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Key West's party street!
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"!
- Food and Dining
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.
- Historical Travel
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.
- Beer Tasting
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.
Anything and everything... Duval Street in KW!
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.
Visit Duval Street
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.
- School Holidays
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
A Street To See
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.
Mardi Gras All Over Again....
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.
- School Holidays
The Clock On Duval
I was never much of a Duval Crawler when we lived here in the 60s. But it seems like now when we drive down to Key West, we always end up driving on Duval Street to get to someplace I want to see. We've only actually walked down Duval once that I can remember - that was when we returned our rental car and picked up the Bone Island Shuttle and got off downtown to have lunch.
We walked by a place with a guy with purple hair (or at least his hair was purple in the spotlight) playing a guitar and singing the "One Eyed One Horned Flying Purple People Eater" song. Except that instead of people the thing that was being eaten was a slang word for the male sex organ that begins with P and rhymes with wrecker.
- School Holidays
- Road Trip
- Gay and Lesbian
There are all kinds of street entertainers from musicians,artists,acrobats and fire breathers, also very interesting characters as you can see from the picture. Key West is also known for it's Gay and Lesbian scene
- Budget Travel
You cannot travel to Key West without strolling Duvall Street. Stop in one or two of the more "famous" bars such as Sloppy Joe's or Hogs Breath, sit back and people-watch. I would patronize the "chain" places like Hard Rock or Fat Tuesday's only after experiencing the one-of-a-kind bars. The Duvall Crawl is a must-do, leave the kids at home for this one.
- Arts and Culture
- Water Sports
The Duval Crawl
This is when you walk up Duval St from one end to the other trying to hit as many bars as you can! Take a taxi after or just walk (if you can!). Learned this from trolley car tour guide. Duval St. is the main drag where the shops and nightclubs are located. It’s a great place for window shopping, dining, and people watching.
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