Are you going wanting to experience the best bars in Key West for nightlife? Well, look no further because we have you covered on some of the best bars in Key West Florida that will make you want to dance, sing, and drink the night away.
Planning your trip to Key West last minute?
Make sure to book ahead! Hotels and tours often sell out the closer you get to your trip. Here are our top picks for Key West!
Top Experiences And Tours In Key West:
- Dolphin Watching And Snorkeling Eco Tour (Top pick!)
- Schooner Sunset Sail (2 hours)
- Reef Snorkel From Key West (Includes breakfast and mimosas)
- Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour (Great way to see the city)
Top Places To Stay In Key West:
- Margaritaville Beach House Key West (Modern mid-range)
- Blue Marlin Motel (Affordable in downtown)
- Hampton Inn Key West (Waterfront with pool)
- Wicker Guesthouse (Great location!)
Having an epic weekend in Key West Florida is such a blast. With mile long stretches of the best Key West beaches, you’ll feel as if you truly have stepped into paradise. Sit with your toes in the sand to watch the sapphire and emerald waters sparkle under the sun. See how the Key West horizon becomes painted with beautiful boats, jet skis, and parasails.
Key West has become a fan-favorite destination for those looking to have sun-soaking fun. The best part is, the fun doesn’t stop when the sunsets. There are just so many things to do in Key West during an epic vacay that keep the party going for night owls. Because although Key West is known for beautiful tropical beaches with blazing sunsets, it is also known for its energizing Key West nightlife along the best Duval Street bars.
Duval Street is the most popular street in Key West Florida, and is known for it’s bars, restaurants, and history. Some of the bars have even been the watering hole of choice for Ernest Hemingway and his friends back in the day. Now, Florida has some of it’s best nightlife in Key West. You can catch live music, cabaret events, and dancing all along the best bars on Duval Street any night of the week. There are just so many options when it comes to the best things to do in Key West at night.
Does Key West Have Nightlife?
Key West is known for its world famous nightlife. And yes, they stay up late with the crowd. In fact, most of the best bars on Duval Street close at 2 AM during the week including on Sundays. On Fridays and Saturdays the party goes on even longer. Party animals have until 4 AM for some wild fun at all of the cool bars in Key West.
With 138 bars to choose from, you’ll need a guide to help find the best Key West bars. Whether you are looking for low key bars to high energy clubs, Key West has it all. From bars that have awesome karaoke, laser beam DJ shows, drag clubs, and rum bars, there is Key West nightlife that everyone will enjoy. There are even a few clothing optional bars in Key West to give a try too!
What is the Name of the Famous Bar in Key West?
There are many famous Florida Keys bars; however, Sloppy Joes has to be the most famous of them all. A rich history brings Sloppy Joes into the spotlight among Florida Keys bars, dating back to 1933, the year the prohibition ended.
Having once held many speakeasies during the prohibition, the building on Duval and Greene Street was excited for a face lift. Speakeasy owner and operator Joe Russel struck up a friendship with Ernest Hemingway during those years, whom of which was the one to suggest the name that stuck: Sloppy Joes.
What is the Oldest Bar in Key West?
The fame surrounding the oldest bar in Key West goes to Captain Tony’s Saloon. The Saloon is drenched in history too.
Originally built in 1851, the bar was actually an icehouse that doubled as a morgue. And then, when the Spanish-American War happened, it became a telegraph operations site which informed that the battleship Maine was destroyed.
Many speakeasies would come to pass through this famous Key West bar location throughout the prohibition but then it was turned into a illegally operating bar. That’s when the bar became the original site of Sloppy Joes.
When rent was raised by a dollar, Sloppy Joes packed up business to a new location. That is when the bar became “The Oldest Bar in Key West”. Shortly after, it changed names to ”Captain Tony’s Saloon”.
There is another bar that competes with the title of the oldest bar in Key West, and that is the Green Parrot. They have 125 years of serving great drinks under the Key West sun.
Best Bars in Key West for Nightlife
If you are looking for more famous spots in Key West Florida, you’ll want to make your way to Irish Kevins. It truly is one of the best pubs in Key West and a fantastic place to be with friends.
Irish Kevins always has something going on. With lots of crowd interaction and the pure celebration of all things good and Irish, the nightlife is always lively. They will have you join to sing along to ‘Ring of Fire’ with the crowd and raise a glass of one of their 26 beers on tap.
If beer isn’t your drink of choice, don’t worry because they have yummy martinis as well. So come to the Irish side, and join in on the merriment and libations at old Irish Kevins. There is no doubt it will be an unforgettable night in Key West Florida.
Lagerheads is one of the best bars in Key West, and it is located right on the beach. Loaded with good food, classic beachside music, and frozen cocktails, Lagerheads is one of the best bars in Key West.
While you are there, rent the Lagerhead Rum Runner for a boozy ride on the picturesque Key West waters. Not only is this boat bar great for bachelorette parties and groups, but you’ll get to sight see some of the famous spots in Key West when you ride too. The Rum Runner sails its party goers around iconic places like such as Christmas Tree Island, the 100 year old ship wreck, and Sunset Key.
The Green Parrot is one of the famous spots in Key West for being the last bar on U.S. Highway 1. With 125 years of good drinks and fun, The Green Parrot should definitely make it on your Key West bar crawl list. It’s filled to the brim with historical objects, an assortment of memorabilia, and thirsty beach going patrons. Hit The Green Parrot for their nightly happy hour for drink specials, live music, and great beachy vibes.
Hog’s Breath is another one of the best bars in Key West. This famous spot in Key West Florida is a vibrant biker bar which serves tasty seafood and sandwiches along with heavy pours from the bar.
With an outside open air bar, Hog’s Breath has a great local beach vibe that will make you want to stay for awhile. Every night Hog’s Breath turns up the volume during the evening for some great live music and dancing.
Everyone should try out their Key Lime Pie Shooter when they go. It tastes just like the yummy original Key West pie.
Key West First Legal Distillery
Hog’s Breath is another one of the best bars in Key West that you must visit. This famous spot in Key West Florida is a vibrant biker bar that has live music and dancing every night. Throughout the day they serve tasty seafood and sandwiches along with heavy pours from the bar. If you have not been before, try their Key Lie Pie shooter. It tastes just like the yummy Key West original pie.
Garden of Eden
If you are wanting to try out one of the naked bars in Key West, go to the famous Garden of Eden. It is located on top of Bull & Whistle on Duval Street and is one of the best bars in Key West for nightlife and clothing optional fun.
If you haven’t ever tried going to one of the clothing optional bars in Key West, you may be happy to know that you do still have some privacy. Tall jungle-like plants line the bar walls so nobody from outside the club can see in. On top of that, the bar owners and employees care about your privacy, so there is a strict no phone or photography rule enforced.
However, when you step inside the club, get ready to shine in that birthday suit. You can be sipping on tropical cocktails as you watch the setting Key West sun working out all of those uneven tan lines.
So if you have ever wanted to try one out, then go to Garden of Eden for the best naked bar in Key West Florida.
Started in 1984, the Schooner Wharf has been a local favorite for years. Voted ‘Best Local’s Bar’ for six years in a row, stopping here during a Key West vacay is a must. The iconic bar features a great rum collection and live music.
Schooner Wharf is a funky open-air bar with a relaxed local vibe, giving respite from the high energy scene of Duval Street. You’ll want to visit the Warf for sunset over the historical seaport filled with classic yachts. Sipping on ice cold drinks and eating fresh-shucked oysters and conch fritters is a way to wind down in Key West.
If you are looking for one of the most famous bars in Key West Florida, then don’t miss Sloppy Joes. Sloppy Joes is actually the oldest bar in Key West. In fact, Sloppy Joes was a popular watering hole for Key West’s most famous local, Earnest Hemingway. Today, Sloppy Joes celebrates their favorite patron by hosting an annual Hemingway Look-Alike Contest.
While Sloppy Joes offers a separate tap room for watching sports, we wouldn’t just call Sloppy Joes one of Key West sports bars. They also offer delicious frosty and slushy cocktails along with fresh caught seafood.
Not only is Sloppy Joes one of the most visited bars along Duval Street, it is also a major Key West landmark. A fun atmosphere ties this place together and is deserving of the best bars in Key West Florida title.
Sloppy Joes neon lights beckon to Duval Street pub crawlers with an offer of good food, cold drinks, billiards, live music, and dancing. This place is totally fun too. The dimly lit dive bar is filled with dollar bills and bras that hang from the ceilings. Sloppy Joes stays busy with lively crowds dancing the night away, even on a Monday.
To visit one of the all-time best bars in Key West for nightlife, head to Rick’s. This is bar is loaded with some of the most famous spots in Key West for nightlife. That is because Rick’s actually has 8 famous Key West bars all in one location.
Catch one of the most famous bands in Key West here called The Durtbags. The Durtbags house band no doubt plays some of the best rock music in all of Florida. The crowds love them too. The party goes all night with the The Durtbags gang and will keep a dance floor lively all night.
If rock is not your thing, no worries because Rick’s has not one, but two big stages. The high energy dance floor is the best and biggest in all of Key West. There are live DJs and incredible laser light shows. If you are looking for the best nightlife in Key West, then this is the place to go to see, and be seen.
At Rick’s, there is more than just rock music and high energy vibes too. The downstairs bar holds karakoke every night. Moving upstairs you can find The Red Garter Saloon which is the premier Gentlemen’s club of Key West. For a taste of Bourbon Street, you can head to the MardiGras bar for frozen daquaris. If you need a respite from dancing the night away, The Crow’s Nest at Rick’s is a great place to get away from the crowd.
Smallest Bar in Key West
One of the most famous spots is almost easy to miss. That is because it is the Smallest Bar in Key West and in the whole USA. This teeny tiny bar is 72 square feet total. It’s kitschy and odd, but very fun to do while in Key West. This place is known for tropical drinks made with fresh rum and juice.
Tiki House is one of the cool bars in Key West along Duval Street with a fun atmosphere. They serve delicious fresh squeeze tropical cocktails for an authentic tiki experience. You even get the umbrella in your drinks too… Live music is played here in the evenings and a DJ turns up the volume to get the dance floor going later in the night. So don’t miss out on stopping at Tiki House for awesome drinks and music.
Captain Tony’s Saloon
Plan to go to Captain Tony’s Saloon when you visit the best bars on Duval Street in Key West. This super famous spot has history, refreshing boozy drinks, quirky memorabilia and more. With live music playing every night, you can experience the full Key West nightlife scene at Captain Tony’s.
The Bull & Whistle Bar
The Bull & Whistle is one of the places you must go for nightlife in Key West. Both famous bars in Key West are in the same location too.
The Bull is the bottom level bar which has plenty of tables, live jazz music and a big bar. The Bull is an open air bar that makes watching party goers enjoying the best bars on Duval Streets fun.
Head upstairs for The Whistle. It is a New Orleans style open air bar. Catch happy hour until 9 PM and hang out to play pool, darts, and meet people.
801 Bourbon Bar
Another one of the best bars in Key West is the 801 Bourbon Bar. Going to the 801 Bourbon bar is super fun, especially if you attend one of their drag shows to see one of the famous 801 girls. There are two chances per night to catch a show, but since they are so popular, we would suggest trying to go early to get in. The 801 shows fill up quick!
Aqua Bar and Nightclub
Aqua is another one of the best Florida Keys bars. They have awesome interactive drag shows, DJ dance music. Check out the glow party and the show bar for more fun too.
Aqua is so much fun to visit as a couple or with friends while in Key West. They have daily drink specials so going each night you are in town is still never the same experience. Go to Aqua for all the stellar performances and high energy Key West nightlife.
There are so many Florida Keys bars to choose from when you visit. For the absolute best bars in Key West Florida that have nightlife, plan to spend the night pub crawling along the best Duval Street bars. With options like rum bars, traditional Irish pubs, vibrant biker bars, and even clothing optional bars in Key West, the party is sure to never end.
So grab your friends and have a great night at the best pubs in Key West, the best gay bars on Duval Street, or the Key West sports bars. Heck, your friends might even enjoy the naked bar in Key West too! Whatever you do, it will be a good time in the Keys. You’ll fall in love with the amazing sunsets, live music, delicious seafood, and tropical drinks along the lively shores of Key West.
If you need help with planning your Key West Trip, check out our other posts. We will tell you where the best places to stay in Key West are, including where the best Key West hotels are for every budget. Don’t forget to check out the best stops on the Miami to Key West drive for all the famous stops that you won’t want to miss.