On our Florida road trip back in 2014 we stumbled upon the zombie bike ride in Key West by accident. We had never heard of it before. We just saw some zombies on bikes riding by and then found out more about it. It was such a fun event. We enjoyed all the colorful zombies and different bikes they were riding on. A road trip is perfect for exploring local events and parts of a country. On a Florida road trip, Key West, Disney World Orlando and Everglades National Park are must-see stops.
What Is the Zombie Bike Ride Key West?
The Key West zombie bike ride is an event that’s part of Fantasy Fest. Fantasy Fest is a series of events in the lead up to Halloween. All the events take place in Key West. They’re all connected to Halloween. Fantasy Fest has over 60 parties, costumed marches, balls, street fairs and a parade. Each year has a different theme. The festival had its first edition in 1979. Since 2010 the bike ride is one of the events. This is one of the family friendly events of Fantasy Fest.
People dressed up as zombies on bikes participate in a 4-mile bike ride. Before the bike ride starts there’s Zombieland, a warm up to the bike ride with face painting and food trucks. After the bike ride there’s a DJ after party with food trucks.
So in other words if you want to see a plethora of different zombies riding on all sorts of bikes head over to Key West. If you want to dress up like a zombie and ride a bike, then you’ll also have to be at Key West in October.
When Is the Zombie Bike Ride Key West?
The zombie bike ride is each year in October. The event was created in 2010. The full name is We Cycle’s Zombie Bike Ride.
This year (2022) the event is happening on October 23rd. Back in 2014 when we visited it was on October 19th. The ride starts at 6pm, at sunset. Zombieland starts at 2pm and is till 6pm, when the ride starts. The free DJ after party is from 6.30pm till 11pm. The ride has a $10 registration fee. The fee is to pay for needed insurance for each rider, cone rentals, street closures, permits and police officers.
Where Is It?
Zombieland is at the historic Fort East Martello. This is also where the ride starts. From the fort the ride goes down US1, along the Atlantic Ocean, making it possible to witness the sunset. The ride passes the Zombie Beach Bash at Salute! On The Beach. Then it goes down to Duval Street. Duval Street is so to speak the main street of Key West’s downtown, with lots of stores, restaurants and bars. The after party is happening at the Coffee Butler Amphitheater, also known as The Key West Amphitheater, on 21 Quay Road.
A police escort accompanies the ride along US1 towards Duval Street. The ride is 4 miles long in total. Bikes can be rented in Key West through the organization. Or you can bring your own bike. The ride started small in 2010, but now attracts some 7500 riders each year. Plus lots of spectators, who come to look at the ride and party. Lots of people stay on Duval Street, either to party or to keep on riding their bikes. So zombies, spectators and tourists mix on Duval Street. It’s crowded on Duval Street in the evening, with a good atmosphere.
We experienced part of the Fantasy Fest bike ride back in 2014 and loved it. When we arrived at our hotel in Key West we saw groups of zombie bike riders. They were probably on their way to the fort for the start of the ride. After checking in to our hotel we went to Mallory Square and enjoyed the sunset celebration there. The sunset at Key West truly belongs to the top of the most beautiful sunsets in the world. There’s lots of acts on the boulevard before, during and after the sunset that are fun to watch. We entered Duval Street around 7.30pm and the zombie bike parade was still going on. So we wandered among the zombie bikers.
Where to Stay
If you’re traveling as a family, beware that lots of hotels are adult only in Key West. We stayed one night at the Best Western Key Ambassador Resort Inn, which is now the Hampton Inn Key West. It’s on South Roosevelt Boulevard, also Highway A1A, with a view on the Gulf of Mexico. The hotel accepts families, and had a breakfast included when we stayed. There’s a swimming pool at the hotel.
Where to Eat
We had dinner at Wendy’s on Duval Street. We had some popcorn at the sunset celebration on Mallory Square from a vendor.
Hiring a Car and Airports
We arrived and left from Miami Airport. We rented a car from Alamo at this airport.
The closest international airport to Key West is Key West International Airport, located 4 miles/6 kilometers from Duval Street. Miami Airport is 161 miles/259 kilometers away from Duval Street. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is 190 miles/306 kilometers driving from Duval Street.
So That’s All You Need to Know on the Zombie Bike Ride Key West
This is such a fun family Halloween event, just like Ripley’s Believe It or Not.
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