When I am on holiday I like to take my watch off on the first day, keep it in a safe place, and not put it on again until the journey home. You can do that in the Keys, as long as you make sure that you are sat with a glass of Prosecco in hand and with an unobstructed view to the west in time to watch sunset.
The most notorious place to watch the sunset in Key West is Mallory Square, where a Covent Garden-like set of market stalls and street performers help you find gifts to take home and keep you entertained. We met a girl who makes her own silver and precious stone jewellery. Not only was it lovely to meet her, but it crossed a number of items of our Christmas shopping list too!
If you walk just around the corner in front of the W Hotel there is a wonderful pavement cocktail bar where you can sit and watch it all happen. Life doesn’t get much better than this!
On the Water
However, if you are feeling a bit more adventurous I highly recommend a sunset cruise on the Schooner America 2.0. For some crazy reason it was only as we walked towards the pier that I remembered how utterly seasick I get even on the Isle of Wight ferry! As the wind steadily grew I seriously contemplated staying on shore and letting my husband go on his own. However, we had pre-ordered a bottle of champagne and I certainly wasn’t going to let him enjoy that without me!
The Schooner, 105ft long, was deftly reversed out of the busy harbour, and the 3 mainsails (excuse my “landlubber” language here) and jib are raised before we are even out of the bay. What was magical was the complete lack engine noise. It was a truly wonderful evening – and I didn’t get sick at all!
They serve hors d’oeuvres and wine/beer/fizz throughout. Highly recommended.
On Marathon Key, Crane Point nature reserve (MM50) would be a great place to watch the sunset if you walk to the end of the headland – an easy stroll on made-up road. There are no facilities on the headland, but we bought an ice-cream from the visitors centre (and a jar of amazing honey, but that’s another story), and we wished we had packed a picnic.
Lorelei’s Restaurant and Bar at MM82 (you can’t miss it – it’s right by the huge Mermaid sign) is a popular place to watch the sunset over Islamorada. However, we chose to treat ourselves at The Beach Café at Morada Bay. The food comes from the same kitchen that caters for Pierre’s restaurant, and so you get amazing food in a relaxed atmosphere. Perfect for watching the sun go down.