Duval Street in Key West is known for its ***colorful*** nightlife. You can see a little bit of all kinds of attire, including some men who like to dress in unusual and/or women's clothing. There is even one bar called Garden of Eden where clothing is optional. I've never figured out how the patrons go from off the street obviously wearing clothes to inside the bar wearing little or nothing. What am I missing here? Don't really know because I did NOT go to that bar, thank you. :-) However, we did walk by one bar which had a man outside trying to encourage folks to come on in. He was a friendly fellow and let us take his picture, including his WOW heels. I think he actually loved the attention.
1. Tin roofs, metal art, pastel colors
2. Conch Mobile with fake fish in truck bed
3. Decorated Painted K Mart in KW area
4. Aqua concrete barriers
5. US 1 Mile Marker "Zero"......Southernmost point in the continential USA. Hawaii actually
is the southernmost point.
Key West has such interesting architecture and colors. Many of the roofs were of tin and it seemed like every house had a white wood picket fence around it. Of course the pastel colors were abloom everywhere. Even saw homes where the flower pots and the bicycle out front matched the house color. Bicycles are, according to a friend who lives there, "the Mercedes of Key West". Bicycles and motorscooters zip around on all the streets. The tourist trolley cars also carry people around to see all the various interesting sites. Harry Truman set up his vacation White House in Key West and you can tour the house, as it has recently been restored to showcase the decor of the 50's. He and Bess were quite popular there and consequently, you see many things named after them. There is a Truman Annex at one of the three Navy bases in KW.
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I mentioned before that the cemetery in Key West was not without reminding me of the ones I visited in New Orleans, and something else that reminded me of the Big Easy was the atmosphere on Key West's Duval Street, which is somewhat similar to the one you find on Bourbon Street. We were there on a weekday afternoon in November and to the best of my knowledge, there wasn't anything special going on in town; yet, the sidewalks on Duval Street were full of people walking around with a drink in hand, stopping by the numerous souvenir and beachwear stores, and just having an all-around good time. Duval Street is home to many bars and restaurants, including the legendary Sloppy Joe's Bar (http://www.sloppyjoes.com). Dating back to 1933, this historic watering hole owes a huge part of its popularity to its connection with Ernest Hemingway who spent quite a bit of time there during the 1930s. We didn't get to spend that much time on Duval Street but when I left Key West I promised myself that next time I would make sure to plan enough time to go on a proper "Duval Crawl"!
a first stop in key west for many tourists is duval street. duval street is lined with bars, restaurants, hotels, and shops. duval street is the center of key west's party area. the duval street area is a good place to start your visit to key west.
Duval Street is the heart of downtown Key West's commercial area. This is the center of the island's bar, restaurant, hotel and tourism industry, though there are hotels spread throughout Key West.
Key attractions for many visitors on Duval Street include Sloppy Joe's, Hog's Breath, Margaritaville, Irish Kevin's, and the tourist trap known as Southernmost Point.
If you are a drinker, which I am not but I can appreciate the show, than you can do the Duval crawl. The Duval crawl started with you and some friends at one end of Duval Street, you walk to the other end of Duval Street hitting every bar on Duval, taking a shot or drinking a beer in every bar you hit. See who makes it to the end of Duval on their feet.
We walked down Duval Street with all of the other tourists looking in the colorful and pricey shops and cafe's. There were a lot of T shirt shops, cigar stands, and a few very artsy and orginial gift shops. Once the cruise ships left it was quieter and less congested.
This is the spot to go in the evening to enjoy some music , have a drink and people watch. As we walked along the street music poured out of every doorway , everything from Country , pop and of course Irish music.
I’m happy I didn’t buy shore excursion on the ship, instead we strolled along Duval street and we rewarded with having lunch with pirates. Moreover, Kew West is approximately 2 miles wide by 5 miles long. If I had more time, I would walk north to South and East to West all the way on my feet. We visited The Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory (voted #1 attraction in Key West for the Fourth Consecutive Year by the “People Choice Award” in Key West). We saw hundreds of living butterflies that are huge and beautifully colorful, exotic birds in a climate-controlled greenhouse. It’s not that big as you first think, it’s rather too small and crowded, but full of wonderful colors!
They have a nice gift shop with nice prices for gift shops and many things on sale. I bough a lot of Christmas ornaments to my collection at the very good price.
Duval Street is pretty much the center of everything in old Key West. At one end (SW), you have the southernmost point, Victorian cottages and interesting shops. Maybe the occasional gay bar or female impersonator show. Cuban cigar stands, road side daiquiri and beer bars, and the wonderful Key West Butterfly Conservatory. There's even a slightly-disguised Denny's Restaurant which you WILL appreciate if you happen to be up before noon on a weekend day and would like some food for breakfast.
The NW end is rowdier, with Mallory Square and all the famous and wild bars as part of the environs. T-shirt shops, places to buy paraphenalia of questionable legality, it's all there. I found the NW end entertaining...I'm just glad that our cottage was far enough away from all the noise. This is NOT the sort of place where you visit cooking stores or buy gourmet olive oil. You might find other kinds of oils for sale, though. Have a talk with your kids before you take them into the area at night.
But one note...it's basically safe, nobody really hassles you here. Too laid back for hassle, and probably too hot, too. I'm sure crime occurs, but I never felt threatened anywhere on Duval Street at any time, night or day.
This is the main street in the old part of the city, and you will end walking it a lot. There are a lot of restaurants and galleries. Truman house, Pan Am house, Hemmingway house, Audobon house are either on it, or within the immediate vicinity. There is also a theater.
Duval Street is one of the most popular areas of Key West. It is what Bourbon Street is to New Orleans- the most crowded and action packed and heavily touristed portion of the area. Here you will find some of the most popular bars and restaurants in addition to shopping. The Key West Aquarium and some of the museums are located along Duval Street as well.
Much like Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Duval Street is the place to go in the evenings. Unlike the Big Easy, there are few evening options away from this main drag. During the day, Duval Street is a prime people watching spot and the place to spend your on land time while in Key West.
I loved the shopping on Duval. SO many shops to choose from. Dive shops, souvenirs, clothes, art, etc. I could spend the whole day there and not hit every store. LOTS of beachwear and sarongs. Grab a bite at Sloppy Joes or any of the other restaurants on the street.
Sunset at Mallory Square isn't to be missed, but get there early....no parking and the place gets packed due to all the street performers and everyone wanting to watch the sun set.
If you have kids it seems low key from 8:am to 9:pm after 9 it get fast and loud. We couldn't stay off the street - the kids and my wife loved the shops $$$$$$$. Try it you will love it, keep your credit cad at the hotel if you can or you will know every ATM on that street like me.
Duval Street is party central in Key West and is home to a multitude of bars and lounges. Duval has the flavor of a cross between a college party town and a beach resort. The atmosphere is distinctly casual and the common practice is to hop from bar to bar in search of better entertainment/music. Almost every establishment has live entertainment ranging from regular bands to open mikes. Some are better than others - all are entertaining if not amusing. The other bonus of Duval is that taking your drink with you along the street seems to be an accepted practice.
As the evening progresses and people get increasingly tanked, Duval can turn into a carnival of sights and sounds, and is host to many, many crazy things. Expect to see things you would otherwise not expect to see given how tranquil Key West can appear during the day.
A couple of nights on Duval St. will have you and your liver begging for mercy. Plan to spend a few days recuperating from the constant party.