pedal? Guests of The Marker don’t have to go further than the pool. Mager will come to us for Coconuts, Conchs & Characters, where you can join him for fresh coconut tastings, conch shell blowing — and many colorful stories from a local expert on all things Key West.
When: Saturday, December 13 and Thursdays, December 18 & 25 (2-4 PM)
That’s how long the Schooner Hindu spent on the sea before becoming a tourist vessel.
From 1925 through 1945, the historic ship went through many different uses. It was a private yacht. It traded spices between India and Boston. It even engaged German U-boats during World War II. Then in 1946, the impressive ship settled in Provincetown, Massachusetts, a seaside community not unlike Key West, where it entered a new era as a tourist attraction: first for whale watching and now, under the ownership of Key West’s William Rowan, a floating piece of history that offers daily sails to visitors. During Definitely Knot Work, guests will learn the basics boat knots, then hop on board for a tour or sunset cruise.
When: Sundays, December 14, 21 & 28 (2-4 PM)
That’s the approximate length of a standard ukulele.
Size doesn’t matter. Small but mighty, the gentle strumming of this traditional island instrument immediately brings to mind a tropical paradise. Want to teach yourself a simple strum? Check out Uke Can Do It!, a fun overview on the basics from Key West artist Gretchen Mills. Or just kick back and relax, letting each note soothe you like a lapping wave.
When: Mondays, December 15, 22 & 29 (1-3 PM)
That’s about how much you’ll save in souvenirs when you design your own t-shirt.
You’ll want a keepsake of your Key West vacation. But while local shops are stocked with t-shirts, it can be a chore to wade through all the kitschier options. (“Is that a — sequined flamingo?”) Save the time and money, and join our pals from COAST Projects, a cool collective of surfside artists and music lovers, for Sun. Screen. Print. You’ll have a chance to make your own shirt, one that captures your Key West getaway. And one you won’t just wear to bed.
When: Tuesdays, December 16, 23 & 30 (1-3 PM)
That’s the year Prohibition started in America, and Key West became a rumrunner’s paradise.
As you wander between the fun, festive bars on Duval Street, it’s hard to imagine that, once upon a time, it was illegal to enjoy a Key West sunset with a cocktail in your hand. (The horrors!) Unwilling to stop the party, the Keys enjoyed a colorful history of bootlegging rum during the Prohibition Era. But it wasn’t until last year, when local restaurateur Paul Menta launched Chef Distilled, that Key West received its first legal rum distillery. Menta brought his culinary background to the booze-making process, using Florida sugar cane with infusions like coconut, vanilla crème brûlée and Key lime. And his team of modern rumrunners will guide you through the flavors during Rum Rum in the Sun!
When: Wednesdays, December 17, 24 & 31 (4-6 PM)
That’s all it takes for yoga to boost your brainpower.
And no, it’s not because “Downward Dog” made all the blood rush to your head. According to researchers, a single 20-minute yoga session is all it takes to give yourself a shot of heightened focus and memory. (Better than downing another cup of espresso!) Key West Yoga Sanctuary is one of the island’s finest retreats to find centering yoga sessions that will clear your mind and wash away stress. But if you’re not a yogi yet, don’t worry. For Relax… You’re in Key West, instructor Anne Walters will visit The Marker to soothe poolside guests with relaxing chair massages. When: Saturdays, December 19 & 26 (1-3 PM)