Duval Street Key West Is More
Than Just A Place To Do The Crawl
Duval Street in Old Town Key West Florida, is one of those places you just have to see (or walk) when on a vacation in the Florida Keys.
You've probably heard about Duval Key West, even seen pictures. In fact, when people first hear the name they think of the Duval Crawl.
For many on a Florida Keys vacation, their holiday isn't complete until they've done (or at least tried to do) the Duval Crawl at least once.
This is a party street, and Duval Key West is famous for it's pulsating nightlife and ribald atmosphere.
In fact, it's the premier destination address for anyone looking for that extra twist of excitement while on a vacation in Key West.
However there's more to this street than just Key West bars and partying. Let's tour Duval St together to see why it's such a popular Key West vacation destination!
Bull And Whistle Is A Tradition On Duval Street Key West
Photo Courtesy of Roy Llowarch on Flickr
Essence of Duval Key West
When you tour Duval you'll see that it's the
place to go for taste tempting Key West restaurants, fascinating galleries, intriguing shops, and entertaining Key West tourist attractions.
The Street That's Forever Tied With The Soul Of Key West
As you begin to wander the length of Duval St, you'll soon discover that this is where many of the best Key West bars and better shops in Old Town Key West are located.
There are several important destinations situated a block or so to the east, but predominantly this is the hub of Old Town Key West. The other major Key West attractions that aren't located on this street tend to gravitate towards the water in a north, west or southerly direction.
Busy Intersection At Duval Street And Front Street By Mallory Square
Another interesting fact about this popular "Key West attraction", is the north and south route it traverses. This is one of the few places on earth where you start your walk at the Gulf of Mexico and 17 major intersecting streets later end up at the Atlantic Ocean.
You'll find that apart from being a comfortable distance, it's also a very engaging stroll. Bustling, high energy is all around you, especially at the north end of the street where the majority of Key West bars are concentrated.
You'll also smell exotic aromas and hear music spilling out of open doors and windows. A perfect intoxicating blend that mixes well with the lively conversation of people dining at the numerous open air restaurants.
One Of The Colorful Mallory Square Key West Signs
As you move further south away from Mallory Square,
you'll encounter more galleries, and cozy bed and breakfasts in Key West. You'll see groups of people out for leisurely rides on bicycles, roosters strutting and pecking, cats prowling, and a broad selection of amazing shops and a few museums.
The charm of Duval Street is unmistakable, however there's something about it that's also unique. It creates a certain anticipation and wonderment as you stroll it's often shady length.
Perhaps it's the sense of Key West history
that envelopes this old street lined with beautifully restored centuries old buildings. It may even be the tropical feeling that envelopes you, as you brush past fragrant jumbles of densely lush vegetation that spill everywhere.
Colorful Bouganvilleas Add Vibrant Color To Bustling Duval St
State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, Dale M. McDonald Collection
Maybe it's the unmistakable hint of salt in the fresh air that captivates and draws you from one body of water to the other. It could even be the curiosity of discovery, as you push open the door of a Key West gallery to see what treasures are inside. Whatever it is, it's a feeling you only seem to get when you're on Duval Street in Key West.
The Duval St Crawl
Below is a brief overview of a walk down this magical street designed to give you a sense of what you'll see. It will guide you off onto intersecting roads so you can explore other nearby points of interest. It'll also tell you what would happen if you stayed true to your goal, and continued straight, walking the full distance from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean.
Duval Street Crawl
I've also included a larger version of our printable Duval Street Map.
If you print it off you can use it to follow along as you read the rest of this page, or keep it for when you're doing the Crawl!
So let's kick off our version of the Duval Crawl, and picture in your mind the journey you'll take traveling north to south, with only a few noted detours.
Sloppy Joes Key West Is A Famous Key West Florida Duval Street Bar
State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, Dale M. McDonald Collection
Imagine the heady smells that emanate from a busy street lined with some of the most popular restaurants and bars. Sloppy Joes Key West bar,
and The Bull and Whistle with it's clothing optional Garden of Eden on the top floor, are two of the more popular bars in Key West.
You're walk will also lead you past many of the more famous Key West lodging on Duval St
establishments including the La Te Da Hotel and gracious bed and breakfasts in Key West such as the Wicker Guesthouse.
The Truman Bust At Key West Memorial Sculpture Garden
You'll discover that shopping on Duval Street Key West includes funky shops, traditional retail outlets, and outstanding galleries. Your journey will bring you in contact with all the sights and sounds that come together to form this crazy menagerie known as Duval Street.
So let's start our walking tour where the Gulf of Mexico meets the shore and this exciting street begins. On your immediate west you'll have the Memorial Sculpture Garden, and an assortment of restaurants you can choose from.
Riding The Conch Tour Train Is A Popular Key West Attraction
At Front Street, just to the east is where the Conch Tour Trains start their routes, and their popular hop-on-hop-off service. Traveling west on Front Street would lead you directly to Mallory Square Key West, home to numerous food and gift kiosks, street performers and the can't miss nightly Sunset Celebration.
As you travel south on Duval St between Front and Greene you'll pass a small intersecting road called Charles that only goes one block west. This portion of your Crawl has a number of good restaurants, some unusual gift shops and traditional businesses. It also has a Key West scooter rental location that will make getting around New Town Key West
and the Lower Keys easier.
Captain Tony's Saloon Is A Popular Key West Bar That's Possibly Haunted
When you reach Greene, if you travel west you'll come to the famous as well as haunted Captain Tony's Saloon
and in two short blocks you'll arrive at Mel Fisher's Martime Museum.
Both are well worth the visit.
Coming back to Duval St and continuing south between Greene and Caroline, you'll immediately pass a small intersecting road to the east called Rose Lane that only goes one block connecting to Simonton. This portion of the Crawl includes a number of restaurants and Key West bars and is where the action heats up in the evenings. You'll find Sloppy Joes Key West Bar and the Bull and Whistle Stop located here.
Placard At Trumans Little White House, Key West Florida
When you reach Caroline, if you turn west and walk to Emma Street, then turn south, you'll arrive at Truman's Little White House.
Retracing your steps and returning to Duval Street, you'll quickly walk past the Oldest House Museum
which is worth a visit.
As you continue down to your next intersection at Eaton, you'll pass several well known lodging establishments such as Casa 325, several Key West restaurants and art galleries. At Eaton, to your east is the popular Red Barn Theater.
St Paul's Episcopal Church, Key West FL
Between Eaton and Fleming on Duval Street, you'll walk past the beautiful St. Paul's Episcopal Church on the east side. A bit further down on the west side is the beautiful and reportedly haunted Crowne Plaza La Concha Key West. There's also a smattering of restaurants and retails shops that are fun to check out as you continue your Crawl towards the Atlantic.
Jimmy Buffett's Key West Margaritaville
Between Fleming and Southard you'll come across Jimmy Buffet's famous Margaritaville restaurant and store. There's also a good mix of Key West restaurants, shops and Duval St galleries along this stretch. Just before you reach Southard you'll meet a small intersecting road called Applerouth Lane that only goes one block west to Whitehead.
Between Southard and Angela there's an almost immediate very small intersecting street to your east called Josephine Parker. On this leg of Duval Street you'll find that it's laced with restaurants and Key West galleries, plus a few traditional retail outlets. A Key West Tourist Information Booth is also located at the southwest corner of Angela and Duval.
Key West Cemetery Placard
From Angela to Petronia you'll find a number of taste tempting restaurants, a few Key West lodging establishments, and several retail outlets. If you head east on Angela you'll also come to the main entrance of the haunted Key West cemetery which is definitely worth a visit.
You can usually pick up a Key West cemetery map at the main gate. This highlights the more interesting gravestones, including some of their more unusual, often humorous inscriptions.
A Street In Bahama Village
When you reach Petronia, if you turn west you would reach the heart of the 16 block eclectic shopping and residential district known as Bahama Village.
By retracing your steps, and traveling south between Petronia and Olivia you'll pass by popular galleries, unusual shops, a few more Key West lodging establishments, bars and restaurants.
When you reach Olivia, if you head west a few blocks you'll come to the interesting and reportedly haunted Ernest Hemingway House
museum and gardens. Return back to Duval St and walk just a few feet further and you'll come to a small street to the west called Whalton Lane. This connects with another short north and south road. This stretch of the Crawl between Olivia and Truman, will bring you past the beautifully maintained Wicker Guesthouse, other Duval Street hotels, restaurants and shops.
Haunted Key West Lighthouse Off Duval Is Near Hemingway House
When you reach Truman Avenue, if you travel east just a short distance you'll come to the Gay and Lesbian Center of Key West. Going back to Duval St and continuing south, you'll cross over a small intersecting road called Julia to the west. As you stroll towards your goal of reaching the Atlantic, this section of the Crawl is populated with different galleries, restaurants and Key West lodging facilities.
When you cross over Virginia this section down to Catherine is laden with a fine group of Key West galleries, several well known lodging facilities such as the Cuban Club Suites and the La Te Da hotel and restaurant.
From Catherine to United is just a short distance that's packed full of galleries and features a few casual Key West restaurants.
From United to South Street you'll come to several Key West motels and the Key West Butterfly museum.
If you turn west on South you'll arrive at one of the more major Key West attractions, the Southernmost Point Marker.
Beautiful Southernmost House At The End Of Duval Street Key West
If you don't turn on South Street, but instead cross Duval's last intersecting street, you're on the home stretch and here you'll find a few Key West restaurants and one of the most beautiful Key West hotels on Duval, the Southernmost House.
Once you reach this point you'll have successfully walked from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic in just over 1 mile.
On your stroll, make sure to stop and visit the different shops and Key West galleries. Relax for a while over a bite to eat, sample some delicious key lime pie, and enjoy some of the tasty libations you'll find along the way. If you do, you'll have done your own version of the famous Duval Street crawl!
Duval Street Lit Up For Christmas