The Beach

Florida’s Grand Finale: Sunset in Key West’s Mallory Square

Regardless of the amount of Florida sunsets I have enjoyed in my lifetime, I knew nothing would compare to watching the sunset in Mallory Square in Key West. Without a doubt, I was right. With only two nights in Key West, Florida we had to choose our must-do highlights and leave room for spontaneity. I made sure that on both nights of our stay we enjoyed Florida’s greatest grand finale.

key west sunset


Around 6:00pm visitors began to fill in Mallory Square. A selection of vendors sold local art, jewelry, crafts, drinks, and food like the famous Key West conch fritters. The atmosphere would not be complete without the quirky stylings of various street performers including fire jugglers and a cat trainer. Couples held hands, friends laughed and celebrated, families delighted in the entertainment.


mallory square sunset celebration crowd

All manner of watercraft soon filled the water, which slowly became washed over with bright pink, coral, and purple hues. Sunset cruises full of revelers passed by the square as music wafted over the air. I had to laugh at myself as the flotilla in front of me vaguely reminded me of Walt Disney World’s Electrical Water Pageant.  It felt like a parade down a watery main street.

As the sun sizzled and settled into the water, the crowd applauded. What a divine notion! How great would life be if we all paused and applauded the glorious sunset? Many visitors headed out from the square at that point, much like the silly people who leave Disney before the real finale of the fireworks. Once the sun had set behind the horizon, the colors became deeper and richer. When it’s your turn to experience the glory of watching the sunset in Mallory Square, make sure you linger for a little while. Let the other folks head out, you just sit right there for a moment and take it all in.

boat marina key west sunset

sailboat key west sunset

There are a number of hotels the hug the water’s edge with easy access to Mallory Square. I highly recommend choosing a hotel in this area. It provides convenient access to all of Key West’s main attractions and allows you to wrap up your day or kick off your evening at the Mallory Square sunset celebration without you having to stray too far from your room. If a hotel in this area is not an option then definitely snag a reservation or table at a nearby restaurant like the Sunset Deck at the Westin, Sunset Pier at Ocean Key Resort, or El Meson de Pepe.

The moments of slowing down and savoring the view are now some of my most cherished from our trip to Key West. And if I never make it back to Key West, I have taken with me a renewed appreciation for enjoying the daily miracle of Florida’s beautiful sunsets.

sunset westin kry west
Restaurant at Westin Key West overlooking the ocean
Two parrotheads enjoying paradise
Two parrotheads enjoying paradise

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