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Sunsets Key West Style

A local saying in Key West is “see you at sunset.” Throughout Key West’s history, dramatic sunsets have weaved their spell over visitors. Watching the sunset has become an integral part of everyday life in paradise. Leave it to Key West to raise sunset watching to an art form with Mallory Square’s Sunset Celebration, now a top attraction in Key West. Sunset watching as an organized event started out casually in the late 1960’s as a group of free spirits started meeting nightly on the working docks at Mallory Square. Mallory Square has long been a focal point on the island, starting as a meeting place for pirates, dock for merchant ships, and now with its nightly celebrations.

Key West Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square

What began in the 1960s as a group of 30-40 regulars gathering for sunset, grew over the years in numbers with a flea market feel. Docks were overwhelmed, nearby merchants complained, and a better solution was needed. So in 1984, the Key West Cultural Preservation Society (CPS) was formed. This not-for-profit corporation’s purpose is to support the arts by managing the Sunset Celebration, Key West’s funky nightly arts festival. To further its mission, the CPS rents space to artisans and helps “preserve the spirit of the Mallory Square Sunset Celebration, its history, tradition and reality.” Each night, a new celebration begins with the sun as star performer, painting the sky brilliant colors. Joining in the festivities are jugglers, musicians, artists, tourists, food vendors, locals, fishermen and even psychics, all mingling together on Mallory Square.

You may still be asking yourself, the sun sets everywhere, what makes a Key West sunset so special? That question is answered by experiencing it for yourself. The best place to watch the sunset in Key West is on the deck of a Sebago ship, drink in hand. Sebago takes part in this nightly sunset tradition, sailing past Mallory Square where our guests wave to the crowd gathered on the docks and watch the jugglers, musicians and other performers. Then we head for open water and sail into the sunset. As the orange sun sinks lower, casting its reflection on the turquoise sea, Sebago’s experienced captains carefully maneuver their ship to provide their guests with a magnificent view of the sunset. No need to stand on tiptoe to catch a glimpse over the crowds!

Sebago offers a variety of sunset tours on catamarans, historic schooners and even combo snorkel tours. There is sure to be one tailored to your interests and schedule. Book a Sebago Key West Sunset Tour and join in the celebration!