Galleries, shops, bars and big beautiful homes with huge porches. Key West is a small island city with a very diverse population. It's a wealthy community, with plenty of regulars just trying to make a living in Paradise. While there are lots of snowbirds here in winter, making the average age tilt toward the retirement generation, there’ s a vibrant youthful energy on Duval Street, with kids, twenty-somethings, rockers, skaters, and even a small underworld that’s kept closely in check by our friendly Key West Police department.
Duval Street is full of bars, hotels, restaurants, shopping, festivals and big beautiful homes with porches.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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