Turn your typical luxury beach vacation on its head by building it around these ocean-inspired events.
Rockland Lobster Boat Races [Rockland, ME]
Maine’s rocky coastline plays the backdrop to this annual race, which mixes the area’s fishing history with high-speed vessels. If you can’t get on board with a local to learn firsthand how these lobstermen pull traps and cruise through the wakes, watch from the Rockland Breakwater at the Samoset Resort’s doorstep. After, make a stop at a nearby lobster shack for the freshest lobster roll – after all, the racers you just watched bring in the local catch.
Where to Stay Samoset Resort
Key West Lobsterfest [Key West, FL]
An homage to the Florida spiny lobster, aka “bugs,” this three-day celebration is all-in on the crustacean, from the opening day lobster boil to a decadent Sunday brunch with lobster-stuffed lasagna and eggs Benedict. It’s a well-needed meal after a night gallivanting along Duval Street during the midnight Lobsterfest Pub Crawl.
Boynton Beach Holiday Boat Parade [Boynton Beach, FL]
Almost every coastal town has a holiday boat parade, but in Boynton Beach, locals set the bar high. Boats are shrouded with thousands of neon lights and boats topped with anything from glowing palm trees and flamingos to more mellow tropical entries with just a few strands of holiday cheer. Just 10 minutes from Delray Beach, you’ll find this annual festival of lights has more than a few twinkling decorations.
SeaGrapes Fine Wine & Food Festival [Tampa, FL]
While you’re not on the water for this event, you certainly might feel like it surrounded by tanks of tropical fish and, yes, a live mermaid or two. Just 30 minutes east of Clearwater at The Florida Aquarium, you’ll enjoy 150 different wines and samplings from more than 25 area restaurants, all benefiting the aquarium’s youth and conservation programs.
Where to Stay Sandpearl Resort