Duval Street is the longest street in the world! Well, not really. It’s just over a mile in length, but it has been affectionately nicknamed the longest street in the world because it spans the length of the island, running from the northern tip of Key West all the way to the Southernmost Point. Duval Street is where the heart of Key West lives. Home to numerous bars and pubs, as well as a plethora of family-friendly attractions, Duval Street answers the question “Where do I go when I’m in Key West?” It’s perfect for the whimsical tourist averse to planning out every detail of their trip. It’s ideal for the meticulous traveler intent on sticking to their well-researched itinerary. One way or another, anybody visiting Key West is sure to find themselves on Duval Street at some point, if not for their entire stay.
Top 10 Duval Street Attractions
#1 Hog’s Breath Saloon
This world-famous Key West saloon boasts the slogan “Hog’s breath is better than no breath at all!” and is far more charming than its name would suggest. This Duval Street gem is a nightly home to the best live music the island has to offer, making it the perfect place to discover your new favorite underground act with a cold one in hand. Enjoy a pleasantly greasy bite in their sunny outdoor seating area, or take the opportunity to cool off in their air-conditioned indoor area. Either way, there isn’t a bad seat in the house. Next time you’re in Key West, be sure to get a nice, big whiff of Hog’s Breath Saloon.
#2 Green Parrot Bar
This bar is widely lauded as a local hot spot, really giving tourists an unparalleled look at life as a conch. Green Parrot Bar was born in 1890 behind a local grocery store from the spirit of Cuban and Bahamian transplants in Key West. Over a century later, the bar stands proudly as a place for Key West locals to celebrate the many joys of life. Green Parrot Bar has played host to all types of occasions, such as poetry slams, divorce celebrations, memorial services and just about any other monumental occasion you can imagine. A frequent venue for live music, Green Parrot Bar is home to the never-ending Key West party, and contributes greatly to the lively nature of Duval Street. If you long for a glimpse into the life of a true conch, Green Parrot Bar is the place for you.
#3 A Fury Water Sports Adventure
The experts at Fury Water Adventures put you in the center of all of Key West’s action. With an array of tours to choose from, there is no limit to the ways they can show you Key West and the surrounding waters. For the thrill-seeking adrenaline junkies, zoom off on a Fury Jet Ski Tour from the Duval Street launching point. Or, spend a whole day on the water with Fury’s Ultimate Adventure H2.0. This excursion provides every vantage point imaginable, with parasails placing you alongside those elusive seabirds and snorkel gear to let you swim with the sea turtles. If your taste is something more leisurely, take in the best view of the most iconic sunset on the East Coast with Fury’s Commotion on the Ocean Sunset Sail — a true celebration of natural beauty, with live music, dancing and drinks all around.
#4 Mel Fisher Maritime Museum
Key West is a historic island that boasts a long and storied history, and the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum is a shining example of that. The only fully accredited museum in the Florida Keys, the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum puts you in the same facilities as well-respected archeologists and their remarkable findings. Recall all the stories you’ve heard of pirate ships and buried treasure by standing face to face with real-life artifacts from those legends. Learn all about the history of Spanish explorers becoming the first Europeans to set foot in Florida. Observe artifacts that detail the grueling history of the Middle Passage and pay respects to those in bondage who lost their lives at sea. The Mel Fisher Maritime Museum is a Key West institution that broadens the worldview of all those who visit, and makes Duval Street a truly unique destination.
#5 The Touch Tank at the Key West Aquarium
While Key West is one of the most popular snorkeling and diving destinations in the world, tour guides often warn people against touching plants and animals lurking below the surface. It can be harmful to the delicate ecosystem, as well as dangerous to the divers. Thankfully, the Key West Aquarium has addressed the burning desire to hold the reef in your hands with their ingenious touch tank. A perfectly safe exhibit, where petting and holding are encouraged, experience the cute critters of the reef without leaving a mark on the beloved ocean ecosystem. The touch tank at the Key West Aquarium is home to starfish, sea urchins, conchs and more! Feel the reef in the palm of your hand today!
#6 Rick’s Bar, All 8 of Them
Rick’s Bar on Duval Street combines eight different experiences into one unforgettable night. Heartfelt live music, pulsing DJ sets, a dapper lounge and more, Rick’s Bar has something for everybody (of age). Rick’s Bar combines indoor and outdoor venues to bring you the best experience in every weather condition and ensures you get your favorite drink in a timely manner. This Duval Street staple is always hosting some kind of special event, making each night you spend at Rick’s a special one. Join the best party in Key West, spanning eight bars, at Rick’s Bar.
#7 Audubon House & Tropical Gardens
This historic home has stood proudly in Key West for nearly two centuries. Today, the Audubon House & Tropical Gardens are home to some of the finest works of art in Key West, as well as pristinely kept botanical gardens. This lush venue has played host to a number of weddings and banquets throughout the years. Legend has it that the ghost of former resident, William Bedford Smith, still roams the grounds where he earned a reputation as a recluse, living alone in the Audubon House for over 25 years. This piece of Duval Street history is teeming with fascinating quips about it and is a great addition to any tour of Key West.
#8 Old Town Simonton & Greene Streets
In Old Town, between Simonton and Greene Streets is where visitors of Key West can experience quite a few standout Key West traditions, such as a great slice of Key lime pie and Sloppy Joe’s bar, a Duval Street staple since the 1930s. Simonton Street Beach is one of the best places in Key West to have a run-in with a stoic loggerhead sea turtle. This little corner of Old Town brings so much to the table as far as food, drink, shops and experiences that you will not want to miss it.
#9 An Authentic Cuban Plate at El Meson de Pepe
Serving the Key West community for over three decades, El Meson de Pepe is a grand celebration of the Cuban heritage that helped shape Duval Street into the cultural destination it is today. Sink your teeth into a world-famous Cuban sandwich where the well-versed kitchen staff understands: it’s all about that soft loaf of Cuban bread. Enjoy a plate of rice and beans just like abuela used to make, and enjoy a cocktail at the outdoor bar. The staff at El Meson de Pepe gets a strong sense of joy from serving the Key West community, conchs and tourists alike. You’re going to want a taste of this Duval Street hospitality.
#10 A Tour With Old Town Trolley
The expert drivers at Old Town Trolley are jumping at the opportunity to show you all the best spots on Duval Street. A hop-on, hop-off tour with Old Town Trolley and their charming tour guides gives you the best views of Key West above traffic. Enjoy the benefits of Old Town Trolley chauffeuring you to the best stops, not just along Duval Street but throughout Key West.
The History and Preservation of Duval Street
Duval Street is nicknamed “The Longest Street in the World,” but in reality, it is far from it. The historic street is only 1.25 miles in length, but the hyperbolic nickname stems from the way it runs from the northern tip of Key West to the Southernmost Point, connecting the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Duval Street is named for William Pope Duval, who served as the first territorial governor of Florida. In 2012, Duval Street was designated a “Great Street” by the American Planning Association (no small feat).
The preservation of historic Duval Street dates back to 1967 when the National Park Service’s survey of Historic American Buildings designated 18 buildings on Duval Street historic landmarks. Fast-forward to 1971, and six entire blocks of Duval Street were added to the National Register of Historic Places. Then, in 2000, the City of Key West approved new Historic Architecture Guidelines, which set stringent standards for any new construction along Duval Street.
Is Duval Street family-friendly?
Although much of Duval Street is bars and pubs, there are plenty of family-friendly venues along Duval Street as well, such as the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum and the Key West Aquarium.
What is Duval Street known for?
In addition to being the heart of Key West, a great spot for locals and tourists, Duval Street is known for the way it runs from the northern tip of Key West to the Southernmost Point, connecting the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean.
What do you wear to Duval Street?
Depending on what stops along Duval Street you plan on making, your wardrobe choices may vary between elegant and casual. However, make sure you wear comfortable shoes and warm-weather clothes. Key West boasts warm weather year-round.
What is the main tourist street in Key West?
Duval Street! While this iconic street is a well-known hang for Key West locals, tourists are not immune to its island charm.