Rain Barrel Village, Home of Betsy, the Giant Lobster in Islamorada, Florida
Location: Islamorada, FL (86700 Overseas Highway)
When to visit: Anytime during daylight hours
Time needed: 5-10 minutes
You can’t miss it on the drive from Miami to Key West. A giant lobster sculpture sitting on the side of the road. For fans of roadside kitsch, this is the most fun attraction to pull over for in the Florida Keys!
The giant lobster’s name is Betsy. She’s made of fiberglass and she measures 30 feet tall and 40 feet wide. She resides in a parking lot of the Rain Barrel Artisans Village in Islamorada, Florida, at Mile 86 on the Overseas Highway, one of the best road trips in America.
Betsy is a Spiny Lobster, the type found in the Florida Keys. They have no claws, but lots of legs and a tail known for its delicious meat.
She’s sitting there, just waiting for you to pull over and snap a few winning Instagram photos of the famous crustacean!
History of Betsy the Giant Lobster in Islamorada
Betsy was created in Marathon, Florida by sculptor Richard Blaze (not the famous chef) starting in 1980. Work took five years, and by that time, the restaurant that commissioned the statue was out of business. Betsy was put on display at Treasure Village for awhile, but ended up in storage when that store closed.
In 2009, Betsy was moved to her current home at the Rain Barrel Artisans Village. Her 12 legs were removed, and her torso was placed on a trailer and trucked up to Islamorada.
Is Betsy the largest lobster in the world? Perhaps. However, another lobster in Shediac, New Brunswick measuring 16 x 36 feet claims to be the world’s largest. And there are two other giant lobsters in the running, one in Australia and one in China.
One thing is for sure: this giant lobster is the second-most photographed attraction in the Keys, behind only the Southernmost Point.
Visiting Rain Barrel Village
Rain Barrel Artisans Village is a cool place to visit on its own, but having Betsy certainly draws in more visitors. At the village, you can find arts, crafts, souvenirs, gifts, jewelry, and more. It’s an open-air complex with boutique shops and galleries.
On your travels to Key West, stop by to check out the local art and do some outdoor dining. The sign here proudly boasts “no wifi.” This is a place to slow down and relax a bit as you pass through the Keys.