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Coming to Florida’s Key West and not experiencing Duval Street is missing one of the area’s most important commercial roads. It’s the main street on the island. Visit at any time. At the end of the day, when the heat abates and beachgoers have packed up, the street truly comes into its own. Being bored on Duval Street is a rarity.
Near the northern end of the street is Mallory Square, a congregation point where the daily sunset has all eyes cast to the spot where the sun first touches the ocean horizon. Don’t blink as you watch for the elusive split-second green flash.
Stores and eating establishments along the street have charming façades behind which you’ll find items that you may not find elsewhere. As might be expected, stylish beachwear is very much in demand, with an excellent selection of merchandise.
A carnival atmosphere is perpetually present on the 1.3-mile (2-kilometer) street, particularly at night, with people-watching always a popular pastime. Street revelers wearing colorful costumes reach a peak in October during the 10-day Fantasy Fest. The street belongs to people, bicycles and scooters, with cars being directed away from the area. Rent a bicycle from one of the many operations located along the strip.
Look down so you don’t trip over any wild roosters that call Key West home. Any efforts by this bird to wake people up on the drag is in vain, as Duval Street seems never to go to sleep. On the subject of drags, nightly drag queen shows are held at a few establishments.
Ernest Hemingway made another local animal famous, the six-toed cat, when the author lived in the area in the 1930s. See them at the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum and take the house tour. Everything Hemingwayesque is promoted up and down Duval Street, including a bull run every summer to commemorate the city’s famous resident. Even though the bull isn’t real, legions of Hemingway look-alikes will have you reaching for your camera.
When we think back over our travels, we usually remember experiences rather than our swanky hotel room and its view of the sea. Ready to start creating some new travel memories?
Kick-start your adventure in Duval Street in fine style. Why not consider trying out a KeyWest Tour with Stop at Islamorada for Tarpon Fish Viewing or a Key West & Conch Train from Fort Lauderdale?
For a complete guide to activities, take a look at our Duval Street things to do page.
Located in Key West Historic District, this beachfront hotel is in the city center and within a 10-minute walk of South Beach and Southernmost Point. Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park is 1.1 mi (1.8 km) away.
Located in Old Town, this hotel is steps from Custom House Museum, Duval Street, and Mallory Square. Key West Aquarium and Key West Shipwreck Museum are also within 5 minutes.
Located in Key West Historic District, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Duval Street, Harry S. Truman Little White House, and Mel Fisher Maritime Museum. Key West Aquarium and Key West Shipwreck Museum are also within 10 minutes.
Located in Key West Historic District, this beachfront resort is in the city center, just steps from Ripley's Believe It or Not, Key West Shipwreck Museum, and Mallory Square. Key West Aquarium and Red Barn Theater are also within 5 minutes.
Located in Key West Historic District, this bed & breakfast is steps from Duval Street and Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum. South Beach and Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory are also within 10 minutes.
Located in Old Town, this beachfront resort is in the historical district and within a 10-minute walk of Higgs Beach, Duval Street, and South Beach. Southernmost Point and Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory are also within 1 mi (2 km).
Located in Key West Historic District, this hotel is steps from Key West Lighthouse and Keeper's Quarters Museum, Duval Street, and Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum. South Beach and Southernmost Point are also within 10 minutes.
Located in Old Town, this beachfront resort is in the historical district, just steps from South Beach and Duval Street. Higgs Beach and Southernmost Point are also within 15 minutes.