The Best Spots to Witness Breathtaking Sunsets in Key West

Key West, Florida, is known for its stunning sunsets that paint the sky with vibrant hues of orange, pink, and purple. Watching the sun dip below the horizon is a cherished tradition on this island paradise. To make the most of your visit, here’s a guide to the best spots to witness Key West’s mesmerizing sunsets.

Mallory Square Sunset Celebration

Location: Mallory Square, Key West, FL 33040

About: Mallory Square is the epicenter of sunset celebrations in Key West. Every evening, locals and tourists gather to enjoy the world-famous Mallory Square Sunset Celebration. Street performers, artists, food vendors, and musicians come together to create a festive atmosphere. As the sun begins its descent, you’ll have a front-row seat to one of the most picturesque sunsets in the world. The square’s west-facing view and lively atmosphere make it a must-visit spot.

Fort Zachary Taylor State Park

Location: 601 Howard England Way, Key West, FL 33040

About: Fort Zachary Taylor State Park is a hidden gem for sunset enthusiasts. This historic state park offers a unique combination of natural beauty and history. Enjoy a leisurely walk along the sandy shoreline, explore the Civil War-era fort, and find a comfortable spot to watch the sunset. With its tranquil ambiance and unobstructed views of the Gulf of Mexico, it’s an ideal spot for a romantic evening.

Sunset Pier at Ocean Key Resort

Location: 0 Duval St, Key West, FL 33040

About: The Sunset Pier at Ocean Key Resort provides a luxurious setting to soak in the breathtaking views. Perched at the edge of the historic seaport, you can relax with a tropical cocktail and savor fresh seafood as the sun sets. The live music adds to the ambiance, making it a favorite for those seeking a more upscale sunset experience.

Southernmost Point Buoy

Location: Whitehead Street & South Street, Key West, FL 33040

About: The Southernmost Point Buoy is an iconic landmark marking the southernmost point in the continental United States. While this spot is most famous for its daytime photo ops, it’s also a great place to catch the sunset. As the evening sun casts a warm glow on the buoy, you can capture a unique memory with this historic marker in the background.

Sunset Sailboat Cruises

About: For a more immersive sunset experience, consider taking a sunset sailboat cruise. Several tour operators in Key West offer sunset cruises that provide unparalleled views of the sun setting over the Gulf of Mexico. The gentle sway of the boat, the sound of the waves, and the sea breeze create a magical setting for a romantic sunset experience.

Higgs Beach

Location: 1000 Atlantic Blvd, Key West, FL 33040

About: Higgs Beach is a peaceful option for watching the sunset. With its sandy shoreline and shady palm trees, it’s a serene spot to unwind and enjoy the colors of the evening sky. Higgs Beach is often less crowded than Mallory Square, making it a great choice for those seeking a quieter sunset experience.

Sunset Grille & Raw Bar

Location: 7 Knights Key Blvd, Marathon, FL 33050 (on nearby Marathon Key)

About: If you’re willing to venture a bit beyond Key West, the Sunset Grille & Raw Bar on nearby Marathon Key offers a fantastic sunset experience. Overlooking Seven Mile Bridge, this waterfront restaurant boasts panoramic views of the sunset and is a favorite for its fresh seafood and casual atmosphere.

Tips for the Perfect Sunset Experience

  • Arrive early: To secure the best viewing spots at popular locations, arrive well before sunset, especially during peak tourist seasons.
  • Capture the moment: Don’t forget your camera or smartphone to capture the breathtaking sunset.
  • Respect the environment: Keep the area clean, and be mindful of wildlife and protected areas.
  • Check the sunset time: Ensure you arrive in time to witness the full sunset spectacle.

Key West’s sunsets are truly a sight to behold, and these recommended spots provide the perfect backdrop for your sunset-watching experience. Whether you prefer a lively celebration, a serene beach, or a romantic dinner with a view, you’re sure to create lasting memories while basking in the golden glow of a Key West sunset.

What Time Is Sunset In Key West?

The timing of sunset in Key West, Florida, varies throughout the year due to its location near the southernmost tip of the United States. Key West experiences relatively consistent sunset times compared to locations at higher latitudes, where sunset times can vary more dramatically between the seasons. Here is a detailed timeline of when sunset occurs in Key West by time of year:

Winter (December – February):

  • December: Sunset is around 5:40 to 5:50 PM.
  • January: Sunset is around 5:45 to 5:55 PM.
  • February: Sunset is around 6:05 to 6:15 PM.

Spring (March – May):

  • March: Sunset is around 6:30 to 6:40 PM.
  • April: Sunset is around 7:30 to 7:40 PM.
  • May: Sunset is around 7:45 to 7:55 PM.

Summer (June – August):

  • June: Sunset is around 8:10 to 8:20 PM.
  • July: Sunset is around 8:15 to 8:25 PM.
  • August: Sunset is around 8:00 to 8:10 PM.

Fall (September – November):

  • September: Sunset is around 7:30 to 7:40 PM.
  • October: Sunset is around 6:45 to 6:55 PM.
  • November: Sunset is around 5:35 to 5:45 PM.

Keep in mind that these times are approximate and may vary slightly from year to year due to the Earth’s axial tilt and Key West’s specific location within the Eastern Time Zone. Additionally, daylight saving time (DST) can impact sunset times, so be sure to check if DST is in effect during your visit to Key West. Overall, Key West’s consistently pleasant climate and beautiful sunsets make it a year-round destination for those seeking to enjoy the magic of the setting sun.

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