Chelsea Susan Bednar
Duval Street: Day and Night
Duval Street is Key West’s main island drag, cutting straight through the island, running from Mallory Square in the north to the Southernmost Point. On both ends of the island you’ll be facing the waterfront, with the Gulf of Mexico facing north and the Atlantic Ocean facing the south. This infamous party street is one of the main reasons people plan to visit Key West in the first place. For visual reference, below we've attached a map from the Duval Loop.
In the morning, walk down history’s path on the old cobblestone streets to sightsee the oldest historical buildings & streets. Ride around the town and take a historical tour with Old Town Trolley Tours, a convenient way to site see. Hop on and off the Trolley with a day pass, stopping to shop & eat on your own schedule throughout the day. If you're interested in hopping about without the history tour, ride the FREE Duval Loop City Bus about town. Explore with a guided tour on foot with Hidden Key West Walking Tours. Discover the town’s history in a more intimate group setting, spending time at each location. Private tours are available upon request, but the public day tours include The Highlights and Stories of Key West & Historic Homes and History of Key West. Each tour lasts roughly 2 hours, so bring sunscreen and wear your walking shoes! Register for tickets online beforehand.
Lunchtime has arrived and you must be starving! Enjoy all that lively Duval Street has to offer from local restaurants, bars, and sweet shops. Key West is a foodie town at its core, with an overwhelming amount of incredible eateries to dine at. Explore the streets in person or reference this following for a few of our favorite joints - either way we’re sure you’ll find something to love! The Two Friends Patio Restaurant is a seafood bar with live music playing seven nights a week… and is home of the first female bartender in Key West! For authentic tacos and tequila, stop by the Old Town Mexican Cafe. Just around the corner from Marrero’s is Frita’s Cuban Burgers - a Frida Kahlo inspired restaurant. Make sure to try one of their homemade sangrias to wash down a tray of conch fritters!
In the afternoon you’ll be craving a caffeine fix. Among the most popular coffee spots are Cuban Coffee Queen and Keys Coffee Co. With multiple locations in Key West, Cuban Coffee Queen serves up hot dishes, fresh baked bread, and locally roasted coffee. Take home a bag of beans to brew at home! Order a gourmet breakfast sandwich and a fresh cup o’ joe at Keys Coffee Co. - you can also shop their specialty blends to bring home as a souvenir.
Shop about in the evening in one of the many shops along Duval. From art to clothing to good old fashioned souvenirs, Duval Street has it all. There are big retailer outlets like Coach, Gap, and Banana Republic, but our favorites include the local boutique shops. A couple of our favorites include Tuckers & Vignette. Tuckers Provisions is a general store/gift shop where you can shop provisions, small trinkets, and gifts. Vignette is a trendy clothing & jewelry boutique that curated unique pieces to add to your wardrobe. There is an astounding amount of trendy and unique boutiques and gift shops all along Duval, you’re sure to find something to bring home with you.
As the sun sets, enjoy the unbelievable views over at Mallory Square. This public plaza is known as ‘the original sunset celebration’, and is filled each evening with various entertainment, including street performers, local artisan vendors, and live musicians playing. There are shops to peruse and various restaurants and bars along the waterfront. There are also various sunset boat tours docking near the square. This hot spot is one of Key West’s most popular tourist attractions, so be sure not to miss out on the fun and plan an evening out by the oceanfront. Read more about events on the Plaza here.
In the evening the skies darken and the old street lamps flicker on, making the perfect atmosphere for local ghost tours. Key West is notoriously haunted, and given the city’s rich history there are sure to be souls lingering about. Ride about town in an air conditioned bus tour that narrates the cities spooky history with Ghosts and Gravestones. Linger in the warm evening air while listening to the spooky stories on a walking tour with Key West Ghost & Mysteries Tour. And for all the haunted dolls enthusiasts, Key West is home to Robert the Doll… and yes, you can go to see him at the Robert the Doll Experience.
As the evening turns to night, you’ll want to party it up on Duval. The bustling streets of the daytime become crowded with locals and tourists alike. Shops stay open late, and al the bars, clubs, and performance venues open up making the streets pulse with music and neon lights. The LGBTQ+ community and drag shows are a very large part of Key West culture, and there are many venues where you can experience that glamour! Performances run weekly at venues like the Aqua Nightclub, La Te Da, and 801 Bourbon Bar. Visit the more touristy bars like Sloppy Joe's, Captain Tony's Saloon, or the Key West First Legal Rum Distillery for great drinks, live music and djs, party games, and delicious bar fries & burgers. If you’re in the mood for something a little more local, check out Hank’s Hair of the Dog Saloon or the infamous Green Parrot.
Be sure to finish off the night with what Key West is MOST well known for... a slice of Key Lime Pie! We all have our favorites on staff, so we will let you discover your own when you're in town.
After partying the day away on Duval Street, you'll need somewhere close by to rest your head! Marrero's Guest Mansion welcomes you with … a cocktail hour of course! Shortly after check in our staff hosts a daily cocktail hour at 3:30, where guests can sip on complimentary beers & wines. Settle into the historic victorian home, stopping by the private outdoor pool for a quick dip. Marrero’s Guest Mansion is set in a prime location, only half a block from Duval Street! In the morning, enjoy a complimentary continental breakfast of local baked goods, bagels, fresh juice and cuban coffee.
Sunny Key West awaits you and your next big adventure. Thanks for reading,
The Marrero's Team
Traveling elsewhere in Florida? Visit our sister property in Treasure Island FL.
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