The Florida Keys may be known for fishing, scuba diving, and even bar hopping, but one of its best features, which also happens to be completely free, is its sunsets. Every afternoon, from Key Largo to the Southernmost Point, you’ll catch dozens of people flocking to the shores and piers to watch that giant glowing orb dip down into the ocean (and take lots of pictures, too!). Can you blame them? The sunsets along the keys are beyond breathtaking. Fortunately, there are plenty of places to pull over and watch this daily spectacle. We’ve gathered some of the best spots for this, some of which you may know, others you might not have thought about, below:
1. On A Boat!
Catching a boat while you’re in the Keys is one of the wisest things you can do. There are fishing charters, glass-bottom boats, even champagne cruises which you can take at the perfect moment, just as the day starts to come to an end. If you’re in Key West, check out Sunset Sail for an excellent, intimate sunset sailing experience, or for those looking for something a bit more interactive, try a sunset kayak trip with Blue Planet Kayak Eco-Tours. Other great options include affordable sunsets cruises with Caribbean Watersports and Enviro-Tours (Key Largo) and Islamorada Boat Tours (Islamorada).
2. Mallory Square (Key West)
Sure, all the tourists know and love this spot, but there’s a reason Mallory Square has remained a popular destination since the 1960s The daily Sunset Celebration brings together one-of-a-kind street performers (from jugglers and psychics to magicians and sword swallowers), local artists, live musicians, and food vendors, for one unforgettable experience. Bring some cash on hand to pick up cheap souvenirs, tip your entertainers, and keep your beverages frosty, then take in the sights and sounds as you say farewell to another beautiful day in Key West.
3. Morada Bay Beach Cafe (Islamorada)
Located right on the sands of Islamorada, this relaxing, outdoor cafe is an excellent location to indulge in a cold drink at dusk. Listen to live music, sip on a Sunset Sangria (a captivating blend of red wine, berries, fresh mango, apple, raw sugar and soda water), let your kiddos play on the child-friendly beach, and relax on one of the Adirondack chairs as you enjoy nature’s wonders.
4. Lorelai Cabana Bar and Restuarant (Islamorada)
There’s a party happening every afternoon at Lorelai’s, making it an ideal venue for getting down as as the sun sets. Savor some fresh seafood (like Lorelai’s World Famous Fish Sandwich or a cuppa Key’s Conch Chowder) and sip your worries away during their daily happy hour (conveniently happening from 4 – 6 p.m). Live entertainment and plenty of people watching opportunities add to the experience at this wonderful Islamorada staple.
5. The Island Fish Company and Tiki Bar (Marathon)
Known for having the longest tiki bar in the Florida Keys, this charming, open-air eatery is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. The coconut shrimp, conch fritters, she crab soup, and fish tacos will satisfy your appetite and their extra-cold beers will keep you cool as the sun goes down. For some added fun, bring a few quarters to feed the local fish off the pier.
6. Sunset Pier (Key West)
For those looking for something just slightly more toned down from the excitement of Mallory Square, Sunset Pier is another fine establishment for watching the sunset on the keys. Part of Ocean Key Resort and Spa, this private pier offers plenty of culinary delights (from baby back ribs to their lobster grilled cheese), and refreshing cocktails (try the Goombay Smash), plus live entertainment that all perfectly complement the stunning surroundings.
7. Snook’s Bayside Restaurant
You won’t have more fun in Key Largo than you will at this open-air restaurant and tiki bar where the sunsets are marked by a horn sounding celebration. There’s not a bad seat in the house as the eatery has been redesigned to allow all guests a perfect view of the sunset. Walk along the patio and pier, unwind on the sofa lounges, drink up at the bar ledge (daily happy hour from 4- 6 p.m.!), and listen to live tunes as you say farewell to another day in the Keys.