Mallory Square, Key West

Mallory Square, Key West (must see)

Fronting on the world-famous Sunset Pier in the heart of Old Town Key West, Mallory Square is known for its stunning sunsets, street shows, and lively atmosphere.

The square is named after Stephen Russell Mallory, a U.S. Senator and Secretary of the Navy for the Confederacy during the American Civil War. In the early 1800s, it was used as a naval base for the U.S. Navy and, later, as a commercial port, with ships bringing goods from the Caribbean and other parts of the world. During much of the 19th century, Key West was a hub for the salvaging of shipwrecks; many of the recovered items were sold in Mallory Square.

The tradition of celebrating the sunset began here in the 1960s. Local artists and performers would gather in the evening to marvel at the sun going down over the water, and eventually, crowds began to form and join in on the festivities.

Street performers – such as fire eaters, jugglers, musicians, and other wacky tricksters – are a standalone attraction at Mallory. To perform in the square they must audition and be licensed by the city. The performers range from a one-man band and fire jugglers to world-famous Kwinci, who swallows a 40-inch balloon and walks barefoot on broken glass (you have to see this to believe it).

Then there's Warren Lee, the Sophisticated Swindler. No trip to Key West is complete without seeing Dominique and his Flying House Cats. Somehow, he has trained his cats to jump through hoops of fire and other, very un-cat-like tricks.

In 2017, Mallory Square was severely damaged by Hurricane Irma. However, it was quickly rebuilt and today remains as vibrant and popular a destination as ever.

Why You Should Visit:
People-watching at this popular location is quite fun, as you have all kinds of walks of life here. The breeze is usually pretty refreshing even on hotter and humid days due to the oceanfront location.

Bring cash and if you stop to watch, tip the performers – they deserve it. Surrounding are many delightful shops and craftsmen selling their wares, and you can get some nice food and drinks, all coupled with the spectacular view of the sun sinking into the Gulf of Mexico – a photographer's delight.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Key West. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Mallory Square on Map

Sight Name: Mallory Square
Sight Location: Key West, USA (See walking tours in Key West)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Key West, Florida

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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.3 Km or 0.8 Miles

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