A good hour prior to sunset and the crowds have already converged on Key West’s most famous destination for scouting the green flash and mixing with the masses. Mallory Square’s nightly sunset celebration has been a Key West tradition since the 1960s, and even though locals write it off as too touristy, you can bet they bring their own visitors here to see the spectacle at least once, too.
Among the usual performing suspects are unicyclists and balloon artists, as well as solo guitarists sitting atop overturned buckets strumming ditties for the crowds. Look for Will Soto, who juggles and does a high-wire act — he’s one of the long standing performers, and has a magical way of timing the climax of his shows with the sun just sinking under the horizon.
Your kids might have to sit on your shoulders to see over the throngs, but the crowd is prone to part and allow little ones front row access for a better view. Shortly after sunset, the catamarans and sailboats begin making their way back to Key West’s harbor, offering an ideal backdrop for a family snapshot. Kid-friendly snacks for sale include conch fritters, hot dogs and pretzels and virgin pina coladas.