No one knows for sure how the sunset celebrations began in the Keys. Most people associate the image of a giant red ball dipping below the ocean’s horizon with beach living, coconut palms, and warm sultry evenings. Visitors and residents alike cluster on beaches and in the many waterfront restaurants up and down the island chain for that unforgettable view of the setting sun. While the winter in northern climes often means long gray days, that same season is dry and clear in the Keys – usually providing cloud free – and spectacular – sunsets.
Key West sunsets are acclaimed by visitors from around the world for their vivid colors. One of the best and best known places to watch the sunset occurs in Key West on Mallory Square. Not only does the area provide one of the most beautiful views of the sunset, but it also is the home to a wild combination of performers, vendors, and the city’s eclectic mix of residents. These galas bring out street performers and entertainers ranging from animal acts to fire-tossing jugglers, from sword-swallowers to talented musicians. Colorful vendors tempt you with hand-painted T-shirts and clothing, flowers, and jewelry; vendors serve everything from conch fritters to falafel and Southernmost Key limeade. There’s always a crowd, so arrive early for the best view. Celebrate the sunset the Key West way!