Mallory Square is a plaza situated directly on the waterfront in the historic Old Town section of Key West. The plaza, which extends along the entire length of Wall Street, is the location for Key West's famous Sunset Celebrations, which is one of the top things to do in Key West. Mallory Square is also home to a number of shops and restaurants that visitors are sure to enjoy.
Mallory Square has been hosting the Sunset Celebration every night since the event began in the late 1960s. Each evening, two hours before the sun is scheduled to set, Mallory Square turns into a street festival with performers, arts and craft vendors, and more. Those attending a Sunset Celebration will see everything from psychics and sword swallowers to jugglers and tight rope walkers. In addition, local food vendors set up carts to sell local specialties such as conch fritters and key lime pie. The culmination of the event is, of course, the spectacular sinking of the sun into the Gulf of Mexico horizon. With all this excitement, it is no wonder that locals and tourists alike flock to Mallory Square each night to take part in the festivities.
Strolling along Mallory Square is a shopper's delight, as the plaza contains a unique variety of boutique shops. The Shell Warehouse contains the widest selection of shells in town, including rare shells that have been collected from all over the globe. They also offer fine jewelry and artwork from local artisans, as well as an assortment of home décor items. The Sponge Market sells natural sponges and all types of local products, such as Key Lime products, books and collectibles. In addition, the store contains a museum that highlights the sponging industry that was once a major business in Key West. Pacific Jewelry is an interesting jewelry store because, in addition to diamonds and precious gemstones, they sell ancient and shipwreck coins that have been collected from around the world. Other stores in and around Mallory Square include the Saltwater Angler, Cigar City, Kai Kai Sandals, and Kermit’s Key Lime Pie Shop.
A visit to Mallory Square is not complete without sampling some of the local cuisine, and the plaza is full of restaurants with tempting menus. El Meson de Pepe is a family owned restaurant that has been serving Cuban Conch cuisine since 1984. It has an ideal location overlooking the harbor, and live Latin music makes it the perfect place to unwind. The Rooftop Café also has an excellent location above Mallory Square, and they serve steak and seafood with an island twist. The restaurant's tropical theme provides a delightful atmosphere, and they offer a full bar, extensive wine selection, and special sunset menus. Many additional restaurants are situated in the Mallory Square area, including Schooner Wharf, Amigos Tortilla Bar, Bagatelle, and White Tarpon.
Mallory Square is a delightful place to visit at any time of day, whether it is for a morning walk, the fabulous Sunset Celebration, or a pleasant evening relaxing under the stars. In addition, the shops along the plaza provide excellent opportunities to take home a local souvenir, and the incredible restaurants are sure to provide a memorable meal. A visit to Mallory Square is undoubtedly one of the top things to do in Key West.
For more info on visiting Key West and the Florida Keys, and want to read a great travel blog, check out our friends over at Florida Keys Girl.