Diverse Nightlife in Key West Offers Something for Everyone

From the days of the rumrunners and speakeasies, Key West has earned a solid reputation as a party town. In fact, the tiny island has more bars per capita than any other place in the country. Every night the revelry starts at the carnival-style Mallory Square Sunset Celebration filled with fire-eaters, tightrope-walkers and trained cats. From there, many people head to the well-known bars located on Duval Street, the main drag in Old Town. Irish Kevin’s is right in the thick of it with bawdy musicians energizing the crowd. For something more hip, The Porch features craft beers and wine. If you want to head off the beaten path, Kokomo Joe's Off Duval Bar Crawl walking tour is the perfect fit.

For a dose of culture, you can catch a show at the Waterfront Playhouse or hit up the Little Room Jazz Club for live music. Virgilio’s is a also classy joint with swanky people dancing and downing some of the best martinis in town. There’s an active LGBT community on the island, and Aqua Nightclub is a straight-friendly spot for funky events and high-energy dancing. The Cabaret at La Te Da hosts drag queen divas who perform with no lip-synching. Late night, head to the ultimate dive bar, the Green Parrot, to mingle with the locals and listen to some of the best live blues, funk and rock around. Just remember, a lot of crazy stories begin with, “...and then we went to ‘The Parrot.’”

Filled with mix of local characters and visitors-in-the-know, "The Parrot," is not your typical dive bar. As the oldest watering hole in Key West, they've got nothing to prove, and their motto, "No Snivelling," illustrates their no-nonsense...  Read More

The Cabaret at La Te Da
Photo courtesy of christopherpeterson.net.

While there are several drag shows in Key West, you'll truly be wowed at The Cabaret at La Te Da, which has been a Key West landmark for over 30 years. Talented singers (there's no lip-syncing) and impersonators like Randy Roberts and...  Read More

Duval Street
Aqua Nightclub
Photo courtesy of Aqua Nightclub

This all-welcome, gay night club has creative events every day of the week from afternoon to evening. Stop in for no-limit Texas Hold'em poker tournaments, Aqua's American Idol karaoke with proceeds that go to charity and dueling bartenders who...  Read More

The intimate ambience of Tropic Cinema makes for a perfect date night away from the hustle and bustle of Duval Street. With its dazzling marquee sign and streamlined Art Deco decor, the theater evokes a sense of nostalgia. The cozy lounge even...  Read More

Duval Street

Tucked behind La Trattoria restaurant, Virgilio's (named after the founder of the restaurant) is an elegant indoor/outdoor cocktail bar popular with the swanky over 30 crowd. Perfectly mixed martinis are the house specialty in yummy flavors like...  Read More

Newly opened in late 2012 by the same owner as the Key West Toy Factory, the Little Room Jazz Club is a refreshing change in the hectic (and similar) Duval Street music scene. Find a new favorite glass of wine to sip on from the extensive...  Read More

When you liver needs a night off from margaritas and rum runners, head on over to Key West's theater scene for live entertainment. The Waterfront Playhouse is a not-for-profit, professional theater that has been operating in Key West for 70...  Read More

Duval Street

Steps from the controlled chaos on Duval Street, The Porch is a craft beer lovers refuge tucked into the front of a 1839 Victorian mansion. They have 18 brews on tap and plenty more in bottles with selections changing with the seasons. Wine...  Read More

Duval Street

At Irish Kevin's, hilarious entertainers (particularly Pauly from New York) persuade patrons from the street with a chant of "come on in!" The live performers have patrons dancing, singing and entering drinking contests. Music starts most...  Read More

Don't leave Key West without seeing the nightly Sunset Celebration on the Mallory Square Dock where the crowd is as colorful as the sky. Entertainers like jugglers, tight-rope walkers, psychics and musicians all compete for your attention and...  Read More


Meet Claudia Miller

Claudia Miller has been writing about South Florida for over 17 years--seven from Key Largo. A budding photographer, she can usually be found stalking a sunset. Despite being a tad...  More About Claudia

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