Looking to live it up during the coming months of summer? You’ll appreciate this piece on what to pack (albeit, some being more tongue-in-cheek) for these can’t-miss events near Opal destinations.

Time seems to move a little faster in the summer. One minute, the entire season is ahead of you, and before you know it, the weeks blend together and it’s over. To maximize the precious remaining summer months ahead, we’ve highlighted this collection of July and August events in Opal destinations by an item you must have in tow (some a little less serious than others) to help make the most of it.

Hemingway Days

A Copy of The Old Man and The Sea [Key West, FL]

The Event: Hemingway Days

When: July 16–21, 2019

Ernest Hemingway, perhaps the greatest American author of all time, famously resided in Key West for much of his life, and the island city celebrates him with Hemingway Days each summer. Bring your dog-eared copy of The Old Man and the Sea (or your favorite Hemingway title) and get inspired as you sit in on readings from authors, visit book signings, and, of course, ogle the sea of Hemingway look-alikes.

Your Personal Set of Chopsticks [Delray Beach, FL]

The Event: Sushi and Stroll

When: July 12 & September 13, 2019

While it’s certainly not a classic or typical Florida summer event, visitors will still treasure their time walking through the intricate Japanese gardens, known collectively as Roji-en, during sunset at Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens – for half the price of the usual admission, to boot. As guests explore the six distinct gardens, they can enjoy their choice of a sweet, sparkling, or creamy craft sake before finishing with sushi at the museum’s Cornell Cafe.

Countdown Improv Festival

A Forgiving Sense of Humor [St. Petersburg, FL]

The Event: Countdown Improv Festival

When: August 15–17, 2019

No two improv shows are the same. The Countdown ImprovFestival, a collaboration between comedy trios, duos, and solo acts from New York and St. Petersburg, is no exception. The festival, as the name suggests, will entertain and delight audiences with three-person, two-person, and one-person improv acts. Who knows, you may catch the next Amy Schumer and be able to truly say, “I liked their old stuff better.”

A Red LED Flashlight [Jupiter, FL]

The Event: Guided Turtle Walks

When: Wednesdays through Saturdays, July 2019

Regular flashlights are explicitly forbidden in the Guided Turtle Walks at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center (as turtles follow light reflected off the ocean to lead them back to the water, flashlights or other artificial light can lead them astray). We advise packing a turtle-safe red light flashlight in order to see the nesting and egg-laying process of sea turtles. Once (and if) a scout from the center spots a sea turtle, visitors are directed down to the beach from the center – where they enjoy a presentation and meet the current “turtle patients” – to witness the wonder.

Bar Harbor Fourth of July

Your Best Red, White, and Blue Outfit [Bar Harbor, ME]

The Event: Fourth of July at Bar Harbor

When: July 4, 2019

The Today Show named Bar Harbor’s Fourth of July as the best Independence Day celebration in the country, so you’re going to stick out like a sore thumb if you don’t dress to show off your patriotic spirit as you enjoy all this day has to offer. A parade, live music, a seafood festival, and of course, spectacular fireworks make this a birthday celebration that would bring a smile to even Uncle Sam’s face.

A Foldable Chair & Your Biggest Blanket [Rockport, ME]

The Event: North Atlantic Blues Festival

When: July 13 & 14, 2019

For the best view of the biggest and best acts in blues music during this outdoor two-day music festival, ticket-holders are allowed to bring chairs and blankets to stake out and hold their spot on the lawn as early as 6 a.m. Not only will you be up close with this year’s headlining performers – like blues guitarist Walter Trout and powerhouse vocalist Shemekia Copeland – but you’ll also be thrust into the scenic views of Rockland Harbor.

I Love BBQ & Music Festival

A Whole Lot of Wet Naps [Lake Placid, NY]

The Event: I Love BBQ & Music Festival

When: July 5–7, 2019

This is an absolute must-attend for barbeque fans. In particular, the event’s Rib Fest, which stretches over two days, will quickly have you reaching for the wet naps as you, and the rest of the crowd, eat and then vote for the public choice award for best ribs. Don’t let the event’s name fool you – visitors who don’t love ribs will find that there are many other delectable dishes to enjoy, like pulled pork, beef brisket, chicken, turkey, and more.

Where to Stay

Delray Sands Resort | Harborside Hotel, Spa & Marina | Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa | Lake Placid Lodge | Margaritaville Key West Resort & Marina | Opal Sands Resort | Sunset Key Cottages