26 Best Things to Do in Key West at Night | 2024 (with Photos)

Ana Dimic

Ana Dimic - Travel Writer

Published: August 24, 2023

Hey! How's it going? I'm Ana, a passionate traveler and writer who has explored the vibrant nightlife of Key West. Based on my personal experiences, I've curated a list of the most incredible activities that will make your stay in Key West unforgettable. Make sure to plan ahead and enjoy every moment of your trip!

a sunset in the ocean with a sailboat in the distance

Key West is known for its lively atmosphere and vibrant nightlife. With so many things to do in Key West at night, it's easy to have a fun night that lasts until the early hours of the morning.

From sunset cruises to stand-up comedy shows, Key West has something for everyone.

If you're looking to explore the night sky or enjoy live music at the best bars in town, Key West nightlife has it all.

This article takes you through the best things to do in Key West at night, making your vacation unforgettable.

Most Recommended Thing to Do

Top Choice Hotel

The top choice hotel in Key West, United States of America is The Reach Key West.

Our Top Choice Restaurant

Our Top Choice Bar for Nightlife

Best Time to Visit

Sunny, warm, vibrant, festive, tropical paradise, picturesque, beautiful.

Average Temperature

Sunny and warm year-round in Key West.

Transportation Options

Cabs, rental cars, bikes, scooters, trolleys, walking, shuttles, ferries.

Average Cost ($, $$, $$$)


My Top Recommendation

Immerse yourself in Key West's rich cultural heritage by visiting historic landmarks such as the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, where you can gain insight into the life of this literary legend.

Allow yourself to be captivated by the stunning sunsets at Mallory Square, where talented street performers entertain the crowds, adding an extra touch of magic to the experience. Embrace the laid-back island lifestyle by lounging on beautiful beaches, sipping tropical cocktails, and reveling in the warm, welcoming spirit of this idyllic destination.

What You'll Need to Bring

  1. Travel documents (e.g. passport, ID, driver's license)
  2. Suitable clothing and footwear for the weather
  3. Sunscreen and a hat for sun protection

What Not to Miss

  1. Mallory Square
  2. Duval Street
  3. Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum
  4. Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory
  5. Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park

What to Avoid

  1. Crowded tourist spots
  2. Overpriced tourist traps
  3. Street vendors or souvenir shops that seem untrustworthy

1. Tour Duval Street

downtown of Key West Duval street with a palm tree

Touring Duval Street is a must-do when visiting Key West.

This iconic street is home to some of the best nightlife on the island, with plenty of bars and clubs such as Sloppy Joe's to keep you entertained.

Take a stroll down the street and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere, catch a stunning sunset, and try some delicious food at the local eateries.

Whether you're a partygoer or a foodie, check out this street.

2. Go on a Sunset Cruise

a sailer is sailing in the ocean at sunset

The best way to see a beautiful Key West sunset is by taking a sunset cruise.

These cruises often depart at dusk and offer a breathtaking vantage point to see the sunset.

Many cruises provide a margarita bar or appetizer bar so that visitors can enjoy a drink or snack while admiring the sunset, which only enhances the experience.

Don't pass up this beautiful opportunity to witness sunset.

3. The Mallory Square Docks

a group of people standing on a pier

In Key West, there is no better place to catch the sunset than the docks in Mallory Square.

Visitors can marvel at a breathtaking view of the sun setting over the horizon thanks to the hotel's waterfront location.

Street entertainers and sellers set up shop to provide visitors with live music and homemade items while the sky changes pink and orange.

If you're searching for a quiet place to view the sunset, visit these docks.

4. Key West Ghost Tour

a group of people standing in front of a building

A ghost tour is a must-do activity when visiting Key West.

With so many ghost tours to choose from, you can discover the haunted side of the city and learn about the stories of ghosts and spirits that still linger in the streets.

Key West is known to be among the most haunted cities in the world, making it the perfect destination for a spooky adventure.

From haunted mansions to ghostly cemeteries, there are plenty of eerie places to explore on a ghost tour in Key West.

5. The Island Dogs Bar

a pizza in a basket on a table

For anyone in Key West wishing to enjoy alcoholic beverages and live music, The Island Dogs Bar is a must-stop location.

After a day of visiting the city, this bar is the ideal location to rest and enjoy chilled drinks because of its laid-back ambiance and design.

Local bands and performers perform live music every day of the week at the tavern. Everyone can find something at this bar, which offers both drinks and craft beers.

Don't pass over visiting this famous Key West bar.

6. Visit a Dessert Restaurant

restaruant with variety of dessert in a room

Visiting a dessert-only restaurant is a must-do experience for anyone with a sweet tooth. 

There are many dessert establishments in Key West that focus on serving you delicious desserts and delights.

Desserts at these establishments range widely, from cakes and pies to ice cream and gelato.

Numerous dessert establishments serve drinks, such as coffee, tea, and cocktails, making them the ideal choice for a treat after dinner.

Sample a delectable and life-changing dessert at one of Key West's many dessert establishments.

7. The Sunset Pier

a pier with a boat in the water on a sunset

The Sunset Pier is the ideal place to catch the sun setting.

The pier provides breathtaking views of the sun setting over the Gulf. Grab a beverage from the bar and unwind on the pier while admiring the mesmerizing sunset views.

The Sunset Pier should not be missed, if you're seeking a serene area to unwind after a long day.

8. Visit The Tropic Cinema

a group of people standing outside of a movie theater

For movie lovers, a trip to The Tropic Cinema is a must-do experience while in Key West.

From indie films to cult classics, this independent movie theater offers a varied selection of films.

The Tropic Cinema is the ideal location for unwinding and having a low-key time because of its friendly environment and comfortable seating.

The cinema also has a snack bar with a selection of food and beverages to enjoy while watching a film.

Don't miss the opportunity to watch a movie at this distinctive and cherished cinema.

9. The Bourbon Street Pub

the main street at night with people walking around

A popular entertainment destination in Key West that specializes in serving the LGBTQ+ community is the Bourbon Street Pub.

It provides a vibrant and welcoming environment with a variety of entertainment alternatives, including drag shows and themed events, as one of the few gay bars in the area.

The Bourbon Street Pub is a terrific place to take in Key West's dynamic and varied nightlife culture, whether you want to dance your sorrows away or just relax with friends over a drink.

10. Little Room Jazz Club

a group of people playing instruments on the stage

This Jazz Club is a cozy and intimate venue that offers some of the best jazz music in Key West.

A full bar serving a variety of beverages and cocktails is also available at this club, which hosts live performances by local and touring musicians.

The setting is laid-back and pleasant, and the small stage allows for a close-up encounter with the performers.

This jazz club is a top attraction if you love jazz or are simply searching for a special and exclusive nightlife experience.

11. The Key West Theater

Stage with blue background curtain with singers

The Key West Theater is the perfect place to go if you want to spend an evening engaging in culture.

This historic location holds a range of concerts and events, including live musical and theatrical plays, comedic performances, and more.

The theater has a warm, intimate feel to it, with plush seats and great acoustics.

There is a smaller bar area that sells drinks and small food in addition to the main stage.

A time spent at this theater is likely to be a memorable and pleasurable experience, whether you're a resident or a guest.

12. Ghosts and Gravestones Tour

a tour bus parked in front of a building

The Ghosts & Gravestones Tour is a unique way to experience the haunted history of Key West.

As one of the most haunted cities in America, this tour takes you on a spooky journey through the streets of Old Town.

Expert tour guides lead you to some of the most haunted sites on the island, including a quarantine zone used during a yellow fever outbreak.

You'll also have a chance to meet Robert the doll, allegedly the most haunted toy in the world.

This tour is not for the faint of heart but is a thrilling and unforgettable experience for those who dare to take it.

13. Better Than Sex: A Dessert Only Restaurant

table with variety of dessert with lighted candle

The Better Than Sex Dessert Only Restaurant is the perfect location for a special date.

It is regarded as one of the top dessert bars in the area and offers a selection of delicious desserts that are ideal for sharing with your significant other.

You can select from small plates of sweet treats including luscious cakes, creamy cheesecakes, and chocolate-covered strawberries to satiate your sweet craving.

Its warm, private ambiance makes it the ideal spot to round off your evening with a scrumptious dessert.

14. Sunset at Mallory Square

people walking along the water at sunset

Sunset at Mallory Square is a world-renowned celebration in Key West, where visitors can witness the stunning sunsets of Florida Keys.

The whole area appears to gather at the square for the Sunset Celebration, which features street performers, musicians, and food vendors.

This nightly arts festival delights attendees with an array of entertainment options.

The sun setting over the waters of the Gulf of Mexico is a sight not to be missed, and it's no surprise that this event is a popular tourist attraction. This celebration is a must-see event.

15. Comedy Key West

a man on the stage with black background curtain

Comedy Key West is a must-visit spot for anyone who enjoys a good laugh. It is a live entertainment venue that hosts stand-up comedy performances and other fun events.

This club attracts both locals and tourists alike, offering a great time filled with laughter.

The club features a rotating lineup of talented comedians who can make you forget about all of your worries.

If you're looking for a fun way to spend your nighttime in the city, look no further than this comedy hotspot, where you can sit back, relax, and have a great time with friends and family.

16. Smather’s Beach

a beach with palm trees and the sun shining

Smather's Beach is a beautiful sandy beach located on the southern end of the island.

To avoid crowds and enjoy the view of the evening sky, it's recommended to wait until after the sun goes down.

With fewer people around, you can take a relaxing walk or have a romantic picnic under the stars.

The beach is usually dark and quiet after the crowd has gone, but it's worth it to take in the peaceful atmosphere and appreciate the natural beauty of the area.

If you are looking for a serene time and an opportunity to watch the water currents, stop by Smather's Beach.

17. Key West Lighthouse and Keepers Quarters

a white house with a green fence and white lighthouse

The Key West Lighthouse and Keepers Quarters offer a fascinating glimpse into the maritime history of the region.

Visitors can climb the 88 steps to the top of the lighthouse and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding area.

The Keeper's Quarters is a restored building that dates back to the 1800s and gives visitors a glimpse into the daily life of lighthouse keepers.

Additionally, the museum at the site offers exhibits on shipwrecks and maritime artifacts. The site is an essential stop for history buffs and those interested in the seafaring past of the region.

18. Attend a Drag Show in Key West

a group of dressed women performing on the stage

Attending a nightly drag show in the city is a must-do activity if you're searching for a distinctive and exciting time.

Numerous bars and clubs hold drag performances with outstanding performers that lip sync, dance, and put on amazing performances.

Aqua Nightclub, one of the most popular locations, has been providing spectators with drag performances for more than 20 years.

The entertainers put on a spectacular show with glitter, sequins, and outlandish costumes.

19. Aqua Nightclub

night club filled with man and woman sitted on the chairs

One of the most popular nightlife destinations in the area, Aqua Nightclub is renowned for its peppy music and energetic ambiance.

The club plays a wide variety of musical genres, such as dance-pop, techno, and house. Due to its frequent drag performances and skilled performers, it is a favorite among both residents and tourists.

As they dance on the spacious dancefloor, guests can savor a variety of cocktails and beverages.

The club's dynamic lighting and audio equipment produce an immersive party atmosphere that provides patrons with priceless memories.

20. Go on The Duval Street Pub Crawl

a sloppy signae with a neon lights at  night

A Duval Street pub crawl is a must-do for anyone looking for an exhilarating time in the town.

Known for its lively nightlife scene, Duval Street offers a range of pubs and clubs, from laid-back pubs to high-energy dance clubs.

A pub crawl is a great way to experience them all. Stroll down the street with a group of friends, stopping at each establishment to sample craft beers, signature cocktails, and delicious cuisines.

Along the way, you'll meet locals, listen to live music and soak up the vibrant atmosphere of this historic town.

21. The 801 Bourbon Bar Cabaret

a group of people sitting at tables in a room

The 801 Bourbon Bar Cabaret is a must-see spot for those who enjoy nighttime entertainment. 

Each weekend, artists take the stage in the bar's entertaining cabaret act. The energy is high and music just heightens the enjoyment.

To keep patrons hydrated, the bar serves a variety of cocktails and other beverages. Due to its location, the establishment is an easy stop on any pub crawl or tour in the city.

This establishment is certain to deliver an unforgettable experience, whether you're a frequent customer or a first-time guest.

22. Drag Queen Pub Crawl

a group of people standing on a street corner

A highly entertaining way to experience Key West's nighttime scene is on a drag queen pub crawl. In fact, the drag queens serve as guides as they take you to some of the island's best pubs.

While enjoying beverages and live performances from the queens, you will get the opportunity to experience the distinctive energy and ambiance of each pub.

The guides greatly enhance the night's humor and entertainment, giving it a genuinely unique experience.

This is a must-do activity for everyone looking to enjoy a memorable time in the area.

23. Go Dancing at a Dance Bar

room with full of people under the neon purple lights

A great way to let free and have fun while taking in Key West's nightlife is to learn how to dance.

The area has a wide range of bars with various musical genres and dance techniques. You can locate a dance nightclub that suits your preferences and style, whether you prefer salsa, hip-hop, or country music.

Additionally, many of these clubs serve a selection of drinks and small plates along with live music and other forms of entertainment.

Let loose on the dance floor and have fun, whether you just want to dance with friends or meet new people.

24. The Green Parrot Bar

a bar with a green ceiling and a green ceiling

The Green Parrot Bar is a legendary drinking spot located in Key Wes's city center.

It was founded in the 19th century and has since become a landmark known for its relaxed ambiance, live music, and strong drinks.

The bar features a diverse lineup of musical acts, ranging from blues and rock to jazz and reggae, making it a popular destination for both locals and tourists.

The Green Parrot Bar is an essential stop for everyone searching for a good time in the area because of its fascinating history and exciting atmosphere.

a room with a bunch of framed art

Exploring the art scene of the region can be a delightful experience. The neighborhood offers many art galleries that showcase different art styles and pieces.

Taking a nighttime art gallery tour can be an excellent way to appreciate art in a relaxed and quiet atmosphere.

The streets are quieter at nighttime, and the galleries offer an intimate experience where visitors can appreciate the art pieces at their leisure.

The galleries showcase local and international artists' works, and visitors can learn about the inspiration and techniques behind the artwork.

26. Take a Kayak Tour and Explore The Mangroves under The Stars

kaying through mangrove swamp

Kayaking at night through the mangroves is a thrilling adventure in Key West.

Paddle your way through the calm waters and witness the beauty of the surrounding nature under the starry sky.

You might spot some nocturnal animals that are rarely seen during the day. The bioluminescent plankton in the water will light up your path, creating a magical atmosphere.

Experienced guides will show you the way and make sure you have a safe and enjoyable experience.

FAQs About Things to Do in Key West at Night

Find answers to frequently asked questions about things to do in Key West at night.

Is Key West good for nightlife?

Yes, Key West is a great destination for night owls. You will find a bar, dance club, and restaurant in Key West at Night suited to your taste. Duval Street is especially lively at night. Whether you're looking for a laid-back vibe or a high-energy atmosphere, every bar on the island has something unique to offer.

What part of Key West has the best nightlife?

Duval Street is the hub of nightlife in Key West and is especially lively after dark. This street is home to some of the most popular bars and nightclubs on the island like Sloppy Joe's. In addition to traditional bars, there are also wine bars and other establishments where visitors can enjoy a wide range of drinks. Whether you're planning a visit for spring break or just looking for a night out, Duval Street is the place to be.

Can you swim in Key West at night?

While it is technically possible to swim in Key West at night, it is not recommended. The waters in the Florida Keys can be dangerous after dark, with strong currents and potential hazards that are difficult to see. While many locals may take the risk, visitors should not forget that safety should always come first.

Is there nightlife in the Keys?

Yes, there is nightlife in the Keys, particularly in Key West. Visitors can enjoy a range of activities at night time, such as nightly drag shows, dancing, enjoying craft beer at local bars, and relishing great food at a local restaurant. Additionally, Duval Street is the perfect spot to experience the nightlife of Key West, with a variety of dining and entertainment options available well into the night.

Summing up: The Best Things to Do in Key West at Night

Key West is a haven for those looking for an exciting night out. With its breathtaking sunsets and live entertainment, it's easy to see why it's a popular destination for tourists.

For example, you can attend the Mallory Square Sunset Celebration, stand-up comedy, and live music shows.

There's always something to do in Key West. So why not plan your next visit and experience the best of Key West nightlife?

Don't miss out on the chance to explore the island's best bars and enjoy an entire night of fun. Book your trip now to visit Key West.