Sunsets are a big deal in Key West and rightfully so. The island is perfectly situated to watch the sun dip into the water and to seek the elusive green flash. Since this was our second visit to Key West we knew exactly what to do to see the sunset from land: Head to Mallory Square. Many will say that there are better places to watch the Key West sunset such as Fort Zachory State Park, but for us, it’s Mallory Square!
Mallory Square isn’t just about the sunset, it’s the carnival atmosphere that leads up to the sunset! The moment you walk on to the square your senses start to thrum! There’s the smell of taco meat grilling, the sound of singers crooning and the sight of fire eaters swallowing their flaming treats. You know in a millisecond that you’re going to have fun here!
The dedicated sunsetters find their seat along the water quickly…up to an hour before sunset. But we like to wander, gawk and pay a dollar here and there for some quality entertainment! This time we wanted to see the trained kittens, but we found out that even kittens have an offseason. Not to worry, we got to meet Ladimo, the dollar loving dog. While his owner sings and plays the guitar Ladimo works the crowd; taking their dollars from their hands and placing them in the bucket next to his owner. I wish I had a dog like that!
We continue to walk through the square, marveling at the acts and checking out the merchandise for sale. There’s a lot to do in this little area!
Finally, it’s showtime! 5 minutes to sunset and we start to jockey for a good place to watch and take our pictures. Then we, along with a few hundred like-minded friends, watch every second of the sun’s slow disappearing act, snapping a pic about every thirty seconds because we don’t want to miss any wonderus changes in color even if they are only there for a second!
Then at last…it happens! The sun dips into the water and now it appears to be sinking fast. There, it’s gone! Did you see the green flash?! We didn’t, but still it was a cool sight to see the sun slipping away. And we got lots of pictures…lots! Many of our favorite pics have boats out there along with the setting sun.
Hmm…..we’ve always wondered what it would be like to watch the Key West Sunset from a boat!
Next evening we again about an hour from sunset and making our preparations to watch. This time, we’re at the marina and boarding Sunset Watersports’ Party Cat. We are two among a crowd of about eighty and from the moment we boarded the party began!
First up was rum punch from the open bar and then finding a good place to watch and listen to Michael, the onboard Caribbean one-man band. This was shaping up to be a great evening!
Soon we were motoring out of the marina and past Mallory Square. It was fun to hear the music from there but to finally be on one of those boats we had always watched from afar!
Shortly thereafter we were called down below for dinner. There was a spacious area with a buffet table at the back of the room and several rows of tables in front. And the air conditioning was a welcome relief from the heat from outside!
It didn’t take us long to get our food and sit down for a great Caribbean dinner. There was fried fish, plantains, yucca, pork, beans and rice, marinated chicken….all so Yum! It was all-you-can-eat, but we got plenty on our first visit. The meal was great and it was made even more fun by talking to fellow-boaters who were enjoying the trip just as much as we were.
After dinner it was time for the sunset. The captain turned the boat so the maximum number of people could watch. His timing was perfect as we got to watch the sun dip into the water like a golden round Dorito into a pool of blue salsa. Absolutely beautiful!
All too soon it was time to head back to the marina, but our party wasn’t over yet. The open bar stayed open and everyone danced to Caribbean music by Michael all the way in. Perfect!
So there you have it, Key West sunsets by Land and Sea. Which is better? We love both experiences and would love to do them all over again!
One of our tips for Key West is to look for the coupon books in the many kiosks. They provide information on many of the happy hours and specials, along with several coupons.
Also, visit here: fla-keys.com if you want to get up to date information on Key West.
For more information on the sunset dinner cruise we took visit here: Sunset Watersports Dinner Cruise