The Nightlife of Key West: 8 TOP Bars, Clubs, and Entertainment Venues

The Nightlife of Key West: 8 TOP Bars, Clubs, and Entertainment Venues

Key West, the southernmost point of the continental United States, is not only renowned for its stunning sunsets and laid-back island vibes but also for its vibrant and eclectic nightlife. As the sun dips below the horizon, this small island comes alive with a plethora of bars, clubs, and entertainment venues, offering something for every nocturnal adventurer. From historic haunts to lively dance floors, Key West’s nightlife scene promises an unforgettable experience for locals and visitors alike.

A Dive into History

A Dive into History - Key West bars, pubs, clubs.

Key West’s nightlife is steeped in rich history, reflecting the island’s colorful past as a hub for pirates, writers, and artists. One cannot fully appreciate the island’s nightlife without delving into its historical bars and taverns. Sloppy Joe’s Bar, located on Duval Street, stands as an icon of Key West’s past, known for its association with the legendary writer Ernest Hemingway. Visitors can enjoy live music, hearty pub fare, and a bustling atmosphere reminiscent of the island’s heyday.

Duval Street: The Heartbeat of Nightlife

Duval Street: The Heartbeat of Nightlife - Since 1890.

Duval Street serves as the pulsating artery of Key West’s nightlife, lined with an array of bars, clubs, and entertainment venues. From upscale cocktail lounges to casual dive bars, this lively thoroughfare offers an endless array of options for revelers seeking a night out on the town. The Green Parrot Bar, a beloved institution since 1890, exudes a laid-back charm with its funky décor and live music acts, drawing locals and tourists alike to its doors.

Sunset Celebrations

Sunset Celebrations at Mallory Square - Best Key West pubs.

Key West’s nightlife is not confined to the walls of bars and clubs; it spills out onto the streets with the famous Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square. Each evening, locals and visitors gather to witness the breathtaking sunset over the Gulf of Mexico, accompanied by street performers, artisans, and food vendors. The vibrant energy of Mallory Square encapsulates the spirit of Key West, making it a must-visit destination for anyone seeking to immerse themselves in the island’s culture.

Live Music and Entertainment

Live Music and Entertainment - Key West nighlife best pubs, clubs.

Music is the heartbeat of Key West’s nightlife, with live performances echoing through the streets every night of the week. From blues and jazz to rock and reggae, the island offers a diverse range of musical experiences to suit every taste. The Hog’s Breath Saloon, located on Duval Street, is renowned for its lively atmosphere and nightly performances by talented musicians, ensuring a memorable night of dancing and revelry.

Dance the Night Away – Key West Clubs

Dance the Night Away - Key West Clubs. Where go to dance?

For those seeking to dance into the early hours of the morning, Key West boasts several clubs and dance venues that cater to the party crowd. The Bourbon Street Pub Complex offers multiple bars and dance floors, each with its own unique vibe, ensuring an exciting night of music and entertainment. Visitors can also explore Aqua Nightclub, famous for its drag shows and electrifying dance parties that continue until dawn.

A Taste of the Tropics

A Taste of the Tropics - great pubs at Key West.

No night out in Key West is complete without indulging in the island’s signature cocktails and tropical libations. From classic margaritas to inventive concoctions, the bars and lounges of Key West offer a tantalizing array of drinks to quench your thirst. Visitors can sip on a refreshing mojito at the historic El Meson de Pepe, located in Mallory Square, or sample a rum runner at the iconic Captain Tony’s Saloon, where the walls are adorned with memorabilia from Key West’s colorful past.

Safety and Responsibility

Safety and Responsibility - top pubs Key West, Florida Keys.

While Key West’s nightlife scene is undeniably lively and exciting, it is essential to prioritize safety and responsible drinking. Visitors should always drink responsibly, know their limits, and make arrangements for safe transportation, such as designated drivers or rideshare services. Additionally, being mindful of local laws and regulations regarding alcohol consumption will help ensure a memorable and trouble-free night on the town.

The 8 Best Spots for Key West Nightlife: (Bars, clubs, pubs)

1. Sloppy Joe’s Bar

Sloppy Joe’s Bar - Key West pubs, clubs, bars.

An iconic Key West establishment with a rich history dating back to the days of Ernest Hemingway, Sloppy Joe’s Bar on Duval Street offers live music, lively crowds, and a vibrant atmosphere that captures the essence of the island’s nightlife.

2. The Green Parrot Bar

The Green Parrot Bar - the ultimate list of best pubs in Keys.

Known as “the last local watering hole,” The Green Parrot Bar exudes a laid-back charm with its eclectic décor, live music performances, and welcoming atmosphere. It’s a favorite among locals and visitors alike for its genuine Key West vibe.

3. Mallory Square Sunset Celebration

Mallory Square Sunset Celebration - Key West clubs list

Experience the magic of Key West’s sunset at Mallory Square, where locals and tourists gather each evening to witness nature’s spectacle against a backdrop of live music, street performers, and artisanal vendors.

4. Hog’s Breath Saloon

Hog's Breath Saloon - night live music Key West.

A beloved institution on Duval Street, Hog’s Breath Saloon offers nightly live music performances by talented musicians, creating an electric atmosphere that beckons revelers to dance the night away and make lasting memories.

5. Heroes Bar and Liberty Lounge

Heroes Bar and Liberty Lounge - Key West

Located just steps away from the waterfront, Heroes Bar and Liberty Lounge welcomes patrons with an inviting atmosphere that reflects both the island’s laid-back vibe and the spirit of American pride. The exterior boasts a classic, yet stylish facade, while the interior is adorned with memorabilia honoring the brave men and women who have served their country.

6. Tiki House

Tiki House - Key West pubs and clubs

Tiki House in Key West is a tropical oasis that captures the essence of island living with its laid-back atmosphere, vibrant decor, and refreshing drinks. Nestled in the heart of Old Town Key West, this beloved establishment offers a slice of paradise to locals and visitors alike. From classic mai tais and piña coladas to inventive concoctions with names like “Island Breeze” and “Tropical Sunset,” there’s a drink to suit every taste and mood.

7. El Meson de Pepe

El Meson de Pepe  - live music and great food - ultimate list of best Key West pubs.

Located in Mallory Square, El Meson de Pepe offers a taste of the tropics with its refreshing cocktails and Cuban-inspired cuisine. It’s the perfect spot to relax and unwind while enjoying panoramic views of the sunset and Key West Harbor.

8. Captain Tony’s Saloon

Captain Tony's Saloon - Where to go drink in Key West.

Steeped in history and folklore, Captain Tony’s Saloon is a must-visit for those seeking a truly authentic Key West experience. With its rustic charm and eclectic décor, it’s a favorite among locals and visitors alike for its lively atmosphere and storied past.

In conclusion, the nightlife of Key West offers a kaleidoscope of experiences, from historic bars and lively clubs to sunset celebrations and live music venues. Whether you’re sipping cocktails on Duval Street or dancing the night away at a beachside club, Key West promises an unforgettable adventure for those willing to explore its vibrant after-dark scene. So, embrace the island spirit, let loose, and discover the magic of Key West after dark.

No great party is complete without great food, so be sure to explore my blog post showcasing the best restaurants along the Overseas Highway & Florida Keys here: Overseas Highway – The 12 BEST TOP Restaurants & Cafes – Florida Keys

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Overseas Highway Florida Keys Travel Guide - 101 best stops by Mark Watson

Explore the finest attractions along the Overseas Highway and Florida Keys with my travel guide, ‘Florida Keys Overseas Highway Travel Guide – 101 Best Stops,’ now available on Amazon. This comprehensive guide is your ultimate companion for those seeking adventure and wonder along THE OVERSEAS HIGHWAY & FLORIDA KEYS! Discover 101 amazing places with convenient ‘Scan QR and go’ functionality for easy navigation.


Pacific Coast - Mark Watson

Mark Watson is a California-based member of a Los Angeles motorcycle club and an avid traveler. He has completed seven full journeys along the iconic Pacific Coast Highway on his Harley-Davidson and is passionate about promoting this historic drive to others. Mark has also explored the Alaska Highway and Route 66, and has authored four bestselling travel guides on Amazon: “Route 66 Travel Guide – 202 Amazing Places,” “Alaska Highway Travel Guide – 202 Best Stops,”, “Pacific Coast Highway Travel Guide – 202 Best Stops”, and “Florida Keys Overseas Highway Travel Guide – 101 Best Stops.”

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